Saturday, June 22, 2013

Song Meaning: Ride the Lightning by Metallica

ARTIST: METALLICA | ALBUM: RIDE THE LIGHTENING | RELEASED: 1984
Song Meaning: Ride the Lightening by Metallica
Metallica's second studio album
One of Metallica's greatest songs, "Ride the Lightning" perfectly culminates the talent of all four members of the band. Song is the title track of their second album, which is now regarded as one of heavy metal's greatest of all time. Cliff Burton's bass was a perfect; Lars was on fire on drums. Lyrics show some of James' best writing given that Metallica is still new to heavy metal scene. Kirk's solo is perfectly sets the gloomy atmosphere discussed in lyrics. Accordingly, the song has become a permanent fixture on Metallica's live setlist, and also my personal favorite :-)

At the time of producing their second album, Lars and James were exploring the themes of death. Evidently, signature song from the the album like Creeping Death, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Fade to Black, and Ride the Lightning all discuss some from of death.

Ride the Lightening particularly talks about a poor person being sent to the electric chair for crimes that, supposedly, he isn't responsible for:

But damn it, it ain't right - unlawfully accused of committing a crime, like in the movie Shawshank Redemption

There's someone else controlling me - "someone else" refers to the invisible hand of injustice

Strapped in the electric chair - electrocution as a way of punishment

It's the beginning of the end - time get ready... to die

Time moving slow / The minutes seem like hours - time does move slowly in unpleasant situations, like when you are about to be electrocuted, or worse, doing a Computer Science midterm on functional programming!

Freed from this frightening dream - it was all a very bad dream, maybe a foreshadowing! nice twist :-)



  1. Guilty as charged
  2. But damn it, it ain't right
  3. There's someone else controlling me
  4. Death in the air
  5. Strapped in the electric chair
  6. This can't be happening to me

  7. Who made you God to say?,
  8. I'll take your life from you

  9. Flash before my eyes
  10. Now it's time to die
  11. Burning in my brain
  12. I can feel the pain
  13. Wait for the sign
  14. To flick the switch of death
  15. It's the beginning of the end
  16. Sweat, chilling cold
  17. As I watch death unfold
  18. Consciousness my only friend

  19. My fingers grip with fear
  20. What am I doing here?

  21. Flash before my eyes
  22. Now it's time to die
  23. Burning in my brain
  24. I can feel the pain

  25. Someone help me
  26. Oh please, God help me
  27. They're trying to take it all away
  28. I don't want to die

  29. (SOLO)

  30. Someone help me
  31. Oh please, God help me
  32. They are trying to take it all away
  33. I don`t want to die

  34. Time moving slow
  35. The minutes seem like hours
  36. The final curtain call I see
  37. Im through with this
  38. Just get it over with
  39. If this is true, just let it be

  40. Wakened by a horrid scream
  41. Freed from this frightening dream

  42. Flash before my eyes
  43. Now it's time to die
  44. Burning in my brain
  45. I can feel the pain

Lyrics from http://www.sing365.com/

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