[Chorus]
walked away,
heard them say,
poison hearts will never change
walk away again
turned away in disgrace
felt the chill upon my face
cooling from within
hard to notice
gleaming from the sky
when your staring at the cracks
hard to notice
what is passing by
with eyes low, Oh
walked away
heard them say
poison hearts will never change
walk away again
all the cracks they lead right to me
and all the cracks will crawl right through me
all the cracks they lead right to me
and all the cracks will crawl right through me
and they'll part
As I
[Chorus]


Lyrics submitted by ruben

The Leaving Song song meanings
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  • +2
    Song MeaningI always interpreted this song as the internal dialog of someone who suffers from a depressive disorder and as a result has a difficult time maintaining social relationships.

    //walked away,
    //heard them say,
    //poison hearts will never change

    Because he suffers from depression, he sees the world in a very cynical light, which leads those around him to accuse him of having a "poisoned heart".

    //walk away again
    The "again" implies that this is not an uncommon occurrence, and the rejection just creates a negative feedback loop where every time he is socially rejected he becomes more depressed, which in turns makes it harder to not be cynical.

    //turned away in disgrace
    //felt the chill upon my face
    //cooling from within

    Following each rejection he not only cries alone in private ("felt the chill upon my face") but also becomes more detached, unsociable, and cold as an ego defense mechanism ("cooling from within").

    //hard to notice
    //gleaming from the sky
    //when your staring at the cracks
    //hard to notice
    //what is passing by
    //with eyes low, Oh

    He thinks that it is difficult to appreciate the good things in life when all he can focus on are the depressing ones. This sounds like a response to the encouragement that people with clinical depression usually face; they are told to "snap out of it!", "smile!', or "cheer up!". On a side note, for anyone reading this, that is actually one of the worst things that you can do to a person suffering from a depressive disorder. Such people have a legitimate mental illness, and may physiologically be incapable of "just cheering up" due to chemical imbalances or other very real medical reasons. By insisting that they just stop being depressed, you are feeding into their disorder by making them feel abnormal and worthless; a depressed person can no more just create more serotonin than a diabetic person can create more insulin.

    //all the cracks they lead right to me
    //and all the cracks will crawl right through me
    //all the cracks they lead right to me
    //and all the cracks will crawl right through me
    //and they'll part

    This expresses a sense of vulnerability but also dissociation. He at once both feels like he is brittle and also unworthy of having friends or people who care about him, because he is such a downer, and also (illogically), that he's a source of misery for other people ("all the cracks they lead right to me").

    The last line, "and I fell apart", shows that he has mentally and emotionally crumpled and disassociated from the stress of his depression and social rejection.

    What a freakin' depressing song, AFI. :-(
    MaidOMetalon July 11, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song seems really powerful but I dunno what it means... I think it maybe has to do with someone leaving something that they don't want to and they're really sad about it and so the world's passing by them and their world is falling apart. The song seems like it's deep but I don't wanna venture any more guesses lest I make myself look stupider.
    CaKiYoon July 07, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love afi, and even tho this is by-far their most... "emo" song, i still think its really good.

    the beginning verse makes me think that this song is about leaving a group of friends, possibly maybe a band or even a family, because they believe you have changed for the worse or done something that just cannot be forgiven. although you disagree, you self-righteously leave. no questions asked.

    the "hard to notice" verse sort-of implies to me that the 'group' has thought this for a while now, but you dont realize this until it is too late, and all you can do now is dwell on everything you deem worth regretting.
    bigberto41088on April 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSomeone makes him feel bad, so he walks away, but hears what they say, so its people putting him down and he walks away, ego deflated, self-esteem gone and as for the cracks, thats the people or their comments and they start to get to him and again, thats why he walks away, to avoid letting 'em get at him...
    DOGxXxon May 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is just so great. and very sad to me each time I hear the song...davey is pure genious for writing this. this soing to me means like being turned away by someone. and his heart to him is "poisened" not literally...(depressed)
    *ShElBy*on June 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit also means like not noticing where you are or what you have until it is gone..and you can't do anything about it
    *ShElBy*on June 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, but if you look deeper into the song and listen to the music you will hear utter despair and mental tormoil. I think it is about the fact that he feels different than everyone, sees things differently, and finally people view him differently. This leads to feeling lost in yourself and withdrawing into one's self. Thus, the cracks lead toward him because he is the center point of disappointment to society, and he is reluctant to look people in the eye because that would enabl them to tear him apart. Usually people that cannot look you in the eye have low self esteem...maybe he was feeling espiecally "down" the day he wrote this?
    muse_10999on November 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, but if you look deeper into the song and listen to the music you will hear utter despair and mental tormoil. I think it is about the fact that he feels different than everyone, sees things differently, and finally people view him differently. This leads to feeling lost in yourself and withdrawing into one's self. Thus, the cracks lead toward him because he is the center point of disappointment to society, and he is reluctant to look people in the eye because that would enabl them to tear him apart. Usually people that cannot look you in the eye have low self esteem...maybe he was feeling espiecally "down" the day he wrote this?
    muse_10999on November 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment^ I agree with muse,

    hard to notice
    gleaming from the sky
    when your staring at the cracks
    hard to notice
    what is passing by
    with eyes low

    Those lines do it for me, think that his "group" or whatever really focus on the flaws and everything, and don't really see things for what they are, just appear to be, you know? But thats only my interpretation on those lines,

    walked away,
    heard them say,
    poison hearts will never change
    walk away again
    turned away in disgrace
    felt the chill upon my face
    cooling from within

    I dunno, these are pretty self-explanatory, This guy is being rejected and made fun of or whatever and feels really down, depressed or cold about it, Or maybe he's just... Leaving, Oooooh! But all his friends or whatever are disaproving and... yes, he's sad and stuff about it but knows its the right choice
    Happyhighland_cooon November 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentChapter 3:
    Our dejected narrator is lost, nowhere to turn. Those that doubt him now take their turn to laugh at his failures. He misses the light still left in his life as he focuses on the negatives that plague him. "Hard to notice, gleaming from the sky, when you're staring at the cracks." He is turning his back on everything and feels that everything that could go wrong, is. "All the cracks they lead right to me and all the cracks will crawl right through me"... the hardships are endurable, but will take time.
    Now, on to "The Celluloid Dream"
    BlackTippedWingson November 19, 2004   Link

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