"The Outsider" as written by and Maynard James/howerdel Keenan....
Help me if you can
It's just that this is
Not the way I'm wired
So could you please

Help me understand why
You've given in to all these
Reckless dark desires you're
Lying to yourself again
Suicidal imbecile
You're pounding on a fault line
What'll it take to get it through to you precious
Over this, why do you
Wanna throw it away like this
Such a mess, well I don't wanna watch you

Disconnect and self destruct one
Bullet at a time
What's your rush now, everyone will have his day to die

Medicated, drama queen
Picture perfect, numb belligerence
Narcissistic, drama queen, craving fame and all it's decadence

Lying through your teeth again
Suicidal imbecile
You're pounding on a fault line
What'll it take to get it through to you precious
Over this, why do you wanna
Throw it away like this
Such a mess, well I don't wanna watch you

Disconnect and self destruct one
Bullet at a time
What's your rush now, everyone will have his day to die

They were right about you

Lying to my face again
Suicidal imbecile
You're pounding on a fault line
What'll it take to get it through to you precious
Over this, why do you wanna
Throw it away like this
Such a mess, over this, over this

Disconnect and self destruct
One bullet at a time
What's your hurry, everyone will have his day to die
If you choose to pull the trigger, should your drama prove sincere
Do it somewhere far away from here

Lyrics submitted by OwnPersonalDemon, edited by GHX

"The Outsider" as written by Maynard James Keenan Billy Howerdel


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The Outsider song meanings
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  • +9
    General CommentI like how the song puts you on the wrong the foot from the start, as you're thinking from the lyrics the outsider wants to understand the addict to be able to help him/her. As the lyrics progress, slowly you'll see that there is not much compassion for the addict, as he's being harshly judged which suggests total lack of understanding.

    In the end it's not so much about the addict, but about the outsider looking at the addict as a threat to him/herself, never being able to bridge that gap from being the outsider to being a friend to able to help. The outsider might even be in a worse state than the addict, as he only cares about him/herself and the addict is a nuisance.

    "if your drama proves sincere" so if the addict is actually telling the truth, and therefore NOT lying to himself, "do it somewhere far away from here", the outsider don't care if the addict kills himself as long as he/her is not bothered anymore by the addict.

    *sarcasm* Thanks outsider for your help and understanding! */sarcasm*

    just look at your own life, most people are like this.
    ahlmannon June 10, 2013   Link
  • +7
    General CommentI'm pretty sure this song is about watching someone struggling with an addiction that is potentially lethal, such as heroin or cocaine, and being completely frustrated with their lack of acknowledgment for the whole situation. He's trying to get their attention to show his disgust in them for throwing their life away for what's basically a poison. He's frustrated that they've gotten so wrapped up in the addiction, they've almost become someone else. The person is unintentionally suicidal, at some point he/she will overdose by accident, or the drug will just take it's toll on their body. The outsider's(singer/narrator) intolerance of the person who they are singing to's lifestyle. I think it's vague enough to be applied to a multitude of situations, but given the album's name is Thirteenth Step, I feel it's meaning for the band members has to do with the self destructive lifestyle of the addict.
    Machineuniton January 23, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentFor the record, This song is about Maynards brother.
    He was a drug addict, and after getting clean a couple of times, and always going back to his old ways,
    he ended up in hospital and nearly died.
    I suppose maynard felt the same way about his brother as my folks do about me.
    They've given up because it's just too much heartache.
    They know it's gonna keep happening, and just don't want it near them.

    The ONLY Piece of Anti-Drugs material EVER to get through to me!
    Made me feel like shit through and through, because he let me understand what I was doing to the people around me.
    WonderFaceon October 21, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Commentyou fuckin morons nothing to do with suicide, its about an outsider)) s point of view of watching a loved one caught up in addiction,
    slickvicon April 15, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentPersonally, I think this song is about watching friends destroy themselves with drugs - being the outsider.

    I dont think its about someone claiming to be suicidal for attention is because:

    Mainard isnt a teenager with faggy friends any more, I doubt forementioned attention whores play a part in his life any more.

    "Why would I wanna watch you

    Disconnect and self-destruct
    One bullet at a time"

    Slowly destroying themselves, so not wannabe suicidal.

    The reason I think this is about losing a friend to drugs (Heroin I would say) is that not only has Mainard made reference to it in other songs but:

    "You've given in to all these
    Reckless dark desires"

    Sank back into an addiction

    "Suicidal imbecile"

    "What'll it take to get it through to you precious"

    It can very often be extremely hard to talk to someone with an addiction about it. He couldnt have worded it better, you simply cant get through to them.

    "Disconnect and self-destruct"

    Disconnect and self-destruct... Definitely sounds drug related.

    "One bullet at a time"

    A shot is a slang measure of a Heroin dose

    "What's your rush now,
    Everyone will have his day to die"

    Heroin kills, slowly but surely.




    Heroin, and other drugs, can have the effect of making you feel EXTREMELY good.

    "Why do you wanna throw it away like this"

    "Lying through your teeth again"

    Heroin eats through your teeth.

    "If you choose to pull the trigger
    Should your drama prove sincere
    Do it somewhere far away from here"

    If you choose to pull the trigger doesnt necessarily have to mean the trigger of a gun, just like "self destruct one bullet at a time" doesnt mean shoot yourself every couple of minutes. It can just as easily represent the syringe, and pulling the trigger injecting yourself ("Shooting up" is a popular term for taking heroin. Shooting up/pulling the trigger, see the relation?); theres no going back once you've pulled the trigger.
    "Should your drama prove sincere" could also be the drama AROUND you - the whole getting back into drugs ordeal.
    "Do it somewhere far away from here" Shoot up elsewhere - as said, he's the outsider, He's "over this" and he doesnt want to "watch you".

    So yeah, I think this song is all about Heroin.
    Heenon February 19, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI think looking at it as someone who's strictly suicidal is taking the lyrics far too literally. Given that the title is "The Outsider" and the fact that the entire album is about addiction, I think that this song sticks with the theme. Most of the songs have been through the eyes of the addict, more or less, but this song is different, being from the point of view of "The Outsider" (someone who watching the addict from the outside).

    This is a song of the frustration of watching someone you know self destruct, and, in the eyes of the outsider, acting selfishly and attention seeking by hurting themselves and others with their addictions. It can be incredibly frustrating for someone to watch a person basically killing themselves with their own selfishness, hence the "pounding at a fault line." He feels like he's done everything he can to help this person and he's reached the breaking point since they've done nothing but take it for granted, so this song is him throwing his hands into the air saying, "I give up, I'm done with you."
    Saiaion June 20, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwhat does this song mean to me? this song is me.
    lauraleyeon April 09, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentseems to be about a girl that is pretending to be suicidal for attention. And he is telling he that he is sick of her shit and doesn't want to be involved with her.
    "If you choose to pull the trigger
    Should your drama prove sincere
    Do it somewhere far away from here"
    -My 2 cents
    Ironicon April 10, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHonestly, I think there is only one person that is ever going to know the correct meaning of this song. The title might give a clue though... "the outsider" Is it possible that this song is about somebody else's point of view, somebody who lacks empathy and understanding. I myself have never been suicidal, but I've spent a few years in the Army. I had a soldier that attempted to overdose. This soldier was confronted by his entire chain of command, and the last statement he heard from them was "You didn't want to kill yourself! If you did, you would have done it right!" So he did.
    The outsider's point of view is limited to only what he can relate to. This song may not even be about suicide. It may just be about somebody living a destructive lifestyle, not caring about their own welfare. Now that you may be able to relate to and understand a little better, but that wouldn't put you in the shoes of the outsider if it did.
    Amy1307on September 18, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMaynard specifically explained the meaning of this song before they played it during a acoustic session - he said the following: "I had a friend who had some chemical problems. I ended up meeting his brother and his brother was so out of touch with what he was going through....so this song is kinda sung through the perspective of the brother who doesn't understand what his loved one is going through and in a way has no compassion for what he is going through...this song is called the outsider because that brother is standing on the outside of a understanding and doesn't get it. This song is from the perspective of someone who is ignorant and doesn't have the time or patience to understand what their loved one is going through."
    krazeeeyezkillahon March 23, 2012   Link

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