Drop that get up
Take it to the streets better lock that kid up
Face full of teeth when you hock that spit up
Pacing the beat like a beast
Rocking the block on repeat
Speak from the cut like a rush of blood
Paint red on the sleeves of the ones you love
Lay the sick ones down and the bells will ring
Put pennies on the eyes, let the dead men sing

I shiver and shake the warm air cold
I'm alone on my own
In every mistake I dig this hole
Through my skin and bones
It's harder starting over
Than never to have changed

With blackbirds following me
I'm digging out my grave
They close in swallowing me
The pain it comes in waves
I'm getting back what I gave

I sweat through the sheet as daylight fades
As I waste away
It traps me inside mistakes I've made
That's the price I pay
It's harder starting over
Than never to have changed

With blackbirds following me
I'm digging out my grave
They close in swallowing me
The pain it comes in waves
I'm getting back what I gave

I drop to the floor like I did before
Stop watching I'm coughing I can't be more
What I want and what I need are a constant war
Like a well full of poison or a rotten core
The blood goes thin, the fever stings
And I shake from the hell that the habits bring
Lay the sick ones down, the bells will ring
Put pennies on the eyes, let the dead men sing

With blackbirds following me
I'm digging out my grave
They close in swallowing me
The pain it comes in waves
I'm getting back what I gave

I'm getting back what I gave
I'm getting back what I gave


Lyrics submitted by MusicFREAK20

Blackbirds song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentFirst off, I think those who think this is some kind of expression of regret about post-Meteora albums is ridiculous. Do you really think a band like Linkin Park would cower like a puppy in reaction to some whining fans? They aren't apologizing for how they've changed. Minutes to Midnight, Rising Sun, and Living Things have beautiful, meaningful songs that they wrote with the greatest sincerity. Sure, they wrote songs for Transformers - but dig into the rest of it... It's some really good stuff. And let's be honest, even their Transformers songs incorporate Linkin Park's brilliance, but not as much as others.

    I am not going to spend time breaking down each line of this song, but I completely disagree with it being some sort of apologetic message to their fans... They're an independent group with independent ideas that they feel proud to share. And don't give a fuck who agrees with them or not, and appreciate those who support their cause. In summary, I think this song can be interpreted in many ways. I feel it's talking about the pain associated with repeating the same actions that are bound to haunt you (i.e. getting together with a gf/bf again even if you know you'll get broken hearted). Bringing themselves to rock bottom over and over again... Sleeping their days away and losing hope when they cannot shake the habits and behavior that causes them to hit bottom again. Mixing your wants and your needs and fail to prioritize your needs, and throw in your wants to poison the "well". Knowing that something you want can contradict what you know you need, but you give into the temptation the "want" may have, and carelessly let the consequences shatter your world again. Knowing you've learned a lesson, you still think it's much harder to start over again and wish you wouldn't have to, even if change will eventually be what's necessary to improve your life. Digging your own grave - repeating behaviors you know will only temporarily satisfy you but break you down. The blackbirds continuing to follow you and consume you and deny any possibility of having the strength to ignore your wants in order to improve your life.
    Floydroseon August 05, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me this song reminds me of someone taking drugs.
    Drop that get up
    Take it to the streets better lock that kid up
    ^ This could mean that the dealer should go to jail for messing up lives.
    Speak from the cut like a rush of blood
    Paint red on the sleeves of the ones you love
    ^ Drugs destroys families. It severes relationships. It breaks apart what was thought to be indestructable.
    Lay the sick ones down and the bells will ring
    Put pennies on the eyes, let the dead men sing
    ^ You're as good as dead if you start on heroin.

    It's harder starting over
    Than never to have changed
    ^ It's harder to break the habit than to resist the temptation in the first place.

    With blackbirds following me
    I'm digging out my grave
    They close in swallowing me
    The pain it comes in waves
    I'm getting back what I gave
    ^ This works because, by taking drugs, you are technically digging out your own grave. Some can also cause you to hallucinate, hence the feeling of being swallowed by the blackbirds. The pain could come from trying to come off the drug as your body pines away for it (particularly heroin).

    I sweat through the sheet as daylight fades
    As I waste away
    It traps me inside mistakes I've made
    That's the price I pay
    ^ The first two lines definitely talk about trying to break the habit of drugs to me. This feeling of pining away for the chemical constantly reminds the narrator of the mistake they made in taking the drug in the first place, which is described in the next two lines.

    I drop to the floor like I did before
    Stop watching I'm coughing I can't be more
    What I want and what I need are a constant war
    Like a well full of poison or a rotten core
    The blood goes thin, the fever stings
    And I shake from the hell that the habits bring
    Lay the sick ones down, the bells will ring
    Put pennies on the eyes, let the dead men sing

    This could also be about the side effects of coming off a drug, but it could also be about an overdose.

    Chester took drugs when he was younger - could this be him talking about it?
    Let me know what you guys think.
    sukiroseon October 29, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think they are simply talking about a person that had made lot of mistakes and behaved badly in the past.

    "Drop that get up
    Take it to the streets better lock that kid up
    Face full of teeth when you hock that spit up
    Pacing the beat like a beast
    Rocking the block on repeat
    Speak from the cut like a rush of blood
    Paint red on the sleeves of the ones you love
    Lay the sick ones down and the bells will ring
    Put pennies on the eyes, let the dead men sing"

    Mike is describing a selfish/violent man and his actions using a metaphorical language

    "I shiver and shake the warm air cold
    I'm alone on my own
    In every mistake I dig this hole
    Through my skin and bones
    It's harder starting over
    Than never to have changed"

    The bad behavior has led this man to dig his grave, but he's trying to change (late is better than never).

    "With blackbirds following me
    I'm digging out my grave
    They close in swallowing me
    The pain it comes in waves
    I'm getting back what I gave"

    Blackbirds are all the consequences of the bad things that this man has done in the past.
    However, he's trying to change, to emerge from the underground (digging OUT the grave).
    But "blackbirds" are very close to him and are having their effects (causing pain in the man). He is getting back what he gave (he created pain, and now takes it back).
    L1nk1non March 28, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems to me to be about the band's view on all the negative criticism they got from Minutes to Midnight. A Line that proves this:
    "It's harder starting over than never having changed."

    With Blackbirds (angry fans) following me...
    I'm getting back what I gave (We're going to go back to our old style)
    Let the dead man sing (Let's have Mike be not-so absent on the next album)

    Seriously, that's what I think it's about
    (remember just my opinion)
    pastachickennugget42on May 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyea im gonna hve 2 agree wit pastachickennugget42 tht they are tryin 2 put all dat shit that minutes 2 midnight bhind dem so yea...
    L1LCZ3Ron May 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentafter listening to this and then looking at your replys on here i really think that this is about linkin park's sorrow from minutes to midnight. I mean i don't think so many of us had to say that the new album was bad, i mean honestly, but i still think that they were right tho. Linkin Park really needs to still keep there old stile, i love their new stile but it's hard knowing that everything that they did before may not come back to us later. I really think that this song has somthing to do about there new album, and what they are planning to do for us. I don't think that they want the old fans to leave them, but i think that they do want to unite bolth new and old LP fans together.
    "Drop that get up
    Take it to the streets better lock that kid up
    Face full of teeth when you hock that spit up
    Pacing the beat like a beast
    Rocking the block on repeat
    Speak from the cut like a rush of blood
    Paint red on the sleeves of the ones you love
    Lay the sick ones down and the bells will ring
    Put pennies on the eyes, let the dead men sing"
    This is probrably talking about when they decided to take the old LP away and when they got all of that comotion from their fans, "Face full of teeth when you hock that spit up pcing the beat like a beast rocking the block on repeat" is everything that they tryied to do for the fans and how they threw it all back in their face. "Speak from the cut like a rush of blood,paint red on the sleeves of the ones you love,lay the sick ones down and the bells will ring put pennies on the eyes, let the dead men sing" Is more of what this song is talking about,and how this song is there way of talking back to us about the album.
    "I shiver and shake the warm air cold
    I'm alone on my own
    In every mistake I dig this hole
    Through my skin and bones
    It's harder starting over
    Than never to have changed

    With blackbirds following me
    I'm digging out my grave
    They close in swallowing me
    The pain it comes in waves
    I'm getting back what I gave

    I sweat through the sheet as daylight fades
    As I waste away
    It traps me inside mistakes I've made
    That's the price I pay
    It's harder starting over
    Than never to have changed

    With blackbirds following me
    I'm digging out my grave
    They close in swallowing me
    The pain it comes in waves
    I'm getting back what I gave"
    This talks about how they worked their buts off on the new album and how everyone hated them for it almost. To them it really is harder to start over then to never of changed and they really realize that they made a really big mistake when they made minutes to midnight, so it's back to the drawing board for them once again on the new album. So now Linkin park is getting back what they gave to us and there gonna probrably redo their stile of music again like they did before.
    " I drop to the floor like I did before
    Stop watching I'm coughing I can't be more
    What I want and what I need are a constant war
    Like a well full of poison or a rotten core
    The blood goes thin, the fever stings
    And I shake from the hell that the habits bring
    Lay the sick ones down, the bells will ring
    Put pennies on the eyes, let the dead men sing"
    Now mike is speaking for us about basicly the same thing,"what i wanst and what i need are a constant war" talks about what we want and what they want, so there probrably gonna dicide to give us what we both want. "what the habits bring" talks about the same old linkin park and how they are tired of making the same old stile of music for their fans and how they will do it for them anyway so they don't lose any more fans.
    And then chester kicks back in and basicly tells everyone that he's getting back what he gave to us and how the band is gonna change for us again.
    Lol, i'm in summerschool right now and i just got done in the nick of time with this, i hope you enjoyed my interpretation of the song. I really do think that this song is more of a message than it is a song, then again its a song that holds a message for the true fans of both the new and old LP.
    sandquist1on June 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo Boondock Saints fans here? I would have thought the line "put pennies on the eyes, let the dead men sing" would have elicited a response pertaining to the movie.
    judeuncertainon June 29, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is the result of minutes to midnight.
    No one liked that album because they changed their style of music. instead of people enjoying some new music, they sed its crap.
    "im digging out my grave" not everything went as planned.
    so now, they'll just bring back their old style which is good news to most but we might never have soft rock songs again : (
    maddaraon July 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me, this song feels alot like 'guilt'
    you know guilt from what he's done in the past/doing/about to do.
    not so much about MTM.

    to me it's like.. It's hard to explain..but I will try =)
    He's done some terrible things (in his eyes, and possibly in others)in the past.
    And it's all finally catching up with him (getting back what i gave)
    and instead of using the 'black-cloud of guilt' metaphor he used Blackbirds, which i personally think is a really nice personification of guilt.
    alot of the things he explains feel like guilt to me, Hot sweats, shivering in the warm air, 'It traps me inside mistakes I've made', etc. it's destroying him (falling to the floor)
    And he's trying to make a change 'burying' the 'old' Chester (digging his grave metaphor and 'Lay the sick ones down, the bells will ring
    Put pennies on the eyes, let the dead men sing
    ') and starting all over again, 'It's harder starting over Than never to have changed'

    that's just my feeling though.
    every one's entitled to hear things differently and interpret it all differently.
    Meckiion August 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI originally thought that it was them saying they were going back to there old style but then I found out it was recorded for Minutes to Midnight so that can't be possible and then A Thousand Suns came out to prove my point further. In my opinion A Thousand Suns is their best.
    JCushon October 15, 2010   Link

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