Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Song Meaning: That Was Just Your Life by Metallica

ARTIST: #METALLICA | ALBUM: DEATH MAGNETIC | RELEASED: 2008
"That Was Just Your Life" from Metallica's 8th studio album, Death Magnetic, outlines James Hetfield's rebellious past. James was known for his anger management issues and alcohol addiction, among many other things, of course. He's also known for collecting vintage cars - if you're into that kind of stuff.  Hetfield was forced to enter rehab in early 2000s to address his alcoholism, and came out clean, and in fact has been sober for the most of his life since. Nevertheless, for this song, James lays out his dark side of himself, in making a reference to everybody else dark side as well.

The song emphasizes a person's struggle ( presumably James Hetfield himself ) in overcoming his/her demons, whether it be contentiousness or alcoholism.

The the whole album contains songs pertaining to some aspect of life, with few exceptions like Judas' Kiss. The title, Death Magnetic, underlines some people's premature deaths, and others prolonged lives. In other words, coffin, as seen on the album cover, symbolizes death; some are attracted to it and some are repelled by it. I'll do a complete analysis of the entire album later on in "Explore Albums" section.
Analysis of lyrics: 

Like a siren in my head that always - "siren" is a reference to inner voice

Like a blind man that is strapped into the speeding driver's seat - this is an interesting line. James likes cars, so there's a reference to that. "Blind man" symbolizes a person unwillingly forced into do something dangerous for his/her life, like speeding.

When all it knew was how to bite - "bite" means anger

Like a misery that keeps me focused - previous hard experiences keep you from reattempting those

Like an endless nightmare that / I must awaken from each day - "nightmare" references to adversity of having to face the consequences of bad actions of one's past

I blind my eyes and try to force it all into place - lying to yourself, or being in denial

I open just in time to say goodbye - this is a cool line but I don't know what it exactly means. "Goodbye" usually means death in Metallica songs. "Fade to Black" has a goodbye line, meaning committing suicide.

Lines #21 - #29 - feeling down on your self, or feeling of giving up on your life
I'll come back to continue to rest. Until then, take care :-)


  1. Like a siren in my head that always
  2. Threatens to repeat
  3. Like a blind man that is strapped into the speeding driver's seat
  4. Like a face
  5. That learns to speak
  6. When all it knew was how to bite

  7. Like a misery that keeps me focused
  8. Though I've gone astray
  9. Like an endless nightmare that
  10. I must awaken from each day
  11. Like conviction
  12. A premonition
  13. Not worthy of, so I deny...... I deny

  14. I blind my eyes and try to force it all into place
  15. I stitch them up, see not my fall from grace
  16. I blind my eyes, I hide and feel it passing me by
  17. I open just in time to say goodbye

  18. Almost like your life
  19. Almost like your endless fight
  20. Curse the day is long
  21. Realize you don't belong
  22. Disconnect somehow
  23. Never stop the bleeding now
  24. Almost like your fight
  25. And there it went,
  26. Almost like your life

  27. Like a wound that keeps on bleeding to remind me not to think
  28. Like a raging river drowning when
  29. I only need a drink
  30. Like a poison
  31. That I swallow
  32. But I want the world to die

  33. Like a release from prison
  34. That I didn't know I was in
  35. Like a fight to live the past I prayed
  36. To leave
  37. From way back then
  38. Like a general
  39. Without a mission
  40. Until the war will start again...... start again

  41. I blind my eyes and try to force it all into place
  42. I stitch them up, see not my fall from grace
  43. I blind my eyes,
  44. I hide and feel it passing me by
  45. I open just in time to say goodbye

  46. Almost like your life
  47. Almost like your endless fight
  48. Curse the day is long
  49. Realize you don't belong
  50. Disconnect somehow
  51. Never stop the bleeding now
  52. Almost like your fight
  53. And there it went,
  54. Almost like your life

  55. Like a touch from hell to feel how hot
  56. That it can get if you get caught
  57. Like a strike from heaven turns that key
  58. And brings you straight down to your knees

  59. Like a touch from hell to feel how hot
  60. That it can get if I get caught
  61. Like a strike from heaven to reprieve
  62. That brings you straight down to your knees

  63. Almost like your life
  64. Almost like your endless fight
  65. Curse the day is long
  66. Realize you don't belong
  67. Disconnect somehow
  68. Never stop the bleeding now
  69. Almost like your fight
  70. And there it went,
  71. Almost like your life
  72. That was just your life

Lyrics from: http://www.metallica.com/songs/that-was-just-your-life.asp

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