"What You Are" as written by and Chris/commerford Cornell....
And when you wanted me I came to you
And when you wanted someone else
I withdrew
And when you asked for a light I set myself on fire
And if I go far away I know
You'll find another slave

'Cause now I'm free from what you want
Now I'm free from what you need
Now I'm free from what you are

And when you wanted blood I cut my veins
And when you wanted love I bled myself again
Now that I've had my fill of you
I'll give you up forever
And here I go far away
I know you'll find another slave

'Cause now I'm free from what you want
Now I'm free from what you need
Now I'm free from what you are, yeah

Then a vision came to me
When you came along
I gave you everything
But then you wanted more

'Cause now I'm free from what you want
Now I'm free from what you need
Now I'm free from what you are, yeah

Now I'm free from what you are
Now I'm free from what you need
Now I'm free from what you are


Lyrics submitted by ruben

"What You Are" as written by Christopher J. Cornell Timothy Commerford

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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What You Are song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentYeah, this is one of the most straightforward songs Chris Cornell has ever written.
    Thunderbolton April 10, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"And when you asked for light
    I set myself on fire"
    -One of my favourite lyrics of all time... It is so beautiful and... Whoa...
    I absolutely love this song! I can't tell you how much Chris Cornell has affected me! When I hear his voice I am in another world! Love him! :D:D:D
    evilcornflakeson July 01, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song reminds me I've been under mind control most of my life. "I gave you everything but then you wanted more." Makes me want to commit suicide.
    urwellkeen3on October 11, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh wow. i found a good song for a talk if i were to give one for my youth group because its talking about being yourself to one way and not being yourself for another. I like it! this could so work.
    ryang11r0yon April 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see this song being about a guy who was in a one sided relationship with a girl. he would do ANYTHING for her, only to get nothing in return. Nothing he did was ever good enough, she always wanted more. He was basically a "slave" to her. He realizes this now and is over her and can "give her up forever." She will just have to find another slave. Awesome band, awesome song.
    Stoneyon April 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOnly 3 comments!! I love this song.
    Philadelphia Eagleson June 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about Cornells former band and not a relationship with a girl. I think he is talking about being free from that band and he is now able to write and truely express himself as he wants.
    wickdmonkeyon October 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsorry guys i hate to say it and add another point of view about this song but somehting crossed me wen i was listening to it for like the hundreth time. And i had just watched a documentary on these guys and the bassist ( forgive me i dont no his name ) made an excellent point when chris cornell writes a song he writes it on multiple levels. and so i got thinking and read over all ur reviews on the song and decided to put this one on here.

    have u ever thought that cornell may be singing about a god like a aztec god or sumthing imagine this,

    a lonely old man is praying to a pagan aztec statue and then as the words in the song " and when you wanted me i came " a sung it flashes back to a yo9unger version of the man exploring area and stumbling upon this statue like it called him to it.
    when you here the words "And when you asked for light, I set myself on fire" you can here wat sounds like a snigger in the voice of cornell this would be on the video you see a picture of the old man betraying his 'god' and lighting doll on fire as a kind of sacrifice to his 'god' but because he didnt go thru with the entire sacrifice his 'god' left him and wanted someone else so '' i withdrew '' but he knows the truth now that his 'god' was just using him so he realises even if he leaves there will be another unlucky soul to stumble upon the 'god'

    see so u get it now
    well thats wat i think is going on
    it could be rong but i duno...
    harry04on October 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell, did anyone stop to think mebbe he's singing about Satan?... I mean I hate to bring up religious stuff, but its quite obvious thruoghout this entire album Chris sings about god, and various other things like that. He's a Catholic... He's subsceded from that (ie. in the hands of satan?), and he's repented, and wants access into the kingdom of heaven. How does one do that? By breaking free from satan's grasp. I'm pretty sure thats the meaning of the song.
    Mamoruanimeon March 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was walking home when I thought of another possibility. Maybe he could be singing about an adiction. Of course now that I look at it some of the lyrics fit but others don't. Oh well. Still gives more to think about, don't it?
    DivineWind15on March 27, 2005   Link

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