"Powerless" as written by Chester Charles Bennington, Robert G. Bourdon, Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda, Dave Farrell and Joseph Hahn....
You hid your skeletons
When I had shown you mine
You woke the devil that
I thought you left behind

I saw the evidence,
The crimson soaking through
Ten thousand promises,
Ten thousand ways to lose...

And you held it all
But you were careless to let it fall
You held it all
And I was by your side powerless

I watched you fall apart
And chased you to the end
I'm left an empty mess,
That words can not defend

You'll never know what
I became because of you
Ten thousand promises,
Ten thousand ways to lose...

And you held it all
But you were careless to let it fall
You held it all
And I was by your side powerless (x2)

Powerless (x2)


Lyrics submitted by JulesGatz, edited by AmberBell

Powerless song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentThis song is about somebody watching a friend suffer while under drug addiction. This person wants to help the friend so badly, but he's powerless and can't really do anything. All he can do is watch this friend destroy himself.
    prowl123on August 13, 2012   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationA relationship has ended. He gave everything when the other person didn't. He has no control over the breakup and feels "powerless". He heard numerous promises that were never lived up to. He is heartbroken, feeling empty without her, in which no words can describe how bad it feels.
    lonewolf90on October 05, 2013   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI think this song's lyrics have one of the more straightforward meanings on Living Things, but it's still a powerful song.

    Long story short, I feel that this song is about being a friend of someone who had relapsed into an addiction and died from it - most likely drugs. If you want to understand why I feel this way, though, then here's how I interpret the lyrics:


    "You hid your skeletons, when I had shown you mine"

    The friend of the addict felt betrayed because he had come clean to him about his own problems and tried to fix them (Perhaps he had been suffering from a drug addition as well and wanted to quit), yet the addict refused to come clean himself, let alone change his ways.

    "you woke the devil that I thought you'd left behind"

    This, to me, seems to suggest that the addict may have been clean at one point but eventually had a relapse, unbeknownst to the friend.

    "I saw the evidence the crimson soaking through"

    Eventually, the friend realized that the addict had reverted back to his old ways and was trying to hide it.

    "ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose..."

    Perhaps that when he was found out, the addict tried to make a bunch of promises to his friend that he'd stop, that he could control his addiction, but the friend knew better, for he realized those promises were empty and that the addict was only sorry for being caught.

    "And you held It all
    but you were careless to let it fall"

    Again, I feel that at one point, the addict had washed the slate clean and had the chance to move on, but, due to his carelessness, he let himself relapse.

    "you held it all
    and I was by your side
    Powerless"

    This seems to suggest that the friend of the addict tried to help him but soon came to realize that there was nothing he could say or do but stand by him as his addiction slowly took its toll.

    "I watched you fall apart
    and chased you to the end"

    At this point, the friend is desperate. In the back of his mind, he knows that there's nothing he can do, yet he continues to try to help the addict anyway, as he can't just sit idly by as he "falls apart," as it were. I feel that soon after this, the addict died, even though the friend did the best he could to try to stop it, figuratively chasing him "to the end," the "end" being the end of the addict's life.

    "I'm left with emptiness, that words can not defend"

    At this point, the friend has gone into a depression because of the end result of the addict's addiction. He probably feels so betrayed, so helpless, that he can't even find the words to describe how empty he feels inside.

    "you'll never know what I became
    because of you"

    This is the main line that led me to believe that the addict had died, as since he is dead, he'll never know what he put his friend through, how much he scarred him. He'll never know the kind of person his friend had become because of his poor decisions.

    "Powerless!

    Powerless!

    Powerless!"

    Yelling "Powerless!" over and over again summarizes and emphasizes basically how the friend felt during the whole ordeal: Powerless. Despite all of his efforts, despite how much he may have cared for the addict, he knew that deep down, there was absolutely nothing he could do, that even though he DID try to help in every way possible, his efforts were fruitless and left him feeling powerless to change the end result.

    ___________

    That was how I interpreted it, anyway. It'll be interesting to see how others interpret the lyrics.
    Fragmuffinon June 21, 2012   Link
  • +3
    Lyric CorrectionThese are the right lyrics:

    You hid your skeletons, when I had shown you mine
    you woke the devil that I thought you left behind
    I saw the evidence the crimson soaking through
    ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose...

    And you held It all
    but you were careless to let it fall
    you held it all
    and I was by your side
    Powerless

    I watched you fall apart
    and chased you to the end
    I'm left an empty mess, that words can not defend
    you'll never know what I became
    because of you
    ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose...

    And you held It all
    but you were careless to let it fall
    you held it all
    and I was by your side
    Powerless

    And you held It all
    but you were careless to let it fall
    you held it all
    and I was by your side
    Powerless!!!

    Powerless!

    Powerless!
    DJDarkWolfon June 16, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIn Music Video.. LP Presents A Breaking Of a Serious Relationship
    theshan110on July 07, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCrimson soaking through would seem to refer to blood from injecting seeping into the sleeve from underneath. Therefore heroin addiction. Terrible.
    dan7747592on September 23, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song is definitely about the hardships between two people who cares about each other but --one of them--struggles to overcome an addiction and had a relapse or experience physical violence and became abusive.

    In my mind this song is about person who is witnessing a dear friend's on-off struggle with heroin addiction. Heroin addiction is a powerful addiction that many do not recover from in my line of work as a counselor.

    On another thought, this song symbolizes Supernatural's Dean and Sam's unconditional brotherly love perfectly. That's just my opinion!
    Liebebugon May 17, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat I saw was a struggle with self harm, a person confiding in their friend, their friend saying they were recovered but not, and I see that the friend may have committed suicide, leaving an emptiness, and a feeling of being powerless to have saved the friend.
    Maequinnwinchesteron August 05, 2015   Link
  • -1
    General Commentya if u like this comment u will mecome powerfull and this song is amazing!!!!!!!
    dachiefon January 25, 2013   Link

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