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Metallica – The Unforgiven II Lyrics 1 month ago
This song is about trust and not being able to let go of the past.

The protagonist is describing someone they have learned to open up to, after carrying grudges and emotional scars their whole life.

This person has " laid beside" them "under wicked sky," not being scared away by the protagonist's dark side or fleeing during hard times.

Everyone else this person has trusted before they feel has hurt or abandoned them. So they've closed themselves off. Now "behind the door," the protagonist asks this person they feel inclined to trust "should I open it for you?" As in, "should I let this person in and put my faith in them?"

But they are also reluctant. "Are you Unforgiven, too?" The Unforgiven is a term the protagonist gives all of those who have hurt them, creating the emotional baggage they can't seem to toss off.

The song doesn't seem to have a happy resolution. After deciding to unlock the proverbial door and let someone in again, the protagonist says "I take this key, and I bury it in you, because you're Unforgiven, too." Ultimately they feel betrayed by the person they decided to let in, and have decided to lay to rest the notion of ever letting someone in again, along with the relationship.

If this song was autobiographical at all for James Hetfield, he must have moved past the feeling. He has a family he presumably loves and trusts. Or maybe he wrote it from the perspective of the person he was afraid of becoming.

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