"Chrome" as written by Anders Nystrom, Fredrik Norrman and Jonas Petter Renkse....
The walls are painted
Different every second
My eyes are of chrome
It is television

Can't let go of my leg
It's itching and bleeding
Layer by layer
I'm peeling away

Burn down my house
And make something happen
Stab me in the heart

And make something stop
Cause I am so distracted
I am slightly shocked
By how things can keep going
Like a dead man's clock

A mirror is hanging
Kinda loose on my wall
I'm passing it sideways
I'm saying hello

My brother is halfways
Through a book I've left him
Called me today
To see what I'd say


Lyrics submitted by Seven

"Chrome" as written by Fredrik Norrman Anders Nystrom

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Chrome song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentAnother incredibly expressive and potent song from Katatonia; The version off of their Live Poland show is gorgeous. The concept of an out-of-body experience of somekind is interesting however; I've always felt that the primary theme is a sense of desperation. Right from the opening guitar notes opening almost like a cry of frustration: We have a sense of someone who knows that they want something better but is stuck in a dead-end due to their own apathy and they cannot feel enough passion in order to move on to better things. While they know they should be horrified by this; they lack the capacity to even properly appreciate that realization and so they pray for a catalist to make something happen and to cause them to feel something.
    Finally, I almost hate to mention it because if feels rather pretentious; but I have to note that this song also fits perfectly with the Anime series Full Metal Alchemist.
    Tindaloson August 12, 2006   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI think all above interpretations have a point. Tindalos has very well nailed down the theme of the song in a beautifully worded description. I'll try and give my interpretation of what I think the lyrics mean. Sadly I'm not as good with words, especially not in English, which is not my native language.

    The person in this song seems to be quite catatonic, apathic, depersonalized, alienated and desperate. He is for some reason stuck in the past and calls out for a way to wake him up so that he can move on.

    "The walls are painted
    Different every second"

    This seems to be about the changing world around him, while he is stuck. Because he can't move forward and the world is going on without him, to him the changes seem to go very fast. The whole world looks different every second.

    "my eyes are of chrome
    it is television"

    He is looking at the world in an alienated way, as if he is not a part of it. As if he is looking at the world from a great (cold) distance. This gives a very unreal feeling. Like watching through a television.


    "can't let go of my leg
    it's itching and bleeding
    layer by layer
    I'm peeling away"

    Anyone familiar with this feeling when you are feeling very frustrated or desperate, you feel like pulling every single hair out of your head, driving your nails deep into your skin, banging your fists against the wall until they bleed and then some more? Or maybe I'm the only one who ever feels like that..
    Anyway, I think this part is referring to feeling like that. He's scratchig his leg until it hurts and bleeds, but even then can't stop. It is still 'itching', he needs to keep scratching, the pain doesn't affect him, he just needs the 'itching' to stop. Don't take this too literal, he's not really referring to an itching leg, but trying to describe that feeling of wanting to make the mental hurting stop by feeling pain. Just like your fists are itching to pound the wall, and your skin is itching to feel your nails. It is all about a need for pain to calm your inner self. In this case a need for pain to know that he can feel something at all in his apathic state. That's also why he later asks to be stabbed in the heart, to be forced to feel Something.

    The peeling away part is just his emotional decline, causing him to feel more and more dead inside.


    "burn down my house
    and make something happen
    stab me in the heart
    and make something stop"

    Well, pretty much what I already said. Just the hope that someone will do something that will force him to feel anything at all. So that maybe he can be released from his apathy and start moving forward again.

    "'cause I am so distracted
    I am slightly shocked
    by how things can keep going
    like a dead man's clock"

    I think he is just saying that he can't get over this himself, he is too distracted by his despair that he cannot start to heal and move on to better things. And the realization that the world keeps moving on without him shocks him. Just like the fact that the clock of a dead person can still be ticking. It is ofcourse perfectly logical, but somehow it is weird when you think about it. It seems unreal.
    I like how Jonas put that line in, it's a nice metaphor. Because a ticking dead man's clock just feels wrong, as if it's not supposed to be ticking anymore, yet that wouldn't make sense. It is kinda sad too, even this persons very own house simply does not give a damn whether he is alive or dead. The world does not care.

    "a mirror is hanging
    kinda loose on my wall
    I'm passing it sideways
    I'm saying hello"

    This shows the depersonalization he feels. Saying hello to his own reflection means that he feels a stranger to himself. He can no longer identify himself with the person he sees in the mirror.
    The mirror hangs kinda loose on the wall to describe the decay of his house/mind. His house is not nice, clean and comfortable, but cold and dark. Stuff is broken, misplaced, damaged, chaotic. An old dirty shack. And house ofcourse is symbol for his mind. His mind is a ruin, broken.

    "my brother is halfways
    through a book I've left him
    called me today
    to see what I'd say"

    Just a little part that accentuates the alienation of this person. A little fragment of everyday life that feels so unreal to him. His brother calls him about something he really does not care about. Calling to say you're halfway through a book? So what.. It is so trivial. What does it matter? Life is so trivial. Is there anything out there that actually does matter? Those last two lines seem to have an almost sarcastic tone. He simply completely lost his interest in life, and therefore only continues to grow more and more catatonic and dead inside.
    Razamion February 26, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song, one of the first Katatonia songs I was introduced to. Johan's voice is magnificient and the lyrics are quite good. In my opinion, this song just seems to be about an out-of-body experience or just an adventure from your mind and you're allowing your imagination to run free.
    THECobraon June 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song it is so good and mellow. and i love this band too. there music is very rich and compicated at the same time 2 thumbs up!!
    versuson October 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song it is so good and mellow. and i love this band too. there music is very rich and compicated at the same time 2 thumbs up!!
    versuson October 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA lot like how I feel sometimes at this moment and off recent. You just want something to happen, something good, something to make you feel alive.
    Ixeson October 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTindalos nailed it, cool song
    Lateralus518on October 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationAn awesome song, from my hands down favorite band.

    I think this song is about wanting something to happen soo badly. Anything. I think it's about hating to wait around and be uncertain when so much hangs in the balance.

    "burn down my house and make something happen, stab me in the heart and make something stop", that sounds like he's just waiting for anything, anything at all to come along and wake him up, make him see, show him something, anything.

    "cause I am so distracted I am slightly shocked by how things can keep going like a dead mans clock", I think that means exactly what it says, he's freaking out so much and doesn't understand how life is still moving forward even though something is happening or has happened that is so dramatic and has left him almost paralyzed, with fear? maybe shock? but definitely paralyzed.

    "the walls are painted, different every second"... I think that just means he's getting a lot of random information from different sources, or his surroundings keep changing over and over again and he doesn't understand why they can't just settle down. It's chaotic.

    "my eyes are of chrome, it is television".. something so big has happened that it's unbelievable, almost fake, yet it's heavy and intense and traumatic all at the same time. Chrome is slick and shiny yet heavy and scary, so I'm thinking it's something so surreal it almost seems fake and unreal (television).

    "layer by layer, i'm peeling away", I think this represents an emotional state described by important critical physical characteristics.


    this song can be interpreted in soo many ways. I think every one above is right. Katatonia is just too awesome for words. ;)
    hauntingyourmotheron August 13, 2009   Link

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