What does All These Things That I've Done mean?

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The Killers: All These Things That I've Done Meaning

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Song Released: 2004


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All These Things That I've Done Lyrics

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When there's nowhere else to run
Is there room for one more son
One more son
If you can hold on
If you can hold on, hold on
I wanna stand up, I wanna let go
You know, you know - no you don't, you don't
I wanna shine on in the hearts of...

  1.  

    SarpNasty
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    Apr 13th, 2010 4:11am report


    I want to start this by saying that I'm 19 and I'm going through a struggle in terms of growing up. That being said, this song, to me, is about somebody growing up and having to gain all the responsibilities of adulthood.

    I believe this song is a man on his death bed finally understanding what life truly is. The beginning of the song before the drums come in go like this:

    When there's nowhere else to run
    Is there room for one more son
    One more son
    If you can hold on
    If you can hold on, hold on

    He's reached the end of his life and is ready to go back home. His parting words to the world are saying to do your best to "hold on"

    As the music starts, it transitions to him as a young man leaving the nest and getting ready to conquer the world. He had many dreams and aspiration:

    I wanna stand up, I wanna let go
    You know, you know - no you don't, you don't
    I wanna shine on in the hearts of men
    I want a meaning from the back of my broken hand
    Another head aches, another heart breaks
    I am so much older than I can take
    And my affection, well it comes and goes
    I need direction to perfection, no no no no

    The speaker is growing up and wants to become great. It's hard though because the people around him think they understand what he's going through, but he feels that they don't. He's struggling to find his place on earth. He's experiencing a lot of pain and heart break, and he is confused as to the emotions that is supposed to be feeling and what they mean. He needs someone to help him understand how to find his place.

    Next is the chorus:

    Help me out
    Yeah, you know you got to help me out
    Yeah, oh don't you put me on the blackburner
    You know you got to help me out

    "you gotta help me out" and "don't you put me on the back burner" and the give the impression that he's afraid that he's going to fail and needs someone to help him now as opposed to later on.

    now when he says "When there's no where else to run, is there room for one more sun" this seems like a plea to his parents that if he can't make it on his own, will there still be a place for him with them.

    next comes the line "These changes ain't changin' me, the cold-hearted boy I used to be" He is confused or upset because he is now realizing that age doesn't make one automatically mature. now his chorus is referring to the fact that he is lost and confused in life and is pleading for someone to give him meaning.

    "you're gonna bring yourself down" sounds like he is afraid that the life he's leading is not the righteous path. The mistakes he's made are going to condemn him.

    the line "I got soul but I'm not a soldier" seems to mean that he has the will to fight and lead the good life, but he isn't a trained soldier and he doesn't know how to go about it yet.

    the song ends with a verse that says:

    Over and in, last call for sin
    While everyone's lost, the battle is won
    With all these things that I've done
    All these things that I've done
    If you can hold on
    If you can hold on

    This is at the end of his life. The last call for sin I think refers to the Christian belief that the human flesh is manifested sin. As he's dying, he realizes that leading a life with the mind set of winning at the end is wrong, and the "battle", in this case being life, is won through the experiences that one has, and and the experiences are what makes us who we truly are. The last lines "if you can hold on" are putting us back to the man's final words as he finally leaves this life.

    Like I said, this is my meaning of the song. I believe that the songs that are truly great are the one's that touch people's hearts and have a meaning that the listener can keep with them. That being said, this is a great, great song in my opinion.



  2.  

    Vickavic
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    Apr 4th, 2010 4:34pm report


    Possibly a conversation with God, and God is responding and answering his questions. Like this..
    When there's no where else to run, is there room for one more son?
    God says, "one more son?" as in "are you serious" since we are all his children
    If you can hold on can come from both.
    He wants to be free, then like saying I don't need to explain because "you know, you know"
    God says, "YOU don't YOU don't. I wanna shine on in the hearts of men......" like saying check it out I suffer too
    I need direction to perfection,God says no no no no' cause he's getting ahead of himself.
    The Help Me Out part I think they sing to eachother

    And when there's nowhere else to run
    Is there room for one more son?
    God says "These changes ain't changing me" refering to the questioners feelings of "The cold-hearted boy I used to be"
    God tells him "he's gonna bring himself down" he judges himself, needs to forgive himself
    In reference to the end of the world-
    Over and in, last call for sin
    While everyone's lost, the battle is won
    With all these things that I've done
    All these things that I've done--God has a plan
    If you can hold on
    If you can hold on
    So just hold on



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 11th, 2010 3:15pm report


    A lot of people here are saying it’s about god. It’s not.
    It’s about Brandon and his youth and his relationship with his parents. And really about being the youngest kid in a big family, a struggling family, and getting over looked, ignored, and undirected.

    He was the youngest… Is there room for one more son?

    There are things he wants to do, he’s say you know, but you don’t know.

    Another headache, another heartbreak, he’s so much older… He’s looking for love in other places and gets heartbroken (think Mr. Brightside).

    The affection he gets comes and goes, it’s not consistent, either from lovers or his parents. But he wants to be perfect for them, but he needs direction/attention.

    Don’t put me on the back burner… don’t ignore more, make me a priority.
    You gotta help me out… I’m a kid, I need parental guidance to get through life and heartaches and make the right decisions.

    These changes ain’t changing me, the gold hearted boy I use to be… reference to years of being a teenager and doing teenage things, drugs and alcohol, but he’s still a kid with a caring and good heart who wants to please.

    I’ve go soul but I’m not a soldier… I’ve got soul, I believe in god, but I can’t follow along like the other kids I have to do what I think is good for me, I’m not a solder. Reference to the family’s move to Utah and conversion to the Mormon church, and his later leaving to live in Las Vegas with his family.


    A lot of Brandon’s songs are deep and personal and you have to try and understand his life and relationships to get it.

    But this is definitely a song a lot of people can relate too. Youngest kid, over looked, but he wants to be good, he has big dreams and he wants the love and affection and teachings from his parents to get there.



  4.  

    ICS
    click a star to vote
    Jan 23rd, 2010 1:03am report


    I actually first imagined that the song was about men's role in society and how much it has changed these last (50, for example) years.
    "I wanna stand up, I wanna let go
    You know, you know - no you don't, you don't
    I wanna shine on in the hearts of men
    I want a meaning from the back of my broken hand"
    That verse could refer to the fact that women have more control over men now then they used to. He is not very fond of that, so he wants to "stand up and let go"; he wants to take control and be superior of his woman, and by doing that he could "shine on in the hearts of men". She apparently doesn't understand his (and all men's need) of power. I think he's a little conservative, he likes the idea of a man supporting his family, and his wife in return respecting and obeying him.

    I saw another comment that made so much sense.
    He reaches a dead end which leads him to the question of what he wants out of life ("I'm so much older than I can take"; he's too old to fool around and it's time to start deciding and searching for the meaning of his life). He knows that he's done mistakes but he wants to become a good person; he just need some guidance. He wants to be religious, a son of God.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 2nd, 2010 1:42pm report


    Ok if you don't mind I think I can shine a little bit of light on the whole "I got soul but I'm not a soldier"
    to me the line is about the fact that yes he is a mormon, like myself but he chose not to go on a mission, most mormon boys go on a two year mission at the age of 19 but I am almost positive that Flowers didnt, so the way I see it he is saying I didn't go on a mission but I'm still a good kid



  6.  

    lisa7055
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    Dec 7th, 2009 12:03pm report


    For me, I think the song is sort of saying that in his early life he went through many hardships and changes but he never wanted to give in (When there's no where else to run Is there room for one more son One more son If you can hold on If you can hold on, hold on) (there is also a possibility that because of the things he did in his past his family "banished" him and now he's looking for redemption). He's tired of his old ways (I wanna stand up, I wanna let go) so he wants to change them and become a better man before he passes on (I wanna shine on in the hearts of man, I wanna mean it from the back of my broken hand)

    The lyrics: "These changes ain't changing me The gold-hearted boy I used to be" expresses he was a better person before he made these bad choices, and even though he's changed so much he's still the same person he used to be. He talks about how even though he's willing to change, he needs help to get there, and he also doesn't want people to forget him and who he used to be ( Yeah, you know you got to help me out, Yeah, oh don't you put me on the back burner)

    Just an opinion though :) I could be incredibly wrong, but this is how I view it from my perspective. All I know for sure is that I want this song played at my funeral.



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 23rd, 2009 10:07am report


    The song has to do with the psalm of - the - prodigal son.



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 4th, 2009 9:27am report


    also... "i need direction to perfection"... Latter Day Saint belief in exaltation. The idea that man may become as God. Perfected and pure. He needs direction to get back on track as it were.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 4th, 2009 9:18am report


    To understand this song… you have to understand his faith. He’s is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They believe in a laid out plan to salvation ultimately through Jesus Christ and through following God’s commandments. Those who do not understand the Mormon belief in “The Plan of Salvation” can’t fully understand the song until they understand Brandon Flower’s faith. That being said…
    When there's nowhere else to run
    Is there room for one more son
    One more son
    In this case, he’s the son… he’s asking God if he has room for his son to return to his presence.
    If you can hold on
    If you can hold on, hold on
    This describes our struggle with sin and urging himself and others to hold on when you feel like letting go… not holding on to physical life, but faith.
    I wanna stand up, I wanna let go
    You know, you know - no you don't, you don't
    This describes his battle of being a Mormon. He wants to stand for it, but its very hard at the same time. Sometimes you do just want to cave into temptation, but his understanding of the gravity of sin is, I would say advanced. He’s telling those who can’t relate that they know, but realizes they can’t really see his point of view.
    I wanna shine on in the hearts of men
    I want a meaning from the back of my broken hand
    He wants to be a good example to people but struggles with his own daemons. He feels personally responsible for how his faith is portrayed and he cares about it so much that he wants others to understand the same thing he does.

    Another head aches, another heart breaks
    I am so much older than I can take
    And my affection, well it comes and goes
    I need direction to perfection, no no no no
    “Another head aches, another heart breaks” refers to his worry of another person falling off the righteous path and how he worries about his and other’s salvation. It could also encompass relatives or friends who worry about the spiritual well-being of their wayward loved ones. “I’m so much older than I can take describes the burden he feels with his understanding of the purpose of life. When you are of the Mormon faith, you see life from a different point of view… often young people are asked to act very adult (e.g. leaving on a church mission for two years to a foreign country). These things are wonderful, but some youth in the church feel pressure from these expectations.
    Affection coming and going is his relationship with God. He’s strong at times and weak at others. He’s calling on God to help him “stay (or get back) on the straight and narrow.”

    Help me out
    Yeah, you know you got to help me out
    Yeah, oh don't you put me on the backburner
    You know you got to help me out
    He is asking for help and for God not to leave him on his own. He knows that no one makes it to heaven on their own, but I get a feeling that this part is more temporal than eternal. He wants temporary relief from his struggles and ultimately eternal help.

    And when there's nowhere else to run
    Is there room for one more son
    These changes ain't changing me
    The cold-hearted boy I used to be
    He’s really admitting that he is powerless on his own. You could argue that “changes” is referring to good things. That no matter what good he does experience or what good he does, he never feels adequate.

    Yeah, you know you got to help me out
    Yeah, oh don't you put me on the backburner
    You know you got to help me out
    You're gonna bring yourself down
    Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down
    Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down
    “You’re gonna bring yourself down” is a conversation with himself or the “daemon” inside of him. One of the tools of the devil is to convince you that you can’t be better. These few lines show him asking for help and at the same time saying you’re just going to bring yourself down.

    I got soul, but I'm not a soldier
    I got soul, but I'm not a soldier
    This is the key line in the song. He’s saying that he has faith and that he believes, but may not be willing or have the strength to be as good as he needs to. In the Mormon faith, there are many references to soldiers comparing the youth of The Church to an army; being disciplined, obedient, strong, brave, loyal, etc. In the For example, in the Book of Mormon, there is a story of the “2000 Stripling Warriors” who all went to battle to defend their country and faith and not one was harmed. They were righteous and obedient and they were spared in battle. Flowers fell away from the church for a stint, and didn’t go on a mission. At times I’m sure he felt that even though his faith was strong, he couldn’t be as strong as a “soldier.”

    Yeah, you know you got to help me out
    Yeah, oh don't you put me on the backburner
    You know you got to help me out
    You're gonna bring yourself down
    You're gonna bring yourself down
    Yeah, oh don't you put me on the backburner
    Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down

    Over and in, last call for sin
    While everyone's lost, the battle is won
    With all these things that I've done
    All these things that I've done
    If you can hold on
    If you can hold on
    This references the end of the world. The last call for sin refers to, either the end of your life, or the end of the world itself. The world seems so wicked that it seems that everyone is lost, but God will prevail. Novels have been written about the subject matter of these last few lines. In summary, “The Battle” refers to the battle between Satan and God and his righteous. Research “The Plan of Salvation” if you really want to grasp it. Once you see that, you really feel how positive and uplifting this song is. I think he wrote it about himself, but we can all relate. Sometimes we have trouble believing what bad things we’ve done, but he urges us to hold on.



  10.  

    shoveitin
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    Aug 11th, 2009 8:53pm report


    It's about being devoted to god, but still trying to rock it out in the modern world that doesn't understand him. It's about being a mormon and knowing its not cool at all but its still a personality quirk he can say makes him interested in alt god shit. It's about being from Las Vegas hen he wanted to born in Britain. It's about how ironic the difficulty, absurdity and dullness of life n shit.



  11.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 26th, 2009 7:19am report


    With the 'ive got soul but I'm not a soldier' bit I think this is also talking about how you see that soldiers are always high spirited and always see the bright side, and normal people just complain about the simplest things in life



  12.  

    madmax
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    Jul 13th, 2009 7:28am report


    Some say I'm going off in a tangent with this idea but I think it has real meaning to the song. Again taking the idea of talking to gone but not from Brandon personally. I think he is literally talking about a soldier. That has been force in to the army. "i've got soul but I'm not a soldier". He has sinned in his life and is thrown into the army as the only choice left.

    He is walking round the dessert with no where else to run! this is where "is there room for one more sun/son" is from. Firstly he asks god for another day, but also if there is room in heaven for him. He is the only one left and he is going to die soon. He shouts for help and tells god not to ignore him "you gotta help me out. don't put me on the back burner". and finally "if you can hold on" he is trying to hold on but is gunna give up.

    Cheers x



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 2nd, 2009 7:25am report


    I really believe that this song is about him trying to get up to Heaven. Of course with the first line "Is there room for one more son." asking if he can be in Heaven. And how he needs "directon to perfection" and I think he's asking God for help.



  14.  

    goldlion
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    May 7th, 2009 5:30pm report


    to everyone saying hes not religious or asking if there are and catholics around to interpret this...
    HE IS MORMON!



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 1st, 2009 3:51pm report


    Just a thought that came to me when listening to the song ( a different interpretation ). He is trying to achieve greatness or some great deed,

    I wanna shine on in the hearts of men

    he wants recognition

    Is there room for one more son
    One more son

    I need direction to perfection

    but needs guidance

    I got soul, but I'm not a soldier

    He has a character but he is not a soldier in the sense of obeying/being able to do the dirty work. Also maybe in the meaning of soldier being something uniform and he proclaiming that he stands out of the crowd with sould-soldier being a wordplay.

    While everyone's lost, the battle is won
    With all these things that I've done

    Even though he lost all his friends and relatives ( their support ?) by doing what he had to do it helped him achieve his goal






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