"The Devil In The Wishing Well" as written by and John Ondrasik....
I met Jane at the center of the earth
It was dark there was dirt all around
But I gather you can figure that

And Jane says, I'm your body in the night
And I'll lead you where you might find yourself
Better if you follow me

So go right you'll be left at a big hotel
You'll meet the devil at the bottom of a wishing well
You know you better give him something
Give him something good
Like everybody else he's misunderstood

Jane says, it's a long way out
But I'm gonna make it out
'Cause I'm about her

See Jane says, you're as holy as a ghost
But who loves you the most, if you offer
I might let you carry me

And Jane there's nobody here but yourself
In the end it's the wealth of your spirit
Now hurry up get on with it

I went left, I got right at some big hotel
There was a devil at the bottom of the wishing well
He said, you better give me something
Give me something good
Like everybody else I'm misunderstood

Jane says, it's a long way out
I'm gonna make it out
'Cause I'm about

Jane says, it's a long way out
I'm gonna make it out
I'm gonna make it out
I'm gonna make it out

I took a guess and cut a portion out of my heart
He said that's nowhere close enough but it's a damn good start
I wrote the secret that I buried on the wishing well wall
He said, I've seen one it follows that I've seen them all

We spoke of human destination in a perfect world
Derived the nature of the universe found it unfulfilled
As I took him in my arms he screamed, I'm not insane
I'm just looking for someone to understand my pain

It's a long way out
I'm gonna make it out
It's a long way out
I'm gonna make it out
It's a long, it's a long way out
I'm gonna make it out


Lyrics submitted by AshleyRoseCyriac

"The Devil in the Wishing Well" as written by John Ondrasik

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Devil In The Wishing Well song meanings
Add your thoughts

19 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General Commentwow, reading your guys' comments has completely changed my perception of this song. ok, so the narrator switches a lot between the devil and jane, and when they go to the part "so go right, you'll be left, etc" it's just one of them giving directions to anyone who'd listen. and i think jane is sort of the hero of this story, because she cut some of her heart out for the devil, and spent time with him, talked with him, but in the end, she's still trying to save him, shown in the repeating vamp "jane says, it's a long way out, i'm gonna make it out". so the devil is still trapped in that well, but jane's not giving up on him.

    the song also speaks to the nature of evil, like someone said earlier. here, they take the ultimate evil, the devil, and portray him as simply misunderstood...well, maybe not simply, but you know what i mean. it's just saying, no matter how bad someone may seem, all they need is love and understanding, and it may be a long way out, but with your help, they're gonna make it out.

    sorry, this is getting long, but i also think that maybe john ondrasik is in some way the devil in this song, and in his actual life he was saved by someone named jane, (note the song jainy and the love he shows to her in that) maybe a girlfriend or his wife, who knows. basically, everyone has evil in them, but everyone also has good. yin and yang, and to overcome evil all it takes is someone to understand and care about you. god bless.
    johnkwolfeon January 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionI was reading an article today where Ondrasik gives a brief glimpse of his intended meaning of this song:

    "Ondrasik is also proud of the second single from the album, 'The Devil in the Wishing Well,' a musically charming story song. If you take it literally, it is about a man and a woman meeting Satan in a big black hotel. 'Think 70's piano rock meets Dante,' Ondrasik cracks. A little less literal explanation, but another one that may hold some merit, is that it is about a couple grappling with their feelings over a one-night stand."

    Source: "popentertainment.com/…"

    Although, it is important for people to personalize a song as well. Interpreting lyrics on your own is often a great insight to problems, fears, or ideas and philosophies that are more prevalent in your own mind, while also offering support and solutions in relatable incidents, such as user wil555's experience.
    Steveo_Doodon February 22, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI would love to know the song meaning on this one....it is a remarkable song....any ideas - I heard once it was about a one night stand and from somewhere else depression
    kickithomeon October 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy goodness. .insanely beautiful song. .im not too sure what it's about. .maybe he's dreaming. .like how it says "jane says im your body in the night"? and maybe he is kinda in a depression and or is doing bad things he needs to get out of and stuff. .i do not know. .maybe the devil part is about how some people seem so bad but they are just misunderstood and they really just need someone to talk to and to understand their pain just like it says.
    Madison5on October 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell it says "jane says it's a long way out. .i'm gonna make it out. .cuz i'm about her" so maybe it's a real girl that wants him to get better?
    Madison5on October 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti would say depression would fit because some people say they hit rock bottom or the bottom of the well so maybe a wishing well is a metephor for people throwing pennies into a wishing well when as thier doing is feeding the devil because if thier not about jane its a long way out and your not gonna make it without working at it
    Richie Tenenbaumon December 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is very confusing. It's about someone who meets anothe person who is misunderstood and in trouble. One person tries to help the other but the other one won't let him/her. He still tries his best to help this person. At least, I think this is the meaning.
    Unconquered Sunon March 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe following was an email I sent to Five for Fighting, and was put on their website...it's long. :P

    FFF-
    My name is Greg. I'm fifteen (for a moment, yuk, yuk), and I own Americatown and The Battle For Everything. The Battle For Everything is, by far, the most influencial and powerful album I know. Especially "The Devil In The Wishing Well." I wrote a thorough description of how this has affected me on my personal website, and I'll post an excerpt.

    ---------------------

    This is a song by Five for Fighting, a music group I listen to a lot. I went through a period of depression back at the end of ninth grade. My friend Emily got me help, so the recovery started. I later found out that it was caused by a medication I was taking. Luckily, I am now off the medication. During this depression period, I bought Five for Fighting's latest CD, "The Battle For Everything." There was one song that really struck a chord with me, "The Devil In The Wishing Well." It almost perfectly described what I was going through. Here is how it works out.

    I met Jane at the center of the earth
    It was dark there was dirt all around
    But I gather you can figure that

    In this stanza, replace Jane with Emily. This is just the beginning, nothing earth-shattering yet. Except the center of my world was dark and dirty.

    Jane says I'm your body in the night
    And I'll lead you where you might find yourself
    Better if you follow me

    This would be Emily telling me that she's going to get me help with my depression. She's going to lead me down the road, as she once felt the same way I felt.

    So go right you'll be left at a big hotel
    You'll meet the devil at the bottom of a wishing well
    You know you better give him something
    Give him something good
    Like everybody else he's misunderstood

    This was Emily leaving me to come to grips with my depression. She couldn't take me the whole way, I have to confront the devil (depression) by myself and help myself out.

    Jane says it's a long way out...
    I'm gonna make it out
    Cause I'm about her

    The striking theme of this song in the first two lines. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but there wasn't a doubt in my mind that it was going to end. It wasn't a question of "if," it was just "when."

    Jane says, you're as Holy as a ghost,
    But who loves you the most, if you offer
    I might let you carry me

    Well, both my parents work in the church, I have a holy family...she was going to carry me through this, help me out. Just not all the way.

    Jane there's nobody here but yourself
    In the end it's the wealth of your spirit
    Now hurry up get on with it

    Hurry up and get better, Greg! More or less...just not in those words.

    I went left I got right at some big hotel
    There was a devil at the bottom of the wishing well
    He said you better give me something
    Give me something good
    Like everybody else I'm misunderstood

    This was the defining moment, when I confronted my depression head on. I wasn't going to let it beat me. It couldn't. I had God on my side, this was the Devil.

    Jane says it's a long way out
    I'm gonna make it out
    Cause I'm about
    Jane says it's a long way out
    I'm gonna make it out

    Just the strong message of the song again...it's long, but I'm making it out.

    I took a guess and cut a portion out of my heart
    He said that's nowhere close enough but it's a damn good start
    I wrote the secret that I buried on the wishing well wall
    He said I've seen one... it follows that I've seen them all

    There wasn't really a moment like this that I remember, but this was me starting to find out how to get over my depression.

    We spoke of human destination in a perfect world
    Derived the nature of the universe (found it unfulfilled)
    As I took him in my arms he screamed I'm not insane
    I'm just looking for someone to understand my pain...

    Taking the devil in my arms...a poignant way to talk about me finally reaching the peak of my depression. I found out what he wanted, I decided to not let him beat me. He didn't, I won the battle.

    It's a long way out...
    I'm gonna make it out

    It wasn't long timewise, but it seemed long for me. It was long, but I made it out. No doubt that I was going to get over it. I made it. Thanks to all my friends and everyone who gave me the courage to confront the Devil and overcome him.

    ------------------

    Thanks for inspiring me to make it out of one of the most hellish experiences of my life.

    -Greg

    It's a long way out...
    I'm gonna make it out.
    wil555on August 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe confusion of speakers in the song is what first caught my interest when I heard it on the radio. The song has two parts both of which recount the same event but from different perspectives. The first from the "Devil's" and the second is from Jane's.

    The two chorus-like stanzas are not in the voice of either but a sort of plot summary or a narration of the history that led the two speakers to their situations in the other stanzas.

    That the "right" and "left" in the two versions of the "chorus" are reversed mimics the difference in the Devil's and Jane's perspectives--both their visual perspectives, which would be opposite as they engage in conversation face to face, and their cognitions of the Devil's place in the wishing well.

    By failing to recognize the change in speakers half way through the song, many listeners are left with the impression that there are three persons in the song: the speaker, Jane and the Devil. I disagree with this. The union of the Devil and the speaker in the first few lines of the song into a single person, creates a more logical and meaningful interpretation of the song's plot: The Devil is in the wishing well which is also termed the center of the Earth. Jane visits him. They converse and embrace.
    billysageon September 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song speaks of the nature of evil.
    AgroLink1600on February 24, 2007   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain