"Overkill" as written by and Colin James / Hay....
Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away, I can't get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications

Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
Perhaps it's just imagination

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away

Alone between the sheets
Only brings exasperation
It's time to walk the streets
Smell the desperation

At least there's pretty lights
And though there's little variation
It nullifies the night
From overkill

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away

I can't get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications

Especially at night
I worry over situation
I know will be alright
It's just overkill

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Ghosts appear and fade away
Ghosts appear and fade away


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery, edited by underlyricks70

"Overkill" as written by Colin Hay

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Overkill song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI love this song...I really do. What it's about? Well, I'm thinking it's about this person who is thinking about situations that they're stuck in. This thing is driving him nuts, and he can't do much. The line "Ghosts appear and fade away..." is like the flashbacks of the situations. He knows they'll be alright but still, he worries about them. Everyday, the situations reappear, and there's no way for him to make them go away.

    Kind of reminds me of my own situations....right now, a whole bunch of my friends are pretty much estranged from each other. We still barely talk, and it is sure as hell not the same. I think about these things all time. My friends are now those ghosts that appear and fade away. I guess that's why the show Scrubs used this song. It's just overkill....that's all...
    TasChiBandGirlon October 05, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment Regardless of the reason whether it's due to them about to hit it big around the world or not...it illustrates something that comes up a few times in Men At Work's music. Paranoia. It's not necessarily to the level of Paranoid schizophrenia but the restlessness is about the insomnia caused by him overthinking everything (I think about the implication of diving in too deep). He's paranoid that something will go wrong. You'll see the same thing in Who Can It Be Now", "It's a Mistake" (this one may take a bit more looking at the root cause of why he would write a song about that and at least parts of "Down Under".
    robertBosson September 28, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI know a lot of people are trying to say schizophrenia, paranoia, or some crap about relationships, but as someone with anxiety, i can tell that this is what this song is tackling. The lines "Especially at night I worry over situations I know will be alright Perhaps it's just imagination" is what puts this in my head, as this is largely what having anxiety is like. It might be similar to other mental illnesses, but i'm sure anxiety is the main subject. As for the "ghosts appear and fade away" i'm sure it is meant to be taken in a metaphorical sense. With anxiety problems really do haunt you like ghosts.
    underlyricks70on June 18, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHow about this song being about schizophrenia (sp?)?

    "Day after Day, it reappears
    Night after Night, my heart beat shows the fear
    Ghosts appear and fade away..."

    Schizos have problems with things "reappearing" to them time after time, mainly voices which would cause one to lose sleep. Some of these voices (ghosts in the song) can cause many of a schizo to worry about things that normally wouldn't trouble others. For example the voice in one's head telling one that someone will die or some thing will happen if they don't blink 33 times in a row.

    Or this could just be about depression? The ghosts being that feeling of helplessness under the weight of that terrible condition. This person doesn't want the depression to get worse, but the paradox being that thinking about wanting to avoid getting worse, just makes everything worse anyway.

    The sax solo in this song is quite haunting and beautiful...
    Hawkgoldon March 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't think it's necessary to resort to as radical an idea as schizophrenia, though they were certainly treading that ground with "Who Can It Be Now".

    I think this is clearly just a song about insomnia related to anxiety. I've suffered from it for years, and I can tell you straight out that when it hits, it's better to go for a walk and clear your head rather than try to fight it out "alone between the sheets". You look at the stars, chill out, and that nullifies the "overkill", the unnecessary worrying about situations you know will be okay.

    What a fantastic song.
    cbehrenson March 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI found out the real reason this was on scrubs: it turns out that Lazlo Bane, who do "superman" the theme, have a recording studio that Colin Hay (who apeared in that episode as the drifter/patient/dead guy) is somehow connected to so they made the suggestion to scurbs to let him do a song for the show.
    elscorcho3880on March 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a great song, one of my personal favourites as an Aussie. Colin Hay also does an incredible accoustic version of this on one of his more recent solo albums. Worth a listen. Cheers...
    tillytesson April 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a great song, one of my personal favourites as an Aussie. Colin Hay also does an incredible accoustic version of this on one of his more recent solo albums. Worth a listen. Cheers...
    tillytesson April 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLazlo Bane covered the song and Colin Hay sang the last verse. It sounds great. Lazlo Bane slowed it down and changed the sound quite a bit from the way Men at Work had originally played it. But they managed to do it without disgracing the song.

    I think the schizophrenia thing could be right. It's hit the point where he's having trouble sleeping and now he's even noticing that he's lonely ("Alone between the sheets; Only brings exasperation.").
    Bravuraon December 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgoats appear and fade away....
    naomcaraon August 20, 2006   Link

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