Messenger of fear in sight
Dark deception kills the light

Hybrid children watch the sea
Pray for father, roaming free

Fearless wretch
Insanity
He watches
Lurking beneath the sea
Great old one
Forbidden site
He searches
Hunter of the shadows is rising
Immortal
In madness you dwell

Crawling chaos, underground
Cult has summoned, twisted sound

Out from ruins once possessed
Fallen city, living death

Fearless wretch
Insanity
He watches
Lurking beneath the sea
Timeless sleep
Has been upset
He awakens
Hunter of the shadows is rising
Immortal
In madness you dwell
In madness you dwell

Not dead which eternal lie
Stranger eons death may die

Drain you of your sanity
Face the thing that should not be

Fearless wretch
Insanity
He watches
Lurking beneath the sea
Great old one
Forbidden site
He searches
Hunter of the shadows is rising
Immortal
In madness you dwell


Lyrics submitted by fennsk, edited by RyanWolfeh, Ashram

The Thing That Should Not Be Lyrics as written by Lars Ulrich James Alan Hetfield

Lyrics © Word Collections Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Thing That Should Not Be song meanings
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  • +9
    Song Meaning

    Lovecraft used the term “Great Old Ones” in only two stories: in “The Call of Cthulhu” it referred to Cthulhu’s spawn, and in “At the Mountains of Madness” it was the title of the starfish-like beings who lived in Antarctica and warred with the Cthulhu-spawn!

    Cthulhu is a “Great Old One” and he is of a race called the “Spawn of Cthulhu”.

    Cthulhu lies "dead but dreaming" in the city of R'lyeh, a place of non-Euclidean madness presently sunken below the depths of the Pacific Ocean. timeless sleep has been upset He awakens

    It is said that the "Great Old Ones" will return, causing worldwide insanity and mindless violence before finally displacing humanity forever. in madness You dwell

    Cthulhu himself is served by humans, the amphibious deep ones or "hybrid children", and his own spawn. Hybrid children watch the sea Pray for Father, roaming free

    Rothguardon August 15, 2012   Link
  • +8
    General Comment

    Although some say it's the worst song on the CD, I like this song, even the fucked up solo, it's like all hell is breaking loose.

    King Nothingon May 07, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    This song might as well be the theme song to H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. Every line of this song is related.

    "Messenger of Fear in sight" A reference to Nyarlathotep, the messenger of the Old Ones.

    "Hybrid children watch the sea Pray for Father, roaming free"

    "Hybrids" are a reference to the offspring of Deep One / Human interbreeding. The Deep Ones are servitors of Cthulhu and Dagon, either of whom could be the "father" mentioned in the song.

    "Crawling Chaos, underground cult has summoned, twisted sound"

    Another reference to Nyarlathotep, who is also known as "The Crawling Chaos" or "The King in Yellow".

    "Not dead which eternal lie stranger eons Death may die"

    This is a version of the couplet made famous in "The Call of Cthulhu". The original version is "That is not dead which can eternal lie, for with strange aeons, even death may die".

    "drain you of your sanity face The Thing That Should Not Be"

    This is a refernce to what happens when humans are exposed to the old ones in Lovecraft's stories. His thesis really is that humans are insignificant in the cosmos, and that the universe does not really make sense. For example, in Lovecraft's universe, the Source of All Things is the blind idiot god, Azathoth. Humans who come too close to understanding these truths risk going insane, in that the human mind is no more caplable of withstanding these truths than our bodies are meant to withstand high speed impacts.

    In many of Lovecraft's stories, insanity is the ultimate fate of his protagonists.

    Nodenson May 16, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Readers of H.P. Lovecraft will recognize the referrences to the Cthonian mythos. The thing which should not be is Cthulu, and Apocolyptic elder God lying in a dream state within his sunken kingdom of R'lyeh.

    Mastiff66on April 24, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    The inspiration: The song is based upon the short story "Shadow Over Innsmouth" by H.P. Lovecraft which has been written in 1936. "Shadow Over Innsmouth" was Lovecraft's sole story which has been released as a book when he was alive. His further short stories only appeared in his lifetime in a magazine called "Weird Tales". encycmet.com/songs/smthingy.shtml

    This is a really good, underated song imo.

    The Thing That Should Not Be

    It is about the story "Shadow Over Innsmouth"

    "Messenger of fear in sight" "Dark deception kills the light" The shadow over Innsmouth

    "Hybrid children watch the sea" The former leader of the citizen of Innsmouth captain Obed had an agreement with the underwater creatures. The citizens will get gold and fish from them in return that they mate with these creatures. With time every new born citizen became a hybrid between the creatures and humans "Pray for father, roaming free" The hybrids (Innsmouth citizens) were waiting for the one day when they will go underwater to live there

    "Fearless wretch" "Insanity" The hero became almost mad when he slowly turned into a hybrid and he even decided his suicide, but didn't realized it. He followed the call of the water ... "He watches" "Lurking beneath the sea" One of the "Great Old Ones" was waiting for his 'children' that they would follow him under water "Great old one" "Forbidden site" The bay area where the citizen of Innsmouth were celebrating their cult rituals for the "Great Old Ones" "He searches" "Hunter of the shadows is rising" The during the night the citizens were hunting the hero of the story "Immortal" The hybrids were immortal and a few years after the hero fleed from this city ... "In madness you dwell" ... he became a hybrid too because he was a direct descendant of captain Obed

    "Crawling chaos, underground" "Cult of summoned, twisted sound" The cult the citizens were celebrating in the bay area

    "Out of ruins once possessed" Y'ha-nthei, the zyclope city of the underwater creaures or R'lyeh, the city of the "Great Old Ones" "Fallen city, living death" The fallen city is Innsmouth, there was nobody on the streets

    "Fearless wretch" "(...)" "Timeless sleep" "Has been upset" "He awakens" Yog-Sothoth awakes from his timeless sleep "Hunter of the shadows is rising" The during the night the citizens were hunting the hero of the story "Immortal" The hybrids were immortal and a few years after the hero fleed from this city ... "In madness you dwell" ... he became a hybrid too because he was a direct descendant of captain Obed

    "Not dead which eternal lie" "Stranger eons death may die" Lovecraft wrote that this would be a line of the "Necronomicon"

    "Drain you of your sanity" "Face the thing that should not be" The hero accepted that he became a hybrid - he faced it in the mirror

    "Fearless wretch" "(...)"

    Taco_Salad_Guyon May 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I don't know why anybody wouldn't like this song. It's so awesome, and I love the solo. What's really cool is when Hetfield sings "drain you of your sanity" on S&M

    eagle_too_coolon March 30, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Kick ass song, Killer solo, one of my fav Metallica songs. Love the S&M version.

    Hardcore_Iconon July 03, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I Always this song was about the watcher in the water from the lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring Dark deception kills the light is about the doors of durin fearless Wretch insanity He watches lurking beneath the sea great Old One forbidden site He searches Hunter of the Shadows is rising immortal in madness You dwell this is what realy made me think of it.... but the other words wouldent make sense for it so i would agree to the other book

    Misguided_boyon January 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    It's been said a million times already (Nodens pretty much hit the nail on the head), but this song is HEAVILY influenced by H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.

    I just finished reading his short story, "The Crawling Chaos".

    It's not terrifying as much as it is amazing how they could incorporate H.P. Lovecraft's tales into a song.

    I mean, it blends in almost every story I've read so far.

    If any of you haven't read Lovecraft's work, get to it.

    lacetonon March 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i love this song. i first thought hybrid children referenced nephilim.

    DragonMaster92on May 21, 2009   Link

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