Monday, June 24, 2013

Song Meaning: Enter Sandman by Metallica

ARTIST: METALLICA | ALBUM: METALLICA (BLACK ALBUM) | RELEASED: 1991
Enter Sandman is the first single from Black Album
Enter Sandman is the first single from Black Album
"Enter Sandman" is about a kid's nightmares. Unlike many previous singles by Metallica, this song refrain from demonic themes like death, drugs and demons, thus aiding it to become a mainstream hit. As a matter of fact, many critics attribute to this single, and the album, as the one that put Metallica on the "map." However, on the other hand, many hardcore thrash metal fans didn't like Metallica new curve ball. They criticized the band for being hypocritical for initially stand for anti-establishment, underground metal movement, but now changing course to embrace the MTV culture. Regardless of your point of view, as a rock n' roll fan, I believe that the Black Album contains good music, good riffs and cool themes. Songs like "Nothing Else Matters" and "Unforgiven" are far from being a thrash metal, but exposes Metallica's ability to explore new ground, and appeal to a new audience.

Although Metallica "lost" many fans with the Black Album, they made up for the loss with a new, much more mainstream, audience. Besides touring heavy in support of the album, "Enter Sandman" tremendously facilitated in making the album Metallica's first No. 1. In fact, it stayed there for four weeks - new ground for a metal album.

"Enter Sandman" was on regular rotation on MTV and rock,metal and classic rock radio stations in the early 1990s. It has since become Metallica's signature song, and definite fixture on their liveset.

Analysis of lyrics:

Say your prayers little one - I don't know what this means

'Til the sandman he comes - Sandman is presumed as an evil, haunting figure on kids' minds

Exit light / Enter night - going to sleep

We're off to never neverland - going to Neverland is a place to break the evil spirit of Sandman? Not sure....

Lines #20 to #23 - various nightmares

Lines #34 to #37 - classic children's bedtime prayer

p.s. I know this is a lazy analysis, but I'm tired.... any Metallica fan's please feel free to improve this in the comments below.


  1. Say your prayers little one
  2. Don't forget my son
  3. To include everyone
  4. I tuck you in
  5. Warm within
  6. Keep you free from sin
  7. 'Til the sandman he comes

  8. Sleep with one eye open
  9. Gripping your pillow tight

  10. Exit light
  11. Enter night
  12. Take my hand
  13. We're off to never never-land

  14. Something's wrong, shut the light
  15. Heavy thoughts tonight
  16. And they aren't of snow white
  17. Dreams of war
  18. Dreams of lies
  19. Dreams of dragons fire
  20. And of things that will bite, yeah

  21. Sleep with one eye open
  22. Grippin' your pillow tight

  23. Exit light
  24. Enter night
  25. Take my hand
  26. We're off to never never-land

  27. (Whisper)
  28. Now I lay me down to sleep (x2)
  29. Pray the lord my soul to keep (x2)
  30. And if I die before I wake (x2)
  31. Pray the lord my soul to take (x2)

  32. Hush little baby don't say a word
  33. And never mind that noise you heard
  34. It's just the beast under your bed
  35. In your closet in your head

  36. Exit light
  37. Enter night
  38. Grain of sand

  39. Exit light
  40. Enter night
  41. Take my hand
  42. We're off to never never-land

  43. We're off to never never-land

  44. Take my hand
  45. We're off to never never-land
  46. Take my hand
  47. We're off to never never-land

  48. We're off to never never-land

Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/m/metallica/enter+sandman_20092087.html

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