"Low Ceiling" as written by and Michael A. Inez Jerry Cantrell....
Old mister fun is back
Wonder where he's been hiding at
Hanging round the edge
Walls unfortified, inside

No different, patchwork hack
Toil away on an unlaid track
Falls closing in, got nowhere to hide
This time

Finding ceilings low
I'm too big or this room's too small
Why's my ceiling another's floor

Past twisted, expected wrap
Attention span increasingly short
Hard to breathe, this altitude will get you high
I've tried

Finding ceilings low
I'm too big or this room's too small
Why's my ceiling another's floor

And nobody can tell you
It's a moment in time
That defines and deforms you

Finding ceilings low
I'm too big or this room's too small
Why's my ceiling another's floor

And nobody can tell you
It's your moment in time

Write me over, false reporter
Can't you let me shine
Write me over, false reporter
Can't you let me shine

And nobody can tell you
It's a moment in time
That defines and deforms you


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by tjayden, KillingMeSoftly

Low Ceiling song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +2
    Song Meaningthis song is a shot at music critics. No matter how good someone/band is, if a critic "has it in for them"...you'll always be hindered.
    dmhennenon June 08, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne interpretation involves the line "why's my ceiling another's floor." Coming from a person with inner turmoil or demons or addiction or perhaps mental illness, the best days of someone afflicted in this way could be the normal or low days of someone who does not have those struggles. Under this view, the beginning of the song speaks of a good day, a ceiling day. The person you are on the good days is always there, just not always able to get out. As summer turns to fall and winter, dark times are around the corner, be it a literal change in seasons or seasonal affective disorder (or the winter blues). On the good days, there is a shadow of the bad days to come. One thing to do is take advantage of it and get some work done. During the bad times, it's hard not to twist past struggles in a way in which it is hard to see your way out. Your mind is busy spinning or dwelling, and it's hard to stay focused or maintain attention. It's easy to feel trapped or claustrophobic in a busy, worried, or depressed mind. One of the worst accusers is a depressed or anxious mind and the negative voices. You know this is just how you're feeling in a moment, and how you deal with that moment can bolster or weaken you.

    Another thought I had about this song, unlike the interpretation above, is it sounds like the life of a touring musician. Musicians visit towns they've been before ("old mister fun is back"), work on the road ("toiling away on an unlaid track"), tour through seasons ("falls closing in got nowhere to hide this time"), find themselves in hotel rooms ("too big ... or this room's too small" and "why's my ceiling another's floor" literally), have defining moments on the road (both good and bad), are reviewed by writers, etc. It kind of fits.

    I like the music critic interpretations above. Alice in Chains have been known for those digs at critics and reporters over the years. I heard "Grind me over, false reporter", which I wish were the lyrics. It would be a nice wink to fans and callback to "Grind". I also think "it's a moment in time" is an Alice In Chains-ism in general and a Jerry Cantrell-ism in particular. I've read interviews where their songs are described in this way - that the music and lyrics capture a moment in time and are true to a moment in time.

    I also want to mention that many times Alice In Chains has been through some sort of inferno or maelstrom and have come through the fire, while changed, still great and as good or better (in my opinion), like a phoenix from the ashes. From a musical standpoint, Alice In Chains and Jerry Cantrell's floor seems to be the sky and the stars (and worldwide success and acclaim), and wouldn't it be nice to have that as a floor? It's easy to look up to a musician like Jerry Cantrell or a band like Alice In Chains and not realize that they have struggles that equal or dwarf are own, though Alice In Chains is great about communicating sometimes dark moments through music.
    nutshell02on January 10, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My Opinioni love this song. <3
    cariebon August 01, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI definitely see the interpretation about poking fun at music critics (or any critics for that matter), but the lyrics are open enough to see other interpretations as well. I can also see it being about being suppressed (possibly from first impressions, given the "it's your moment in time that defines and deforms you" line) and being frustrated about it.

    Yet another great song off of TDPDH!
    Soundtallicaon February 20, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationCould be about flirting with suicide and thinking of the desire to actually take the plunge, so to speak. A moment in time that defines and deforms you. All these songs post-Layne seem to revolve around Layne in some way but are also open-interpretations. Could apply to anything. Could be that it describes what Layne was going through with his self-destructive behavior.
    Life Means Nothingon March 30, 2015   Link

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