"Hands Held High" as written by Chester Charles Bennington, Robert G. Bourdon, Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda, Dave Farrell and Joseph Hahn....
Turn my mic up louder,
I got to say something.
Lightweights stepping aside,
When we come in.
Feel it in your chest,
The syllables get pumping.
People on the street,
They panic and start running.
Words on loose leaf,
Sheet complete coming.
I jump on my mind,
I summon the rhyme I'm dumping.
Healing the blind,
I promise to let the sun in.
Sick of the dark ways,
We march to the drumming.
Jump when they tell us
They want to see jumping.
Fuck that, I want to
See some fist pumping.
Risk something.
Take back what's yours
Say something that you know
They might attack you for
'Cause I'm sick of being treated
Like I had before.
Like it's stupid standing for
What I'm standing for.
Like this war is really just
A different brand of war.
Like it doesn't cater the rich
And an abandon the poor.
Like they understand you
In the back of the jet,
When you can't put gas in your tank.
These fuckers are laughing their way
To the bank and cashing their check
Asking you to have compassion and to have some respect.

For a leader so nervous
In an obvious way
Stuttering and mumbling
For nightly news to replay
And the rest of the world
Watching at the end of the day
In the living room laughing
Like what did he say?

Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen

In my living room watching,
But I am not laughing.
'Cause when it gets tense,
I know what might happen.
The world is cold,
The bold men take action.
Have to react,
Or get blown into fractions.
Ten years old is something to see,
Another kid my age drugged under a jeep,
Taken and bound and found later under a tree,
I wonder if he thought the "next one could be me".
Do you see?
The soldiers they're out today.
That brush the dust from bulletproof vests away.
It's ironic,
At times like this you pray,
But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday.
There's bombs in the buses, bikes, roads,
Inside your markets, your shops, your clothes,
My dad, he's got a lot of fear I know
But enough pride inside not to let that show.
My brother had a book he would hold with pride
A little red cover with a broken spine.
In the back he hand wrote a quote inside,
When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die.

Meanwhile, the leader just talks away
Stuttering and mumbling
For nightly news to replay
And the rest of the world
Watching at the end of the day
Both scared and angry
Like what did he say?

Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen.

With hands held high
Into a sky so blue
As the ocean opens up
To swallow you.

With hands held high
Into a sky so blue
The ocean opens up
To swallow you.

With hands held high
Into a sky so blue
The ocean opens up
To swallow you.

With hands held high
Into a sky so blue
The ocean opens up
To swallow you.

With hands held high
Into a sky so blue
The ocean opens up
To swallow you.

With hands held high
Into a sky so blue
The ocean opens up
To swallow you.


Lyrics submitted by theDrunkPianist

"Hands Held High" as written by Chester Charles Bennington Brad Delson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Hands Held High song meanings
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289 Comments

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  • +7
    My InterpretationI thought it was pretty clear that the little book with a red cover was a Quran, not a bible. The entire verse describes war from the viewpoint of a Muslim child, probably in Iraq or Afghanistan. This is further backed up by the line saying "At times like this you pray, But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday."

    The first part of the song is from the American viewpoint, and the things that they are angered by, and how they think that the world is laughing at their leader; the second part from the viewpoint of the outside world, watching the leader stuttering and lying and feeling scared and angry, not laughing.
    doggonemesson January 07, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis track shows why Mke is so talented. he express his thoughts about the war so poetically and so passionately.
    inzzzomniaon May 07, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is the best song that Linkin Park has ever done.

    That's it. That's all I wanted to say. I've been a fan for a long time, I had a whole big long analysis.

    But, really, that's it. This is the best song they've ever done.
    itsmelenon January 18, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationJump when they tell us they want to see jumping.
    Fuck that, I want to see some fist pumping.
    Risk something.
    Take back what's yours.
    Say something that you know they might attack you for
    -You have to be obedient and do what your superiors say, but he's saying that's not what matters, it's what's important to you that matters. So what if there are consequences? If something has meaning to you, do something to protect that.

    Cause I'm sick of being treated like I have before.
    Like I'm stupid standing for what I'm standing for.
    Like this war's really just a different brand of war.
    Like it doesn't cater to rich and abandon poor
    -People discriminate and insult you if you stand up for what you say, if it's not something that everyone else believes in. I believe this part refers to the war in Iraq; we try to justify our actions for entering the war, but so what? War is war. War helps the rich and generally hurts the poor as prices go up; the poor struggle to survive while the rich benefit even more from this because war stimulates economy.

    For a leader so nervous in an obvious way
    Stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay
    And the rest of the world watching at the end of the day
    In their living room laughing like, "What did he say?"
    -Our leaders, an example being Bush, are just stupid and ignorant and they barely know what they're saying, only repeating what they're told to say. People question what he says because he obviously has no idea what he's talking about.

    Amen x6 is referring to prayer obviously, saying that with such corruption and so many flaws in our country, we need to pray, hoping that these problems are solved.

    In my living room watching,
    But I am not laughing.
    'Cause when it gets tense,
    I know what might happen.
    The world is cold, and bold men take action.
    Have to react to get blown into fractions.
    10 years old is something to see,
    Another kid my age drugged under a G,
    Taken and bound and found later under a tree,
    I wonder if he thought, "The next one could be me."
    -We enter war, and soldiers (bold men) step up and protect the country, risking their lives every day. "10 years old is something to see" it's surprising people can live past 10 (not exactly, this is an exaggeration) because of all the crime and corruption. People are killed left and right, and you'll never know when you could be the next target of a crime and wind up dead.

    Do you see?
    The soldiers that are out today.
    That brush the dust with bulletproof vests away.
    It's ironic.
    At times like this you pray,
    But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday.
    -We pray for the soldiers to be safe, but it's ironic that we pray for them because religion is what started this war. Muslims and Christians have been clashing for over a millennium now, and this is what has brought us back to war.

    There's bombs in the buses, bikes, roads,
    Inside your market, your shops, your clothes,
    My dad, he's got a lot of fear I know,
    But enough pride inside not to let that show.
    -A threat looms everywhere, as we are told. We are never safe, even in our houses. The fear the constricts the nation is used as a tool by political leaders to encourage the war. People are scared but have too much pride to show their fear.

    My brother had a book he would hold with pride,
    A little red cover with a broken spine.
    In the back he hand wrote a quote inside,
    "When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die."
    -Someone stands up for their beliefs, and this ties back to what is said the first time.

    Repeats...

    With hands held high into a sky so blue,
    The ocean opens up to swallow you. (x6)
    -We hope that someone, maybe even God can get us out of this whole mess. This catastrophe is too much for us to handle, so in our desperation we turn to a figure greater than ourselves to solve our problem.

    Basically, I believe the song is about how people are attacked and insulted just for being different. We are all fearful; fearful for speaking for what we stand up for, fearful of threat. We try to justify going to war with another country, but we truly can't justify it. War is war, and we're waging it for a similar reason.
    daasianmanon February 24, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe best quote on the song:
    "when the rich wage war, it's the poor who die."
    acodemasteron May 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment'It's ironic.
    At times like this you pray,
    But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday.'

    That's amazing.
    I agree with itsmelen. Linkin Park doesn't have a better song.
    domesticclassconflictson April 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"With hands held high as the ocean opens up to swallow you."
    This is a line about suicide; but what connection does it have to the rest of the song?
    germandeathkittiezon December 27, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThe meaning is pretty much about after a war, what happens and how people react to it.
    Quote:

    It's ironic.
    At times like this you pray,
    But a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday.

    It is about war mostly. My favorite song of theirs. :)
    BlackWinter98on July 23, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationTo me this song represents a little bit about the 2016 debates. Overall I think that this song to me is showing on how we used to think that the world is a great place but really it isn't.
    ambrosemalachion November 22, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWith hands held high into a sky so blue
    The ocean opens up to swallow you
    xoshinobioxon May 05, 2007   Link

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