What does Mr Brightside mean?

The Killers: Mr Brightside Meaning

Album cover for Mr Brightside album cover

Song Released: 2003

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Mr Brightside Lyrics

I'm coming out of my cage
And I’ve been doing just fine
Gotta gotta be down
Because I want it all
It started out with a kiss
How did it end up like this
It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss

Now I’m falling asleep
And she’s calling a...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jul 10th 2005 !⃝

    The key in this song is its title. By calling himself Mr Brightside, the speaker is commenting on how he is incurably optimistic - he always looks at the bright side of any given situation.

    The song is about his propensity for getting overly involved emotionally with women he has only just met, and suffering heartbreak when his love proves to be unrequited. His "destiny" is to continually experience such heartbreak because he always opens up his "eager eyes" to the next possible paramour.

    To get into a closer reading, look at the first stanza:

    Coming out of my cage
    And I've been doing just fine
    Gotta gotta be down
    Because I want it all

    Here, he is freeing himself from the emotional restraint that was protecting him from having his heart broken and allowing himself to become interested in a girl. The "all" that he wants refers to true love, the kind that you can only get if you are willing to give the entirety of yourself to someone else.

    It started out with a kiss
    How did it end up like this
    It was only a kiss
    It was only a kiss

    Here, he's wondering how he's gotten to the point that he cares so deeply about her after just one kiss - the answer is because he allowed himself to invest that kiss with meaning that for her was not there.

    The next couple stanzas basically tell the story of him seeing this girl that kissed him once hanging out with other guys - and because he feels so strongly for her, he becomes deeply jealous/angry. It's sort of like a situation where two people made out on a dance floor one night, and the girl felt like she was just having fun whereas the guy thought there was actually a connection.

    Where we get the best crystallization of Mr Brightside's true nature and motivation is in the following stanza:

    But it's just the price I pay
    Destiny is calling me
    Open up my eager eyes
    'Cause I'm Mr Brightside

    Here, we should be getting that the "price" he pays is the intense feelings of jealousy, rage, and heartbreak that come from his penchant for getting too attached too fast. He asserts that it is out of his hands, that this pattern of behavior is simply part of his core personality by referring to it as his "destiny." His eyes are "eager" for the next girl that he will fall for, which is sure to happen because he is the perpetually optimistic "Mr Brightside" - always looking for and ready for love.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 23rd 2007 !⃝

    There's an English story about someone called Tim Brightside, Mr. Tim Brightside was an Englishman who came to America and fell in love with a prostitute. The prostitute promised to quit her job for Tim. Tragically, one night she meets with a client in a carriage, and she cheats on Brightside for her job. Mr. Brightside finds out, climbs to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, and commits suicide.

    I think it's based on this.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Jan 8th 2006 !⃝

    For all of you who have posted and said that this song is about jealousy and Flower's ex girlfriend, you are correct. That was the motivation behind the song.
    For everyone who seems to think it's part of the murder trilogy, think about the difference in the feel of "Mr. Brightside" and "Midnight Show" and "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine." In Mr. Brightside, he's just lovesick and heartbroken. In the other two songs the narrator is clearly psychopathic. It is true that jealousy is a common factor in all three songs but that's about all they have in common.

  4. anonymous
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    Aug 27th 2023 !⃝

    I think the singer has a friend who’s a girl and they are good friends like the other user said, they might have got drunk or something and fooled around and then he thought she really liked him and he started to have feelings for her and he was going to declare his love or smth and he sees her with her bf. And then he gets that feeling of realization where he’s sad.

  5. anonymous
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    May 24th 2022 !⃝

    This is song is about someone imagining their wife cheating on them. There really isn’t anything else to it.

  6. anonymous
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    Nov 26th 2020 !⃝

    cuckolding. plain and simple. i know the pain and unexplainable exhilaration experienced by a married guy who is sexually gratified by being caged in chastity while his wife is unfaithful in front of him. he is down from the experience while at the same time down for the chance to experience it because he wants it all. it starts with a kiss but he knows, in fact hopes it leads to oh so much more. his pain is the price he must pay to live out his fantasy/destiny. he opens his eyes to take it all in. he has no choice for he is mr brightside. from there it only goes further. as he falls asleep she is walking out the door to meet her lover. it was inevitable. he eagerly awaits her return, hoping she brings him undeniable proof of her sexual infidelity. after all it is his destiny. he is mr brightside

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  7. anonymous
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    Aug 25th 2020 !⃝

    This song is about a man obviously pushed around by disloyal girlfriends too often without setting them straight.

  8. anonymous
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    Aug 12th 2020 !⃝

    The song is about a man's obsession with his significant other who is cheating on him. He tends to miss these things because he is an optimistic person. But now it has hit him. See mr Brightside for more.

  9. anonymous
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    Jul 1st 2019 !⃝

    He's coming out of his cage, and you may think he's doing jus fine. But he's not!

  10. anonymous
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    Jun 14th 2019 !⃝

    All you douche bags are wrong!!! READ EM AND WEEP!!!


    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  11. AnAbyssWithin
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    Nov 12th 2018 !⃝

    When I hear this song, I see someone sitting somewhere, talking to a girl. They are friends and have been for years. In his mind, he always feel there is more than just friendship. They kissed once, but just a friendly peck on the cheek. Although he knows better, it "confirmed" his delusion. Once home, knowing he cant have her,he pictures her, with the other guys she was talking to; perhaps one in particular.

  12. anonymous
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    Oct 18th 2018 !⃝

    Seems to me this is a song about jealousy. It's obsessive and uncontrollable.
    Falling asleep, he's imagining her going out and cheating on him.
    He sees his girlfriend share a friendly hello kiss (it was only a kiss, she says when he confronts her......)
    Hence the repetition. It was only a kiss. It was only a kiss. This is crazy unbelievable to him.

    Over and over his jelous mind takes him into a black hole of imagined consequences.
    She shares a cigarette with someone... it happens again.
    The Mr Brightside title is ironic.

  13. anonymous
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    Jul 31st 2018 !⃝

    This song is clearly about a deranged man who has been sent to a mental asylum after being convicted of sexually assaulting a woman, whilst being mentally unstable. the line 'coming out of my cage' refers to the man being released from the asylum, after 'doing just fine'. In the song, the man speaks about the demons in his head, in the lines 'I just can't look its killing me
    And taking control'. this refers to the mental instability of the man, and how he is slowly losing control. this is why he was sent to an asylum instead of prison. the incident itself for which he was convicted is explained in the lines 'It started out with a kiss
    How did it end up like this
    It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss'. This informs listeners that because of his mental state, he was convicted of a crime that did not actually happen. He did not sexually assault the woman, instead he wrongly kissed her, and, taking advantage of his mental incapacity, she took him to court. thanks for reading my story

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  14. anonymous
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    Oct 11th 2017 !⃝

    This is not about Flowers girlfriend or anything Flowers. Dave Keuning wrote the song and Flowers introduces that during the Live at Albert Hall show in 2009

  15. anonymous
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    Jul 20th 2016 !⃝

    Its about Flower having a crush on a girl and kisses her and falls for her. He realizes she loved another guy and is kids depressed at the start but becomes more paranoid throughout. The I never bit is about Flower never thinking this could happen to him. I have been in the same situation. Twice.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  16. peculiarheadphones
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    Jun 4th 2016 !⃝

    This song at first stumped me, but after really dissecting the lyrics, I think I've got something

    'Coming out of my cage
    And I've been doing just fine
    Gotta gotta be down
    Because i want it all'

    This is sorta like, he's finally confident enough to date the girl he likes, and he just wants to be the center of her attention.

    'It started out with a kiss
    How did it end up like this?
    It was only a kiss,
    It was only a kiss'

    He didn't expect that he would fall this hard for the girl, after all, it was only a kiss

    'Now I'm falling asleep
    And she's calling a cab
    While he's having a smoke
    And she's taking the drag'

    So there's another guy in the picture, she isn't necessarily dating him though

    'Now they're going to bed
    And my stomach is sick
    And its all in my head
    But she's touching his chest now
    He takes off her dress now
    Let me go'

    This is where he admits he has some suspicions and paranoia, and he thinks that she might be having an affair

    'And I just can't look,
    It's killing me
    And it's taking control'

    This is where his paranoia is starting to get out of hand

    Turning saints into the seas
    Swimming through sick lullabies
    Choking on your alibis'

    This is another metaphor for his paranoia, and he doesn't believe the girl when she tells him she isn't cheating

    'But it's just the price I pay
    Destiny is calling me
    Open up my eager eyes
    'Cause i'm Mr. Brightside'

    This is where he decides that he's going to have to deal with his paranoia and trust the girl if he wants things to work out, and chooses to try and look on the brightside of things

    Hope this helps :)

  17. anonymous
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    Jan 17th 2016 !⃝

    Haven't read all interpretations but I just add mine for the sake of it :)
    I think the person singing the song is a guy that fell in love with a girl that is in a relationship and she just won't leave the guy. The song starts with "Coming out og my cage and I've been doing just fine..." and so on... In this part, he explains how he hasn't seen her in a while, probably tried to hide from her, and he felt down because of it... He wants it all, meaning he wants her, her love, and all of her, but she decides to stay with her bf instead. It started all with a kiss... probably they met, had mutual feelings for each other despite the fact that she had a boyfriend, and he fell terribly in love with her after a while, probably for real when they finally kissed each other (it was only a kiss!), where they may have started an affaire together afterwards, leading to him believe she fell in love with him too and will soon get rid of her bf... However, she may not be sure if she actually wants to leave her bf because of their history and maybe she still loves her bf and the new guy is only a fling she is trying out... In the next part (now i'm falling asleep...) she probably just left his home after having sex again, waiting for a cab and going to see her boyfriend. When he's in bed, he imagines how she touches her bf's chest and how they are going to sleep together (he takes off her dress) and it's killing him and the thought won't let him go. So jealousy takes over, she proabably has ten thousand lies told her bf about where she had been and he's annoyed that her bf doesn't seem to realise it and maybe finally would break up with her (the singer is choking on her alibis... they annoy him, the whole situation annoys him, how can she cheat on her bf so hard and he doesn't notice anything), which he imagines would mean that she would finally come to be with him. But then he again realises, although he loves her and wants her badly, he has no saying in what she does. She has a relationship with the other guy, she maybe loves the other guy, and he realises that if she would want him, she would be with him. So all he can do is trying to accept it (but it's just the price I pay, destiny is calling me, open up my eager eyes...) because he probably is acting out a lot, trying to convince her to stay with him, breaking up with her bf, but the more he pushes her to decide, the more he pushes her away into the other guy's hands, reducing his chance to be with her. Because she may show him that she likes him, she may have fallen in love with him, but the whole drama is tyring her... He has to be Mr. Brightside, the guy that does not get too caught up in his feelings for her because she is more likely to stay when she feels save with him, and she probably won't feel that when he is acting out because of jealousy that takes over control of him... And girls don't prefer drama boys like he is recently a lot...
    Yep that's mine, actually much of an own story so that's why the much detail but it really feels like that :)

  18. anonymous
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    Jan 4th 2016 !⃝

    my friend actually interpreted this for me since I wanted to do a little project on this song. her interpretation was much different from most of these. she thinks that maybe the narrator is someone who is down for anything to get all he wants. So he frick fracks with some woman (I've got no idea about their relationship) and it just started with one kiss. He didn't see all this coming. In the next few lines she thinks that he's looking at the events as a different person. He is both men in this song. He doesn't know what's happening and views everything as a different person. He can't look because he can't control his actions. He doesn't know what he's doing and why. The jealousy inside him is making him uncontrollable. All the excuses this woman gives him are sugar coated lies. He doesn't know what to believe. So he doesn't and lets go completely.

    The repeat is actually more of an acceptance. He's accepting everything he is doing, so he repeats it.

    The "I never" part can be interpreted differently. I interpret it as him never feeling like this before. Never feeling like he didn't have control since he usually got what he wanted. She thinks that it means he never believed he would get what he wanted this way.

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