"Russian Roulette" as written by Shaffer Smith and Charles T. Harmon....
Take a breath, take it deep
Calm yourself, he says to me
If you play, you play the key
Take the gun, and count to three
I'm sweating now, I'm moving slow
No time to think, my turn to go

And you can see my heart, beating,
You can see it through my chest
I'm terrified but I'm not leaving, no
I know that I must pass this test
So just pull the trigger (trigger, trigger, trigger)

Say a prayer, to yourself
He says, close your eyes
Sometimes it helps
And then I get, a scary thought
That he's here, means he's never lost

And you can see my heart, beating,
Now you can see it through my chest
Said I'm terrified but I'm not leaving
I know that I must pass this test
So just pull the trigger

As my life flashes before my eyes
I'm wondering will I, ever see another sunrise?
So many won't get the chance to say goodbye
But it's too late to think of the value of my life

And you can see my heart, beating,
Now you can see it through my chest
Said I'm terrified but I'm not leaving, no!
I know that I must pass this test
And you can see my heart, beating,
Oh you can see it through my chest
I'm terrified but I'm not leaving, no!
I know that I must pass this test
So just pull the trigger (trigger, trigger, trigger)


Lyrics submitted by Yumi

"Russian Roulette" as written by Charles Harmon, Shaffer / Smith

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Russian Roulette song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentI think this song is about falling in love, but it is speaking about it from a totally helpless point of view. A lot of songs are about love being bliss but in reality it can be paralysing. The metaphor of russian roulette and shooting yourself, is plunging in to a relationship. The moment where you 'pull the trigger' is the moment where you commit to someone enough, that they are now in a position to break your heart. The line of 'hes here means he has never lost' means because he single/available means he has never played the game and not lost his heart anyone completely.

    I guess, as normal in a rihanna song, the act of sleeping with the guy is the act of pulling the trigger and falling for him. 'close your eyes, sometimes it helps' is kissing etc

    The middle 8 is a bit intense, but can sadly also be true. ''Too late to pick up the value of my life'' is that feeling where you are no longer completely self dependant. That horrible feeling were you can't imagine having not met someone and that you are not complete without them. Sappy movies such as Jerry Maguire have made sentiment of this, but it is actually painful to be that in love with some one.

    Very interesting song because it barely strays from the metaphor and could almost be a literal meaning.
    birchualon June 14, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI could be wrong, but I think the song is an analogy for being at a tough point in life and you need to make a difficult choice on what to do. The "gun" represents the choice you make and the game of Russian Roulette is representing the fact that you don't know the future, so you don't know the complete outcome of the choice that you made.
    blondness01on October 23, 2009   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis song is filled with nothing but metaphors.
    I think it all depends on how your feeling when you hear the song.

    At first, I thought it was about a suicide.
    But after listening to it a couple times, I think its about falling in love.

    " Take a breath, take it deep.
    calm yourself, he says to me
    if you play, you play for keeps,
    take a gun and count to three
    - -
    Say a prayer, to yourself
    Close your eyes, sometimes it helps."

    i see that as taking the chance of falling deeply in love and giving your all and knowing that the end result will be devastating and ultimately life changing.
    Thus the:
    "You can see my heart beating-you can see it through my chest.
    Im terrified, but im not leaving,
    know that i must pass this test
    So just pull the trigger."


    thtCHiCon November 01, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentREAD THE LYRICS AND REALLY SIT DOWN AND THINK ABOUT WHAT SHE'S TRYNA SAY PEOPLE...DUHH??PEOPLE RIHANNA IS NOT GONNA KILL HERSELF! IT'S COMPARED 2 RELATIONSHIPS AND PUTTING YOUR ALL AND ALL IN IT! N FACING UR FEARS THE FEAR IS DA BULLET DA BULLET IS CHRIS BROWN LIKE DEY SAY ITS DO OR DIE NOW OR NEVER HOW CAN YOU GAT OVER AN OBSTACLE IF YOU DONT FACE IT??SHE'S SAYING RIGHT NOW SHE DON'T GIVE A SHIT AND IF LOVE FAILS AT LEAST SHE F****** TRIED.STAY STRONG RHI RHI.AT LEAST SHE HAVE TO FRIGGIN BALLS TO DO IT!SHE SHOWS SIGNIFICANT STRENGTH IN THIS SONG.
    sweetphiion November 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI think it's a metaphor.
    Russian Roulette is like the relationship she is in.
    She's saying how she has to get out before it's too late... 'pull the trigger'

    I saw a quote from Rihanna about what the song means but I can't find it!
    Olivia123on December 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with iKrokox3. I think its about her boyfriend leaving her and its so painful she feels like she is dying so he might aswell pull the trigger. I know there has to be more to this. I know im not dead.
    puertoricangurl9on October 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about chris and what he did to her tbh.
    "As my life flashes before my eyes
    I'm wondering will I ever see another sunrise?
    So many wont get the chance to say goodbye
    But it's too late to pick up the value of my life"
    If i was was her then, i'd be wondering if i'd see another sunrise, and your life would flash before your eyes :(

    Thats my personal opinion on this song :)
    x
    elleennnxon October 28, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwell, I personally think it's a drug refferance, considering someone is forcing her to play this "game" also with the line "that he's here means he's never lost" kinda brings up that you can never truly win against addiction.
    sugarsnowpeaon January 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe Russian roulette is metaphor for a relationship, I think everyone basically agree's with that.
    It's not about LITERAL suicide.
    "Pull the trigger" is a known metaphor that means:"Start the ball rolling"

    "Take a breath, take it deep
    Calm yourself, he says to me
    If you play, you play for keeps
    Take the gun, and count to three
    I'm sweating now, moving slow
    No time to think, my turn to go"

    My interpretation of this is that she's in a relationship with a guy, and she's at the point where she has to make a decision. Play 'for keeps' and 'pull the trigger'-take the next step, Or just get out of dodge. According to these lyrics, he's already made his choice. She hasn't as yet, and she's now getting ready. So she's getting ready to 'take the gun' but she's scared.


    (Chorus)
    "And you can see my heart beating
    You can see it through my chest
    And I'm terrified but I'm not leaving
    Know that I must must pass this test
    So just pull the trigger"

    She's scared and she's vulnerable, the guy can see her feelings "You can see my heart beating, you can see it through my chest."
    And she's terrified- but not leaving, she's making a decision today she doesn't want to punk out, so either she or he is saying "so just pull the trigger"- Just do it already, pass the test. Take the plunge to love or leave.

    "Say a prayer to yourself
    He says close your eyes
    Sometimes it helps
    And then I get a scary thought
    That he's here means he's never lost"

    'Close your eyes sometimes it helps' He's trying to convince her to do it already, decide to stay be with him , love him.
    And then she gets a scary thought, that 'he's here means he's never lost'- meaning he's made is decision, she's the only one who's scared and 'lost'. She's wondering if he really cares, if his feelings are as deep? Why isn't he scared? and thats why it's scary and that why she's apprehensive about 'pulling the trigger' because she doesn't trust him really. And thats why this metaphor is so powerful, she's cared of being in a bad relationship. Because making the decision to go on with some one and putting your trust in that person, is in a way playing Russian roulette with your emotions, with your future.


    (Chorus)

    "As my life flashes before my eyes
    I'm wondering will I ever see another sunrise?
    So many wont get the chance to say goodbye
    But it's too late to pick up the value of my life"

    Her life flashes before her eyes, she's wondering if she will ever be free again or if she's going to be imprisoned to this man in a sort of emotional death that goes on and on. but it's too late now. Because she's already decided to pull the trigger.
    Hence the gunshot at the end of the song.
    anistanon January 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti heard this from some1 else not sure from who its about dv and chosing to stay every day u dont leave its like your playn russian rolt w ur life so very many women die daily from t hands of ther abuser(so many wont get the chnc 2 say gb) also abusive men put u thru many test and whn eductd bot dv ur told this
    josie1on January 04, 2010   Link

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