"M.I.A." as written by and Matthew Charles/sullivan Sanders....
Staring at the carnage, praying that the sun will never rise
Living another day in disguise
These feelings can't be right
Lend me your courage to stand up and fight, on tonight
Stand up and fight

Now fighting rages on and on
To challenge me you must be strong
I'll walk your land but don't be long
Two million soldiers can't be wrong

Its no fun but I've been here before
I'm far from home and I'm fighting your war
(Not the way I pictured this, I wanted better things)
Some are scared others killing for fun, I shot a mother in front of her son
(Change this from my consciousness and please erase my dreams)

Fight for honor, fight for your life
Pray to god that our side is right
You know we won but still we lose, until I make it home to you
I see your mother filled with tears we grew up so fast where did those years go
Memories won't let you cry unless I don't return tonight

So many soldiers on the other side, I take their live so they don't take mine
(Scared to make it out alive now murders all I know)
Nobody tells me all the reasons were here, I am a weapon so there's nothing to fear
(Another day another life but nothing real to show for)

Fight for honor, fight for your life
Pray to god that our side is right
You know we won but still we lose, until I make it home to you
I see your mother filled with tears we grew up so fast where did those years go
Memories won't let you cry unless I don't return tonight

Staring at the carnage, praying that the sun will never rise
Living another day in disguise
These feelings can't be right, lend me your courage to stand up and fight

Watching the death toll rise wondering how I'm alive
Strangers blood on my hands, shot all I can
There were no silent nights watching your brothers all die
To destroy all their plans with no thought of me (no thought of me)
No thought of me

Walk the city lonely
Memories that haunt are passing by
A murderer walks your street tonight
Forgive me for my crimes, don't forget that I was so young
Fought so scared in the name of God and country


Lyrics submitted by afirewithin, edited by a7xfoREVer2009

"M.I.A." as written by Jr. Brian Haner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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M.I.A. song meanings
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162 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI know that this song is probably about the Iraq war since that's the current one (and it will definitely be taken that way since everyone thinks just about every song has something to do with the Iraq war). Personally I don't think it really matters which war is about, it's just the story of someone who goes to a war. Songs are better when they are more general, and there's no reason it has to be about Iraq instead of any other war.

    That being said, I wouldnt really have got Iraq from the lyrics - Vietnam is the war that came into my head. It's the war I've most commonly heard associated with the phrase "M.I.A.", as there were a lot of soldiers who were never confirmed dead there, making there a lot of MIAs. It's a recent war so fresh in people's memory, but not so recent as to make a song about it "political". It was renowned for having a lot of very young soldiers fight in it, and for it to be difficult for some returning veterans to re-enter society (which is clearly the story of the soldier in the song). And it was a lot more bloody a war than the Iraq one.

    Somehow the "shot a mother right in front of her son" makes me doubt it's specifically about Iraq too. I'm sure stuff like that has happened in the Iraq war, but in Iraq the Americans were first trying to overthrow Sadaam, then to merely deal with the terrorists and ensure the safety of the civillians from what are basically terrorists. That line just gives connotations of a different kind of war to me, more like Vietnam.

    But again, I think it's just about war in general, and doesn't have to be about a specific conflict. Vietnam is just the one I thought / think of when listening.
    RuRoRulon June 01, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis song is about the state of mind of a soldier in the situation of being M.I.A. They of course make a reference to current war with "... I shot a mother right in front of her son" but the purpose of Avenged is to make the song timeless. You could take this concept and apply it to war in general. They now have 3 songs about soldiers in war and each describes a different mindset or experience. This one is about the inner conflict that a soldier faces. M.I.A. is about how you live with yourself as a human being when so much of your life was committed to the atrocities of war and murder. Gunslinger is about a man who just cares about making it home to his family. And Danger Line is about a young man who goes into war with the familiar teenage feeling of invincibility and finds out the hard way that he is far from it.
    SynShadowsA7Xon April 14, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentR.I.P. Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan: Feb. 10 1981 - Dec. 28, 2009

    You graced the world with your amazing musical talents and the music scene has lost the best of its rising stars...

    Every A7X fans sympathies go out to your family and fellow brothers in the band...

    This is for you Jimmy. Thanks for taking all of us on the amazing ride that you did and showing us what music and life was really about...

    This is for you brother.

    Cheers, I'll see you on the other side.........
    fsu77on December 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlthough I know it's about the Iraq war, I thought of World War I when i heard this song. A pretty general song addressing the experiences of a soldier in any war pretty much.
    XelaSteeleon November 13, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song to me is about an individual who goes to war with his friends.
    Staring at the carnage, praying that the sun would never rise./Living another day in disguise./These feelings can't be right, lend me your courage to stand up and fight, on tonight.
    obviously, he is surrounded my death an destruction but has to cover up how he feels or he won't survive.
    The fighting rages on and on, to challenge me you must be strong./I walk your land but don't belong, two million soldiers can't be wrong
    he begins to doubt his reason for being there
    It's no fun but I've been here before/I'm far from home and I'm fighting your war./(Not the way I pictured this, I wanted better things)/Some are scared others killing for fun, I shot a mother right in front of her son./(Take this from my consciousness, and please erase my dreams)
    he begins to talk about the horrors of war. he didn't want to kill innocent people, and he didn't picture what it would be like. then he begins to talk about the people he's fighting with. some are sadistic murders, others like him don't want any of the memories
    that's all i feel like talking about
    DarKlowdon December 06, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe that the title of the song has more meaning than its standard use. After experiencing war for real this soldier's mind is kind of shattered and even though he's made it back to the states in a way he is still Missing in Action living with the trauma and his conscience.
    remarkzeroon February 03, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is awesome, I think its about the crusades, just becuase of the chorus and avenged sevenfold's tendency to write songs about biblical/religous topics. Great song and great album.
    meddlehead40on June 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think its about war. But meddlehead40 does have a great point. Avenged do very often get ideas and such from biblical and religious topics.
    A7X1234on June 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSorry. Wasnt too sure what the crusades were. I 100% agree with meddlehead now.
    A7X1234on June 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSorry. Wasnt too sure what the crusades were. I 100% agree with meddlehead now.
    A7X1234on June 09, 2005   Link

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