"Fade To Black" as written by Rick Hollywood Pagan and Lisa Steele....
Life it seems, will fade away
Drifting further everyday
Getting lost within myself
Nothing matters, no one else

I have lost the will to live
Simply nothing more to give
There is nothing more for me
Need the end to set me free

Things not what they used to be
Missing one inside of me
Deathly loss, this can't be real
Cannot stand this hell I feel

Emptiness is filling me
To the point of agony
Growing darkness, taking dawn
I was me but now he's gone


No one but me can save myself, but its too late
Now I can't think, think why I should even try

Yesterday seems as though it never existed
Death greets me warm, now I will just say goodbye

Goodbye...


Lyrics submitted by fennsk, edited by RyanWolfeh

Fade To Black song meanings
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  • +17
    Song MeaningMy son was only 15 ½ years old in 1997 when his father died of heart disease just before Christmas. At the time, he was learning to play an acoustic guitar. Soon after his father‘s death, he discovered “Metallica” and “Fade to Black”. For weeks, I could hear him (alone in his room), learning to play “Fade to Black “. It didn’t take him very long. “Fade to Black” played by a grieving teenager on an acoustic guitar is music straight from the heart.

    The lyrics of “Fade to Black”, more than likely, have different meanings for different people. For my son, I believe the lyrics of “Fade to Black” are about grieving and learning about one’s own mortality.

    “Life it seems will fade away, Drifting further every day” - Realizing people WILL & DO die! And, that someday you will die too!

    “Getting lost within myself, Nothing matters, no one else” - Dealing with one’s own feelings about the loss of someone they love deeply.

    “I have lost the will to live, Simply nothing more to give” - Not wanting to go on living without the one you loved, if it means continuing to feel almost unbearable sadness.

    “There is nothing more for me” - Thinking you will never be able to enjoy living again without your loved one in your life.

    “Need the end to set me free” - Thinking you will feel this way for the rest of your life.

    “Things are not what they used to be, Missing one inside of me” - Not feeling like the same person you were before you lost the person who was a part of who you were.. and missing them.

    “Deathly lost, this can't be real, Cannot stand this hell I feel. Emptiness is filling me
    To the point of agony” - Wanting your mind to deny that your loved one has died, then facing reality and knowing it is true and feeling agonizingly sad and lonely.

    “Growing darkness taking dawn, I was me, but now He's gone” - Looking toward the future, knowing you will be a different person because the person you loved was part of who you were and is now gone.

    “No one but me can save myself, but its too late. Now I can't think, think why I should even try” - Knowing it is up to yourself to go on without your loved one, but not sure you can.

    “Yesterday seems as though it never existed.” - Trying to remember how you felt before your loved one died.

    “Death Greets me warm,” - Feeling dead even though you are still alive.

    “Now I will just say good-bye” - The most uplifting part of the lyrics. Being able to say “Goodbye” to your loved one and go on living without him or her.

    Christmas 1999 (2 years after my husband died), I bought my son a Kirk Hemmett electric guitar and amp system. Anyone hearing him play “Fade to Black” would think Metallica was in the house! In my mind, my son is the greatest guitar player the world will NEVER hear! And when I hear him play “Fade to Black“, I know he is remembering his father.
    jaymomon August 02, 2011   Link
  • +6
    General CommentWell this song was acually was inspired by when someone stole the band's equipment, but the song is about suicide and Metallica has gotten thousands of fan letters from people who decided not to kill themselves becuase of this song. This is one of my favorite songs.
    residential evilon February 16, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt says in the biography of metallica that it the lyrics were made from the last words of a confessional of a suicide victim. I got this straight from Metallica Unbound, which is a biography written by a close friend of James. I personally love the song and the lyrics are good to listen to when your going through rough times.
    Metallithrasher2k2on April 18, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"Growing darkness taking dawn, I was me but now He's gone." - I think that's such a beautiful lyric and a great way for Jaymz to illustrate the change that has occured in him.
    to Metallican41: I think you should think before you type especially on a mesage board full of Metallica fans, because you saying that their lyrics are weak is the most ignorant thing I've heard in a while. Unless you're a 13 year old TRL watching kid and the only Metallica songs you know are the ones they play on the radio and MTV late at night, then I can see why you'd say that their lyrics are not dense. It's easy for someone who doesn't really know Metallica to make that generalization, but in reality Metallica has some of the most thought-provoking and emotion filled lyrics of any recent band, let alone a metal band that fucking rocks.
    Everything off ...And Justice For All is packed with great lyrics about the corruption of the US government it's justice system, etc. In addition, songs like Disposable Heroes, Don't Tread On Me, and For Whom The Bell Tolls have distinctly anti-war messages (the true sign of an intelligent man because for a long time I was an ignorant patriotic kid until thing like Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Carlos Castaneda, Chuck Pahlaniuk, and Joseph Heller allowed me to open my mind). Metallica's songs point out the problems in our world that most people are too ignorant to see, and songs like Fade To Black and One convey emotion like no other band can.
    I'm not trying to come down on you hard, but just think and have proof to back up statements such as Metallica not having good lyrics.
    MrMojoRisin5552on May 02, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentJesus H Christ!!!!!! We all know that this song is about suicide, but what every one should be talking about is the whole deep down meaning behind the lyrics. This song ain't just about suicide, it's about expressing the thoughts of someone who is thinking about killing himself. A man who is lost in himself and not in the real world. Everybody thinks about suicide when the outside world is beating you down. This is about his own self beating him down and he doesn't know how to cope with it. The lyrics really get inside of the head of a sad and lonely man who lives only in his own head and cannot deal with his own insanity and finds the one true way out. Suicide. Damn people look a little bit deeper into the lyrics and what they are saying to you.
    fordracer69on May 08, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song was wrote after there equipment was stolen.. Whether or no that was the reason they wrote it about that only theyll know but its one of there best songs in my book.. Had a hard time awhile back and this song was played out in my car.. Helped me get through it.. GREAT SONG!
    pugh3420on February 08, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Commentosu_cowboy2000 that is such bullshit! How could james write the a song about cliffs death three fucking years before he died? This song was written in October - December 1983. Cliff Burton died on the 27th of September 1986.
    Necrothon April 25, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Growing darkness taking dawn, I was me but now He's gone." - I think that's such a beautiful lyric and a great way for Jaymz to illustrate the change that has occured in him.
    to Metallican41: I think you should think before you type especially on a mesage board full of Metallica fans, because you saying that their lyrics are weak is the most ignorant thing I've heard in a while. Unless you're a 13 year old TRL watching kid and the only Metallica songs you know are the ones they play on the radio and MTV late at night, then I can see why you'd say that their lyrics are not dense. It's easy for someone who doesn't really know Metallica to make that generalization, but in reality Metallica has some of the most thought-provoking and emotion filled lyrics of any recent band, let alone a metal band that fucking rocks.
    Everything off ...And Justice For All is packed with great lyrics about the corruption of the US government it's justice system, etc. In addition, songs like Disposable Heroes, Don't Tread On Me, and For Whom The Bell Tolls have distinctly anti-war messages (the true sign of an intelligent man because for a long time I was an ignorant patriotic kid until thing like Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Carlos Castaneda, Chuck Pahlaniuk, and Joseph Heller allowed me to open my mind). Metallica's songs point out the problems in our world that most people are too ignorant to see, and songs like Fade To Black and One convey emotion like no other band can.
    I'm not trying to come down on you hard, but just think and have proof to back up statements such as Metallica not having good lyrics.
    MrMojoRisin5552on May 02, 2002   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationHey guys. I always like to talk about my interpretation of this song. I know it's written with his amp in mind. I know it's obviously about terrible sorrow that makes someone not only strongly consider suicide, but probably go ahead and attempt it, with a suicide note and all. And those undertones influence my interpretation. However, i always look at it differently, and i hope i can at least get someone to say "wow, i never saw it like that, not bad," whether or not you particularly agree.

    To me. this song is about someone who has gone through terrible, horrific pain and strife in their life, and has lost themselves and become someone, or someTHING else. I like to tell a very general, basic story, verse by verse, when i discuss this song. So please take the few minutes and come along on this ride..
    Life, it seems, will fade away
    Drifting further every day
    Getting lost within myself
    Nothing matters, no one else
    --life as this person has known it, is fading away, and will soon be gone. Every day he wakes up, realizing that things have piled up, and he's one big tragedy away from completely losing himSELF, his MIND, EVERYTHING. All the crap that has been happening and piling on is causing a change, his mind races, and he's getting LOST within himself, his feelings, his thoughts. The last line speaks for itself--nothing matters anymore, no one matters anymore. Right about now, this is the straw the broke the camels back. There's no turning back

    I have lost the will to live
    Simply nothing more to give
    There is nothing more for me
    Need the end to set me free
    --Perhaps his/her spouse left them. Perhaps a loved one is gone. Perhaps he lost everything in tragedy...whatever it is, he cannot go on anymore. He sees nothing but despair, it's hopeless. He cannot give anything anymore, for anyone. He needs to be free, but it all needs to end--the pain, the tragedy, perhaps even his own life; but it doesnt have to be suicide. Life as he KNOWS IT needs to end, so he can be free again.

    Things not what they used to be
    Missing one inside of me
    Deathly lost, this can't be real
    Cannot stand this hell I feel
    --he's reminiscing now, seeing that life isn't what it was for him. The change is permanent. The one inside of him, who he WAS, who he THOUGHT he was, is gone. He's lost himself so much, it feels like death; the death of himself. It's surreal, in a bad way though of course. He cannot take it anymore; whatever tragedy has brought him to this point, is truly HELL.

    Emptiness is filling me
    To the point of agony
    Growing darkness taking dawn
    I was me, but now he's gone
    ---the void left by this final straw of pain has left him no longer himself, and completely empty. People throw the word "agony" around, but he realizes this final pain is COMPLETE, true agony. Now that he's lost himself, he's become this "someone/someTHING" else, he realizes this is becoming his new self. And it's dark. Notice how the last line in this verse switches to the 3rd person---"i WAS me, but now HE'S GONE"....the transformation is complete. The pain, the AGONY, the HELL that he's living in caused a complete breakdown, a new "being" is formed...he knows that the old him is DEAD. There is someone else inside. That man no longer exists. It's only this new one. Perhaps he pushed for this new person that grew inside of him, as an escape from the pain. In essence, he has killed his former self, i.e. the suicidal tones of the song at it's first layer.

    No one but me can save myself, but it's too late
    Now I can't think, think why I should even try
    Yesterday seems as though it never existed
    Death greets me warm, now I will just say goodbye
    --he realizes that it's over. His former self, the man he was is gone, and although he MIGHT'VE been able to save himself, the pain was too much and this was his only escape. It's too late to go back. And why should he even try? Why go back to the pain. THe new person, the dark and probably EVIL person he's become has taken away the pain by eliminating his former self. All those vicious memories of pain are virtually gone, the pains of "yesterday" and beyond are just a thought. The new self has taken over. Who he was simply never existed.
    People always talk about feeling "warm and tingly" or "a euphoric feeling of warmth comes over them" when they feel intense joy, even joy from drugs perhaps. So the DEATH of his former self has eliminated the pain, and it greets the new evil person, with warmth and subconscious joy.
    He says goodbye forever to who he was....and if you are to know who this new person is, he will strike the fear of God in you. Something horribly violent is about to take place.
    The pain of the old self's life has Faded away...dead...to black nothingness. This new self has taken over, said goodbye to the good person he was....what is about to transpire is that of pure anger and loathing, and those around him are about to witness the unleashing of this new self, in the form of maddening, horrific acts, committed completely unexpected, baffling those who KNEW the OLD HIM.

    Sorry for the long way to get to my final thought, but i always saw this song as something no one else really saw it, and simply put in two words: HE'S SNAPPED.
    A life of pain, anger, heartbreak, love lost, abuse, etc etc, has been killed. And in his mind, a new person exists. When someone "snaps," we all know what is about to happen next. That is what has Faded to Black; a life destroyed, slowly falling into the empty black void of evil, of DEATH. Whatever happens after this, will be the acts of a monster....

    I hope people don't think im TOO crazy hahha..but we've all felt sometimes that we cannot take anymore, and that we're going to "snap." But for the individual in this story/song, it's actually happened...and the end result is frightening...
    bigchart333on August 26, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Commentnewfoundfinch is a fucking prick.
    Razormasticatoron April 25, 2004   Link

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