"Fiction" was the last song ever written and recorded by James "The Rev" Owen Sullivan, before passing away 3 days later....
Now I think I understand
How this world can overcome a man
Like a friend we saw it through
In the end I gave my life for you

Gave you all I had to give
Found a place for me to rest my head
While I may be hard to find
Heard there's peace just on the other side

Not that I could
Nor that I would
Let it burn
Under my skin
Let it burn

Left this life to set me free
Took a piece of you inside of me
All this hurt can finally fade
Promise me you'll never feel afraid

Not the I could
Nor that I would
Let it burn
Under my skin
Let it burn

I hope it's worth it, here on the highway, yeah
I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you

So tell everybody, the ones who walk beside me, yeah
I hope you'll find your own way when I'm not with you tonight

I hope it's worth it, what's left behind me, yeah
I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you

So tell everybody, the ones who walk beside me, yeah
I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you tonight


Lyrics submitted by antox89

"Fiction" as written by James Sullivan Brian Haner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Fiction song meanings
Add your thoughts

51 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +8
    General Commentthis is the most beautiful masterpiece I have ever heard. I'm not going to lie, I .sobbed. the first time I heard this song, I still can't listen to it without getting emotional. the rev was my absolute favorite, he wrote the best songs and was one hell of a talented musician.

    anyways. I can't help but think that this song is a suicide note. at least thats what it sounds like to me. I'm not sure if I think that he killed himself or not, but just based on the song, this is what im gathering.

    "now I think I understand how this world can overcome a man" - probably one of the most heartbreaking and emotional lines I've ever heard.
    he's saying that this life is too much for him to handle.

    "gave you all I had to give, found a place for me to rest my head...[etc]" well, pretty self explanatory.
    he gave us everything he had, his friends, family, his brothers in the band, his fans. and now that he's dead, he had found peace, reassuring us that he is at peace now, and he is happy.

    as for the chorus, this is what I'm getting.

    not that I could or that I would- kind of like. not that he ever could kill himself in the past, or that he ever would. possibly because he was too afraid.
    let it burn- he wants all of the guilt, and hate, and pain to burn under his skin so he can finally do it. or maybe in a completely different sense- let it burn like. yeah, bring it on, I can handle this pain, I'm strong enough to get through this.

    anyways. next verse- "left this life to set me free...[etc]" again- self explanatory, he killed himself to free himself of the pain and he took a piece of everyone with him. and he's not going to be in pain anymore, and no one should be afraid, no one should be upset, he's finally at peace.

    and then the ending- he hopes that everything is worth it, his life, his music, everything that he has done, he hopes that none of it was done in vain. and that everyone is going to be okay, and they'll continue their lives without him, they'll find their own ways because they're strong.

    well. I know it's lengthy, and even if its not a literal suicide note, this is just what I am personally gathering from the song.

    oXguitarchickXoon September 01, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think a lot of people don't want to face what this actually could be. Jimmy was my favorite musician ever and he was such an influence to me, and as much as I don't want to admit it, I'm 99% sure he committed suicide.

    My reasons for thinking so:

    1. Now I think I understand
    How this world can overcome a man
    Like a friend we saw it through
    In the end I gave my life for you

    He realizes that life has become too much for him to handle. "It" in this case refers to the band, maybe the final album. He gave his life for his music.

    2. Gave you all I had to give
    Found a place for me to rest my head
    While I may be hard to find
    Heard there's peace just on the other side

    He put everything he had into this last album. He told Matt that it was going to change the world. He was satisfied what he had done and felt that he had nothing left to give, therefore he was ready to rest his head for good. The "peace just on the other side" was most likely a reference to life after death.

    3. Not that I could
    Or that I would
    Let it burn
    Under my skin
    Let it burn

    This part is kind of satirical. He's pretty much telling us flat out here that he committed suicide while sarcastically saying "no, I could never and would never." He died due to a combination of oxycodone (OxyContin), oxymorphone (a metabolite of oxycodone), diazepam (Valium), nordiazepam (a metabolization of diazepam) and alcohol, and if that combination doesn't kill someone, I don't know what will. He "let it burn" under his skin, inside of his body, until it ruined his organs.

    4. Left this life to set me free
    Took a piece of you inside of me
    All this hurt can finally fade
    Promise me you'll never feel afraid

    This, again, is pretty much straight-forward. He's reassuring us that this is what he wanted. He was trapped inside his life but now he has been set free. His pain is finally gone, as Syn wrote in "So Far Away" (which also suggests that the band members know he committed suicide), and he wants us not to worry.

    5. I hope it's worth it
    Here on the highway, yeah
    I know you'll find your own way
    When I'm not with you

    So tell everybody
    The ones who walk beside me, yeah
    I hope you'll find your own way
    When I'm not with you tonight

    I hope it's worth it
    What's left behind me, yeah
    I know you'll find your own way
    When I'm not with you

    So tell everybody
    The ones who walk beside me, yeah
    I know you'll find your own way
    When I'm not with you tonight

    AGAIN, straight-forward. He hoped that what he had done in his life was worth dying for. His music, and anything else he gave us, was what he wanted to be remembered for. He knew he was no longer going to be with us. Otherwise, why would he write this? His message to everyone who was a fan, friend, loved one, family member, etc. was that he had faith that they would be able to move on without him.

    6. In "So Far Away" which is about The Rev, Brian wrote, "A final song, a last request/A perfect chapter laid to rest." Final song=Fiction (which was titled "Death" by Jimmy and submitted by Jimmy to the band three days before his death). Last request=the final verses of Fiction.

    7. In "Save Me" (which is the track after Fiction) the first words you hear are "they all know." I guess no one has made the connection that this line might mean "everybody knows you killed yourself." What else could it mean?
    Also in "Save Me": "So much to see tonight/so why'd you close your eyes?/Why can't I shut mine?" Matt knows Jimmy "closed his eyes" with his own will to close them. Here, he's wondering why Jimmy had to do it.

    So that pretty much sums it up. There are many more references to this event throughout the whole album. I hate that Jimmy ever did such a thing as commit suicide, but I still revere him as an artist and just an all-around character. He will never be forgotten.

    R.I.P. Jimmy
    foREVer
    Garte13on October 07, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis song gives me chills. It's like he knew it was coming and it was his final goodbye. Amazing song, amazing band. Rest in peace my fallen brother.
    ExRaidedon July 30, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI've cried listening to this song... it's simply awesome. I think it's gonna be one of my faves
    and yeah, it sounds like a goodbye =(
    mariajoon July 29, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree almost completely with Garte13's post. From what I've seen on Youtube comments, many people seem to outright reject the possibility that the Rev committed suicide because they don't want to believe it. But I think this song makes it very tragically clear. The straightforward lyrics and the fact that the song was turned in only three days before he died aren't the only suggestions of suicide. He wrote this song nine years before for Pinkly Smooth and ONLY decided to turn it in to A7x a short time before he died. When he turned it in (this is only what I heard) he told Shadows "That's it, the last song" and walked out. He told people when he was only 15 that he'd die before 30. Medication overdose is an extremely common way of killing yourself, and it's universally known that oxycotin and alcohol is a fatal combination. The Rev took pain medications for a serious heart condition for a very long time, and the disease probably caused him a lot of pain and suffering, which may even mean that he had contemplated suicide long before (this would explain the 'dying before 30' comment). Basically, even if you don't believe he DELIBERATELY overdosed himself, it's pretty obvious by the fact that he wrote this song that he KNEW he was going to die. And of course the lyrics in So Far Away and Save Me suggest that the band knew it (for a long time, even, who knows) and were deeply saddened but most likely respected his decision.

    (Of course, for all I know this could all be just a big stretch, a big speculation, as we'll never find out. If Jimmy did kill himself, A7x wouldn't want it to go public, and I would understand them, because people are such dicks about it. From the Youtube comments you can quickly tell that many people wouldn't respect his decision to end his pain. So I'm just stating things that back up my hypothesis but I'm not establishing it as fact. It's just the feeling I get from all these insinuations...)

    What I don't completely agree with is Garte's interpretation of this verse, although his does also make sense.

    Not that I could
    Or that I would
    Let it burn
    Under my skin
    Let it burn

    In my opinion, Jimmy's making a reference to the heart problem (cardiomegaly) that's been causing his pain. He's saying here that he wouldn't, and couldn't, let "it" (the disease) continue to burn under his skin. He just didn't want it to keep making him suffer, so he decided to end it once and for all by taking his life and going to the peace just on the other side...

    It's tragic that he had to go so early. In a world where talent in music is rare and undervalued, it hits even harder that such a multifaceted, versatile, skillful, unique and talented musician is gone foREVer. I regret never having seen A7x in concert while the Rev was still alive. A7x is practically a perfect band, with phenomenally and equally gifted members, and it may sound corny, but you can't deny that without the Rev, some of that perfection is lost... while Portnoy is an extremely good replacement, it'll never be the same again. The Rev's voice and composition skills were unique to him.

    That being said, however, I have been greatly empowered by the ability of the remaining A7x members to carry on... their unbelievable strength in overcoming this loss is very inspiring and admirable to me, and comforts me in some way. This is why I love both the band and its music. The music can express such a wide range of emotions, and the band members are emotionally strong with great character and a great devotion to their fans.

    Although I think it's terrible that Jimmy killed himself, it doesn't change my respect for him as a very extraordinarily talented musician. And I respect his decision.

    XelaSteeleon November 13, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOne thing that everyone seems to forget is that THE LYRICS FOR THE SONGS WERE UNFINISHED WHEN THE REV DIED. That's right. The music was all written, and the only lyrics written were Nightmare, and the small parts of Fiction that the Rev recorded. Nightmare had placeholder lyrics, but the Rev liked them so much that the band decided to stick with the lyrics to honor the Rev's desire. The Lyrics that the Rev sings in Fiction were also meant to be placeholders too, but when the Rev died UNEXPECTEDLY, they had to use the lyrics he sung to get him on the album, which is why when the Rev sings:

    "I hope it's worth it
    Here on the highway, yeah
    I know you'll find your own way
    When I'm not with you"

    ...he sings it with a muffled, almost unintelligible tone. He was singing whatever came to mind so that he could get the melody down. People, this was not a suicide, but idiotic mistakes leading to the premature death of a great musician. What a waste too, he could have become much more than what he left as.
    knowon February 13, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTHIS IS AWESOME !!!
    merllinon July 29, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentChills run through my me when I listen to this, it is The Rev's last song he wrote and its so weird that it ends up being his goodbye. His whole story is unreal hence the title. Its crazy how the band says that he recorded his vocals as a demo and they turned out perfect for the song.
    Pope Regison July 29, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is beautiful.
    honestly.
    rev's goodbye. RIP.
    bromptonXblendon August 04, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My Opinionperhaps no one has read the interview prior to me writing this, but Jimmy had originally titled this song death and he gave it to the guys 3 days before he died and said here this is the final song for the album, having it not only be about dying but then giving it to the guys only a mere 3 days before his passing adds to all the what ifs people seem to be asking
    andreacarveron August 21, 2010   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain