"A Thousand Days Before" as written by and Chris J Cornell Kim A Thayil....
Life
A thousand days ago
Hours
Sinking in a hole
Try
To melt into all the walls
Now
I am here inside the cold

Here in the dark
Where no one stayed behind me

Now
A thousand days have gone
Again
Like the sun and moon at war
And
Give or take a thousand more

Here in the dark
Where no one stayed behind me
I’ll be on my own side
You know where to find me
You know where to find me

Here in the cold
Where no one stayed beside me
I’ll be on my own side
You know where to find me
You know where to find me

Born
with a thousand little holes
And tear to fill up everyone
A thousand to ignore

I’ll be on my own side
I’ll be on my own side
I’ll be on my own side
Hey


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"A Thousand Days Before" as written by Kim A Thayil Chris J Cornell

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A Thousand Days Before song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI can't believe no one's commented on this excellent song yet!

    I'll break the ice: I think this song is typical of Cornell's "Me-against-the-world" attitude. Born imperfect into a life with many tears, and you have no one to depend on but yourself. Referring to the song's title, I think he's talking about how he conquered his battles that occurred a thousand days before. And in the end, he'll stand alone, but he'll still be standing.
    ultramegaunknownon December 02, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGod this song is awesome. One of their best ever, I think. I think ultramegaunknown pretty much nailed it. When I saw Soundgarden this past January at Terminal 5 in NYC, I was praying that they would play this... I had to wait until the encore, but as soon as I heard that guitar riff I went nuts, I remember standing in the pit surrounded by moshers with my arms spread... hahaha, it was great.
    Tig45on February 23, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationHere are the lyrics printed in the liner notes and that are really close to what I actually hear Chris singing:

    Life a thousand days ago
    Hours sinking in a hole
    Try to melt into the walls
    Now I am here inside the bowl

    Here in the cold
    Where no one stands behind me

    Now a thousand days have gone
    Again like the sun and moon at war
    And give or take a thousand more

    Here in the cold
    Where no one stands behind me
    I'll be on my own side
    You know where to find me
    You know where to find me

    Born with a thousand little holes
    And a tear to fill up every one

    A thousand to ignore
    I'll be on my own side
    I'll be on my own side

    -Chris Cornell

    To me, this song is about coming to terms with a life-long struggle with depression and loneliness. King Animal was released around the time that I was coming to terms with such a struggle in my own life at age 30. To be more specific, I diagnosed myself with Avoidant Personality Disorder (I have no training in psychology, but this makes sense to me). This has been an unsolvable conflict between my intense desire for companionship and the crippling fear I have of other people that leads me to isolate myself. That experience weighs heavily on how I perceive these lyrics.

    The “thousand days” describes a person who has been stuck in a profound rut and has been counting the days long past the point a person usually begins counting months and then years. This and being “on my own side” are the two main themes of the song. Chris says he'll be alone “here in the cold” (not a pleasant place or where he wants to be) and the statement “you know where to find me” suggests that it is accepted as a fact that he will be alone. For me, this doesn't sound like whining but more like someone who is coming to terms with who he is and realizing that he can't change.

    The first verse has a very interesting coupling of trying to melt into the wall (feeling shy) with finding himself “here inside the bowl,” which I took to be a reference to the life in a fishbowl idiom (loss of privacy).

    The second verse has an interesting reference to the sun and moon at war (the eternal cycle of day and night).

    Then there is a bridge that is very powerful both musically and lyrically, “Born with a thousand little holes.” A little hole would seem minor to an observer (“A thousand to ignore”), but a thousand holes is a serious problem for the one who has to bear them. And being born with them implies that this condition was unavoidable and either attributed to genetics or fate (take you pick). “And a tear to fill up every one” is a classic Chris Cornell line expressing sadness and pain in a creative, thought-provoking, and powerful way.

    For me, this song is an even more powerful statement about chronic, severe depression than Fell on Black Days. Even though it may seem like it should be a big downer, and even though I did break down sobbing the first time I listened to it, this song has felt very comforting to me. It was comforting to know I'm not the only one who struggles as I do. It's also comforting to know my feelings aren't something to be ashamed of but something that can inspire some very powerful lyrics.
    GetyourselfCtrlon September 04, 2017   Link

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