"Bring Em Back Alive" as written by Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk....
I was on my way to the center of the sun
When I lost my wings and I fell into a crowd
And they carried me to a hole in the ground
And they buried me, where no one could see
And no one would be around
I am a virus
I live in silence

I was on my way to a city in the clouds
When I lost my mind and I had to settle down
Then I had a dream of an island in the sea where the lepers die
Where no one survives and no one can hear the cries

I am a virus
I live in silence

Just like heathens thinking
On our feet we'll believe in God
With one step, two steps, three steps toward the graveyard
On the high road to remembering
It seems that we forgot

I am a virus
I live in silence

Lyrics submitted by ruben

"Bring Em Back Alive" as written by Christopher J. Cornell Timothy Commerford

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Bring 'Em Back Alive song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commenti believe that you're most connected to a song when its all you can listen to, and at this point in my life that's how it is. i adore this song.

    for me, moving past the religious references and delving even deeper:

    this song dictates the acceptance of your personal tragedy and leaving shame to get into where you stand.

    i, i am a virus
    i, i live in silence

    like a leech, one who only would cause harm and damage to prolong existence in the most corrupt way.
    but he sings, i live in silence.
    these two lyrics together are different from simply saying, i hurt everything i know, im just corrupt--there's a sense of sadness and loneliness in him, and that there was once something beautiful.
    if he lives in silence, why is this song loud and screaming? this is the screams of torment inside his mind.

    and a virus is nothing without a host, a virus feeds in a corrupt manner upon something else, someone--
    and he lives in silence.
    its the tragedy of isolation, its the tragedy of hating the characteristics of your existence--
    and that once you tried to reach the sky, and was so close.
    fingersatmytipson January 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"I was on my way
    to the center of the sun
    when i lost my wings"

    This is what happened to Icarus in the Greek myth where they make wings out of wax and he disobeys his father and flies too close to the sun and plummets to his death. In the song he suffers a worse fate by being buried alive - a worse consequence for disobeying authority?
    Whatever the song means, I feel it can't be as simplistic as being about "waking up and realising things". Like the Icarus reference, surely there's a bit more to it? :cow:
    heavens_mistakeon September 27, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentcoolest. guitar. solo. ever.
    d_uckon February 27, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment(I corrected some lyrics.)

    I think the entire album's lyrics have a spiritual focus, this song is no different.

    I was on my way
    to the center of the sun
    when i lost my wings
    and i fell into the crowd
    and they carried me
    to a hole in the ground
    and they buried me
    where no one can see
    and no one would be around

    It's clearly related to the Icarus story, and the buried part seems to be about dying and being buried in a casket. Maybe he tried to do too much, go too far, and died for his trouble?

    I was on my way
    to a city in the clouds
    when i lost my mind
    and i had to settle down
    then i had a dream
    of an island in the sea
    where the lepers die
    where no one survives
    where no one can hear the cries

    If you just saw, "city in the clouds," you'd think of heaven. So let's go from there: he was on his way to heaven, but he lost his mind (his faith?) and had to settle down (into the secular world). Then he dreams of a place where the lepers die. What do lepers remind you of? For most Christians it's the mny times in the bible Jesus heals leprosy. So then a place "where the lepers die" would be where Jesus wasn't there to help him. So to counter the previous verse about heaven, maybe this one is about hell?

    just like heathens thinking on our feet
    believe in god
    we're one step
    two step
    three steps toward the graveyards
    on the high road to remembering
    it seems that we forgot

    The first part of this is about how people who aren't Christian can "become" believers when they are threatened with death (the "graveyard"). The last two lines don't seem connected with that - something about how we've all lost our connection to true religion as we try to seek it.

    Overall Chris Cornell's lyrics kick immense ass.
    haldir2012on April 13, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI relate to this song on such a personal level, its almost suffocating.

    I understand where all the talk of Icarus, religion etc is coming from, but I think that it can distract from what I feel is the core message of the song -at least for me- which is that of utter self-loathing. He basically believes that he is a parasite, and for this reason he should exist only in silence (if at all) to protect others from himself.

    Cornell was still 'coming down' off drug use at the time, and the idea of Icarus flying into the sun seemed to capture perfectly his addiction -the initial psychadelic period, followed by the terrifying fall.

    The talk of being buried and forgotten hearkens back to earlier lyrics such as 4th of July, where he talked about Jesus being buried alive. This concept of martyrdom is, I feel, an important part of his lyrics. Everytime I listen to Cornell's lyrics I am reminded of a certain Demotivational poster I used to see on my classroom wall in highschool: "Mistakes: It Could Be That The Purpose Of Your Life Is To Serve Only As A Warning To Others."

    Perhaps he believes he is that sinking ship? "The wreck is going down, get out before you drown"
    This does not exclude the wider social commentary implied in his lyrics.

    Anyway, I am glad this song was written because it puts a voice to his silence. In essence, the song itself is a victory.
    StrayDog86on October 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about waking up and realizing things.
    chickenpotpieon April 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about what happens to dead bacteria and other lower lifes and it's analogy to humans
    incuon May 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song reminds me of Special Forces, particularly snipers. I'm also reminded of the events that transpired in the film "Blackhawk Down"

    "I was on my way
    to the center of the sun
    when i lost my wings
    and i fell into the crowd
    and they carried me
    to a hole in the ground
    and they burried me
    where no one can see
    and no one would be around "

    Sounds a lot like the blackhawk crashing and then the pilots having to fend off the mobs of people.
    HatedEnemyon May 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song to me is about bioterrorism--the sickest form of war of all.

    It reminds me of those wackos in the 70's in the USSR trying to engineer a form of smallpox that would blow past immunity. But if they had succeeded, they probably would have died from it before they could use it.

    I'm probably way off track here, but that's what I thinkabout.
    Mrs. Nelsonon February 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnyone know what this is about? The first verse is definetly about the greek myth of Icarus, but I like the Black Hawk Down point. What about the other verses
    elite89on April 10, 2005   Link

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