Friday, June 21, 2013

Song Meaning: King Nothing by Metallica

ARTIST: METALLICA | ALBUM: LOAD | RELEASED: 1997
I don't know much about Load but I think it's a good rock n' roll album. The album shows Metallica's departure from thrash metal roots of the 80s in favor of more commercially acceptable heavy metal, and "King Noting" emphasizes just that. As a rock n' roll fan I'm perfectly fine with that, as long as they create good music. I know some old school headbanggers like to label Metallica as "sellouts." And that's OK with me as well.

Every time I listen to King Nothing I think of Shakespeare's MacBeth. The lyrics pertain a person's overwhelming desire to obtain power, and the inevitable downfall as a consequence. My research, however, suggests that song makes no such reference to a historical person or event. But I still think it's cool because I'm the first person who made this connection :-)

Analysis of interesting lines:

Lines #1 to #6 - the first verse describes a person's overwhelming desire to obtain power...

All the wants you waste8 -seeing particular possessions or persons, which once was valuable, as worthless

All the things you've chased9 - "things" refers to earthly materials, ie money.

A heart as hard as gold24 - a heart filled with greed

You wish your life away27 - entering a state of paranoia after killing so many people, and wanting to kill your self in order to escape the wrath of inner demons

And you break your crown56 - "crown" symbolizes power, so lines means power corrupts

But there's no one around58 - lacking friends due to pretty much pissing them off, and there's also a lack of security

But the castle's crumbled61- the castle, upon unlawfully becoming the new king through corruption, now symbolizes evil, and eventually good defeats evil.What's really interesting is the fact that this actually takes place in MacBeth, as he was killed by the sons of King Duncan towards the end, and "Universe" is restored the way it's supposed to be

Off to never-never land73- well, obviously a reference to "Enter Sandman." I don't know why Hetfield included this. Metallica did become more "rich & famous" after their Black Album with the help of the "Sandman." They were also criticize for neglecting their thrash metal roots. So I don't know if mentioning this line somehow demonstrates corruption in a roundabout way. 

That's what I think of the song. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. 


  1. Wish I may, wish I might
  2. Have this I wish tonight
  3. Are you satisfied?
  4. Dig for gold, dig for fame
  5. You dig to make your name
  6. Are you pacified?

  7. All the wants you waste
  8. All the things you've chased

  9. Then it all crashes down
  10. And you break your crown
  11. And you point your finger
  12. But there's no one around
  13. Just want one thing
  14. Just to play the king
  15. But the castle's crumbled
  16. And you're left with just a name

  17. Where's your crown, King Nothing?
  18. Where's your crown?

  19. Hot and cold, bought and sold
  20. A heart as hard as gold
  21. Are you satisfied?
  22. Wish I might, wish I may
  23. You wish your life away
  24. Are you pacified?

  25. All the wants you waste
  26. All the things you've chased

  27. Then it all crashes down
  28. And you break your crown
  29. And you point your finger
  30. But there's no one around
  31. Just want one thing
  32. Just to play the king
  33. But the castle's crumbled
  34. And you're left with just a name

  35. Where's your crown, King Nothing?
  36. Where's your crown?

  37. I wish I may, I wish I might
  38. Have this wish I wish tonight
  39. I want that star, I want it now
  40. I want it all and I don't care how

  41. Careful what you wish
  42. Careful what you say
  43. Careful what you wish, you may regret it
  44. Careful what you wish, you just might get

  45. Then it all crashes down
  46. And you break your crown
  47. And you point your finger
  48. But there's no one around
  49. Just want one thing
  50. Just to play the king
  51. But the castle's crumbled
  52. And you're left with just a name

  53. Where's your crown, King Nothing?

  54. Nothing

  55. You're just nothing
  56. Where's your crown, King Nothing?
  57. You're just nothing
  58. Absolutely nothing

  59. Off to never-never land

4 comments:

  1. hes singing about the illuminati many bands do metallica is not the only one creed did and sliknot and godsmack and linkin park and korn and ozzy john and john lennon could go on all day but its funner if you find them your self :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. Try Shakespeare's Hamlet: "a King is a thing of Nothing"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for analysis!
    This morning I woke up with that song stuck into my head, and I thought what the hell is it about. Came here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I thought I was the only one who saw seeds of Macbeth.

    ReplyDelete

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