INTRO :"You hold the answers deep within your own mind.
Consciously, you've forgotten it.
That's the way the human mind works.
Whenever something is too unpleasant, to shameful for us
to entertain, we reject it.
We erase it from our memories.
But the imprint is always there."

(Can't wash it all away)
(Can't Wish it all away)
(Can't hope it all away)
(Can't cry it all away)

The pain that grips you
The fear that binds you
Releases life in me
In our mutual
Shame we hide our eyes
To blind them from the truth
That finds a way from who we are
Please don't be afraid
When the darkness fades away
The dawn will break the silence
Screaming in our hearts
My love for you still grows
This I do for you
Before I try to fight the truth my final time

"We're supposed to try and be real.
And I feel alone, and we're not together. And that is real."

Can't wash it all away
Can't wish it all away
Can't cry it all away
Can't scratch it all away

Lying beside you
Listening to you breathe
The life that flows inside of you
Burns inside of me
Hold and speak to me
Of love without a sound
Tell me you will live through this
And I will die for you
Cast me not away
Say you'll be with me
For I know I cannot
Bear it all alone

"You're not alone, honey."
"Never... Never."

Can't fight it all away
Can't hope it all away
Can't scream it all away
It just won't fade away, No

Can't wash it all away
Can't wish it all away
Can't cry it all away
Can't scratch it all away

(Can't fight it all away)
(Can't hope it all away)
Can't scream it all away
Ooh, it all away
Ooh, it all away

"But the imprint is always there. Nothing is ever really forgotten."

" Because im dying too,"
" Because im dying too,"
" Because im dying too,"
" Because im dying too,"
" Because im dying too,"


Lyrics submitted by escence

Understanding (Can't Wash It All Away) song meanings
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51 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentA deep, beautiful, moving song; IMO though, this song is not about the separation of two people .. but the realisation that they're not alone, because now, they've found each other.

    Here's my interpretation ..

    "The pain that grips you ...
    ... releases life in me"
    -- One person has just revealed to his deepest, heartbreaking secrets to his partner. I'm sure many of you have felt this: when you and another person you love have a moment where your heart's desires are poured out for each other to see, it's *unbelievably liberating*, and you're like "Oh my God, I'm not alone in this .. I never imagined I'd find someone to share this with." Sharing something mutual and so deep is like *freeing yourself* from the bonds of the silence that you've set upon these secrets ("Releases life in me").

    "In our mutual shame ...
    ... from who we are"
    -- Both these two people deal with their problems by withdrawing from the outside world, because no-one else understands them.
    (nb: This isn't always true; just because no-one around you doesn't understand you, doesn't mean there's NO-ONE in the whole world who isn't feeling exactly what you feel - it just takes the hand of fate to find each other. Like the song says, "You're never alone honey .. never." :) Anyway ..

    "Please don't be afraid ...
    ... screaming at our hearts"
    -- She is telling him (or him to her, if you want :P), "Don't be scared when the next day dawns, because now that we've shared everything, we can get through this together, and not fight the battle alone anymore." The line "The dawn will break the silence screaming at our hearts" means that by the time morning comes, what they shared the previous night would have truly sunken in, and they now realised how to fight their fears.

    "The life that flows inside of you,
    Burns inside of me"
    -- The life that he's endured, though it seems normal and the only reality for him, seems so utterly cruel to her and burns her inside, makes her sad for her partner's despair. :(
    This line is the most powerful one in the whole song to me.

    "Hold and speak to me ...
    ... bear it all alone"
    -- The couple are exchanging vows of mutual trust; basically "Promise me you'll get through this and I promise you that I'll be with you until the end. Don't reject me, because I can't live without you." This also ties in with "God, please don't leave me .. because I'll die if you do."

    "Can't wash it all away ..." etcetera.
    -- No matter how hard they try, neither of them can erase the past.

    With the intro ("You hold the answer ... ... the imprint is always there") it implies that whatever problems, secrets, dark and troubling thoughts you have locked away inside your soul, no matter what they are, ONLY YOU ALONE HAVE THE ANSWER TO BEING FREE OF THEM. And in this song, Understanding, the two people have found the answers to their social seclusion from the rest of humanity: each other.

    love Evanescence forever.
    Cho0xy21on March 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this about when a relationship as at the point where you know that it has to end because it's just being stiffling, and yet you don't want to, the chorus seems to have two meanings, whatever is coming thru the two people cannot be forgotten, so they cannot go on, and yet, the past cannot be forgotten either so you don't really want to let it all go, to the person in the story loosing such a large part of her/his life is so hard that it feels as if (s)he is dying
    dustytigeron June 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIm sorry for the mistake where it says " shame we hide are eyes" Its "Shame we Idolize"
    escenceon June 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song means everything to me,, me and my boyfriend both think it reminds us of eachother so it means alot to me
    escenceon June 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthose aren't the right lyrics.... at the end of the song its "not because im dying too", listen closely. The correct lyrics are "god please dont hate me, because i'll die if you do..." and its like a goth anthem. I think amy calls it a 'ridiculus seven minute long goth anthem'
    jasongs89on June 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEscence where is this song from? It's not from Origin is it? I definitely want to hear it!

    Anyway without hearing it, I totally agree with that beginning, which talks about the mind. I think the mind is connected and while some people say that it can hold only so much, I think you can remember more then you think. I also think you "choose" to remember limited things... and thank god you can forget about some of the pains.
    chino69on July 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with dustytiger. i see this song as being about two people who are forced to be apart by everyone around them. there's a lot of pain and fear in this strained relationship, and ultimately she knows that they have to let go.
    in the intro, the guy is asking her why they have to be apart when they love each other, when he really knows WHY they have to be apart. he knows and she knows, yet they don't want to accept the truth 'in our mutual/ shame we hide our eyes/to blind them from the truth/ that finds a way from who we are'.
    the first verse is with her asking him not to be afraid of their separation, because 'when the darkness fades away/the dawn will break the silence' indicating that when the sadness and pain is over, a new day will come and they will be together again. then in the second verse, she talks about living through the rough patches, and begs him to tell her that he'll always be there. she has her doubts, but she knows there's no other way that they can love each other.
    so voila... my extremely long interpretation of this song!
    and jasongs89, it was ben who described it as ridiculous.
    fictionlynchickon October 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHas anyone heard the original acoustic version of this song?
    its great =)
    Rllngstn72on November 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs posted in the other forum, this song was not written by Amy Lee, but actually by a techno dj. Whom Amy came across the lyrics of this song, and colloborated with that person (illumier). To finally bring this song to life ;)
    anobodyuknowon November 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe reason this song was chosen, was because amy lee, found the lyrics to stand out, and resemble our relationship. It's true meaning, in relation to illumiers life, was only quoted as "an event that has yet to come, which I dread".
    anobodyuknowon November 17, 2004   Link

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