"A Looking in View" as written by and Michael A. Inez Jerry Cantrell....
Hear footsteps creak the floor
The shadows give away
Someone outside the door
Won't let 'em in

Life damaged kids to crime
Rundown broke machine
That steals your peace of mind
Before you know it's gone

Lay
Down
Lay

Silence burning
Hold your tongue
Keep a separate
So they'll know

Hiding in the darkness under
Boiling to the surface
Don't go far

A looking in view too long on the outside
Desperate plans make sense in a low life
A looking in view too long on the outside
Desperate plans make sense in a low life

These things I hate in you
Also reflect it seems
Distortion laced with spikes
Digs you out of me

Lay
Down
Lay

Hiding in the darkness under
Boiling to the surface
Crawling on your skin discomfort
Makes you brake and run, stumble, fall

A looking in view too long on the outside
Desperate plans make sense in a low life
A looking in view too long on the outside
Desperate plans make sense in a low life

It's why you never tell me whatevers on your mind
It's why you never tell me whatevers on your mind
It's why you never tell me whatevers on your mind
It's why you never tell me whatevers on your mind

A looking in view too long on the outside
Desperate plans make sense in a low life
A looking in view too long on the outside
Desperate plans make sense in a low life

It's why you never tell me whatevers on your mind


Lyrics submitted by stonechainorioles, edited by travislandrews

"A Looking In View" as written by Michael A. Inez Jerry Cantrell

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A Looking in View song meanings
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38 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentAlways thought this song was based on the band members knocking on the door to Layne's apartment, trying to help him. I've heard/read quotes from Cantrell or Kinney on many occasions about how they'd beat down Layne's door trying to get through to him and he would never answer. He just shut himself in his apartment, did drugs, and ignored help from his friends.

    1st couple paragraphs are from Layne's point of view ("your peace of mind") - Layne hiding in his apartment hearing footsteps and seeing shadows

    2nd couple paragraphs are from Cantrell/Kinney and others trying to help him ("Keep us separate, sullen, dumb") - biting their tongues and holding their breaths to hear if Layne is home.....they feel separate/stupid/sad

    DuVall's "LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY" which sounds like Layne, intentional or unintentional, makes it even eerier.
    cosmicatomicon October 06, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My Opinioni love this song ever since i downloaded it the other day, its so much better than i thought theyd sound without layne. its heavy and complicated like their last album but it still has that perfect creepy aic atmosphere from dirt. duvall actually sounds really good with them, it sounds kinda like hes trying to copy layne but at least hes doing a good job of it. i have no idea about the meaning but i cant wait for the cd to come out
    SludgeGarden13on July 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentjust like i said before. this song is ALL about Layne
    Layneforever22on September 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is a angry and sad song about his feelings towards addiction and more so Laynes addiction
    TwiztidLestaton November 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaningread the first verse:

    "Hear footsteps creak the floor
    The shadows give away
    Someone outside the door
    Won't let them in"

    now read what Sean Kinney (AIC's drummer) said of Layne Staley's last days:

    "I kept trying to make contact... Every time I was in the area, I was up in front of his place yelling for him... Even if you could get in his building, he wasn't going to open the door. You'd phone and he wouldn't answer."
    sadchildon January 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song seems to be about holding in way too much until you explode. Holding in your emotions and not letting someone see the true feelings about something or someone, and then finally erupting (or maybe holding it in to avoid erupting, maybe).
    ADMAon July 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song but could have got the same affect keeping it a little shorter.

    I think the video helps make a little more sense out of the lyrics although I don't think the situations were at all views of AIC members, maybe just the director's. Too me, the song is about someone judging themselves, worrying too much about what others think about them and thus becoming somewhat of a recluse believing if they keep things hidden people won't be able to judge them and their problems will be solved or either they think they can fix the problem themselves without any help from the outside world....makes sense to me, looking at themselves from the outside, as we would look or judge someone in front of us instead of looking at their innerself.

    I'm probably looking a little too far into these lyrics, AIC was notorious about writing stuff that "whatever you think its about, that is what its about" to quote Layne.

    By the way, the Dirt reference at the end of the video was awesome, probably the only part I liked about it.
    killervon July 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlmost forgot, I know he isn't but I swear Williams is yelling Layne everytime he sings the "lay down" lyrics. Maybe that was supposed to happen.
    killervon July 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about damaged person who can't express their frustrations so they act out in negative ways, and after living like that so long it's like they are a lost cause.

    "Life damaged gives to crime
    A run down broke machine
    That steals your piece of mind
    Before you know it's gone"
    That pretty much explains it. You make bad choices and it steals your "piece of mind" or sense, and then finally it's gone forever.

    "Hiding in the darkest slumber
    Boiling to the surface
    Crawling on your skin discomfort
    Makes you brake and run and stumble fall"
    All the repressed feelings hide, then "boil to the surface" and makes the person act out or "break run stumble fall" etc.

    "A looking in view too long on the outside
    Desperate plans make sense to the low life"
    Basically being on the wrong/negative side of a persons mind or compassion, for too long makes them acting out of desperation seems normal for someone living the "low life", perhaps a drug addicts life or just a depressing life in general.

    "It's why you never tell me..."
    And all those reasons are why the person never expressed their demons to the narrator (Jerry?).

    I almost feel like this song could be about Jerry's frustrations with how Layne's life went into a downward spiral. Who knows, I obviously don't know the situation but perhaps the "lay" sounding like "Layne" as other posted commented would be a subtle hint. I doubt that's what it's about, because the lyric would probably be "never TOLD me" instead. Just a random thought.

    Either way, those are my thoughts and I think this song is fucking awesome. It sounds like AIC without trying to be... it just is. The vocal harmonies sound really nice and I think they did an awesome job re-creating the vibe of what AIC has been about without trying to force it or being lame. I can't wait for the album.
    schism206on July 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationHere is what I'm hearing [thanks to previous posters; interpretation in brackets]:

    [Bottom line, I suspect this song is informed by, but not necessarily about, either Jerry Cantrell's or the band's experience with Layne Staley as his addiction and health got worse. Perhaps they perceived Layne as closing off himself to his friends, as his situation got worse, and as Layne perceived himself increasingly in a self-loathing and negative way. Ultimately, this may be an empathetic song about the suffering of a friend, where you are not able to do much to help or be helpful. The band's video seems consistent with this interpretation. It has three storylines/montages: a young man constructing a clock; an older, religious man self-flagellating over breaking his internal moral values; and a desperately unhappy woman who is contemplating hurting herself in her bathroom. I didn't see a connection in the song to the young man, but I saw parallels in the lyrics to the storylines for the older man and young woman. I like the song. It's definitely AIC. Reminds me of Soundgarden's Burden in My Hand, AIC's Dirt]

    Hear footsteps creak the floor
    The shadows give away
    Someone outside the door
    Won't let em' in
    [Perhaps narrator getting in mind of hurting friend, imagining the friend's thinking, when the narrator comes to visit... but the friend "won't let em' in", literally and figuratively. I think I read that Layne wouldn't let Jerry in at some point.]

    Life damaged gives to grind
    A run down broke machine
    That steals your peace of mind
    Before you know it's gone
    Lay down
    Lay
    [The friend's life is "damaged" by something, "broken", breaking his/her peace of mind. Almost an observation that they friend is seeming to 'lay down'... to die, giving up, etc.]

    Silence burning on your tongue
    Keep us separate
    So they know
    [The hurting friend isn't responsive to the narrator. "Silence burning on your tongue." Keeping them separate.]

    Hiding in the darkness under
    Boiling to the surface don't go far
    [A person's pain is "hiding" "under" in "darkness", but manifests itself in a visible way]

    A looking in view too long on the outside
    Desperate plans make sense in a low life
    Hey
    (repeat)
    [Second line may be reference to when a person feels him or herself "down" and like a "lowlife", desperate plans, like hurting oneself, can "make sense. First line may be one by the narrator, expressing regret of observing too long from the outside without being there for the friend. But I'm not sure about the first line.]

    These things I hate in you
    Also reflect it seems
    Distortion laced with spite
    Teach you how to leave
    Lay down
    Lay
    [Narrator perhaps saying he/she doesn't like how things are going for the friend, and also the hurting friend's behavior and thinking, which are distorted and "laced with spite".]

    Hiding in the darkness under
    Boiling to the surface something
    Crawling on your skin discomfort
    Makes you break and run, stumble, fall

    A looking in view too long on the outside
    Desperate plans make sense in a low life
    Hey
    (repeat)

    It's why you never tell me whatever's on your mind
    (repeat 2x two voices in harmony, repeat 2x one voice for first part)
    [The narrator concludes all of these things are coming together, causing the hurting friend to be closed off.]

    A looking in view too long on the outside
    Desperate plans make sense in a low life
    Hey
    (repeat)

    It's why you never tell me whatever's on your mind
    Prospero2on July 11, 2009   Link

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