"Underground" as written by Craig Grimshaw, Louis Anthony Jones and Paul Christian Noble....
No one can blame you for walking away
But too much rejection, uh huh...
No love injection

Life can be easy
It's not always swell
Don't tell me truth hurts, little girl
'Cause it hurts like hell

But down in the underground
You'll find someone true
Down in the Underground
A land serene, a crystal moon

A-ha

It's only forever
Not long at all
Lost and Lonely
That's underground, underground

Daddy, daddy, get me out of here
Heard about a place today
Nothing ever hurts again

Daddy, daddy, get me out of here
Heard about a place today
Nothing ever hurts again

Sister, sister, please take me down,
gotta get underground


Lyrics submitted by strawberygashs

"Underground" as written by Joseph Di Pietro David Bryan

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing, Spirit Music Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Underground song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +1
    My InterpretationExcellent song! One of my favorites.

    Oddly enough, I'm not usually one to say "Oh, this song is about drugs" (especially considering one of my favorite songs is "Puff the Magic Dragon") but for some reason that was the first interpretation I drew out of this song. I'm not sure why... I'm not sure if it's coincidence or if David Bowie meant for that to be one of the interpretations or what. I don't usually listen to David Bowie's stuff other than what he sang and wrote for the Labyrinth soundtrack, so I don't know if he usually writes drug songs or what.

    It took me a while to figure out how it actually links to the movie, but I THINK I've figured it out... If you take it literally with the movie itself, for some reason it makes me think that Jareth might have been a kid that was kidnapped and brought into the labyrinth himself, like Toby. He wasn't scared of the labyrinth, though; rather, he WANTED to go there. He didn't like the real world, so he went to the labyrinth instead where he became king. Once he chose to live there, though, he couldn't get out, which is why he wanted to lure Sarah there, so he wouldn't stay lonely. Something like that...

    Going with the theme of the movie, it could be talking about preferring to live in fantasy-land rather than the real world. Life can sometimes be easy, but a lot of times it's not. "Don't tell me truth hurts, little girl, 'cuz it hurts like--" Yeah, fantasy-land isn't real, which really sucks. "It's only forever..." I think maybe it's talking about how when you grow up, you can't go back to being a kid again, and you have to deal with grown-up issues whether you like it or not? I'm not sure... Hard to think clearly at 7:20 in the morning. But I think I got the general idea right...

    Only thing is, this song seems to be more about staying in fantasy-land. The theme of the movie was that you CAN'T stay in fantasy-land. You DO have to grow up, though you can still have your imagination. But you can't stay a kid forever. In the original script, this was made pretty clear, as there was a scene where Sarah was in the fake version of her room and looking at herself in the mirror, clutching Lancelot (her teddybear). The trash lady had said something along the lines of "You don't want to go out there! It's much safer in here!" As Sarah looks at herself in the mirror, though, she suddenly sees herself as an old woman hugging Lancelot and saying, "You don't want to go out there! It's much safer in here!" So, yeah... we definitely can't stay kids for forever. We DO have to grow up. Though we don't have to lose our imagination--part of what I love about this movie is that it brings up that! Almost every other story with a moral of growing up says we have to give up every part of being a kid, including our imagination... but not this one. Great movie!
    BabyCharmanderon February 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation'Underground' can mean perhaps four things.
    1. Underground as in death, buried in a coffin.
    2. Hell, with the devil, forever.
    3. In the Labyrinth, with Jareth. (Although the biggest problem here is that the Labyrinth never says that the Labyrinth is underground. So to me, the idea that the Labyrinth would be underground is unfounded.)
    4. The imagination within oneself; escapism as is shown in the beginning of the movie.

    As for death being the underground, this can link closely to the imagination/escapism. A life can be so miserable that you either escape from it via imagination (like Sarah does in the movie) or you kill yourself to escape, with hopes that maybe in the afterlife you'll "find someone true."

    Hell being underground is an extremely common idea in the Western world. This ties in closely to the figure of Jareth being the ruler of a world of goblins, this seems parallel to depictions of the Devil in Christian imagery presiding over a world of demons. In the movie he steals away a baby, and nearly steals away a teenager, Sarah. This song, when first mentioning the underground, can easily seem like a "deal with the devil" situation: "But down in the underground, You'll find someone true, Down in the underground, A land serene, A crystal moon, It's only forever, Not long at all." The response in the next few verses "I wanna go underground" seems like the deal with the Devil has been accepted.

    These lines are the most haunting to me in this song. If we take these words "its only forever" it seems to support only three of the four ideas; Death (therefore suicide), Hell, or in the Labyrinth, (the labyrinth perhaps being a symbolic representation of both death and hell.) The song, with these lines, rules out the idea that its only about fantasy and escapism; because you can't escape into fantasy for eternity; the only way to reach eternity in the mythological sense is to die and go to the afterlife: heaven or hell. This song seems to be nudging toward the latter.

    I think the parallel between Jareth and the Devil is obvious in many ways, he is charming, a musician, he is tempting, he plays upon immoral and hidden desires, there is sexual imagery in the Labyrinth and surrounding him, etc etc etc. He even sets up an obviously Satanic "get her to bite the fruit" scenario. He lures her with toys, crystal balls, castles, and every fantasy item she loves; into a trap. It isn't to benefit Sarah, its for Jareth's possession and ownership of her.

    The movie has many occult symbols in it; and Bowie being a lifelong student of occult subjects (one of his favorite books was Transcendental Magic by Eliphas Levi) I would lean strongly toward the idea that this movie and song have some occult message. I love that such a complex and mysterious movie, song, and set of themes exist. They've perplexed me throughout my childhood and up to this day.
    0au5t1non December 04, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Comment*gasp* How can no one of reviewed the coolest song ever!? The Labyrinth's theme song no less! XD I love this song. Love the movie too. hehee *smiles*
    politicalscratchon April 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is amongs my favorite bowie songs. And it ranks high up there since it is in fact the Labyrinth's theme. I would think that this song is simply saying you should look for love in places you really wouldnt expect and when you do, it will be wonderful?" please correct me if im wrong
    eyesinyourradioon December 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentVelvet?.... I dont know... Ive heard Bowie do several Velvet Underground covers and I like to think this song is related to the VU and how great they are... just my opinion
    crackermanon January 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so awesome! I always watch the opening of the movie like 7 times before I move on to the rest of the movie.
    killswitch916on May 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis one pretty much sums up the themes of Labyrinth perfectly. Best song from the film.
    Bonehead XLon June 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh.... oh dear. I can't believe I'm only the 6th person to review this song. I agree with killswitch916. The opening titles of Labyrinth are _the best_ Although I prefer the movie version to the version with the backup vocals.
    I know these are the actual lyrics "life *can* be easy", but doesn't that contradict "It's not always swell"?
    Secondly, what is everyone's interpretation of "underground"? Most obviously it would be Jareth's kingdom of the Labyrinth, but if you take it literally, it could be a religeous kind of thing "when you get to heaven *nothing ever hurts again*" and you would physically *be* underground.
    Good song. Very good song :)
    everydayishalloweenon July 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think this was written simply to go with the Labyrinth, although the themes seem to match up well. If you imagine this song without the movie, then it's probably about angst and wanting to die (to go "underground").
    hotsoupwomanon January 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentactually im pretty sure bowie wrote all of the songs on the soundtrack specifically for the movie...which is amazing btw.....and since i believe the movies theme is escaping reality by way of fantasy, this song becomes easy to understand..."underground" represents fantasy..."no one can blame you for walking away"...no one can blame her for her wanting fantasy over reality. "underground" (fantasy) is better and more beautiful and shell find want shes truly looking for there..
    ashface1206on March 20, 2007   Link

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