My eyes seek reality
My fingers seek my veins
There’s a dog at your back step
He must come in from the rain

I fall ‘cause I’ve let go
The net below has rot away
So my eyes seek reality
And my fingers seek my veins

The trash fire is warm
But nowhere safe from the storm
And I can’t bear to see
What I’ve let me be
So wicked and worn

So as I write to you
Of what is done and to do
Maybe you’ll understand
And you won’t cry for this man
‘Cause low man is due

Please forgive me

My eyes seek reality
My fingers feel for faith
Touch clean with a dirty hand
I touch the clean to the waste

The trash fire is warm
But nowhere safe from the storm
And I can’t bear to see
What I’ve let me be
So wicked and worn

So as I write to you
Of what is done and to do
Maybe you’ll understand
And won’t cry for this man
‘Cause low man is due

Please forgive me

So low, the sky is all I see
All I want from you is forgive me
So you bring this poor dog in from the rain
Though he just wants right back out again

And I cry to the alleyway
Confess all to the rain
But I lie, lie straight to the mirror
The one I’ve broken to match my face

The trash fire is warm
But nowhere safe from the storm
And I can’t bear to see
What I’ve let me be
So wicked and worn

So as I write to you
Of what is done and to do
Maybe you’ll understand
And won’t cry for this man
‘Cause low man is due

Please forgive me

So low, the sky is all I see
All I want from you is forgive me
So you bring this poor dog in from the rain
Though he just wants right back out again

My eyes seek reality
My fingers seek my veins


Lyrics submitted by elmoz, edited by Nightcrow4, Ashram

Low Man's Lyric song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentI've been waiting for months to tell you guys, that the line "and my fingers seek my veins" doesn't mean he was taking drugs or trying to kill himself. Its like checking to see if he is alive, if there is a pulse
    DistributorOfPainon April 18, 2004   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThis song is about accepting one's true nature. It combats the popular religious belief that you can be forgiven by confessing your sins. You can apologize to others for who you are, but that's not the same as forgiving yourself. You'll always be tied to what you've done and at the end of the day if you feel like you're not a good person, then the only resolution is to attempt to change your nature. Yet, you're trapped forever in your own mind with the memories of what you've done in your life. If you have corrupted and harmed other human beings, then it's difficult to feel like you really deserve forgiveness. If you can't look at yourself and say that you've lived your life the right way or treated people well, then how will you ever feel like you're deserving of the good that life has to offer?
    LL2369on June 10, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThere is definately alot of feeling in this song. This song (to me) is about death, suicide as a matter of fact.

    This guy who's about to kill himself is writing to a loved one asking for forgiveness ("Please Forgive Me...Maybe you'll understand And won't cry for this man") for the fact that he can't change whatever is wrong with him, possibly a drug addiction("So, you bring this poor dog in from the rain Though he just wants right back out again") It's about sorrow, the guy is torn and depressed. He cries in the alleyway and confesses all to the rain, but then he lies to the mirror. He's Definately Got Issues.

    The Song Is Open To Miles Of Interpretation But That's How I Saw It Off The Top Of My Head, Defintely One Of My Favorite Metallica Songs
    Mr_Montezon August 15, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSo as I write to you, yeah
    What is dawning to do, yeah?
    Maybe you'll understand
    And won't cry for this man
    'cause low man is due
    Please forgive me
    Please forgive me


    to me..it sounds like he sings "what is done and to do" instead of dawning. Which makes more sense..particularly with the suicide theme.

    But I could be wrong, english is not my second language after all :)
    weaselfierceon August 22, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt should be "Net below has ROT away" not right away.
    ChaseKendereson April 05, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is about a man who is writing a suicide note. The trash fire is the little bit of hope that this person offered him, but the storm is the inevitability that he will kill himself, as he knows that the net has rotted away, but still chooses to give up and let go of his life. It’s a suicide note because it says, “What’s done and to do”, which means by the time he/she reads the note, he will be dead, but it hasn’t yet happened. And as he’s writing, he is feeling like he’s already dead (being so low the sky is all he can see, like in a grave), which is why he’s figuratively feeling for a pulse and is so far gone in his depression, that he sees nothing but that looming cloud of death in the distance. He also sees himself as this worthless person who doesn’t deserve to live. He tried to feel better about himself, but it was only on an outward notion, as it says that he’s lying to himself. He’s asking forgiveness because even though he may not feel like he deserves it, the person will be hurt that he killed himself. The note he is writing is to give some kind of clarity as to why he is killing himself, so the person he is writing it to will understand. He’s sorry because this person has already saved him from committing suicide before, but he just wants to put himself out of his misery and save the world from himself. When he says that he’s touching the clean to the waste, it’s actually him who is the waste and is comparing the person who saved him as clean and he’s tainted the person with the burden of trying to save this man.
    RobinMatt1on August 20, 2012   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningOne of the deepest songs Het has ever written. It's a bit long of a description but please give me a chance to explain and I promise, if you love this song as well, you will feel very inspired.

    This song is about addiction. Plain and simple. It's a letter being written to a loved one from a moment of clarity or a time when sober, such as being in rehab. If you read EVERYTHING together, not just "my fingers seek my veins", you'll see it. I'll just use "her" for simplicity's sake to refer to the person he cares for since it's Hetfield speaking to this person...

    The first verse is stating his intentions. His heart wants sobriety/reality, but his body keeps going back to the drug. He wants another chance with her, wanting to come back to his life/out of the "rain".

    Second verse, he "fell"/relapsed because he "gave up" and his chances had been used up/net below has rot away.

    Chorus.. He's lost everything so he's "keeping warm with the trash fire" but he still craves/nowhere safe from the "storm" of addiction in his mind. And he can't bear to acknowledge/look at what he's become.

    He's literally writing to her (again, most likely from rehab or place of sobriety), coming to terms with what he's done and the path he must take to sobriety, and asking her not to feel pity since he accepts he's made these decisions, but instead asking for forgiveness.

    Third... with sobriety, comes a feeling of being extremely "low" and depressed with what you've done, and craving forgiveness from those you've hurt. (And possibly the most important line of the song) "you bring this poor dog in from the rain/and he just wants right back out again"... the endless cycle of addiction, you beg for help, receive it, but just end up relapsing/into addiction, wanting to or involuntarily.

    At a time when he lost everything, he would "cry to the alleyway/confess all to the rain" because addiction stripped him of a home and everyone he cared about... no one left to listen, nowhere left to live. And as every addict does, he "lies straight to the mirror" (we lie to ourselves about everything... being in control, still having a life, "going to quit tomorrow"); the one he's "broken to match his face" (hating what he sees when he looks at himself because deep down he knows the truth).
    **********
    I see many differing opinions of this brilliant song and Metallica songs have always been open to the listener's interpretation. But one thing I've noticed about Hetfield's songs about addiction, many of them are very difficult to pinpoint as being ABOUT addiction until you yourself have fallen into the abyss of addiction. There were a good 5 or 6 songs (Sad But True, House Jack Built, Bleeding Me, Trapped Under Ice, etc) I never had any idea dealt with this until you start coming face to face with everything he's saying. That's the sign of a true artist.. once you live thru it, you feel what he's saying.

    Thank you if you've stuck with me to the end here, and I hope this helped bring the feeling and depth of this work of art into your heart and soul. And for those of you that suffer addiction like me, I hope this song brings solace and a tiny bit of serenity into your life as so many of James Hetfield's songs have done for me.
    N9inchnails9on April 08, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI interpret this song to be about a homeless man who once had a family, but drugs messed up his life and now he's out on the streets.

    He just wants his family to forgive him and no matter how they try to help him, he keeps ending up back "out in the rain", and on the street.

    The trash fire symbolizes the place where he feels safest. It's warm and comforting, but not safe from the storm that is his drug use.

    He's writing this letter to his family to tell them to forgive him and and not to worry about him because he did it to himself.
    ChaseKendereson April 05, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwell, my favorite lines are
    "and i can't bear to see
    what i've let me be
    so wicked and worn"
    and the verse
    "And I cry, to the alley way
    Confess all to the rain
    But I lie, lie straight to the mirror
    One I've broken, to match my face"

    they are just..........dammit i cant express myself too good. i feel this song though, particularly those lines. bleh. *hides back into shell*
    bionicgoldfishon April 29, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou guys are all being way too specific. The purpose of these lyrics are so that everybody can relate. It doesn't necessarilly have anything to do with an addiction, or a homeless person. The song is about coming to terms with your mistakes. He or she has made a major mistake somewhere along the line and a friend has tried to help them out but were pushed away (So you bring this poor dog in from the rain Though he just wants right back out again).
    Now he or she wishes that they had taken the help and are ashamed of what they have become (and i can't bare to see, what i've let me be). And now is asking to be forgiven for the stubborness.
    The effect that i think is supposed to be felt by us (the fans) is this, If you are in any trouble, don't deny help because it will only get worse and life isn't meant to be lived alone.
    I can see how drugs would be brought into this (my fingers seek my veins) but consider this:
    It says My eyes seek reality - He or she is coming to terms that this is reality, this is the persons life. Maybe they're seeking veins to check that he/she is alive. Whether or not they are really living their life.
    This song is full of metaphors and a million meanings could be thought up about it. It means whatever it means to you.
    squatto24on March 20, 2005   Link

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