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The Song Interpretation Thread


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After the "Valentine's Day Meaning" thread, there was some discussion on a thread where we could discuss potential meanings of songs. Well, here it is. I'm guessing Soul will have a field day here, so I'll just let him start it out (not because I'm too lazy to analyze a song right now.)



No More Sorrow (COG's Interpretation)

Hahninator's Mass List

LOST IN THE ECHO + IN MY REMAINS (LGraham's Interpretations)

Minutes to Midnight + LIVING THINGS (Geki's Interpretations)

A Thousand Suns (COG's Interpretation)

Meteora Part I (COG's Interpretation)

Meteora Part II (COG's Interpretation)

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Inspiration and boredom struck, and some ideas about a certain Minutes to Midnight song began formulating.


Are you lost in your lies? Do you tell yourself I don't realize your crusade's a disguise

This is clearly a political line, talking about the lies that politicians use to gain power, and how only a few see through it to how the politicians really are.


Replaces freedom with fear. You trade money for lives

This line talks a bit more about military, and how war is strictly business at this point. The citizens are threatened through the power of the military and the people in power gain from the losses of the poor.


I'm aware of what you've done

A call back to the first line, only a few people can see what these people in power are really doing, while the rest remain oblivious.


NO! No more sorrow. I've paid for your mistakes

This is almost a call to arms. The narrator is sick of the politicians walking all over the citizens and paying them to do so through taxes. The civilians have also suffered due to the mistakes of those in power.


Your time is borrowed. Your time has come to be replaced

Similar to the first half of the chorus, the narrator wants the people in power to step down due to the sorrow (SEE WHAT I DID THERE!?) and pain they've caused.


I see pain, I see need. I see liars and thieves abuse power with greed

The narrator can see all the wrong that these liars that have been put into power are causing to the trusting citizens. These people in power are simply abusing it to stay on top instead of using it to help people.


I had hoped. I believed. But I'm beginning to think that I've been deceived

The narrator had been hoping that these politicians would fulfill their promises to help the citizens and give them better lives, but they didn't, and now the narrator is seeing it.


You will pay for what you've done

The narrator is swearing vengeance on those who have hurt instead of helped the innocent through lies and greed.



The narrator, again, showing disdain towards those who have lied and stolen to get where they are, and they can't be stopped. They have become what they have stood so strongly against, and the narrator won't stand for it.

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I am just going to go through and list some songs I think that are easy to figure out.


- One Step Closer is about Linkin Park being frustrated and pissed the fuck off because they couldn't nail down Runaway, so they made OSC. They've said this a few times in the past. OSC literally is about the song Runaway lol. Mike in 2008: "This was written in my apartment. The music came together quickly but the lyrics took a few tries. I wrote 'Shut Up' as a rough example for Chester to scream and we kept that lyric. I remember thinking that was a great calling-card song. It said, 'Hello, we are going to crush you.'" More about it from Chester: "When we were recording it, (producer) Don Gilmore was really drilling me and Mike (Shinoda) about lyrics, and it had gotten to the point where we had rewritten some songs 30 times! I remember walking into the control room, handing Don the lyrics and he grabbed them, passed them in front of his face without even looking, handed them back to me, and told me to do it again. I lost my f---ing mind, thinking, 'This guy's a f---ing maniac!' But that kind of inspired the lyrics - 'I cannot take this anymore/I'm saying everything I've said before/ All these words make no sense,' and the chorus, 'Everything you say to me takes me one step closer to the edge.' - it all came from that frustration. So I guess in the end he inspired me the way he wanted to."


- Breaking The Habit....Mike: "This was going to be an instrumental track that was 10 minutes long. The guys convinced me to turn it into a full song. I'm proud of this song in a lot of ways. I put a lot of work into it. I just think it's really powerful. Chester's performance is one of his best. Lyrically, it's kind of just about getting away from the parts of you that you do not like. It goes into great deal about that type of situation. The things about our lyrics in general is that we spend so much time on them that there is no way I can tell you in conversation any better than the actual lyrics. If I sit here and think up something, that's an off-the-top-of-my-head summary of what those lyrics are about whereas those lyrics took five years to do. So those lyrics are the most accurate depiction of what that's about, not what I can tell you."


- No More Sorrow is 100% about George W Bush. 10 Years wrote a song called Alabama about him too (off topic). Chester dislikes the Republican Party a lot, which he's said before.

- Hands Held High is about the Iraqi War.

- In Pieces....Chester: "I got divorced recently and that was very difficult. I also got remarried so there was a big contrast in my life. For a while I couldn't be completely happy with the new life I was starting and I couldn't end the last one. This is a song about all of that."

- The Little Things Give You Away is about Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans.


- A Thousand Suns as a whole is a concept album, but there are more subtle songs in there talking about some other stuff. I mean it all goes together but some songs have stories that are a bit different than the world ending type of shit.

- When They Come For Me is about everyone wanting Mike and LP to keep making Hybrid Theory over and over and over and using the same formula for music forever but the band says fuck it, that's not what we are doing. And some people got offended (DJ Lethal? lol) about it..."try to catch up motherfucker". Oh well, Mike's a badass.

- Wretches & Kings is about Warner telling LP what to do and LP being their "puppet" but finally being fed up with the shit, as the ATS DVD shows.

- The Catalyst seems to be about the world ending...nuclear holocaust or something....turning to God in crazy crazy times (death). Something like that.

- The Messenger is a song Chester wrote to his kids about life.


- LIES GREED MISERY seems to be VERY against a girl in a relationship, like Mike or Chester (or both) telling her to fuck off.

- POWERLESS is about a relationship falling apart. Really sad. The person (Chester) tries to pursue the person after shit falls apart but isn't successful. Powerless. Really a great track.


- Not Alone is LP telling Haiti that everyone is thinking about them and that everything is going to be ok. It's about the Haiti crisis.


That's all I have for now.

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it's been suggested that this one is about Hybrid Theory and Mike adressing the album as a person - "You were that foundation" - he acknowledges that it made him, but "Never gonna be another one, no" - its time has pased, it's about putting a line in the sand, use of the word "finally" is pretty clear. there's also a similar address to I Have Not Begun/When They Come For Me - as if Mike's talking to someone who's critical of their later work "How's that working out for y'all in the back, huh?" it's similar to Taking Back Sunday's line in Timberwolves At New Jersey "I got the mic and you got the mosh pit" - it's about power, Mike's up onstage making something of himself, but you're in the crowd, you're not important. "I've seen that frustration / [...] / And I've come back unshaken" - Mike won't change his mind by what's said amongst others. the "I can't c-flat" is also is important, as it refers to the old down-tuned guitars style that tones of people wanted back after ATS, and in response - "I can't fall back, I came too far" - Mike shows there's no return, the band has evolved and people should try to catch up (motherfucker).

That said, there is also a significant portion of these lyrics that could similarly apply to the whole "fucked up relationships" theme, in that if "each word gets lost in the echo" - there's no point speaking anymore, actions are the only way out of something. However, the "You were that foundation / Never gonna be another one, no" reminds me alot of the psychological condition 'Codependancy' - the excessive reliance on another's approval/affections (read more here), yet there is a positive here in the lines "Hold myself up and love my scars" - acceptance of a problem, and then - "this time I finally let you go" - a recovery.



In My Remains has always struck me as though Chester is speaking from sort of afterlife (the word "remains" is a perticularly death-related term), adressing the listener wit the hope of telling them something that can help them on their own journey, or refelct upon Chester's own path, but he struggles - "Sifting "through the wreckage / I can't concentrate / Searching for a message/ [...] fear and pain / broken down [...]". he speaks of "wash[ing] away the worst of me" and "promises that never came" and "every broken heart" - he accepts he hasn't lived a brilliant life, but also makes us aware that he too was not treated well - "digging through the wreckage of your disregard", he feels wronged too, but isn't his attempt to contact us from beyond something to be admired? the idea of selecting parts and messages from someone's life reminds me alot of Leave Out All The Rest's "don't resent me" lines - the desire to be seen in a good light by those we love, even once we are gone. I'm not sure what I think of Mike's "Like an army.../one by one by one" lines, they strike me as a bit out of place but I guess it could be to do with the fact that everyone will eventually die, one by one by one we will all die, "falling" can apply to death; "fell" can be used similarly to words like "passed", "pased on" when we refer to death, but it tends to be used in terms of medieval battle - "to fall in battle" (which would explain the army refernece Mike uses. the "army falling" could be used in the hope that we too emulate the desire to teach others how to live well so they don't feel like the "afterlife chester" attempting to resolve his loved one's "fear and pain" and his own regrets.


I love stuff like this, but right now, my arm hurts :lol:

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I'm going to do the MTM interpretations. A lot have to do with death and rebirth, Mike has even stated numerous times that most of the lyrics on this album share that concept.

We all know the demo title for Given Up was ''21 Stitches''. What's interesting about that is that Chester received 21 stitches in his arm that night in 2006 that he fell through the window to his Dad's house while drunk and had to get 21 stitches in the ER. Also, on BBC1 2007, Chester said that Given Up was about quitting drinking and making the worst decisions possible and not knowing where to turn. So you can assume that this song is directly about Chester's drinking problem and the struggles he went through.

Chester has said the lyrics were a lot about dealing with humility and fear. Personally, I think it's about just hoping that you leave some sort of an impact when you are gone from this world. Mike said in 2015 “Leave Out All the Rest” is literally about dying, so emotionally that’s very heavy.

We know Mike had to re-write the lyrics a bunch of times, at one point even naming the song ''Refuckingwrite''. So, I think this song is about the frustration that Mike felt when writing the lyrics. I don't think it has a real deep meaning or anything, but they teamed it with a bunch of death metaphors to fit the theme of Minutes To Midnight which makes it cool.

I think this song is specifically talking about death, obviously. I feel like the song is more specifically about suicide. Mostly the second verse gives me this interpretation.

Joe said that the song is about accepting the fault's of the past and trying to move on with the future. Simply put, I think this song is about that. I think that this is one of the few songs on MTM about rebirth, rather than death, which most of the songs deal with. But I could also see how it could be interpreted in a dark way, as well.

Without getting too political here, I feel like this song is about war, and the senseless death that it brings. I think it's also about trying to have a little bit of hope during a really dark time of war, the lyric ''With hands held high into a sky so blue'' give me that feeling of trying to have hope. Pretty dark song.

I think this song is really just about oppressed people feeling sick and tired of dealing with their tyrant leader. I think it's kind of tongue in cheek in a way about George Bush, but I'm probably wrong.

A bit of tricky one, I've always been intrigued with this song, but I think this song is about death and possibly about the feeling of being alone and missing someone after they pass away. Chester said that it's a very dark song but didn't give away any more information so that's what I get out of the lyrics.

I honestly have no idea what this song is about. Chester said in an interview with Kerrang in 2007 that Mike was apologizing for something and that it was heartfelt and genuine. Possible rebirth metaphors in this song as well, like What I've Done, maybe trying to mend a broken relationship? Idk.

Chester has said that this song is directly about his divorce with Samantha and how he was having trouble leaving behind his old life and starting a new life. Basically all of Dead By Sunrise taken into one track here? Haha. I also think this song has a bit of a rebirth element to it, about putting your old life in the past and moving on with your new life.

The band has directly said this song was about their experience visiting New Orleans about a year after Hurricane Katrina hit. It also has a lot of death metaphors, once again and it also has a lot of political lyrics, and they definitely weren't shy about it. A lot of people believed that Bush and the government didn't do as much as they could have for the Hurricane Katrina victims and I think this song tackles that. I remember Chester saying in an interview that when he wrote the lyric ''water gray, though the windows, up the stairs'' that it was literally something that someone told him, one of the victims of the hurricane. And I remember Chester saying in that interview that how is it that we can spend billions on war every year, but can't even donate enough to help out the people who lost everything, people of our own country.

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I'll try and do A Thousand Suns (8th Grade Honors Language Arts skills, don't fail me now)


The Requiem

This intro seems like a warning. The distant echo of the music showcases the world in shambles, and only one child-like voice can be heard, giving a final plea. "God save us everyone" It introduces us to the world post-A Thousand Suns.


The Radiance

Fairly self-explanatory. The track samples the "Father of the Atomic Bomb", Oppenheimer. The music has begin to slow down, as to showcase that this is the beginning of the end for humanity. Once the silence hits as Oppenheimer finishes his regretful tale of his part in the destruction of the world, we begin to go into our current time.


Burning In The Skies

Another fairly self-explanatory song. We are slowly destroying the world to help ourselves. We have burned and destroyed any possibility of going back to where we once were as a society. Back to a time where our destruction wasn't happening right before our eyes.


Empty Spaces

The beautiful sound of nature abruptly cut off with the sounds of war. Bombs, soldiers, gunfire etc. We are killing nature with these meaningless battles.


When They Come For Me

I'm going to ignore the obvious meaning of LP striking back against their old-school fans. Humanity is trying to run from its past, and avoid the consequences of the actions we have made. We've allowed corruption and selfishness take over society, which will inevitably lead to the collapse of everything we once knew. Now we are running, and never facing the consequences to what we have done in the past.


Robot Boy

The repetition of the instrumental and the monotonous singing in this track showcase that mankind has fallen into a cycle of mindlessly following orders from those above us. Somebody needs to stand up and lead the charge, but nobody is willing because people are afraid of breaking away from this cycle. Society has told us to lock away any personal feelings we have and just go with what everybody else is doing and not to question it. This, ironically, will lead to the one person who will stand up and rise against this. The Robot Boy has gotten the strength to lead, and this cycle will come to an end.


Jornada Del Muerto

This is where the atomic bomb was tested in WWII. The Japanese singing showcases how they were the victims of the first and only atomic bomb, and they were the demonstration of how devastating this weapon can be. "Lift me up. Let me go." The souls of the dead from this event want to move on, to let go of this world full of destruction. They finally are in the end, and now they may rest in peace, while the rest of us have to try and fix the world.


Waiting For The End

The track starts out with a man oblivious to what is really going on in the world, and thinks that they have helped it, not destroyed it. He wants to forget about all the pain and just throw his fist up in the air. Meanwhile, a man (The Robot Boy?) has trying to deal with the problems of the world, and is failing. He alone can't fix everything, despite how hard he tries. He knows how it feels to stand alone and try to fix the unfixable as he holds on to the hope that the world could someday be rebuilt. Eventually, the first man comes to his senses and helps the second man. He realizes how destructive mankind has been and wants to assist in starting over. He understands the difficulty, but understands that he needs to try, or humans won't live on. The end of the song shows how the two men battled over their opinions at first, but the second man convinced the first in the end.



A man who has lied and cheated to get on top is the worst kind of man. Chester understands this and calls out all of those who have done it. He knocks these men down a peg, showing how egotistical and selfish these man are. He offers them one last chance for redemption before their demise. They take this opportunity and realize the life they have been missing, and how many they have been ruining. They begin to live their life as a good man should, helping others.


Wretches and Kings

Anarchy has struck. The governments are falling as the citizens are sick of the bullshit lies. People are rising up, and Mike is leading the charge. He is raising an army to fight. Chester is warning the wretches and kings that they are coming, and they won't show mercy. They have been beaten low for too long, and now it's time for payback. Mike then leads the army in a chant. "If you fear what I fell put 'em up real high" Mike sees the end of government, and wants to start anew.


Wisdom, Justice, and Love

Martin Luther King Jr. has inspired an entire country to do what's right. However, even the most inspirational of words can strike fear into the hearts of millions when warped and twisted. This is exactly what this song does. They showcase how words that were used to help, can be used to destroy when they are twisted to how someone wants.



This song showcases how alone people can feel in their final moments. However, it shows that you need to find forgiveness for those who have wronged you, and let it go. The souls from "Jornada Del Muerto" reappear near the end to tell you to let all the pain go, just as they did. It's ok to feel anger and regret, but you need to learn when to let it go.



The end is coming close. The robotic voice from "Wisdom, Justice, and Love" slowly fades back to human as a final warning is given. Everything is coming to an end, and there is no chance for us to go back. We've burned the bridges that gave us a path between present and past. Now we have to suffer for our actions.


The Catalyst

Everything is ending. Final pleas are given from people struck with panic. "God save us everyone." Atomic bombs are being dropped. Now we are suffering for what we have done to this planet. There is nobody to blame but ourselves as the planet crumbles beneath us. The oceans are overflowing, flooding all of the coastal land. The chaos continues, until everything becomes eerily still. Just as the souls from "Jornada Del Muerto" realized, the only way to get away from the pain and suffering is to let go. The people realize that this is their fault, and they overpower the few naive people left who are still pleading to God to save them. Eventually, all the people who realized their mistakes and let go are free. The ones who didn't however, are stuck, forever pleading to be free.


The Messenger

There was one more survivor who realized their mistakes, but wasn't let go. He is the Robot Boy. He has overcome the cycle completely, and realized love is what keeps the world going, not money or hatred. Now it is his duty to spread this message to the rest of the new world. Now it is his duty to ensure this never happens again.


There. Agree or disagree, that is how I interpreted A Thousand Suns.

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Meteora. Let's do this.



Rage and destruction. Common feelings associated with desertion and loneliness. That's what this track symbolizes. Mike lets out his frustration by destroying stuff.


Don't Stay

Chester has been lied to for too long, and he isn't putting up with it anymore. He needs space and wants to be left alone to try and cope with this person. He gives up, and wants them to leave, permanently. Take all this pain and suffering away and go away. That is basically what Chester is saying. He doesn't need this anymore. He doesn't need to feel worthless and have all these wasted opportunities because of this person. No apologies are needed, he just wants them to go away.


Somewhere I Belong

At the start, Mike and Chester thought they were alone. They thought they were the only ones who felt they were forced to fit in. They feel stuck and that everything is their fault. They just want to belong, but on their own terms. They don't want to have it forced upon them. Despite everything they are going through internally, their external appearance doesn't show any sign of weakness. They have to deal with it on their own, and if they don't, they will never learn. They have to find who they truly are without the help of others, or else they will always be stuck like this.


Lying From You

Mike has been faking who he is and what he wants for this person. He has been lying to stay with this person, and he realizes he can't keep it up. Chester comes in to help Mike out, saying that he would rather be alone than continue this facade of who he really is. He is the worst part of her. Mike then gives some backstory as to why he lied about who he truly was. He was bullied and taunted when he let his true self be known, and now he wants to hide it behind this fake personality. However, it didn't go how he wanted, and now he is causing those closest to him to leave him just so he can hide.


TO BE CONTINUED (It's 5 AM here and I'm fucking exhausted)

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  • 4 weeks later...



Meteora Part II


Hit The Floor

What's worse than somebody cheating their way to the top? Somebody pushing you down in order to do so, making you feel weak and inferior. Mike understands this, and has gone through it before. However, he understands that the only way to go from being on top is down, and that is what he is wishing. No redemption, Chester and Mike just want these people to fall.


Easier to Run

Running away from your problems is always easier than dealing with them head on. Keeping these things locked inside and never letting others know is the easy way out. Regardless of how easy it may seem now, you will always regret it later. You will always wish you dealt with your problems, instead of just running away.



Mike has been ignored all his life, pushed around by those who thought they were better than him. Mike has been waiting patiently for his chance to show others what he is made of, but never gets the chance. Chester isn't going to sit around patiently. He won't let himself be ignored anymore. He is done being pushed around, and has waiting far too long to stand up for himself, but now that he has, he will never let it happen again.


Figure .09

Being in a toxic relationship is one of the worst things you can do to yourself, but sometimes it is hard to let them go. However, there will always be a price to pay for that. They will begin to infect you, turning you into what you hated most. The one thing you never wanted to become. You became them. Once you realize this, however, it's too late. You can force them to leave, but they will always be a part of you.

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I'm not saying they went through these things, it's just easier and faster than writing "the narrator" or "the protagonist." I do see where you're coming from, though, and I agree. I doubt Mike and Chester have gone through all these things personally, but I would be shocked if they haven't at least witnessed them. I do go back and forth with that. Like Figure.09 and Easier to Run are written from a narrators POV, but Hit The Floor and Faint were from Mike and Chester's POV.

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  • 2 months later...

Across The Line

The song is about suicide, whether direct or indirect. The first verse mentions a man who may or may not have witnessed his friend take a bullet to the head, and now is trying to live without him. However, as the chorus subtly states, he can't, and is preparing to take his own life. In comes the second verse, and now we're looking through the eyes of, potentially, a teenage girl. Her friend has died from some kind of drug, potentially heroine, and she's addicted to the same drug. She's also trying to go on, but can't, so she's about to commit suicide. The bridge starts, and it shows the struggle of these two people, until they finally snap, and end it all.

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Across The Line

The song is about suicide, whether direct or indirect. The first verse mentions a man who may or may not have witnessed his friend take a bullet to the head, and now is trying to live without him. However, as the chorus subtly states, he can't, and is preparing to take his own life. In comes the second verse, and now we're looking through the eyes of, potentially, a teenage girl. Her friend has died from some kind of drug, potentially heroine, and she's addicted to the same drug. She's also trying to go on, but can't, so she's about to commit suicide. The bridge starts, and it shows the struggle of these two people, until they finally snap, and end it all.

Honestly, there are tons of war references in the song. At least to me. The song is definitely about death and possibly suicide. MTM had tons of death metaphors in the songs, more than half the album actually.

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Honestly, there are tons of war references in the song. At least to me. The song is definitely about death and possibly suicide. MTM had tons of death metaphors in the songs, more than half the album actually.

Yeah, that song could be interpreted many different ways. The second verse is what makes me think more along the lines of suicide than anything else. I do agree, though. MTM is definitely the band's most death-oriented album.

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