"Clayman" as written by and Jesper Claes Haakan/gelotte Stroemblad....
Your self control makes me feel alone
I've tried confidence, had it for breakfast today
I've lost the perfection, a mess without words
(And) As the seasons change I'll continue to ignore
The image I project - me without me
The picture that I scanned is borrowed

After the education you stopped making sense to me
Seems to me that it's all the same, time and time again
Slowly, all that I believed in, turning into a lie
To aim and miss, my supernatural art
Spending too much time with myself
Trying to explain who I am

How come it's possible
I wish there was a way
(Suddenly) I feel so invincible
I'm the sculpture made out of clay

I need someone to break the silence
Before it all falls apart
I need something to cling onto
Before I break you in parts

So afraid of what you may think
And all the plastic people that surrounds me
I have to find the path to where it all begins
To teach the world my supernatural art


Lyrics submitted by -L3tH4L-

"Clayman" as written by Bjoern Ingvar Gelotte Anders Par Friden

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Clayman song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI have to disagree with whoever said it wasn't from Ander's perspective. In the intro for this song on one of their live CD's (Tokyo Showdown, last 20 seconds of Moonshield methinks) he talks about Clayman as being written "in a difficult time of my life and I felt like a piece of clay". I think this is enough to show that Anders was actually singing as the clayman. I agree that there are many alternate interpretations, but that's how a lot of things in life are. I personally lean towards the interpretation that to be truly happy you need to mould yourself and not be pressured by the plastic, unchangable conformists. \m/
    WinterMadnesson September 02, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm going to add my interpretation here, as I have to two other site so far. I spent about an hour on it, not including the times I was distracted by the awesomeness of the other In Flames songs that I had playing while writing.

    I think this song is about the narrator's understanding of life and who he is as a person, and where he fits into the world. He is unsure and unconfident of himself. He perceives others to be extremely sure of who they are and solid, unchanging, plastic.

    It seems like throughout school, he had an idea of who he was, and what life was about. He felt like he was where he belonged; he knew his place and was in it. Afterwards, he was lost. Ideas that he believed were major parts of life no longer applied to his new reality.

    After this, I think the narrator finds that he cannot quite pinpoint an exact meaning to life, and is instead a man made of clay; always changing and adapting.

    He is probably being shaped by his perceived level of acceptance by his peers: the aforementioned plastic people. Perhaps at times he feels invincible when he thinks he has found a meaning or image for himself, but the confidence it instills eventually weakens. Gradually, the confidence this self-image instills within him weans, as he stops getting signs of confirmation from his peers: “I need someone to break the silence before it all falls apart. I need something to cling onto.”

    Alternatively, for the previous paragraph only, perhaps the fact that he is an ever-adapting clay sculpture is what makes him feel invincible all the time. Either way, maybe this survival tactic is his “supernatural art,” and that is what he wishes to teach to the world, especially people who feel lost and alone in life.

    After reading some comments here though, I'm more certain of my final paragraph.
    skyloron October 27, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthi, i'm new here, i'm from argentina and sorry for my english, it's not good... the thing is that i feel identified with this song, cuz i'm living things that i can express with this song. i think that it talks about leaving everything flow, i had too many bad times in my life and i started being somebody that i'm really not. leaving things like that, being happy even between really bad situatios. accept that everything is the same, that the good things and the sad ones come and go all the time. so i become of clay to mold to any situation without allow it to affect me. but i feel afraid sometimes cuz people look at me like a person without feelings, and sometimes i feel sad cuz now that i dont leave bad situatios to throw me down i still see my friends and the people that surrounds me getting sad for the things i leave behind all the time. i try to teach them how to drop all that sadness but i'm afraid cuz i still know that i'm not being myself, that its all a lie. and i wish somebody to realize that i'm a lie and talk to me about that cuz i need to discharge all the things i'm keepin into my heart at the same time that i dont want the people to realize that i'm that.
    i dont think that this songs means that, but make me feels that cuz i'm living it.
    oli170on December 15, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment@ Dreadnaught

    Actually, I read it quite opposite. In reality, plastic actually means moldable. Clay is described as moldable or plastic.

    Anders isn't the clay man, but he's singing from the perspective of someone he describes that way. The plastic people, the sculpture made of clay, are symbolizing those who change with whatever the fad or craze of the day is, molded by the media, MTV, and everyone else.

    You had the right idea, though.
    DeathRideron March 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHaha. After reading WinterMadness's comment, I take back the final sentence of my interpretation. At any rate, I feel this song is amazing, both in meaning and sound. A true work of art. It was a pleasure to write about, read, and listen to.
    skyloron October 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst off i have to say In Flames is my favorite fucking all time band! they kick so much ass live and they are just great. no words can describe them. One way i look at this song is handling a eating disorder.You want this perfect image of yourself and to become confident. With self acceptance and esteem you feel invincible and in control.
    clockworkorangeon June 02, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe sculpture made of clay represents people who
    are worried about conforming and what people think of them. I think "teach the world my supernatural art" is Anders sarcastic way of saying all you have to do is be yourself.
    asadcwon June 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfucking awesome, I love the guitar riff its just amazing, the singing isnt especially good, neither are the lyrics but it is still an amazing song.
    sic n twistedon July 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo the lyrics are a little.. eh, along with the singing. Sic n twisted's right, the guitar riff's badass.
    Vertigoon July 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentvertigo is cool
    sic n twistedon July 25, 2002   Link

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