"Prodigal" as written by and Steven/balch Wilson....
I don't know whose side I'm on
I don't think that I belong round here
If I left the stage would that be wrong ?

I tried to find myself a better way
I got religion but I went astray
They took my money and I lost my faith

Rain keeps crawling down the glass
The good times never seem to last
Close your eyes and let the thought pass

I tried the capsule and I tried the smoke
I tried to aid escape like normal folk
But I never seemed to get the joke

These are my old clothes
This is a new low
This is my blood flow
This is my headstone

I spend my days with all my friends
They're the ones on who my life depends
I'm gonna miss them when the series ends

Rain keeps crawling down the glass
(Pull yourself together)
The good times never seem to last
(You know it's not so bad)
Close your eyes and let the thought pass
(Close your eyes and let it pass)


Lyrics submitted by Ragebox

"Prodigal" as written by Gavin Richard Harrison Colin Edwin Balch

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Prodigal song meanings
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26 Comments

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  • +3
    General Commentfeeling out of place, looking for help, trying to escape,
    then considering suicide, and then talking yourself out of it .. thats what it means to me.
    DarkAntiCristaon July 24, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commentwell i actually dont believe in this whole tv-thing and leaving the friends... ill come back to this later

    i think u should still try to stick to the serialkiller theme of the album...

    this brings me to the conclusion that what he really means with series are the serial kills...

    that made me think about what if he is caught?!

    several serialkillers have been caught and then been released again, for example when he is caught for raping somebody but nobodie found out that he murdered so many people...

    there are some phrases that made me think this way...

    "If I left the stage would that be wrong?"
    as a psychopatic he would normaly think that what he did was ok... but still his "human" part is trying to convience him to give up...

    "They took my money and I lost my faith"
    that actually could mean that he is caught... in jail you have nothing... and its normal that you loose your faith... there are no dreams in jail anymore...

    "I tried the capsule and I tried the smoke
    I tried to aid escape like normal folk"
    this seems for me as if he was brought to a psychologist and forced to take pills perhaps even in probation?(like marc dutroux who later on used to give his pills to the victims)

    "I spend my days with all my friends
    They're the ones on who my life depends
    I'm gonna miss them when the series ends"
    he sees his victims as his friends and as he is not able to commit any crimes he will "miss them when the series ends"

    "Rain keeps crawling down the glass
    (Pull yourself together)
    The good times never seem to last
    (You know it's not so bad)
    Close your eyes and let the thought pass
    (Close your eyes and let it pass)"
    the last repetation of the chorus is the key... as his inner darker voice is speaking to him telling him that everything will be fine... he only has to be good in jail and he'll be out soon...

    you can also interpret the thought of suicide (as some serialkiller also commited suicide as they where caught) but it does not have to be...

    might be that you dont agree with me, but i think this album tells a whole story... of course most of the tracks can be interpret in different ways... but for me the whole album is a storyline and i enjoy hearing it everytime as for me it could be the same as whatching a movie... just better^^
    bluuuon September 11, 2007   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningFirst things first, a lot of people cling onto the whole serial killer theme, which for a lot of the songs in the album hold true, but I think you should not force the theme on the interpretation of every single song in the album.

    In my opinion, the song is first and foremost about a depressed, suicidal man -an outcast of society, who may or may not be a serial killer-

    The lyrics describe his depressed feelings, his attempts to escape his depression, and the subject trying to talk himself out of suicide.



    "I don't know whose side I'm on
    I don't think that I belong round here
    If I left the stage would that be wrong ?"

    The first verse sets the mood. Our subject does not feel like he's part of any group of people, thus he thinks he does not belong in the world.
    Leaving the stage in this context would be committing suicide.

    "I tried to find myself a better way
    I got religion but I went astray
    They took my money and I lost my faith"

    The second verse describes his attempts to seek help. He doesn't really want to kill himself, maybe there's a solution.
    Thus he turns to religion, maybe in search of god, or maybe in the hopes of finding a small community to be part of.
    But he is disappointed, because he feels as if the church only wants his money, and does not really want to help him.

    "Rain keeps crawling down the glass
    The good times never seem to last
    Close your eyes and let the thought pass

    He's looking out a window into the rain thinking about his life when suicidal thoughts arise. But another voice in his head talks himself into ignoring those thoughts as they will fade away after a while.

    "I tried the capsule and I tried the smoke
    I tried to aid escape like normal folk
    But I never seemed to get the joke

    He's gotten anti-depressants and/or other drugs and substances -maybe legal, maybe not- in order to numb himself of his dark thoughts. He's been trying to find help like other depressed people, but he is not responsive to the treatment (he metaphorically does not "get the joke")


    At this point the music intensifies, into a more active vibe, maybe indicating that the subject is setting things in motion in a rush to finally commit suicide. The following words indicate a suicide attempt.

    "These are my old clothes
    This is a new low
    This is my blood flow
    This is my headstone

    In a low point he finally tries to kill himself with a razor, presumably. "This is my headstone" He feels like this is the end, he's surely going to die.

    At this point I think the subject is saved in some way, and his friends and relatives finally pay attention to him, as they now see the gravity of his condition.

    "I spend my days with all my friends
    They're the ones on who my life depends
    I'm gonna miss them when the series ends"

    He gets visitors more often now, concerned friends and relatives.
    These people keep him busy, distract him from his suicidal thoughts. They form a hurdle in his suicidal tendencies, perhaps physically but maybe also because he realizes that his death would devastate his loved ones.
    "I'm gonna miss them when the series ends" he knows that the attention he's brought onto himself is a temporary thing, as the other people will someday move on with their lives. He's still suicidal.

    "Rain keeps crawling down the glass
    (Pull yourself together)
    The good times never seem to last
    (You know it's not so bad)
    Close your eyes and let the thought pass
    (Close your eyes and let it pass)

    A second voice enters the chorus now, these may be quotes from his friends that try to help him. They grant new insight, and his condition seems to be a bit better than before.
    ImJustATreeon April 30, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with the comments (except the one of Velvet, read on ;)), but: Isn't the line "I'm gonna miss them when the series ends" saying that he actually has no friends? That his "friends" are the actors in the TV?
    XCrusherXon December 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me this song is about realising your life is stagnating and attempting to do something about it but after making the changes and trying to reinvent yourself you realise that the things you hate most about your life are what's inside you.

    I can really relate the the lines:

    "I spend my days with all my friends
    They're the ones on who my life depends
    I'm gonna miss them when the series ends"

    This is certainly about filling the void in your social life with TV programs. It links in with "..I tried the smoke" since stoners will often spend hours vegetating watching TV.... there's a longing for more social interaction but at the same time you feel so disconnected from others and struggle to maintain the friendships that you have.

    "These are my old clothes
    This is a new low"

    Also makes me think of the idea of reinventing yourself to try and fit in. Personally I have tried to change my image to fit in more with the people I live with and yet the situations I have found myself in over the past year have made me feel worse... New clothes.. or the shedding of your old ones can't remove your personality traits.

    The "Rain keeps crawling down the glass" makes me think of the times when you feel depressed and lethargic and can't bring yourself to do things.. you end up wasting time just sat watching...

    I can see the serial killer link in this song.. but at the same time I think this is more about the way that it is easy to subtly kill your own life through inaction and allowing yourself to wallow in your depression and getting hung up over things that you can't change.
    kiiabbyon March 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHow can this song be so damn good?? GODDAMNIT, this album is kicking my ass.
    Gildenlowon June 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWOW!!! This song describes how so many (I think...LOL) feel at times in their lives. We try so hard to make a decision that we end up not choosing a side, since we see the bad in both (dealing with religion, politics, life, or even more simple issues). It seems so terrible, but we go on for some reason, wishing and almost knowing that this terrible time will pass....once again, amazing instrumentation.
    komplexnouson October 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about considering suicide.

    "This is my blood flow / this is my headstone," is talking about slitting your wrists.

    "Close your eyes and let it pass," means letting your life end and being at peace with it.

    It's super depressing, but an amazing song.
    eggeron April 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about someone trying to find purpose or meaning in their life and failing. And, considering this song is on In Absentia, it's probably about someone's road to insanity.
    GroovyJudeon December 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can really relate to this part of the song

    'I spend my days with all my friends
    They're the ones on who my life depends
    I'm gonna miss them when the series ends'

    I see that part as just having good times with your friends and being with the people you love to be with. And you pretty much depend on them to keep you happy. But you're not always with them. and you are somehow separated from them. and you become depressed.

    'Rain keeps crawling down the glass
    The good times never seem to last'

    I can picture someone sitting there by a window watching the rain, separated from the people he/she loves. Wishing to be with them again. but it never lasts. and it's gone before they know it. only to be separated again.

    I can really relate to that..
    VelvetKevorkianon January 25, 2006   Link

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