"Mr. Brightside" as written by Brandon Flowers, Dave Brent Keuning, Mark August Stoermer and Ronnie Jr. Vannucci....
Coming out of my cage
And I've been doing just fine
Gotta gotta be down
Because I want it all
It started out with a kiss
How did it end up like this?
It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss
Now I'm falling asleep
And she's calling a cab
While he's having a smoke
And she's taking a drag
Now they're going to bed
And my stomach is sick
And it's all in my head
But she's touching his chest now
He takes off her dress now
Let me go

And I just can't look, it's killing me
And taking control
Jealousy, turning saints into the sea
Swimming through sick lullabies
Choking on your alibis
But it's just the price I pay
Destiny is calling me
Open up my eager eyes
'Cause I'm Mr. Brightside

I'm coming out of my cage
And I've been doing just fine
Gotta gotta be down
Because I want it all
It started out with a kiss
How did it end up like this?
It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss
Now I'm falling asleep
And she's calling a cab
While he's having a smoke
And she's taking a drag
Now they're going to bed
And my stomach is sick
And it's all in my head
But she's touching his chest now
He takes off her dress now
Let me go

'Cause I just can't look, it's killing me
And taking control
Jealousy, turning saints into the sea
Swimming through sick lullabies
Choking on your alibi
But it's just the price I pay
Destiny is calling me
Open up my eager eyes
'Cause I'm Mr. Brightside
I never
I never
I never
I never


Lyrics submitted by Linger:, edited by ipseudonym, daster96

"Mr Brightside" as written by Dave Brent Keuning Brandon Flowers

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Mr. Brightside song meanings
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  • +51
    My InterpretationMr Brightside isn't about someone cheating on you. It's about the insecurity and jealousy that can rise up and ruin a relationship, breaking down the trust. Think about it: "and it's all in my head".

    And in the chorus we have "turning saints into the sea". Women suspected of witchcraft were often thrown into water, and if they drowned were they innocent, if they survived they were a witch, and were to be killed anyway. The exact same thing's going on here, metaphorically. Even if the partner was completely innocent - a "saint", so to speak, the relationship is still being destroyed by the jealousy and insecurity.

    "But it's just the price I pay" - of course, a ruined relationship is going to be the price you pay for letting your unfounded jealousy be "taking control". Really, Brandon's encouraging people in the same situation to "open up [their] eager eyes" - to see what's actually going on, to face everything instead of burying your head in the sand.

    It's almost bordering on possessiveness though - "gotta gotta be down because I want it all" - there's a controlling side to (him) that wants to monitor (her), and because he can't, he starts inventing scenarios of her cheating on him to justify the resentment he's starting to feel because he doesn't OWN her. There's an insidious side to this relationship, so maybe that's what's meant by him "coming out of [his] cage" - he had this metaphorical cage imposed on him for a reason. Maybe there was a past relationship he ruined in a similar way, and he's tried to repress himself so the same doesn't happen, but he finds himself acting the same as before, and feels this is what he will always be - "destiny is calling me". And yet this optimism and hope that he can shake this insecurity off makes him believe he is "Mr Brightside", even though he knows "I never" can change.
    Loquacityon February 10, 2013   Link
  • +35
    General CommentWell, now that you mention it it -could- maybe be about a prostitute, but that's not the way i personally interpret the song.

    The way i see it is...ok, no idea what the first bit about coming out of his cage is, perhaps that's just him taking a turning point in his life and like gaining confidence and going out and meeting a woman.
    k, so, yeah, he meets this woman and it "starts out with a kiss" but then he starts falling in love with her when perhaps he shouldnt (maybe he knew that she would not be interested) so he asks himself "how did it end up like this" ie, how could he make the mistake of falling in love with a woman that's only interested in having a spot of fun.
    --That's just my theory on the first half of the first verse, really.

    My main interpretation comes in when it starts to talk about this other man that the woman is spending time with. Now, there are one of two situations this guy is in.
    1) Him and this woman have just been seeing each other, she's not attached to him really. However, because he's fallen in love with him, he's angry and upset because he knows that she doesnt want him, and is just going off with 'the next guy on the list'.
    2) They are together, and they do want each other, but every time she goes out with other male friends he starts getting jealous and worried. He imagines("and it's all in my head") these other guys getting with her, and it starts "taking control" of his head; that's all he can think about.

    (2) seems quite likely to me, it fits in really well with the end of the verse and the whole chorus:
    the talk about jealousy, sick lullabies - his thoughts&dreams(turned to nightmares by his paranoia)
    and then he says "but it's just the price i pay" ie, he has to put up with this paranoia if he wants to be with her.

    Dunno, i could be -entirely- wrong, but that's just what i think :)
    MaxQQQon May 22, 2005   Link
  • +15
    General CommentI think you have to put the song in the same order of the record to kind of get a full grasp.

    The song before it on the cd is Jenny Was a Friend of Mine. Basically, he commited a crime, assualt or manslaughter, against this girl Jenny. He is being questioned by the cops, etc, etc.

    "Coming out of my cage" means that he got out of jail. He was doing fine in jail. He discovers that the girl, Jenny, is now involved with someone else.

    I dont take "Started out with a kiss" to be between him and the girl. I think that has to do with the girl (Jenny) kissing someother guy and from there they have fallen for each other. "How did it end up like this?"

    "Swimming through sick lullabies - Choking on your alibis - But it’s just the price I pay - Destiny is calling me" Because he choked on his alibi when being interogated, he payed the price of going to jail, and that led to Jenny getting involved with someone else. Now, destiny is calling him and he has to move on. But he cant and I think thats why the whole song is repeated 3 times.

    Just my take..
    zeveon May 25, 2005   Link
  • +6
    My InterpretationI think this song is about a flirty girl who keeps sending him mixed signals. She just wants to have fun, but he kisses her and now he can't stop thinking about her. Now he doesn't just want fun, he wants her: "Gotta gotta be down Because I want it all."

    He trys to reassure himself by the repetition of, "it was only a kiss, it was only a kiss" and he was trying to grasp whether and how it meant nothing to this girl so he should stop thinking about her.

    "Now I'm falling asleep
    And she's calling a cab
    While he�s having a smoke
    And she's taking a drag"

    This verse shows how she can just quickly move on to other men, with the 'cab''

    Then we had the vivid imagery that haunts him as he pictures this girl with other men which she just hooks up and has fun with. In the video clip, we can see that he's 'tired of playing games' and being led on from this girl through her semi-transperant image of her overshowing the chess game he's playing with the other man that wants her. By throwing it, it signals that he's sick of playing games and he's just going to get over her.

    With the addition of the other men in the clip, we can see that Flowers is not the only man she's led on in this way. The other man see's Flowers with the girl and after the fireworks scene, rejects her.

    This is where he 'looks on the brightside'
    "But it's just the price I pay" for kissing and opening his heart to a girl which he knew was flirty.

    "Destiny is calling me/ Open up my eager eyes/ 'Cause I'm Mr Brightside" - he's optimistic and makes the most out of this situation. Everything happens for a reason, this was fate telling him to open up his eyes and lower his naivety.

    In the end, the girl's environment is silent and dull as Flowers walks away juxtaposing the commotion previously entailing the scenes. This shows that all the men got sick and tired of her mixed signals and this was The Killer's way of exemplifying that consequently, she was left with no one (and got what she deserved).

    The only thing I cannot figure out (which is probably really straight forward), are what the apples in the video clip represent.

    A great song I'm sure most people can relate to no matter how you interpret it.
    driaxxon January 17, 2010   Link
  • +6
    General CommentOk guys, I figured the whole song out.

    "I'm coming out of my cage... It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss." Here, he's talking about how he's coming out of his box that he's been in and he's giving all he's got for this girl because he thinks he loves her after 1 single kiss. The kiss means everything to him but it was only a kiss for the girl he fell for. She moves on and he moves into the next verse.

    "Now I'm falling asleep... And taking control." After the girl leaves him, he goes to bed thinking about her and falls asleep. While asleep, he dreams of her and this other guy going home and making love together. You can tell that it's a dream of some kind when he says, "And It's all in my head." But this dream is so real to him that his stomach begins to be sick and it takes control of him, as seen in the lyric, "I just can't look, it's killing me, and taking control."

    Next, the chorus, "Jealousy, turning saints into the sea... Because I'm Mr. Brightside." The thing that needs to be focused on here is the Mr. Brightside part. He is very jealous about this girl and it keeps killing him inside but the fact that he says that he is Mr. Brightside shows that he moves on quickly. The name, Mr. Brightside, refers to him always looking on the brightside of situations. He refers to this as his curse when he says, "But it's just the price I pay," and it is always his destiny to be broken hearted and move on to the next girl. He "opens up his eager eyes," looking for the next girl that he can fall in love with.

    I think that the next verse and chorus refers to him going through the same process with another girl since it repeats the exact same thing, word for word. This adds to the effect of him saying that things will never change, that he will never find true love, that his destiny is to fall in love with girl after girl, and one by one, they will break his heart.

    He finishes the song with a few, "I never's" and by this I think that he is again adding onto the effect that he will never find true love.

    That is my interpretation of the song "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers
    pjs1111on August 10, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI also love this song.

    But i think this woman is NOT a prostitute.

    my theorie:
    He met a girl and they become friends.. more than that..
    "it was only a kiss"

    FOR HER..... he fell in love with this girl, but she has boyfriend or she loves anyone else....

    of course he doens'nt like this

    "I just can’t look its killing me
    And taking control"
    Hofion May 22, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is probably so different to what anyone else thinks, but I saw the song totally backwards (probably because it happened to me with my guy). I thought that it implied that the GUY kissed another girl, and his girlfriend caught him.

    He keeps saying to himself "it was only a kiss, it was only a kiss". How could something so small end a relationship and "end up like this"? After she caught him cheating, she moved on to someone new, and now he's jealous. "Because I want it all" (wants more than just his gf) and "But it’s just the price I pay" also shows that he knows he made a mistake and wants her back.

    Don't blow my head off, lol. I realise that The Killers probably did intend it to be the other way around as everyone else mentioned, but this is what the song means to ME. Everytime I listen to this song, I dunno whether to be happy or sad. It's really beautifully written. Luv it
    xliljulietxon July 25, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentClearly about jealousy. Who the girl is is unknown, possibly someone he likes or once "kissed", he still likes her and she is with another man.
    trashPOPtart#on April 01, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe guy is falling in love with a girl. He loves her, and he's completely open with her, he trusts her fully and he can't imagine himself with anyone else. However, there's times when jealousy rears its ugly head, maybe because he's been hurt in the past by her or by someone else. He starts doubting his trust in her, because she can really hurt him since he's so open with her and loves her with his life. Then he realizes that its 'all in his head' and that he should stop assuming the worst with her, because she really loves him. He needs to 'open up his eager eyes, cause he's Mr. Brightside', he needs to start looking at good conclusions like he usually does, not just the worst possible outcomes.

    Sad to say, there's times when I'm Mr. Brightside. I love the girl and I trust her, but there's times when jealousy rears its ugly head and she helps me beat it back down. I love you baby and thanks for always standing by me. =]
    engsoccerfanon April 15, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentMy interpretation of the song is that he wants a woman that is already seeing someone...

    One day they kiss ("It started out with a kiss") this kiss results in him wanting her more & more, From then on he is constantly thinking about the girl he loves is being intimate with someone besides him ("And it's all in my head").

    He wishes he could be the guy and starts to get very jealous of the fact that he isn't ("Jealousy, Turning saints into the sea").

    When he says "But it's just the price I pay" I believe this relates to the fact he has kissed a girl that he knew he would not be able to have a relationship with in the first place, thus the 'price he pays' is all of the mental images and constant jealousy that he suffers from then on.

    In verse 3 & 7 he also says "Let me go"... I believe this is him begging for the mental images and jealousy to go and for him to just forget the whole thing.

    If you watch the video, it also become apparent that the girls boyfriend seems to mistreat and use her... Although the song doesn't back this up at any point the relevance of the girl in a strop on her own seems to serve a relevance to the lyrics.

    Hope my interpretation was of some use.

    Kiz
    Kizbitson May 31, 2010   Link

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