What does Until It Sleeps mean?

Metallica: Until It Sleeps Meaning

Tagged: Death [suggest]
Album cover for Until It Sleeps album cover

Song Released: 1996


Until It Sleeps Lyrics

Where do I take this pain of mine
I run but it stays right by my side

So tear me open and pour me out
There's things inside that scream and shout
And the pain still hates me
So hold me until it sleeps

Just like the curse, just like the...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    #1 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
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    Jul 18th 2012 !⃝

    "The lyrics of the song, written by Hetfield, address his mother's battle with cancer. They can be seen as either describing the emotional pain he feels for the loss, or the physical pain his mother was feeling while she was ill. Both of his parents were Christian Scientists, and did not believe in medicine. The lyrics are also interpreted as dealing with anger issues. Hetfield's father, Virgil, died in late 1996, during Metallica's Load tour." - Wikipedia

    However, songs are meant to be interpreted by the listener typically. i wanna find all the weird symbolism and odd stuff in the video. thats what needs 'interpreting'

  2. 2TOP RATED

    #2 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
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    Feb 21st 2016 !⃝

    I believe it to be about anxiety attacks, as I suffer greatly from these, every word of the song applies to an anxiety attack. It comes uninvited and stay, and the only peace you get is when it sleeps

  3. 3TOP RATED

    #3 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
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    Nov 17th 2008 !⃝

    It's a song about cancer, which his mom died from, it describes how it took over the body and eventually kills them.

  4. anonymous
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    Mar 30th 2020 !⃝

    My husband passed away to an heroin addiction so my interpretation of this song is the struggles of an addict.

  5. anonymous
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    Dec 12th 2019 !⃝

    From what I see everyone interprets to their story in life.
    The song is about heroin “dirt still stains me” he was in a rehab from alcohol and other addictions it was in the news too

  6. anonymous
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    Aug 22nd 2018 !⃝

    Alcohol is clearly the meaning behind it. James struggled with it. It is greedy it is ugly and you can stop when it sleeps but it grips your world when you drink again.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  7. anonymous
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    Jun 12th 2018 !⃝

    I absolutely do not like heavy metal music, however this song "until it sleeps" has caught my attention very much and I do very much appreciate its creativity explicityly. I grew up in a religious denomination very strict. For myself this song is portraying the effects of the fall of man and initial stain of sin when Adam and Eve first sinned and rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden. They destroyed perfect harmony with the ultimate sustainer of the universe. So the sin in the song is tearing apart the our ancestral father Adam until he sleeps or goes to the ground where he came from, where sin will have a detrimental effect on his life "gripping and staining him so bad not knowing where to take his pain running right by his side" until he sleeps !!! Awesome song by Metallica, hats off to the band for life for this one !!! Wishing the band Metallica the best, always for this one. -Nick R

  8. anonymous
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    Jan 18th 2018 !⃝

    I love it so much i think its abut ebola and his dead mom and dad to ebola

  9. anonymous
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    Apr 15th 2016 !⃝

    to me its about addiction. Pain inside, stains me (my past).. that is whats great about music.. it can mean anything to you

  10. anonymous
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    Mar 16th 2014 !⃝

    I belive that the song is about exorcism. 'So tear me open' refers to the fact that these 'purification rituals' can often be extremly painful. 'There's still dirt staining me', 'It stains you' refers to the fact that the Church says you shall not do wrong and you can get influencened by wrong-doers and do bad things.

  11. anonymous
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    Jul 3rd 2013 !⃝

    It is about james wanting to get the evil person out of him and about the pain of losing his mother and thinking that he is bad person for not being able to keep her from passing away
    " don't want you grip don't want your greed" he is trying to say he dosent want the evil to consum him.

  12. anonymous
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    Oct 12th 2012 !⃝

    its about devil and how he alwayes gets into mankind an make people choose the wrong choise (from The beggning of mankind just like you see in the video:adam and The Apple)and now he suffers from it (the man) and asking god for help

  13. anonymous
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    Apr 4th 2012 !⃝

    NOT ABOUT FOLLOWING THE DEVIL AT ALL
    Clearly about pain (and not nescessarily the phisical kind).I could believe it to be about his mother but then some parts just don't sound right (the pain sure consumed her on the final days but she never tried to get rid of it)
    It's more like an inner conflict: "So tear me open and pour me out There's things inside that scream and shout"
    He has all that inside him but never shares his pain and then it consumes him inside. He's finally trying to get over it, be open about it, ask for help.
    It could be related to the band or just someone else on the grips of depression. Could relate to that a lot on my darker days...song fits that perfectly: you feel the pain inside and not strong enought to be open about it, then you search for help and decide to stop this pain and see you can fight it.
    Also in many cases depression can get to the point of the person thinking of himself as the center of all tragedy and kinda like the only one with the problem (So tell me why you've chosen me)

  14. Dominic Whosboomz
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    Mar 19th 2012 !⃝

    It could also be interpreted as a drug addiction. It could be interpreted both ways.

  15. anonymous
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    Jul 12th 2011 !⃝

    Cancer, his mom and dad

  16. anonymous
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    Jun 25th 2011 !⃝

    First of all why do people say that the meaning of a song is either related to the band or if it was on a game the song has to be related to the game.

    Well now that i got that out in the open, i think this song is about the pain us humans face through out our life because if you see the video each band member is having some type of pain. Because the whole chorus where it says it holds you so bad, it is saying the pain will hold on to you until you forget about like when the song says until it sleeps. and the other lyrics are just saying what you might feel during the your pain and what you want to do to yourself.

  17. anonymous
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    May 6th 2010 !⃝

    Where do I take this pain of mine?
    I run but it stays right by my side (this is saying that the devil will never leave those who are banishing him after they have invited them)

    So tear me open, pour me out
    There's things inside that scream and shout
    And the pain still hates me
    So hold me until it sleeps (he is talking about his past of following the devil)

    Just like the curse, just like the stray
    You feed it once and now it stays
    Now it stays (the devil stays with someone forever)

    So tear me open but beware
    There's things inside without a care
    And the dirt still stains me
    So wash me until I'm clean (same)

    It grips you, so hold me
    It stains you, so hold me
    It hates you, so hold me
    It holds you, so hold me
    Until it sleeps (this stanza is in God's point of view. He is saying that the devil does all these things but if you hold on to God then the devil will go)

    So tell me why you've chosen me
    Don't want your grip, don't want your greed
    Don't want it (back to the author...he is asking the devil why he has chosen him)

    I'll tear me open, make you gone
    No more can you hurt anyone
    And the fear still shakes me
    So hold me until it sleeps

    It grips you, so hold me
    It stains you, so hold me
    It hates you, so hold me
    It holds you, holds you, holds you until it sleeps

    I don't want it, want it, want it, want it, want it...No (he don't want to be bad)

    So tear me open but beware
    There's things inside without a care
    And the dirt still stains me
    So wash me 'til I'm clean

    I'll tear me open, make you gone (he'll rip out the demon in him and be clean)
    No longer will you hurt anyone
    And the hate still shapes me
    So hold me until it sleeps
    Until it sleeps

  18. anonymous
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    Mar 23rd 2010 !⃝

    No. It's about his battles with Alcohol.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
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