"What I've Done" as written by Chester Charles Bennington, Robert G. Bourdon, Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda, Dave Farrell and Joseph Hahn....
In this farewell
There's no blood, there's no alibi
'Cause I've drawn regret
From the truth of a thousand lies
So let mercy come and wash away
What I've done

I'll face myself to cross out what I've become
Erase myself
And let go of what I've done

Put to rest what you thought of me
While I clean this slate
With the hands of uncertainty
So let mercy come and wash away
What I've done

I'll face myself to cross out what I've become
Erase myself
And let go of what I've done

For what I've done
I start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I'm forgiving what I've done

I'll face myself to cross out what I've become
Erase myself
And let go of what I've done

(Na na na, na na na, na na na, na na na)
What I've done
(Na na na, na na na, na na na, na na na)
Forgiving what I've done
(Na na na, na na na, na na na, na na na, na na na)
(Na na na na)


Lyrics submitted by minuteman

"What I've Done" as written by Chester Charles Bennington Brad Delson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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What I've Done song meanings
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206 Comments

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  • +11
    My InterpretationPolitics, environment, God, Sin, repentance, redemption? I say, all of the above. I think that's the beauty of the song. Some have already said that the interpretation is in the eye of the beholder, but I go a little bit further and think two things: (1) interpretation is based on your world-view, and (2) LP is writing with that intent.

    What's the song's problem or tension? Guilt over past actions. I'm a Christian, so I am naturally going to interpret this, very easily, as a song about sin, God's forgiveness, and the need to move beyond the guilt. This is not to say that LP is in any way religious, however they have chosen certain phrases ("So let mercy come and wash away..." for example) that they must know will appeal to a religious listener, particularly one that is Christian. If this song was performed by a band in the Christian fringe line Underoath, Head (Brian Welch), or even Lifehouse, how would it be interpreted? It would get heavy play on Christian radio and in Christian Youth Groups.

    What's your world-view? Are you a secular-humanist? An environmentalist? Supporter of animal rights? The good thing about the song is that there is a positive message in there for you, too.

    And in the end, if you begin to ponder the idea of God and His Grace and Mercy, that's great, too. Have an open mind and heart.
    jayintheukon August 20, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThis song is truly awsome. I can definetly hear how LP has changed. I think it means "What ive done" really is more like what mankind has done that is destroying this world, hence the music video. and this song is about forgiving the evil people have done and starting over in a clean slate.
    acodemasteron April 03, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThe video for "What I've Done" shows the song in a hole different light.

    In the video, there are clips of wars, scandals, global warming, etc. and I think that the song is trying to say that we can fix all of this by starting over. For so long, we have denied global warming, let conflicts between countries continue and haven't really learned from the past. If we just face the music, and try to work on all of these issues, the future may not look quite so bleak.

    I was expecting a bit more from the single, but of course this is the only song out at the moment, so I hope that the album is as eclectic as the band says it is. And Mike, what's with the "na na na"'s at the end? Siiiiing!
    enjoythesilenceon April 07, 2007   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationThis song is not about a single person, but all people in general. In the music video, we see what is wrong with the world and how it is our doing. The song to me is telling us to forgive what we've done in the past and start again with a clean slate free from the burden of our wrong doings.
    1lpfanon September 20, 2013   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationIt's all about trying to start again, erasing the bad things that you have done, asking forgiveness but choosing, first of all, to forgive yourself.
    Yes, the video shows how the song is refering to mankind's faults, but I think it can also be interpreted as in personal relationships, and something makes me think that this was the first intent that inspired the songwriting (that's just a feeling though).

    Forgive me, I never intended to do all that s*it to you. I run out of hopes and out of control, while I should have protected you.
    Forgive me, Chiara, I love you.
    Disposition92on November 12, 2014   Link
  • +2
    General CommentNot trying to be a hater... I adore LP's older songs. First two albums, better than sex. But this song. Its bland, its boring.... Its basically U2.
    I read the interview in KERRANG last year... how they were saying that they looked at the songs that sold best and emulated them. I hate to say it but it feels like theyve sold out their image.
    They said in the same interview that people saying they were nu-metal was like saying they sucked. Complete crap. The other big players in Nu-metal, (IMO) disturbed, KORN etc. Theyre sticking with it and their fans love them for it. With Minutes to midnight... i lost my respect for LP... almost completely. If they bring out a new album, ill be very wary to buy it.
    co-cheeseon July 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's a fairly good song, but it seems like LP are suffering from something of an identity crisis.

    While the lyrics are still fairly consistent with their old stuff, the music comes dangerously close to pop-rock.

    Then again, I wasn't a big fan of the Jay-Z thing, and Fort Minor wasn't too great, and this sort of thing seems to have gone in a completely different direction to all that.

    I guess I'll probably buy the album, but by changing their rather distinctive sound Linkin Park risk losing their identity.
    david_lpfanon April 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA call to humankind to forgive itself and destroy the cycles of destruction in which it has snared itself. This song is both hopeful and desperate, but its message is clear: humankind cannot forgive itself until the individual--you and me--forgives himself for the wrongs he has done.

    Man is something that must be overcome.
    TheBigMattowskion April 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwoo. first to comment.
    This song is great. Or good at least, can't wait to hear linkin parks new upcoming album... it should be good. Although i'm hoping to hear mike in their songs as much as chester.
    vegetablelasagneon April 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentya!i've heard and
    seen the video and its awesome!i definetly cant wait for minutes to midnight,i'm sure it will be awesome!ah!i cant wait!hehe:-)..ya i agree wif u there,to me its about how mankind is destroying the nature and this song is like saying forgiving what has been done wrong..dats wat i think base on the video and reading the lyrics..yeah!lp's bak!they rocks!
    devildo?l+LDon April 03, 2007   Link

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