Monday, June 3, 2013

Song Meaning: Unforgiven III by Metallica

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/53/Metallica_-_Death_Magnetic_cover.jpg
"Unforgiven III" appeared on Metallica's eighth studio album, Death Magnetic. This is my favorite of the Unforgiven trilogy for number of good reasons. First it's got a kick-ass solo, as is the case with all other songs from the album. Kirk Hammet was at his best, coming up with one wild solo followed by another. The lyrics resemble a well in-depth meaning, in that of relentless pursuit of materialism. I believe this song also showcases James Hetfield's best writing as well. I don't know what to say about Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo. I guess they all worked as a united band, and that, in fact, is reflected on the quality of album, in comparison Metallica's previous album, St. Anger.

When I first listened to the song, I though it was based on The Pearl by John Steinbeck. "Set sailor to sea but pulled off course/ By the light of golden treasure"3 is way too indicative of that, but there was not evidence to suggest prove it. It looked like James just wrote the lyrics from his guts.

The song is about a man going on a quest find fortunes in the sea, being blinded by greed to consider the obstacles lies his path. But he ultimately fails in finding the treasure because the obstruction of the sea is too much for him to overcome. "Searched the seas of gold / How come it's got so cold?16perfectly sums up his predicament."How can I blame you / When it's me I can't forgive" is lyrically saying, "I have no one but to blame myself" being too greedy.
 
Unlike the previous Unforgivens, the song was never released as a single, which is a shame, considering the fact that, in the studio, James had said "[Unforgiven III] is catchy, and it hooks the person the middle." I guess the song wasn't too heavy like the previous singles from the album.

  1. How could he know this new dawn's light
  2. Would change his life forever?
  3. Set sailor to sea but pulled off course
  4. By the light of golden treasure

  5. Was he the one causing pain
  6. With his careless dreaming?
  7. Been afraid
  8. Always afraid
  9. Of the things he's feeling
  10. He could just be gone

  11. He would just sail on
  12. He'll just sail on

  13. How can I be lost
  14. If I've got nowhere to go?
  15. Searched the seas of gold
  16. How come it's got so cold?
  17. How can I be lost
  18. In remembrance I relive
  19. How can I blame you
  20. When it's me I can't forgive?

  21. These days drift on inside a fog
  22. It's thick and suffocating
  23. This seeking life outside its hell
  24. Inside intoxicating
  25. He's run aground
  26. Like his life
  27. Water's much too shallow
  28. Slipping fast
  29. Down with the ship
  30. Fading in the shadows now
  31. A castaway

  32. They've
  33. All gone
  34. Away

  35. They've gone away

  36. How can I be lost
  37. If I've got nowhere to go?
  38. Search for seas of gold
  39. How come it's got so cold?
  40. How can I be lost
  41. In remembrance I relive
  42. And how can I blame you
  43. When it's me I can't forgive?

  44. Forgive me
  45. Forgive me not
  46. Forgive me
  47. Forgive me not
  48. Forgive me
  49. Forgive me not
  50. Forgive me
  51. Forgive me, why can't I forgive me?

  52. Set sail to sea but pulled off course
  53. By the light of golden treasure
  54. How could he know this new dawn's light
  55. Would change his life forever

  56. How can I be lost
  57. If I've got nowhere to go?
  58. Search for seas of gold
  59. How come it's got so cold?
  60. How can I be lost
  61. In remembrance I relive
  62. So how can I blame you
  63. When it's me I can't forgive? 

Lyrics from: http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Unforgiven-Iii-lyrics-Metallica/0507B7F11AB40AD0482574C0000E9A5A

3 comments:

  1. i disagree with this analysis. all of the unforgivens (1 2 and 3) are about james. his father is the man "pulled off course by the light of golden treasure" being a better life

    ReplyDelete
  2. The song is a continuation of the song biography of James. The song is not about about 'the Pearl' but it does use the ship/sailing metaphor where the ship is the band, the sea are the fans, and sailing is the music.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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