Demons spent twelve weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The song peaked at number six....
When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

When the curtain’s call
Is the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you made

Don’t want to let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don’t want to hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it's what you make
I say it's up to fate
It's woven in my soul
I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I want to save their light
I can't escape this now
Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide


Lyrics submitted by VictorLy, edited by shadow1127, Ekix

"Demons" as written by Alex Grant Joshua Francis Mosser

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Demons song meanings
Add your thoughts

177 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +70
    Song Meaning"when the days are cold" - things are dark and depressing
    "the cards all fold" - everyone has given up
    "the saints we see are all made of gold" - there isn't anyone truly good left
    "when your dreams all fail" - life is getting hard and things aren't happening for people
    "and the ones we hail are the worst of all" - the people who have the most influence are the people are are the worst influences (famous musicians, etc.)
    "the bloods fun stale" - nobody has passion anymore
    "I wanna hide the truth, I wanna shelter you" - he wants to hide the terrible world from someone he loves
    "but with the beast inside, there's nowhere we can hide" - the things that make man fallen are inside of him, so he could cut her off completely from bad people and she would still have a beast inside her
    "no matter what we breed, we still are made of greed" - same idea...man's fallen traits are engrained in him, and you can't make them go away
    "this is my kingdom come" - this is my reality, i realize that now, and this is as good as it's getting

    "when you feel my heat look into my eyes, it's where my demons hide" - I may seem like a better person on the outside, but in reality I'm just as bad as everyone else on the inside, I've got problems too
    "don't get too close, it's dark inside" - you're too innocent for me

    "when the curtain call is the last of all" - the show's over, now you see who the people really are, but they've still got smiles on their faces
    "when the lights fade out all the sinners crawl" - but when your not looking anymore, the people are just humble sinners on their hands and knees just like everyone else
    "so they dug your grave" - everyone is just waiting for you to fall too, because they know you will
    "and the masquerade" - like I said before, everyone is just a fake
    "will come calling out at the mess you made" - even though they're just fakes, they are just looking for their chance to criticize you and pull you down, which s why they've dug your grave
    'don't wanna let you down, but I am hell-bound" - I really don't want to hurt you, but even though I know you trust in my, I'm gonna have to burst your bubble cuz I'm as bad as everyone else
    "don't wanna hide the truth, know this is all for you" - he wanted to hide he truth earlier, but now he knows he can't keep deluding her, she needs to know who he really is, who people all really are, and it may hurt her but it's all for her in the end
    "they say it's what you make, I say it's up to fate" - some people say that what you do and how hard you work determines the outcome of life our a relationship, but he thinks it't just gonna happen like it happens and there's nothing he can do to change it: people will always have demons inside them
    "it's woven in my soul" - his demons are a part of him, he's never going to shake them
    "I need to let you go" - she's innocent, and he doesn't want to ruin that and since he's stuck with his demons forever, he needs to separate himself from her
    "your eyes they shine so bright, I want to save that light" - again, he wants to preserve her innocence
    "I can't escape this now" - again, he thinks he's stuck with his demons forever
    "unless you show me how" - here's the note of hope in this song. He thinks he's pretty much stuck like he is forever, but whoever he is talking to is so innocent and 'her eyes shine so bright' that he thinks just maybe possibly she might be able to show him the way out
    rep21on March 05, 2013   Link
  • +17
    My Interpretationhow sweet, it's about his lover being the only bright point in his life and the world. Darkness and evil envelops everything else - the only saints are manmade statues, people are "made of greed," etc. Worst of all, there are demons inside him. He's conflicted; he's pleading to her to save him while acknowledging it's better to push her away for her own good ("It's woven in my soul / I need to let you go").
    veeqon July 07, 2012   Link
  • +15
    My InterpretationIt's saying that we as humans tend to set expectations to high for ourselves. We all have "demons inside". We all have troubles. We all battle ourselves sometimes. We are all imperfect. We are all human, and that is enough. :) The song sounds sad, but the message is somewhat positive: embrace your qualities and imperfections, because it makes us who we are. We try to shield others from our dark side, which is fine, but we just need to know that we DO have a darker side. It's woven in our soul, because we are imperfect humans.
    SlendyManon December 08, 2012   Link
  • +12
    My InterpretationI have interpreted that the song reveals a true key to living a happy life: everyone has flaws and we have to accept it.

    In the beginning, it mentions that "the saints we see are all made of gold." To me, this says that people who we think are perfect (or close to perfect) have a greedy side too (because they are metaphorically made of gold). It is also possible that the song may mean that something is causing the person to be nice that most people may be disappointed in. For example, if a teenager's parents pay them to be nice, are they really nice?

    Later, it states that our role models are the worst ones to follow: "When your dreams all fail and the ones we hail are the worst of all." This line simply says that idols are dangerous. If you really look up to someone who has flaws (because everyone has flaws), you will eventually, whether you know it or not, take on those flaws in an effort to be like that person. It's sad but true. It has also given me second thoughts about role models.

    Later on, it says, "I wanna hide the truth/I wanna shelter you/But with the beast inside/There’s nowhere we can hide." Basically, the person singing the song wants to help the one they love, but end up confessing that there's nothing they can do to shelter them from the cruel and unforgiving world. The singer knows that, although they try to be as good of a human as they can, there is no way to stop the sin that is waiting to emerge from inside. The singer could try to protect them from the world, but it would be pointless because the flaws would emerge on the person they were trying to protect. This is also sad but true, but reenforces the idea of the song interpreting that no one is perfect.

    Thus, the chorus to the song:
    "When you feel my heat
    Look into my eyes
    It’s where my demons hide
    It’s where my demons hide
    Don’t get too close
    It’s dark inside
    It’s where my demons hide
    It’s where my demons hide"

    Of course, the author does not actually mean that they have physical demons inside of them, but demons are a reference to the sin and flaws that rest within. The rest is pretty much self explanatory:)

    The rest of the song goes on to support the "thesis" more if you take the time to read into it.

    Overall, the singer loves the person they are singing to, the intended audience. He wants to protect the intended audience from the darkness of the world, but it comes out as warning of the lingering dangers because he can not do anything to prevent his inner "demons" from hurting them.

    If you ask me, this is a pretty depressing song. It is also and eye opener to see that other people actually notice that this world has become crueler over the years.

    If you were to take away one thing from reading this (if you actually did read this!), then I would like you to know this: Nobody's Perfect. But, more importantly, the reason Imagine Dragons even decided to write this song in the first place is because Hannah Montana failed to get that point across while people actually liked her. Just kidding! Kind of...

    Well, anyway, thanks for reading!

    ~Carly

    PS-This is my first review, so I would really appreciate any feedback given. I'm super new to this, so I have no idea if I'm doing this right. Oh well! Thanks!
    Carly12on November 26, 2013   Link
  • +10
    My InterpretationI think this song is universal to everybody to some extent. we all have our "demons," whether that be depression, anxiety, gambling, drug abuse, jealousy, etc. some of us have been face to face with our demons, some more extreme/often than others. your demons signify things that bring you down physically, mentally, and/or emotionally. at the end of the day we all have our deepest hidden secrets and feelings - do we always choose to share these with our loved ones, let alone others? sometimes, no. the singer is hesitant to open up to his love interest, if thats what you want to call the person. they say "the eyes are the window to the soul;" well, the singer's line about looking into his eyes where his demons hide explains that pretty straightforward. feeling confused, tortured, or lost are horrible to experience, but in this world it is inevitable. what differentiates us is our faith/what keeps us going, and how we deal with our demons and whether we choose to feed into them or not. there are always two natures at battle in us - and that is good and evil.
    yyy600on July 02, 2013   Link
  • +7
    My InterpretationThis song is about a person's shadow.
    If you have read about Jungian Psychology (Carl Jung), you'll know about the shadow, anima and persona.
    You can google the others, they all represent the sides of a person, but shadow is the side that we don't want the world to see. It can be our deepest, darkest, desires. Essentially, our "demons". The song, Demons, has a line that evokes something that we all share in common in terms of our personal shadow:
    "Don’t get too close
    It’s dark inside"
    Another key element to the shadow is that all psychologically healthy humans want their shadow to be hidden. We all experience the blossoming of a new friendship and how we want to forever preserve a certain image towards that person of ourselves. We do not want to taint it, so, we don't want that person "to get too close" because we think that "it's dark inside".
    Such a powerful song with a catchy beat.
    psych0pathon November 22, 2013   Link
  • +6
    My InterpretationThis song is about protecting the ones we love from the demons that surround us.

    It's about those of us who try to hide the harsh reality of the world (when our dreams all fail) and our own internal struggles/demons (the ones we hail are the worst of all) from our loved ones thinking we're protecting them or sheltering them from the hurt and pain.

    The author then talks about how futile it is to do this because the demons will still be there even if you hide them (But with the beast inside, There’s nowhere we can hide) and the only way to truly vanquish them is to let the ones we love in to help us fight them (I can't escape this now, Unless you show me how).
    AdsumErgoSumon November 03, 2013   Link
  • +5
    Song MeaningThis song is about a man who is troubled inside. He wants to protect his lover from not only the evil of the world, but himself
    mmomwon December 01, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThis song makes me think that person A is in love with person B, but person a thinks themself too lowly of person B. B is happy with their life and A wants to protect B's happiness ("your eyes they shine so bright, I want to save their light") A knows they have a good thing with B already and doesn't want to hurt what they have by trying to take it further, but is conflicted by their feelings ("I want to hide the truth, I want to shelter you") A believes in fate and thought they were supposed to be with B ("they say it what you make, I say its up to fate") and A feels like B is a part of them ("its woven in my soul, I need to let you go") and A has been in love with B for so long that person a doesn't know how to let go ("I cant escape this now, unless you show me how") A tells of how unworthy they are of B and turns self destructive and pleads for B to see his demons ("look into my eyes, its where my demons hide") and maybe hopes for B to want to protect them, but A knows that if they went too close to A the darkness and destruction they harbour might extinguish B's light, which is what A wanted to protect in the first place
    Keighlyon May 15, 2013   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationThis song is an appeal to the innocents of the world who are preparing to face their own demons for the first time.

    "When the days are cold and the cards all fold .." is the setting. When you're feeling down and out of luck, when the world seems to be an unfair place to live.

    ".. and the saints we see are all made of gold .." more setting, but allusion to the fact that the although it APPEARS as though the good people in this world are part of a life that's unattainable, the author also suggests that the "saints" we don't see are very real, very human, and don't call attention to themselves like those made of "gold".

    "When your dreams all fail .." more setting, speaking of the betrayal of innocence by the harsh realities of life.

    ".. and the one's we hail are the worst of all .." direct statement against the people who we place in control of our lives, like parents, politicians, doctors, generals, managers, teachers. Again, the use of the word "worst" implies that there has been a breach of trust recently, of abandonment, of not really having all the answers they claimed to have during the listener's former period of innocence.

    ".. and the blood's run stale." This is an interesting, ambiguous line that I think implies that at one point, there was a willingness to fight against this reality that has now faded into submission. The time of fighting has since passed, to be replaced by the above setting of betrayal, loss of trust and defeat.

    "I want to hide the truth, I want to shelter you .." is the emotion of the song, in response to the setting. The singer references himself, appealing to his listeners that if he could NOT share this truth with them, then he would, feeling that it might offer them some sort of protection. However ..

    ".. but with the beast inside, there's nowhere we can hide .." is the truth, plain and simple. There's no way to keep the truth from someone if they want to find it, and by lumping himself in with the word "we" he alludes to the fact that he feels this beast (ie demon) is something that everyone who's lost their innocence possesses, and the truth being sought by the listener is going to bring them face to face with their own beast, eventually, so there's really no point in hiding from it.

    "No matter what we breed, we are still made of greed .." this begins the explanation as to why the world is this way. Essentially, what the singer is saying that it doesn't matter what our best intentions are, greed still governs our intentions. He believes that all people are creatures of want, inherently selfish, and no matter how hard we try to overcome this "me-centric" reality, greed is the foundation upon which we were all raised, and that's the demon we need to confront.

    "This is my kingdom come .." this is his message to his listeners. It's only his, and others might have a different outlook, but if someone's asking for answers and they come to him, this is the world the singer feels he lives in, and this is why he feels their innocence was taken from them.

    "When you feel my heat, look into my eyes .." this is the singer's justification for the way he feels. Heat is in reference to the demon inside him, but it's also in reference to the aforementioned blood he held within him, his passion, the point upon which his own innocence was taken from him that he still hasn't overcome. When that personal heat comes to the fore, and that guard goes down, he encourages the listener to look into his eyes, because ..

    ".. it's where my demons hide .." implying that there's something he wants to let out, and he comes close, but those personal truths remain inside of him, visible only through his eyes when he lets his guard down.

    "Don't get too close, it's dark inside .." is a warning, but it's more for self preservation than anything else. He doesn't want the listener to ask the questions he himself doesn't want to answer, but at the same time, he wants SOMEONE to help him, but he can't bear the idea of destroying that person's own innocence in order to do so. He doesn't want them to experience his "darkness".

    "Curtains call is the last of all .." this line sets the stage (pardon the pun) for the identity of the world the listener now might accept is made up of bitter secrets kept from them. The singer suggests that the play is now over, the fantasy, the Act, and now the reality sets in to fill the void.

    ".. when the lights fade out all the sinners crawl .." likening the people of the world to insects and vermin, who when the spotlights are off them go about their day to day business acting in their own self-interest.

    "So they dug your grave .." "they" being the sinners mentioned in the previous verse, and the grave in reference to the listener's own fall from innocence, the tarnishing of the soul, the descent into darkness each of them is a part of.

    "And the masquerade .." nice line. The "masquerade" is comprised of the same "sinners" from above, only this time, the delusion once held by the listener as to all these people being themselves people worthy of respect and admiration is now understood to be a facade. Thus, now that the truth is out, sinners are seen as they really are.

    ".. will come calling out at the mess you've made .." awesome line! The singer doesn't just suggest that this will happen ... he confirms it. That collective group of phonies WILL pounce on the listener's loss of innocence, calling (note the similarity to "crawling" mentioned above) out at the way life actually is, as if it's the listener's own fault for losing their own innocence. The work of having "dug a grave" in the expectation that it will be filled by the listener's loss of innocence speaks to the singer's bleak opinion of the rest of the world. However ..

    "Don't want to let you down but I am hell bound .." tells the listener that even though he's trying in his own way to "breed" something good from all this, he's casting his own lot with those of the other sinners, and doesn't have much hope.

    ".. though this is all for you, don't want to hide the truth .." regardless of where he's headed, he's giving all of this advice and opinion to the listener, without using a mask like others might.

    "They say it's what you make, I say it's up to fate .." an interesting line. "They" in this is back to the sinners mentioned before, and he's trying to distinguish himself from the others by removing what he "makes" from the equation, believing that whatever the outcome of this song, it'll be up to the listener to take from it, and not be "made" to do against their will. The "what" the listener makes is in relation to the "breeding" mentioned before. In essence, he's telling the listener not to follow the same path as everyone else, and confront that demon without trying to hide it inside.

    "It's woven in my soul, I need to let you go .." double-meaning? Is the earlier truth of the singer's revelation what's woven in his soul, or the fact that he needs to let the listener make their own choice on what path to follow? Perhaps "it's" both.

    "Your eyes they shine so bright, I want to save that light .." from the darkness inside him, seeing such pure innocence is a bright light, and he wants to keep it around him for as long as he can without extinguishing it. This is a paradox, considering he feels that the listener will eventually come to face their own truth at some point, based on the "made of greed" logic from earlier. However, in his last line, he turns that paradox on it's ear.

    "I can't escape this now, unless you show me how!" He feels that he's trapped in this reality, and now that he's confronted his own demons through the course of the song, he understands that he needs to place his faith back in someone else again, to shed that selfishness and greed he feels is the problem, and trust in the purity and innocence of the listener to help him escape his own path to hell.

    I've listened to a lot of music over the years, and yes, I've loved listening to Imagine Dragons these past couple months. But when this song came on the radio, I was blown away. I listened, and thought to myself "this guy knows exactly what he's trying to say in this song, and he's trying to say to everyone". There's not many songs like that anymore. It was enough to compel me to sign up on this forum and add my own interpretation. Hope you get as much from it as I did.
    Marobashion September 16, 2013   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