Nickelback: Photograph Meaning
Song Released: 2005
Every time I do it makes me laugh
How did our eyes get so red?
And what the hell is on Joey’s head?
And This is where I grew up
I think the present owner fixed it up
I never knew we ever went without
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:anonymous Oct 2nd 2006 report
Granted, the overall interpretation of the song is from the lead singer's personal life growing up in canada...
What makes the song so powerful is that it speaks not "to" all of us but "from" all of us. We each have memories, feelings, thoughts, even smells that trigger emotions about our first truly cognitive years of life.
To the younger generation, it's of things just now experienced- the song's a chance to revel in the mutual clarity of things just discovered.
To the college bound or young adult set, it's that fervent discord & memory of "youth" and forging your destiny in a larger world.
For people my age- it's of melancholia. The "answers" no longer fit the questions. The questions may no longer be relevent. Self importance makes way for others' and their needs. The regrets now eventually outweigh the dreams of a bygone day. People you tried to keep in touch you now try to repress; because you'd spent so much of your soul trying to make those friends, trying to know all about them but in the blink of an eye; they're gone- buried as one day you'll be.
The world's relavancy slips away to that of other people's views- all of which shuns you further to the sidelines.
"photograph" gives us a glimpse into ourselves through music- something usually resigned to... Well, photos.
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:
When Chad Kroeger was young he had problems with the law from stealing money from a vault in his school thus why he never graduated.
"I found the photo of a friend I was looking for it's hard to say it, time to say it"
Is I think from guilt because he taught one of his friends how to steal and the same friend was arrested and died at the age of 18.
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous Feb 24th 2006 report
Life is a wonderful journey and we are ultimately the result of everything we've experienced.
Looking at the past might be bittersweet, but would we really change it? If we like who we are now, we have to be OK with what went before.
I think this song is about having recently lost your best friend. The one who really knows your deep dark secrets. The one that was with you through the good and bad. Either from growing apart or due to misadventure sometimes the hardest thing to do is to move on but... Its hard to say it; its time to say it 'goodbye'.
If *I* could relive those days, [It wasn't fun but] I know nothing would ever change.
So. Put away those pictures. Stop living in the past. Get on with life.
Apparently I'm the second person in the world to hear this and initially conclude this was about someone contemplating suicide. The countless references to "goodbye" strike a melancholy chord and the description of viewing photo albums on the floor suggests an imminent rendezvous with yellow tape and a visit with the crime scene folks.
In my opinion the depth of this song engenders something akin to a surface which alternatively reflects or refracts one's state of mind.
After listening to the song on repeat while writing this, I'm again captured by its melody and robust chorus. I've always loved this jam!
If this tune obliquely relates to thoughts of self harm that no longer resonates with me.
anonymous Apr 23rd 2017 report
It's amazing how were able to remember what we've went through and imagine where were going to remember old Friend's, lover's, family, people passed away.
anonymous Sep 16th 2016 report
Well it seems I'm the only person in the world who thinks this is about someone contemplating suicide. I googled to find out if others thought the same. Apparently not.
anonymous Nov 17th 2014 report
I'm thinking the red eyes is just red-eye bc it's a picture from awhile ago. Doesn't happen anymore bc phones and cameras have autofix.
anonymous Aug 12th 2014 report
Every time I do it makes me laugh.how did our eyes get so red? It means whenever the person looked back at the life they had,that person breaks to tears.Sorry it's sad
anonymous Mar 22nd 2014 report
As a fifty nine year old, I think it's about what we will all feel someday, as we look back on our early teen years, loss of freedom, no cares, old friends and somtimes best friends, early and new experience that we will never feel in the same way ever again. But also regrets for possible bad decisions, and our choises. Nostalgia and memories, are so powerful, but at a certain point ,it's like the song says, "time to say goodbye" to move on, Or our feeling s of regret ,of wishing to want a do "over" and maybe feeling those times were better than what is happening in our lives right now, or even in the future, but we all know these can't be changed or relived. We all need to eventually say that "goodbye". And to know these past events made us who we are and to say "I need to learn to live with that" No matter who we are or what we become, we all have this in common.Kent Shelton
anonymous Jan 5th 2011 report
It's about all his memories and this song is like amazing.
anonymous Jul 2nd 2010 report
How the hell did our eyes get so red,
they were kids and we're probably high :P
anonymous May 10th 2008 report
He finds the old pictures and remembers all the things he did as a younger boy, bad or good. He contemplates over going back to school or not, because he realizes that it was a mistake to drop out in the first place. But he also realizes all the fun he had, like singing in to the steering wheel and knowing that he would sing in front of a crowd someday. Also when he had his first kiss. He knew that those were the moments that defined him as an adult, and that he wouldn't change everything to be something different. It's an awesome song and I absolutely LOVE it.
anonymous Mar 15th 2007 report
This song goes back on mistakes, and how their mistakes reflected on their future. Be it custody, or Prison. At some point they've found an old photo album and found one of their best friends and then they receive flashbacks.
They don't want to change the past, because they're happy with how they turned out.
anonymous Feb 14th 2007 report
I think that the only people that can relate to this song are the ones who have grown up in small towns. I myself grew up in a small town in Indiana. A lot of things go through my head hearing this song. If you watch the music video you see that it was a small town... In such a small town you know everyone. I myself wish I was back in my hometown. I left right before high school and I miss it like crazy.
More Nickelback song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
|Sigh No More||anonymous|
|You're Somebody Else||anonymous|
|One of These Nights||anonymous|
|Sweet But Psycho||anonymous|
|Quinn the Eskimo||anonymous|