"When I'm Down" as written by and Chris Cornell....
What say you now?
The door is opening on your vigil
And I'm in my usual way
I save my breath, knowing what you're
Wanting me to say
I only love you when I'm down
You say that midnight opens its arms to me
Leaving you alone, and I fly so far away
Until the light blurs my vision
And I have nowhere to roam
I only love you when I'm down
And I only love you when I'm down
And I'm only near you when I'm gone
But one thing for you to keep in mind, you know
I'm down all the time

Well I know you're reaching out
And you need to feel my hand
You want to be understood, yeah well I understand
I know you hold precious little hope for me
And in your hapiness
I'm always drowning in my grief
And I only love you when I'm down
And I'm only near you when I'm gone
But one thing for you to keep in mind, you know
I'm down all the time
All the time, all the time, all the time


Lyrics submitted by Ruthie7

"When I'm Down" as written by Chris Cornell

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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When I'm Down song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThe speaker's lady accuses him of only feeling love for her when he's depressed. He's saying that may be true, but he's always depressed so he always feels the love.

    Chris has got such a friggen awesome soulful voice. Sends me shivers, it does.
    Terrormisuon October 27, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is my favorite song out of this album...along with preachin' i guess,...
    i guess...love its like to be a philosopher ...they write their best..when they are at their worst...
    and sometimes..we just love the most when we feel like theres only one person who loves us back...cuz no one else's there but that only person..
    when we need love..and when we just need something we feel its missin in our lifes its when love strickes its biggest...
    and maybe..we're just too down and low to show that love the right way..and we send all the opposite signs..but thats our way..to love and to show it..
    theres no love like the depressive,obssesive,dramatic love..cuz because of its intensity..we just dont know how to let go of that..
    might sound sick..and twisted..
    but thats just the way we humans..work..
    we're just victims of our emotions..


    peace
    isobelon May 02, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI listen to this song when I get depressed. Believe me, it helps.
    Topchrison October 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm sorry. But wtf no your all wrong. I think it is a song for his wife Susan Silver whom he divorced not long after this album's release. Keep in mind this was a period of heavy drinking and smoking for Chris. The song is pretty straight forward not much translation is needed. I think people over-analyze Cornell's works.
    ToBeHumanon April 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentADORE this song! It's awesome

    btw, nice interpratation isobel. Really nice:D
    OLPfanboy69on June 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt holds similarities to Sonnet 130.

    isobel-i think we know what you mean. I reckon everyone has had that love at some point. It's so hard to find that balance. Too much or too little love. Emotions are seldom balanced.

    Favourite song. Plus 'Nowhere But You' - dark things...
    drunkenbabyon February 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is obvioulsy about being depressed. Like, nothing really matters when you fel that way, you just want to be numb. Having just broken up with my girlfriend, I know how he feels right now (boo).
    underdose86on January 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn general, the speaker realizes that his love for this individual is only felt in connection to some kind of depression or grief.
    Runningace18on May 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationChris is an owl in this song, he roams through the night, he gets high and leaves his girl to sleep alone. Time passes by and she starts to wake up too, and when she arrgues with him he explains to her that he loves her but doesnt know how to deal with sadness so he tooks off cause nothing helps him
    nati1271on September 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have been in this exact situation year in, and year out for the past 10 years with a woman. here's my take:

    The door is opening on your vigil
    And I'm in my usual way
    (She's been waiting and waiting for another chance, and here it comes, but for him, he thinks nothing of it)
    I save my breath, knowing what you're
    Wanting me to say
    (He won't yet acknowledge the she is his rock)
    I only love you when I'm down
    You say that midnight opens its arms to me
    Leaving you alone, and I fly so far away
    Until the light blurs my vision
    And I have nowhere to roam
    (He goes out, parties, chases women, but feels empty, and again comes back)
    I only love you when I'm down
    And I only love you when I'm down
    And I'm only near you when I'm gone
    (Misses her and realizes she's not so bad, when he's not around her)
    But one thing for you to keep in mind, you know
    I'm down all the time

    Well I know you're reaching out
    And you need to feel my hand
    You want to be understood, yeah well I understand
    I know you hold precious little hope for me
    (She is holding out, hoping he realizes they should be together)

    And in your hapiness
    I'm always drowning in my grief
    (He comes home broken hearted, beaten up, hungover..and she is thrilled to have him home)
    GC86on June 29, 2017   Link

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