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The Song Interpretation Thread


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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.

Yeah, the band has even stated that MTM has a lot of death metaphors. I think MTM's lyrics are the easiest to interpret.

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I think MTM's lyrics are the easiest to interpret.

MTM is the easiest to interpret, but the hardest to define. Many of the MTM songs are written in such a way that everyone can have an original opinion on them, but to actually pinpoint what the song was meant to be about is really difficult (putting aside all the interviews the band has done & said about the album) Edited by Søuł
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MTM is the easiest to interpret, but the hardest to define. Many of the MTM songs are written in such a way that everyone can have an original opinion on them, but to actually pinpoint what the song was meant to be about is really difficult (putting aside all the interviews the band has done & said about the album)

Agreed, with the exception of Hands Held High and The Little Things Give You Away.

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Agreed, with the exception of Hands Held High and The Little Things Give You Away.

I'd say TLTGYA is somewhat debatable, I can see it being interpreted a variety of ways. HHH is fairly straight forward, it's basically about the struggle of war in the country that's at war.
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I'd say TLTGYA is somewhat debatable, I can see it being interpreted a variety of ways. HHH is fairly straight forward, it's basically about the struggle of war in the country that's at war.

It depends on when you listen to it. Like, right now it could be interpreted for the Philippines. However, at the time the album came out, it seemed pretty obvious that it was for New Orleans.

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IN BETWEEN

I honestly have no idea what this song is about. I know Mike wrote the lyrics, but I have never been able to decipher it. Chester said in an interview with Kerrang! magazine in 2007 that Mike was apologizing for something and that it was heartfelt and genuine. No idea what it's about, though. Possible rebirth metaphors in this song as well, maybe trying to mend a broken relationship.

I think it's about mike apologizing for not being like people want him to be (family,friends etc.)

he apologizes for not being able to be "that" person But trying to be someone else was harder than it seemed

And somehow I got caught up in between

So he kinda got caught between being himself, but being "that" person aswell.

He tries to live up to all these expectations that people for him I cannot explain to you in anything I say or do

I hope the actions speak the words they canAtleast that's how i see it :P

Edited by nikolajlaulp
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Hybrid Theory Interpretation

I'm gonna do HT interpretation, but you can't take it as the exact solution, because it's LP songs and most of them are written the way that lets you interpret them by your own way/ your own perspective.

 

Papercut

 

It describes Paranoia, In the song it's described as a face inside you that's looking at you all the time ,and as you are seeing/feeling something that doesn't happen and a big unsureness about it. It's also described as mixture of many thoughts in your brain, as unsureness and a bit as fear.

 

One Step Closer

 

It's simply about the anger and being annoyed by someone or something. The source of the annoyance and the anger, may be homework, task, quarrel etc. (for LP it was task about writing the text, but the producer (or whoever it was) said no to almost every attempt).

 

With You

 

It's simply about loving or being in love to someone you're not with. And it's about missing a chance to be with the person because of a stupid mistake, and it's happening all the time. The person is a person who you probably already was with and yours relationship was broken, or who you are close to be with. An other way I can interpret this is, think of stairs, the higher you are the closer ( I do not mean it literally ) you are to the person. And it's about getting one stair up and then one step down again. And emotions related to this.

 

Points Of Authority

 

It's about being abused, actually heavily abused. In whatever way, it may be in relationship, sexually etc. Chester was sexually abused when he was a child, and lyrics "It's time to sink or swim To see who gets scared when the lights go dim" from the demo of the song, reminds of that.

 

Crawling

 

It's about being locked inside of you, I mean, like shy or something like that. And about "dark times in your life", the times when you feel sadness, feel fear, feel unsureness etc. And it's about these emotions pulling you down. And again think of the stairs, the lower the worse you feel. And because of that you are even more locked in yourself.

 

Runaway

 

It may be about having wish to remove yourself from a place you don't wanna be in. I mean, it may be about getting big offense from others, feeling shame (because you did something stupid) and having wish to just runaway from there.

It may also be about having wish to break with the person you are with, because of losing trust to that person. And about being pointed by fingers because of you didn't do it yet.

 

By Myself

 

It's about having social problems and problems with yourself, and blaming yourself for everything. It's also about feeling you're not able to stand this and actually about depression too.

 

In The End

It's about putting trust in something, getting it far, seeing it ends and regretting the time etc. wasted for it. Let's say you are in relationship with someone, in long time. You put all the efforts to let it last. But it ended, your efforts didn't matter.

 

A Place For My Head

It's about being annoyed by someone who claims you owe him something, that you actually don't owe, something that you probably deserved anyway. And wanting a place where you can feel calm and peaceful, without enemies.

 

Forgotten

 

It's about trying to remind something, that's hard to remind. During the bridge the memory is found, is close to be found or you are on the first step to find it.

 

Pushing Me Away

 

It's about wanting to break up with someone you don't want to be with anymore, but you are not brave enough to do this, and it's about lying to the person you love her/him/it. And it may also be about regretting that you didn't do that yet.

 

 

 

 

I know not everything may be interpreted good enough. If you didn't get what I was trying to say in certain songs, let me know, I'm gonna try to do a better job.

 

 

Edited by TheDamian58C
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I decided I'd do the first half of Minutes to Midnight as a continuous story.

 

Our protagonist (whom we'll call "The Chemist") feels he is wasting his life away. He has done nothing worthwhile, and wonders if the world would just be better off without him. He begins to contemplate suicide (Given Up). He realizes that, if he did end it all, nobody would remember for anything but the wrongs that he has committed. He begins searching for help to leave something that he can be remembered for in a positive way, but realizes it's harder than he thinks, and that he would have to do it alone (Leave Out All The Rest). The Chemist begins to get incredibly frustrated, as he attempts to fix the wrongs that he has done in the past. He looks back to the old wounds he has inflicted on others and himself, and find that it's just too much to bear, but forces himself to face the faults of the past (Bleed it Out). Sitting alone, contemplating the challenge he has brought upon himself, The Chemist begins to think that the easiest way to solve his problems is to hide from them. He hides away, hoping that the problems will just magically fix themselves. Obviously, this doesn't happen, and The Chemist is distraught. He, again, thinks that suicide is the answer to all his problems. Little does he know, there are people who care about him, but The Chemist ignores them, thinking that suicide is the only answer (Shadow of The Day). However, he eventually comes to the realization that there are people who may care about him. He begins to forgive himself for the trouble he's put others through on his behalf, and decides to start over (What I've Done).

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I decided I'd do the first half of Minutes to Midnight as a continuous story.

 

Our protagonist (whom we'll call "The Chemist") feels he is wasting his life away. He has done nothing worthwhile, and wonders if the world would just be better off without him. He begins to contemplate suicide (Given Up). He realizes that, if he did end it all, nobody would remember for anything but the wrongs that he has committed. He begins searching for help to leave something that he can be remembered for in a positive way, but realizes it's harder than he thinks, and that he would have to do it alone (Leave Out All The Rest). The Chemist begins to get incredibly frustrated, as he attempts to fix the wrongs that he has done in the past. He looks back to the old wounds he has inflicted on others and himself, and find that it's just too much to bear, but forces himself to face the faults of the past (Bleed it Out). Sitting alone, contemplating the challenge he has brought upon himself, The Chemist begins to think that the easiest way to solve his problems is to hide from them. He hides away, hoping that the problems will just magically fix themselves. Obviously, this doesn't happen, and The Chemist is distraught. He, again, thinks that suicide is the answer to all his problems. Little does he know, there are people who care about him, but The Chemist ignores them, thinking that suicide is the only answer (Shadow of The Day). However, he eventually comes to the realization that there are people who may care about him. He begins to forgive himself for the trouble he's put others through on his behalf, and decides to start over (What I've Done).

Damn, you're good at this shit!

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  • 2 months later...

I should take more of an advantage of this thread.

 

Hybrid Theory: Part 1

Papercut

What's the first thing you think when you get a paper cut? You certainly aren't saying, "Ouch!" You're screaming your fucking lungs out because of the burning sensation invading your finger. Paper cuts are the most relateable sense of paranoia, something a child can even understand. When yoy get one, you're pretty certain you're gonna die within the next minute.

"Why does it feel like night today? / Something in here's not right today. / Why am I so uptight today? / Paranoia's all I got left." Shinoda understands it. Paranoia begins with a loss of consciousness in the real world, all you can do is question every little detail that's out of place. You begin to judge each puny event as the pinacle of your life.

 

"Like a face that I hold inside / A face that awakes when I close my eyes / A face that watches every time I lie / A face that laughs every time I fall" For angsty teenagers, their parents probably immediately came to mind. Who else watches your every move and judges you for it? Your parents? Society?

 

Yourself?

 

This figuritive face refers to your soul (no pun intended). Each move you make, you regret. Paranoia is the thought process of being influenced heavily by fear and anxiety. What better way to feel both of those when everyone is watching you? The constant need of acceptance is the strongest culprit in both anxiety and, on a completely unrelated note, depression. We'll talk about that in another interpretation.

 

" It's like I'm paranoid lookin' over my back / It's like a whirlwind inside of my head / It's like I can't stop what I'm hearing within / It's like the face inside is right beneath my skin" The song almost seems to progress in a ballady way, such that the story of whoever you wish for this to portray is being explained in steps: he begins to question everything, then comes the inner conflicts with your actions and your judging of yourself. After that comes the chorus. At this point, the true paranoia starts to kick in. He's constantly checking for any sign of danger. His thoughts are swarming his mind like a whirlind. He's telling himself things that he can't control (internally, of course).

 

"The sun goes down / I feel the light betray me" The light is the last thing one can depend on being there (unless it's cloudy outside, but that's what light bublbs are for). When your last resort has been seized, how can you sleep at night? Light, in the context of the song, may refer to the last traces of security this poor man had left in him. He's been consumed by darkness, otherwise known as paranoia. Mike further elaborates on the jumping off the cliff of sanity by rapping, " It's like I can't stop what I'm hearing within" The aforementioned whirlwind (taken from the chorus) has become a volatile hurricane.

 

So remember, kids: paper cuts lead to pure, fucking insanity.

 

I would of done OSC tobight but I'm tired as shit so I'll do it tomorrow.

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  • 5 months later...

I've really been thinking about Breaking The Habit a lot recently, and what it means. I know Mike wrote it with drug abuse in mind, apparently Chester's drug problems according to that 'The Ride' documentary that just came out, but it means something else to me.

 

"Memories consume / Like opening the wound / I'm picking me apart again / You all assume / I'm safe here in my room / Unless I try to start again." While these lyrics very much do relate to substance abuse, they also touch on another very destructive behavior you inflict upon yourself: self-harm. Technically, drug abuse could be considered self-harm, but the more recognized act associated with it, and the one I'll be discussing here, is cutting. Those that cut typically do so because it's easier to deal with the physical pain that comes with the knife than the emotional turmoil that's going on inside your head. That's what is being described here. Our protagonist is lost inside his head, reliving his most emotionally damaging memories. People do care about him, and want what's best for him, but he would much rather return to his addiction than live with fighting it.

 

"I don't want to be the one / The battles always choose / But inside I've realized / That I'm the one confused." He, and only he, can choose whether or not to continue with his addiction, or attempt to stop. That's the battle that he is facing, and he realizes that it's all up to him. Nobody else can make the decision for him.

 

"I don't know what's worth fighting for / Or why I have to scream / I don't know why I instigate / And say what I don't mean / I don't know how I got this way / I know it's not alright / So I'm breaking the habit / I'm breaking the habit tonight." The protagonist feels overwhelmed, and doesn't know what means anything to him anymore. He doesn't know why he acts purely on impulse and hurts those who only want to help him. Our protagonist is struggling with just about everything, but he doesn't seem to know how he got to this point in his life, but he's determined to end it, the first step in recovering from addiction.

 

"Clutching my cure / I tightly lock the door / I try to catch my break again / I hurt much more / Than anytime before / I have no options left again." This verse, along with the bridge and final chorus, is what makes this song one of the most emotional songs the band has ever made. At least, for me. Our protagonist has tried all he can to get over his addiction, but he can't seem to do it. Holding his "cure", which is actually the cause for his disease, he can't see another way out, and he relapses, the worst possible thing you could do with an addiction like this.

 

There is one small line change in the second chorus that drives home the message the second verse delivers. He changes the line "I know it's not alright" to "I'll never be alright." This small change in wording completely changes the meaning of the chorus. He's saying that his addiction is stronger than he is, and he needs it to keep going.

 

"I'll paint it on the walls / 'Cause I'm the one at fault / I'll never fight again / And this is how it ends." This could be taken one of two ways, a very negative one, and a very positive one. I'm gonna take the positive one, but I'll also address the negative one. In both, they start the same. The protagonist is taking full responsibility for everything, and wants everyone to know that he is aware of that. This is where it takes a very drastic change, depending on which one you decide to run with. In the more uplifting, positive end, he's found the cure for his addiction, and he'll never have to deal with it again. It's over, for good. On the more depressing, negative side, he still did find his cure, but it was his death, as he couldn't see a better way out. After all the fighting he did, he still couldn't find a way to escape other than to take his own life.

 

As I said before, I know the song was written with substance abuse in mind, but I've always heard it as relating to something else. Whether or not that's because self-harm hits closer to home, I don't really know, but that's just how I've always heard it. Honestly, my analysis still works if you just change the underlying tone of cutting to drugs. Either way, it's still a very emotional song, and is probably in my top 10 from the band now.

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  • 1 year later...

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.

Story of my life, sadly. had something like this happen to me last year (almost a full year in fact) with a good friend of mine, it fell apart, and I tried to chase her to try to tell her sorry only to have it blow up in my face! :( I was suicidal and failed 3 classes during my first semester of college. I'm surprised I made it through that mess alive! I kept trying in sporadic attempts up until early April, when I said Fuck it! 3 years down the fucking drain! I'm still not truly over it. Not trying to bump this thread, but reading what Hahninator said reminded of me of my situation

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Pushing Me Away

 

It's about wanting to break up with someone you don't want to be with anymore, but you are not brave enough to do this, and it's about lying to the person you love her/him/it. And it may also be about regretting that you didn't do that yet.

 

I think the same about that song, and it's very personal to me, as, actually, I've been in that situation.

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  • 1 year later...

Excuse me for necroposting. I'm going through a difficult time at the moment. But there's one song which helps me stay positive. It's Nobody Can Save Me. I'm getting chills when he turns everything around and sings "Only I can save me now".

 

I'm curious about the interpretation, meaning and value from you guys and girls.

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Excuse me for necroposting. I'm going through a difficult time at the moment. But there's one song which helps me stay positive. It's Nobody Can Save Me. I'm getting chills when he turns everything around and sings "Only I can save me now".

 

I'm curious about the interpretation, meaning and value from you guys and girls.

 

Actually, I've always seen that song as extremely dark, lyrically. To me, it's about accepting your fate for what it is. Kind of like What I've Done, but more accepting it knowing that it will destroy you, instead of accepting it and trying to change it. I'm not sure if Chester wrote the lyrics for Nobody Can Save Me, but if he did, it's pretty concerning. You wonder if perhaps his addiction to alcohol was an influence on the lyrics, but I'm not sure about that. I know during the BBC interview in 2007 he said Given Up was written about how much he hated his life when he was drinking. It's probably not as direct.

Edited by Geki
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According to the booklet, he didn't, but Mike said Jon Green related really well with Chester. Maybe they wrote that with him in mind like Talking To Myself and Breaking The Habit.

Well like, I'm not even sure if that's what the song is about. It's just my interpretation. But I remember that Chester and Mike said the lyrics this time around were more personal to them, about their lives, etc. And now we know Chester relapsed in 2016, etc. Even if he didn't have a lyric credit, maybe he helped with lyrics. I remember Mike said that Chester really related with John Green.

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Nobody Can Save Me has always struck as more optimistic. "I'm holding up a light / Chasing out the darkness inside", admitting their coping methods were "false solutions", realizing that searching "somewhere out there" for the solution was wrong, culminating in the realization that "Only I can save me now". It very much comes across to me, at the very least, as one final attempt to rid oneself of their inner demons.

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Nobody Can Save Me has always struck as more optimistic. "I'm holding up a light / Chasing out the darkness inside", admitting their coping methods were "false solutions", realizing that searching "somewhere out there" for the solution was wrong, culminating in the realization that "Only I can save me now". It very much comes across to me, at the very least, as one final attempt to rid oneself of their inner demons.

 

Yeah, that's a good interpretation, actually. Maybe those same demons Chester talked about in Crawling, BTH, GU, etc. Damn.

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