What does Mr Brightside mean?

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The Killers: Mr Brightside Meaning

Song Released: 2003

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Mr Brightside Lyrics

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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...


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    Jul 10th, 2005 7:22pm report

    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.


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    Jan 8th, 2006 1:51pm report

    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.


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    Jul 9th, 2005 7:16pm report

    I Think the song means that this guy had a girlfriend that is cheating on him and he knows but until now he hasn't said anything because the truth hurts too much. I never really thought about this having to do with killing people.

    Coming out of my cage (He's going end this relationship because he refuses to be cheated on)
    And I've been doing just fine
    Gotta gotta be down
    Because I want it all (He wants the girl all to himself)
    It started out with a kiss (It was supposed to be a one time thing)
    How did it end up like this? (How did he fall in love?)

    Now I'm falling asleep (going to have a dream)
    And she's calling a cab (to go cheat on him)
    And she's taking the drag (The girl and her other lover)
    And my stomach is sick (He can't handle it)
    And it's all in my head (His imagination)
    Let me go (stop the pain or something along those lines)
    And taking control (He has to do something)

    Turning saints into the sea (Making people go crazy)
    Turning through sick lullaby (Probably him imagining his lover with another man)
    Choking on your alibi (Not believing her alibis- or where she says she was when she was really out with another man)
    But it's just the price I pay (to love someone- this is the price)
    Destiny is calling me (he knows this is the right girl)
    Open up my eager eyes (Even though she is cheating, he is still eager to see her because he loves her so much)
    I'm Mr. Brightside (he looks on the brightside because maybe if he shows her how much he loves her she will stop cheating or whatever)

    The only part I don't get is the "I never" part. Maybe it means that he could never break up with her.


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    Nov 12th, 11:15am report

    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.


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    Oct 18th, 10:52am report

    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.


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    Jul 31st, 7:55am report

    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


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    Oct 11th, 2017 10:11pm report

    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


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    Jul 20th, 2016 7:41pm report

    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


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    Jun 4th, 2016 6:50pm report

    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 :)


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    Jan 17th, 2016 1:40pm report

    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 :)


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    Jan 4th, 2016 1:00pm report

    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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    Jan 22nd, 2015 1:14pm report

    To me, this song is about a guy who, as the song states, just kissed a girl who was in a relationship with another man. But even though it was "only a kiss" the guy started having feelings for this girl. When he says, "Cause I'm Mr. Brightside" he is saying that he is the better man for this girl. But Thai girl is still in a relationship with someone else without knowing the guy has feelings for, her since he says that it was only a kiss, anyway the guy is jealous but keeps saying that "it was only a kiss, it was only a kiss" or saying that he has no feelings for her even though he does.

    Now, this is just my theory after listening to the song a good number of times.


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    Oct 19th, 2014 10:06am report

    He suffers from paranoid personality disorder!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Oct 18th, 2014 10:55am report

    well it looks like DarkBlue04 paid attention in comp lit class. or is just the sort who thinks while listening to pop songs instead of shouting lyrics that roughly approximate what's being said (though i'm not judging that, that's fine, too).
    one more thing to bolster DarkBlue04's interpretation:
    the song lyrics repeat, with no variation. the real reason may be they couldn't write any more. but if they did it on purpose, they're very clever, because if you follow DarkBlue04's analysis, the repetition of the lyrics can be interpreted to mean he's doing it all over again.
    "i never" just means being surprised.
    so he's surprised, again, and again, and again.


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    Oct 12th, 2014 10:35am report

    It's a about a female who plays a game with this guy. Makes this guy think he is the only one. It was only a kiss? But he falls for her. He confronts her with sick lullabies. things or lies she says to make him feel better about her hurting him. Choking on Ur alibis. meaning she lies to him about where she is at so she can see other men. She touches his chest and he takes off her dress now. Its like him saying your going to have more than one lover at a time. So Let me go! I just can't look it's killing me. He can't believe she is this way. I'm outta of cage and I been doing just fine. It's just the price he pays dealing with her. She makes him jealous, he's a good guy and he's lost. But destiny Is calling me open my eagar eyes. Cause I'm Mr Bright side. Meaning she is like this. And something better is coming around the corner and the glass is half full instead of half empty. And he is better off without her


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    Dec 26th, 2013 12:33pm report

    it twas.....about ghetto cake and cheese!!!


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    Dec 26th, 2013 12:47am report

    There are so many interpretations of this song; however, there are some things that don't change through out them. it is known that he loves this girl, whether or not they ever had anything before or not. It is also known that this girl loves someone else. Now, the first four lines:

    I'm coming out of my cage
    And I've been doing just fine
    Gotta gotta get down
    Because I want it all....

    I believe that this is showing he is troubled by this girl loving another man and that he's trying to keep to himself with it, be he is extremely upset about it. He is trying very hard not to go out and confront this other guy and deck him in the face.
    next lines are:

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

    This is where I believe he first became upset. Now it is unclear whether or not he and the girl were already together, or that he had a major crush on her (I'm a fan of the latter), but either way, he feels deeply for her. His trouble started with either he seeing or hearing about the girl kissing the other guy and this starts to set him off. he is trying to figure how this could be and how she could like this other guy (almost like it were a friend, but that's only theory, but possible. I could relate).

    Now I’m falling asleep
    And she’s calling a cab
    While he’s having a smoke
    And she’s taking a drag
    Now they’re going to bed
    And my stomach is sick
    And it’s all in my head
    But she’s touching his chest
    Now, he takes off her dress
    Now, letting me go....

    this is where he really starts fantasizing about this girl and other guy. he can clearly see them together and it bugs him. he starts going into Worst-Case-Scenario mode and of course this bothers him so much that he's trying to forget about it and not think about it, but he can't.

    And I just can’t look - it's killing me
    And taking control
    Jealousy, turning saints into the sea
    Turning through sick lullabies
    Choking on your alibis
    But it’s just the price I pay
    Destiny is calling me
    Open up my eager eyes
    ‘Cause I’m Mr Brightside

    He continuously thinks about them and it's really starting to tear him apart, it's killing him, and taking control of his life. he's jealous of this other man and how he managed to get the girl he loves and it's turning him into a mess. She apparently has excuses but can't seem to get them out, (so it might be possible that they were together or really close friends). The price he pays is his pain, his jealously that someone else has the girl he loves and he is trying hard to cope with it, even he is coming up with that this isn't for him and that there is more, that he must try to look to a brighter side, who is himself.
    The whole "I Never" part is a little confusing and could mean different things. He might be trying to claim to himself that he never actually wanted her (which is a lie!), could be that he never thought it could turn out like the way he thinks it can. it's also possible that he's contradicting himself saying there's more out there, that he must be optimistic. my own opinion is that he is saying that he can't deal with it, that he can't believe what's happening, that he could never deal with it.

    Of course this is only my own opinion and even some what the way I feel when I hear this song, I girl I really like is now going out with a good friend of mine and it's bugging me deeply because I'm sure the next time I see him, I might lose it and deck him for kissing her. I'm a jealous person, I know, but that's just how this song relates to me and is sorta who I am.


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    Dec 3rd, 2013 12:43am report

    when he says its all in my head hes just imaging that that shes cheating and he does not want her to ever go thous him saying hes mr. brightside and him saying i never is saying he will never cheat

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