Bad day, looking for a way home,
Looking for the great escape.
Gets in his car and drives away
Far from all the things that we are
Puts on a smile and breathes it in and breathes it out
He says, "Bye-bye, bye to all of the noise."
Oh he says, "Bye-bye, bye to all of the noise."

Hey child, things are looking down,
That’s OK you don’t need to win anyways.
Don’t be afraid just eat up all the gray,
and it will fade all away.
Don’t let yourself fall down.

Bad day, looking for the great escape.
He says, "Bad day," looking for the great escape.
On a bad day, looking for the great escape,
The great escape.


Lyrics submitted by vegtabletarian, edited by adngai

The Great Escape song meanings
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33 Comments

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  • +4
    My Opinionto me, in this song the greatest escape is stepping outside of yourself and knowing yourself as someone seperate, and loving that self. maybe dividing yourself into two parts: one with all of the good qualities, and the other with those qualities you don't like about yourself, and learning how to be at peace with even your flaws. only then can you be completely free, hence, the greatest escape.
    odestosunderson December 16, 2008   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationThe year was 2009. My mother was losing her battle with cancer, which she fought for almost ten years. One evening my father phoned home to let us know her liver stopped working so I rushed to her side. I can't even explain the pain of seeing her just give up, because that damn thing had won. I went back home for a quick rest before coming back. That night the song came up in my playlist and I started crying like a litle 31 years old boy. The Great Escape, that was it. She died the next day.

    Love you mom.
    locoricoon December 11, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt's not about suicide!!

    It's about embracing sadness when your down, and accepting that things can't always be good, which provides one with comfort.

    So many people fantasise that they can just get up and leave all the things that bring them down, just get up, leave their job that stresses them, leave a bad relationship, leave a humiliating situation.. but this has consequences..

    'puts on a smile and breathes it in and breathes it out again'
    can mean that he's supressing sadness infront of people, and has a smile on his face but is fighting away his tears from his heavy heart,

    or that he is making the 'great escape' and leaving everything behind, because he just can't take the negative things anymore, but he knows he will struggle to leave the good things behind too. He is smiling but he knows this isn't the best option, or that he feels he has no other choices left.

    Sometimes just making yourself 'smile' or try to look at things positively can chase away the negativity.. so putting on a smile and 'breathing it in and out' calms and soothes you.

    Driving away from everything, even if it's just for a few hours really helps things so much when you feel so down or desperate. Just going to a place that you feel safe or happy to be alone, where no-one can disturb you, like a viewpoint or your home..

    It's meant to be about feeling like suicide is the only option, but getting away soothes you.. when really 'eating up all the grey' might appear to be suicide by using exhaust pipe fumes from a car.. it's just that getting away and finding little moments of peace chase away such dark thoughts.

    Don't let yourself fall down.. in the video, the man turns into a child and is cradled, everyone need to allow themselves some comfort and slack.. don't be hard on yourself or set yourself impossible tasks.. everyone is still just human
    Chloilason December 02, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFrom watching the video, I feel like it has something to do with missing childhood as well. Because he's reaching for the teddy bear at one point... and then later he is crawling around and finds the child... which is actually him... but then the child grows taller than him and carries him as an old man. It's like he's reaching back to his inner child to escape and find comfort and to remember when he was happy.
    sea0fteethon December 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsomedays, life gets so weary you just want to get away.
    i wonder if he's singing about giving up:
    "Hey child, things are looking down,
    That's OK you don't need to win anyways"

    Or maybe it's about not putting too much pressure on yourself,to just take it easy for a bit, and get away.

    Or it could be about dying.
    the curious caton March 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSuch a hauntingly beautiful song.
    I think it’s about hitting rock bottom, the total despair of the situation.
    After listening to it what feels like hundreds of times, I think that the underlying meaning is the “great escape”; suicide. The ultimate escape.
    “Gets in his car and drives away
    Far from all the things that we are
    Puts on a smile and breaths it in and breaths it out
    He says bye-bye, bye to all of the noise” that is clearly about asphyxiating one’s self, again, escaping. It shows the raw emoting of the pain that makes escaping look like a positive. So sad.
    lally123on April 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a very sad song about depression. And the "great escape" is, of course, suicide.
    Disco42on June 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Great Escape is suicide. But the gentle piano almost eases you in and out. The song actually calms the soul down.

    "you don't need to win anyways"

    that is very true, you don't need to win. However winning is not in reference to living, it is in reference to not winning in life. This song may have a depressing undertone, but it conveys comfort.
    xleper17on July 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thik the great escape is suicide. I think it's that person or thing that can make you feel like you're not so ordinary, your life is so mundane, you're exciting, you're alive. I agree that it's about feeling down, but I don't think it's necessarily as low as depression. It's just feeling like everything in your life is all the same. The way I see it, the great escape can be anything. For some people it might be suicide, but others it's a good movie or book.

    "you don't need to win anyway" is like what does this matter anyway? just find your thing. find your niche.
    zion_roseon July 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think suicide is too obvious and far too disappointing. Suicide is the ultimate undoable thing.

    I think this is about letting go of all the things you just don't need to worry about in your life. "Bad day. looking for the great escape." It's just a bad day. It's not the end of the world. And he's looking but you don't hear him escaping. We all look for a way out of the things that make our days bad.
    But life means learning how to deal.
    All I know is suicide is ugly and depressing and selfish. And this song is too beautiful to be characterizing such a nasty alternative.
    Cornflksandcheezon September 17, 2007   Link

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