"Papercut" as written by Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Chester Charles Bennington, Joseph Hahn and Robert G. Bourdon....
Why does it feel like night today?
Something in the air's not right today
Why am I so uptight today?
Paranoia's all I got left
I don't know what stressed me first
Or how the pressure was fed
But I know just what it feels like
To have a voice in the back of my head
Like a face that I hold inside
A face that awakes when I close my eyes
A face watches every time I lie
A face that laughs every time I fall
(It watches everything)
So I know now when it's time to sink or swim
That the face inside is hearing me
Right beneath my skin

It's like I'm paranoid lookin' over my back
It's like a whirlwind inside of my head
It's like I can't stop what I'm hearing within
It's like the face inside is right beneath my skin

I know I've got a face in me
Points out all my mistakes to me
You've got a face on the inside too
Your paranoia's probably worse
I don't know what set me off first but I know what I can't stand
Everybody acts like the fact of the matter is
I can't add up to what you can but
Everybody has a face that they hold inside
A face that awakes when I close my eyes
A face that watches every time they lie
A face that laughs every time they fall
(It watches everything)
So you know that when it's time to sink or swim
That the face inside is watching you too
Right inside your skin

It's like I'm paranoid lookin' over my back
It's like a whirlwind inside of my head
It's like I can't stop what I'm hearing within
It's like the face inside is right beneath my skin
It's like I'm paranoid lookin' over my back
It's like a whirlwind inside of my head
It's like I can't stop what I'm hearing within
It's like the face inside is right beneath my skin

The face inside is right beneath your skin
The face inside is right beneath your skin
The face inside is right beneath your skin

The sun goes down
I feel the light betray me
The sun goes down
I feel the light betray me

It's like I'm paranoid lookin' over my back
It's like a whirlwind inside of my head
It's like I can't stop what I'm hearing within
It's like the face inside is right beneath my skin
It's like I'm paranoid lookin' over my back
It's like a whirlwind inside of my head
It's like I can't stop what I'm hearing within
It's like I can't stop what I'm hearing within
It's like I can't stop what I'm hearing within
It's like the face inside is right beneath my skin


Lyrics submitted by Matt

"Papercut" as written by Chester Charles Bennington Brad Delson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Papercut song meanings
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  • +10
    General CommentHonestly, although I agree that it is about paranoia, I also think Papercut could be about schizophrenia. But I know just what it feels like
    To have a voice in the back of my head
    It's like a face that I hold inside
    Like a face that awakes when I close my eyes
    A face watches every time I lie
    A face that laughs every time I fall
    (And watches everything)
    It's like a whirlwind inside of my head
    It's like I can't stop what I'm hearing within
    It's like the face inside is right beneath my skin

    I have skitz, and this pretty much sums it up. Just to add a new point of view to this convo.
    thechickwiththeguitaron June 04, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General Commentman gosh i love this song i can relate to it so much cuz i know people exactly like this (stuck in depression-caused paranoia) and ive been everywhere in the lyrics of this song. i can almost imagine people i know like this in the music video with LP and singing along when they say "the suuun... goes dooowwn... i feel light betray me; the suuun go-oes do-own... i feel the light betray me; the suu-u-uuun..." with tears in their eyes, all emo.. i know how it feels to think like when the sun goes down youre being left behind in the darkness thats already too much to bear, and you realize the darkness inside you now matches the darkness outside of you. this song is simple in meaning: LP is looking at all the people out there who have had horrible, disturbed-for-life things happen to them that leads to depression then that eventually goes to your head and causes paranoid symptons becuz of the pain and stains inside (kids whove watched their loved ones die graphically in front of them; girls whove been raped)... and it makes you say crazy things when youre feeling this way, like everyone has this darkness in them and it prods at you all day, and gets worse at night... this song reaches out to those people. what LP does a lot is they sing about how horribly off they are, yet they say that the person theyre talking to is even worse, trying to paint a picture of just how bad things get that we cant understand.
    th3h4rp1ston November 22, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentOf all the songs on this CD, I like this one the most. Mostly because of the lyric, "Everybody has a face that they hold inside", because that's true. This band has a way of taking people who are miserable or who are feeling alone and basically just making them feel better - especially this song - because it shows them that they really aren't alone. At least that's what this CD does for me.
    Gorjesson January 08, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment This is about a tormented soul that has a "face", a voice, an evil manevolent conscience, that has total autotomy from this person. He has no control over it{yet it is in him and a part of him and he can't extricate himself from it} and it pursues him/her , without mercy or compassion to drive home every mistake, foult, sin and failing that this person shows or does. It is a very POWERFUL voice that is internalized {underneath the skin}, and is not at all concerned with this person's wellbeing, but acts to be a PROSECUTING LAWYER, JUDGE & EXECUTIONER/PUNISHER. It accuses him, it mocks him and laughs at him/her for failing, for falling , For Not Measuring up{I CAN'T ADD UP TO WHAT YOU CAN} It's like the DEVIL HIMSELF designed them as his little imps, henchmen do do his dirty work. It has gotton to the point that it has taken over his mind and though he hates it{I kow what i can't stand} but keeps him on constant edge{why am i so uptight today} like a shell-shocked battle worn soldier that has been so rentlessly bombarded, that even a small "shot" makes him jump in fear, he's trying to swim,(just suvive this attack), but he's sunk because its there ready again beneath the skin to get him. And its so pervasive its all he's got its his new reality/exhistance{ paronias all i got left} and its pushing into the realm of insanity{parania:its in here {my mind}and it's out to get me} and its a wirlwind in his head {a force that is powerful and is uncontrollable blowing him away} . But get this it's worse when the sun goes down.{ decrease the light, increase the voice/face } i can imagine someone laying on there on the bed alone and in the dark and the face attacks and keeps attacking, The light could represent his ablility to see the truth beyond the evil face's voice, or it could mean the light{Goodness, God, the Truth about his/her true value} has abandonded him{the sun goes down I feel the light betray me}. He may feel God has abandoned him. There is no escape the face inside the skin. I think people get this in there heads by heaping abuse of some authority, some evil parent, or caretaker that doesn't really care for some young child, but because they are god-like, they can set impossible standards and rules out to the minutia and then come down hard {i mean abusively hard physically verbally and emotionally} on this child who can never live up to it. In fact it is not designed to let the person succeed , but to fail. It might have happenened so early that the person can't remember how they got that way or what triggered it today{I don't know what stressed me first or how the pressure's fed} but there plenty of condeming voices in this world that can support this "Voice" that that's all this tormented soul hears feels and experiences. It is like the voice of that evil parent internalized now , still no escape. For me it was my Ass-hole father, though dead he lives with-in. I rebel but it pursues. I can't even see God as a Father because of this "face inside it's right beneath my skin."



























    ' a voice that is more than a conscience, but is a split and independently atonomous entity{alter personality?}, that relentlessly pursues his host to show, accuse, enumerate, every fault, mistake, sin, and is a legalist , a judge and and punisher. He has no control over it, he can't escape. The face is not concerned with the wellbeing of the person, but is ruthless in its goal, to torment this soul with every mistake...and it is stressing him so much he wants to sleep just to escape, but even that will not give relief...infact its gotten to the point that this tormented soul is crossing over to insanity, he feels constantly under tension that its a whirlwind , a black spinning vortex that spins him/her mind around
    Firehearton April 27, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbest linkin park song ever. no arguments. this song says everything you want to say about linkin park. simply awesome. two gold stars for mike shinoda and the boys here!!
    hybridkidon March 10, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentUm,

    IMO. The song is about a person who is very 'self critical'.
    A person who looks back on past desisions and critisises themselves for them. The whole 'paranoia' element, is about being afraid to make choices, beleiving they'll be poor ones.
    WORlockon April 20, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOnviously its about PARANOIA.
    "its like im paranoid looking over my back"
    A great song. A great way to start the album from
    Golyon April 19, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentChester said in one interview with “I was doing some looking through my diary I made when I was fifteen to find something that my parents did that really ticked me off so I could write a song about it. Then, alas, my little pinky finger collided with page and grazed me. Yes, I couldn’t believe my terrible luck, while other luckier than me or dying of hunger, I had in fact gotten, A PAPERCUT!?!?! I was shocked and confused. This piece is about how I feel when I got that papercut. Angry, confused, scared, sad, bitter and abused. I felt so many emotions at once, I knew I had to compose some beautiful lyrics to this deeply spiritual event.”

    Chester continues “Did I tell you how much I hate my parents? My mum actually asked me to take out the garbage once when she broke her back when I used her as a trampoline. The nerve of that female, I am ashamed of being brought into world from. When I was five years old, I asked my father if I could borrow his gun so I could shoot him in the face and he said no!?!? The nerve of some people (I did it anyway though) The face refers to my overprotective single mother, she was everywhere. She was there in the morning to get me up for school and she was sometimes there when I got back if she wasn’t out working to buy me toys. She never left me time to be me. That is why I started this band, so I could tell the world how evil she was. She never used to laugh when I failed or ‘fell’ but I want people to feel sorry for me so we can get a load of followers to hate our parents and, with enough power, hopefully overthrow the current government and kill them all for ever wanting us to be part of a society that failed US. Have you ever seen that movie Logan’s Run?”

    The interviewer responds “No, sorry can’t say that I hav…”

    Chester interrupts “Silence you festering ulcer on the lip of the planet! You speak too gosh darn much. Stop whining you wimp or I’ll get my lawyers to sue you! I have lawyers and six of them are called Charlie so you have no chance to defeat my elite army of darkness. You’ve had your moment in the sun, this is my time to shine, my generation, have you heard that song?”

    Interviewer responds again “Yes, The Who are my favo…”

    Chester interrupts yet again “SHUT UP! Who asked for your opinion anyway, and who are the Who? They sound like a bunch of amateur wimps called the Who. I’m talking about Limp Bizkit, he is so hardcore. He once composed a piece that had the ‘F’ word forty-six times? I’m angry at you, I’m going to visit my mum so I can yell at her for raising me to be a bitter old man and watch her cry and hopefully she’ll attempy suicide again. I will spit in your face now because you are poor like our angst teen bopping fans.”

    Interviewer screams “ARRGGGH!! It is like poison acid burning through my skull.

    Chester laughs menacingly “Foolish human! Nothing can stop the race of the Blorg, we will crush your dimension and rule with an iron fist of pain and suffering and pain and maybe some more suffering. Bow down before your new god of hate!”


    This was a real interview with Chester, I urge all of you to boycott all his albums, protest outside all his shows and when you see him walking down the street headbutt him hard. He is arrogant, cruel to his mother, disrespectful to his fans and also an brain sucking alien from the outer realms of the Gerxyoius galaxy.
    Yournewgodon June 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHybrid Theory is an amazing CD.

    As for this song, I'd argue its meaning is not specifically regarding paranoia, but low self esteem in general. After all, the less confidence that an individual has, the more (social) paranoia they seem to experience ... the two often go hand in hand.

    These social fears and insecurities, as my interpretation of the song conveys, are something which nearly all of us possess ... yet, we instinctively hide them. We hide our real "faces," (feelings, emotions, personalities, etc), under our skin. These faces, or as Freud would say, the human unconscious, are the entities which overtake us when we go to sleep and feel strong emotions, including embarrassment and anger.

    These "faces," or human unconscious, for people with low self esteem, has the power to rip them apart ... to make them question everything they do, especially in social situations. This, I believe is where the paranoia references come into play.

    Everyone has a hidden face ... what we actually see in each other are simply masks, fragments of one's true self. This song seems to discuss the raw power behind these faces, of the human unconscious' control over an individual's confidence level. Indeed, these faces can help us fulfill our dreams, or, as is the case for the person in this song, make our life a nightmare.
    nownknuon April 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI get the "paranoia" theme (rather evident, considering the lyrics mention the word "paranoia" at least 10 times. What I don't get is why the song is titled "Papercut."
    Releqon April 23, 2012   Link

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