What does Welcome Home (Sanitarium) mean?

Metallica: Welcome Home (Sanitarium) Meaning

Album cover for Welcome Home (Sanitarium) album cover

Song Released: 1986

Welcome Home (Sanitarium) Lyrics

Welcome to where time stands still
no one leaves and no one will
Moon is full, never seems to change
just labeled mentally deranged
Dream the same thing every night
I see our freedom in my sight
No locked doors, No windows barred
No things...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Nov 10th 2007 !⃝

    This song is about a recipricol cycle. a Sanitarium is a place of recooperation, the person who is the subject of this song is recovering from a disease or mental illness (judging from being in a sanitarium).

    however it is a misinformed opinion that mental illnesses cannot be cured, and because he was once sick, he cannot recover and people refuse to believe that he is cured - "Just labeled mentally deranged"

    "No locked doors, no windows barred" and "They keep me locked up in this cage" are contradictory statements, but make sense if they are put in the context of the later revelations in this statement - "Build my fear of what's out there
    Cannot breathe the open air
    Whisper things into my brain
    Assuring me that I'm insane"
    This passage suggests to me that this person is cured, but people believe that he is sick, and are insisting to him that he is sick; so he believes that he is sick too.

    This relates to "No locked doors, no windows barred" and "They keep me locked up in this cage" in the way that he has built a dependence on the institution, he does not believe that he can cope with the outside world because he is being forced to believe that he is sick.

    The later parts of the song demonstrate the strength of the human mind, dispite his metaphorical prison and he belief that he cannot survive outside, he still wants to escape. The efforts to escape end up turning against him.
    The speed of the song picks up, suggesting a frenzied attempt, but the attempt manifests itself in a violent way:
    "kill is such a friendly word
    seems the only way
    for reaching out again"
    The violence of the escape would confirm the belief that he is crazy, and hence strengthen the institutions' efforts to assure him that he is insane.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jan 22nd 2017 !⃝

    My interpretation comes with a story so it's kinda long
    Oncw I was driving with my uncle and we were blasting Metallica, when this song came up he got real quiet, I asked him what was wrong and he told me this song reminds him of prision, he said when he was locked up (unfairly btw) and his life collapsed he felt everyone judged him as if he was crazy and no one would believe him (until they caught the real murderer), so he connected a lot to this song in that sense since he also thaught he was never getting out of jail.
    That made me understand the listener is the one that actually gives the song it's meaning.
    Rock on fellow metalheads!\m/


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 22nd 2009 !⃝

    the mental institution interpretation is much too literal for me. personally i see it as fitting in with society as a whole. how there are so many people telling you what to do, how to act, and what to think about yourself on a constant basis. despite this, you still know who you are and what to do with yourself, but not really taking your own advice and conforming anyways.

    almost as if this was the bands interpretation of most people.

  4. anonymous
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    Aug 15th 2019 !⃝

    a great Metallica song about the welcoming call for the poor and disillusioned soul to go back home from his fallen state of mind. wherefore sadly and unfortunately this world became like a Sanitarium for him. Either where one could actually find himself inside one, or just by being grounded in his room, dreaming a way out from the evil parasites that have been ruling over one's mind, body and soul. which are working within a ficticious and parasitic set up governments turned corporation's institutions of this world with whom converted and set up the Sanitarium[s]ystems for expiermental enslavement of our children souls that want out and to be left alone from these People Of The Lie and their decendents that have added on the laws of their own kind of attraction. by which has and still have been making one and our God's sheeple childrens minds ''legally'' crazy with these kinds of unlawful laws and the many unrealistic God-less ideas to choose and be labeled by them as deplorable misfits to live within this kind of ficticious and God-less world reality, made to feel one needs to dream and do drugs to escape and be free from the pain of their evil that has been lingering on the mind as a false ego that was developed, controlled and guided by their father of the lies that need to die and be killed with it. all in order to be ''saved'' or better yet to be ''born again'' in Christ. which by grace is a must for truly having and knowing what a healthy freewill is, for choosing a life in Christ now for a change.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  5. anonymous
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    Nov 30th 2017 !⃝

    About the point of view of a patient at a mental asylum

  6. anonymous
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    Feb 13th 2014 !⃝

    In this song,routines of life are mentioned and people are not aware of this system.Life assimilates to like "Sanitarium".They say people are labelled and their behaviors are deranged in this life system.We always live according to someones'life rules.Because of this forces,they want to "live alone".They want to live with their own way.A group of people decide how the others will live. Even more, the rulers hope they will be obeyed.

  7. anonymous
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    Feb 13th 2014 !⃝

    The sanitarium describes to the world. Because the world has lots of bad and evil thing. Even though writer wants to escape the world he cannot. The writer said ‘’just labeled mentally deranged’’. He said that because he has lots of different thoughts against the system. According to system his brain is damaged. For example, “sanitarium, just leave me alone.” He want to share his opinions and feelings against the system for this reason he wrote this song.

  8. anonymous
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    Feb 13th 2014 !⃝

    This song is they “Metelaka” trying to describe the whole society prejudice about the Regular live by the mad rules and punishing creativity the song showed the by saying “they keep me locked up on this cage”. For instant, also it demonstrate some situations, which are happening now around the world such Syria; and how its regime build fear to people by killing thousand. In brief, people’s brains are not control so who suppose to control people’s brain, he is wrong . However people’s emotions are affected overly.

  9. anonymous
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    Feb 13th 2014 !⃝

    this song describes that throught history , the system has not changed and in this system people have looked like they're free but they were not. Actually, they have been controlled by system.They have had only one dream that is understanding reality.
    breefly the people from the earlier time try to get freedom their hands until now.

  10. anonymous
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    Apr 4th 2012 !⃝

    I do know a bit about those mental institutions (never been a patient but had doctors in the familly so i went to the places and even talked to people). Really they hardly restrain patients (only in the dangerous cases either to himself or others. i.e. suicidal or violent tendencies)
    The thing is: I see some abuse of power (even if the locks were not real is like he's made to believe he's locked) and influence (he comes to believe from the "whispers" that he's insane)
    Also the patient is clearly depressive: he doesn't say the killing is towards another but towards himself ("Mirror stares back hard Kill, it's such a friendly word")

  11. anonymous
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    Jul 6th 2011 !⃝

    This song is about a person who is not sick,but the doctors want to control thatperson,and are telling him that he IS sick,andthus,they do manage to make him think that he is sick,even though after that the hero still wants to get out,and he tries to,eventually - by dying.

    ps-the he dies could be either suicide,either being killed in combat.

  12. anonymous
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    Jul 3rd 2011 !⃝

    Guessing it's about a soldier that's come home and can't forget what he saw and it's driving him crazy?

  13. anonymous
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    Jun 8th 2011 !⃝

    To me, the song is about depression, and Sanitarium being a metaphor. He wants to leave his mind and thoughts away, but he feels he is trapped in his mind. And he dreams of being free of depression.

  14. anonymous
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    May 23rd 2011 !⃝

    this song is heavily inspired by the movie ''flying over the chukoo's nest'' the ending lyrics tell that their last solution is death or killing each other.(fear of living of, got some death to do, kill is such a friendly word).

  15. anonymous
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    Apr 20th 2011 !⃝

    K I'm back and continuing...

    They keep me locked up in this cage, can't they see this is why my brain says rage- they're stuck in the factories all day and it's driving them NUTS!!!

    Build my fear of what's out there cannot breathe the open air- Stuck there all day and won't be let out.

    Whisper things into my brain insuring me that I'm insane- Of course you have no life you're just a worthless rotten kid, you're insane.

    They think our heads are in their heads are in their hands, but violent use brings violent plans- They think they're in control but their abuse makes it worse in their case.

    The kids are stuck but laborers don't care they'd make excuses to keep their slaves.

    no more can they keep us in, listen damn it we will win- they can't keep the kids there forever and soon they will rebel.

    They see it right, they see it well, but they think this saves us from our Hell- They think it's necessary, but they think it'll save them from the constant pain of labor conditions.

    The end part tells the opinions of what the children need or need to do.

  16. anonymous
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    Apr 20th 2011 !⃝

    I thought that Sanitarium was about Some sort of labour. Maybe i am wrong but it sorta fits y'know:
    Welcome to where time stands still- Nothing goes on and nothing happens.

    Moon is full, never seems to change, just labeled mentally deranged- not sure?

    Dream the same thing every night, see my freedom in my sight- Wishing always to get freed yet it doesnt happen

    No locked doors, no windows barred, no things to make my brain seem scarred- No physical restriction of escape but death threats and pain.

    Look my friend and you will see thatdream is my reality- All they have is dreams and that is what keeps them constantly... Outta time! I will contnue soon!.......

  17. anonymous
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    Jan 27th 2011 !⃝

    Your life is a prison, no one can leave till they die. You're always caged and people laugh at your pain.

  18. wiseman1979
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    Sep 3rd 2010 !⃝

    Our life is a great sanitarium no one leaves no one will and sleep my friend you will see dream is my reality thank you Metallica for your talented souls.

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