34 Meanings
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Sunshine Lyrics

One, a-one time, yeah

Am I too contagious
Full of sick desire
Am I that I promise
Burning corpsed pyre

Then some dude came down to touch the Mother
Mother touched, and dude ain't here no more
Suck your woman down

Am I your reflection
Melting mirror smile
Am I worth the value
Do my love defile

Then some dude came down to touch the Mother
Mother touched and dude ain't here no more
Ain't no day the sun don't crack
Then to brand some name across my back so you care?
Find someone to tell you

Sunshine...sweet love my labor
Don't mind...I don't care no more

Memory, set me free, yeah
I don't care no more
Mother please, come for me

Can you face the question?
Is my soul entire?

Sunshine...sweet love my labor
Don't mind...I don't care no more
Song Info
Submitted by
Submitted on
May 31, 2001
34 Meanings
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pure grunge...pure alice in chains...

musically i think this is among their best songs. every member in this band contributes to the song, the bassline that thunders out at just the right moments, that fuckin solo... the contrast of verse/bridge/chorus, the way the tempo slows... it makes me want to slit my wrists.

as for the lyrics, definitely about a woman getting pregnant, i had a feeling it was the virgin mary, "dude came down" - god descended from heaven to impregnate her. it would fit with the religious theme of a lot of the songs on this album (most specifically man in the box, bleed the freak...) also the mention of a soul.

but yeah i see everyones point that its probably a song written from the point of view of a kid whose dad left them. I like the way he refers to his dad as "some dude". and it makes sense that he asks, is he like his father, "reflection"; did he catch the disease (tendency to be a bad father) genetically ("contagious"), and will he in turn defile someone with his love the way his biological father left him.

mostly i love the darkness of the word sunshine. its a name that parents often call their kids, he's using it ironically and that's accentuated by the dark music. "sweet love, my labour" - his mother loves him even though it was such a burden bringing him up alone. The word "labour" is ambiguous - it refers to his birth, but labour also means hard work, so his birth caused hard work for his mother. I like it.

very cathartic song. "set me free." "don't mind." "i don't care no more".

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No relation, I'd say the songs about Layne's father. "Then some dude came down to touch the Mother Mother touched and dude ain't here no more." I think refers to how Layne's father met Layne's mother, had sex with her (touched the mother), then she had Layne, and then Layne's father left (Dude ain't here no more).

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Maybe not rape, just my opinion, but about a guy who didn't own up to his responsibilty leaving the mother alone to raise a child by herself thus leaving many questions to be answered by a child growing up and even into adulthood. I think the song further implies that the mother accepts her "burden" and does not resent or regret this child. I think this song is one of their most soulfull songs with a great solo by Jerry.

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The protagonist is sickened and ashamed, probably of himself, or maybe not only himself and finds relief in what he refers to as "sunshine". My guess is also that this one's about a mother raising a child on her own. It's important to note that (by my opinion) the verses are the child's words and in the chorus are the mother's.

Anyway,this song is No.1 AIC in my list and I usually don't have favorite songs, but this one means so much to me, I love it!

Very good!

Perhaps as well you might think of the protagonist as having lost a father (or male figure) for reasons beyond one's control.. longing for a connection that clearly isn't reciprocated. Doesn't really have to be the father, but since the mother was and is addressed forthright, it kind of made more sense it'd be a 'male' role model...

'Then some dude came down to touch the Mother, Mother touched, and dude ain't here no more... Suck your woman down'

'to brand some name across my back... so you care? Find someone to tell you!'

lastly- perhaps he...

Agreed with your interpretation, and the general consensus. Jerry Cantrell wrote this song after the passing of his mother, so it's an emotional one (with a cool riff).

The lyric "Then some dude came down to touch the mother" does seem reminiscent of the Bible (the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary) - perhaps a way of portraying the Mother as a sort of saintly woman, while defacing the father as "some dude."

I agree he seems to be comparing himself to his father (who apparently runs off), and questioning himself as a person.


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I always thought that maybe "came down to touch the Mother" had some religious meaning

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i thought it was religious too

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I say its pretty much entirely about Jerry's mother. "mother please, come for me"

"dude (his father) aint here any more", parents divorvced

"Is my soul entier?" missing part of his soul - mother died few years befor this song was created

Sunshine his last connection to all that is good telling his lovely dog he just dosent care any more as hes lost everything that mattered.

Could be really wrong but just as i see it.

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This is one of AiC's saddest songs in my opinion. As others have stated, I believe this song is about Jerry Cantrell's memories of his mother's last days. But I'm going to analyse it verse-by-verse:

Am I too contagious? (Jerry asking himself if his negativity affects others too much) Full of sick desire (His negativity. I don't know exactly what he means by this, but the rest of the lyrics seem to indicate my interpretation) Am I that I promise? (questioning if he's strong enough to handle her death) Burning corpsed pyre (I believe this is a general vision of death and his fear of it, a burning corpse pyre)

Then some dude came down to touch the Mother (his father coming down to his senses to support his mother) Mother touched, and dude ain't here no more (But his father very coldly just touches Jerry's mother a little then leaves) Suck your woman down (sarcastically asking his father to treat her worse, as if he isn't treating her bad enough already)

He's very critical of his father in this song, remember this song was recorded way before Rooster (a homage to his father), when they made peace with eachother.

Am I your reflection? (Jerry realizing how similar he is to his mother) Melting mirror smile (both of them smiling a sad smile at eachother, as both of them know she's dying) Am I worth the value? (Jerry asking himself if he deserves to have a mother) Do my love defile? (asking if his love will fade)

Then some dude came down to touch the Mother Mother touched, and dude ain't here no more Ain't no day the sun don't crack (there was no day that wasn't sad when his mother was dying, his father contributing to this, as this is placed in the same verse of the other lines about him)

Then to brand some name across my back, so you care? (yet his father has named Jerry after himself) Find someone to tell you (Jerry thinks his father is that cold because no one ever told him what he is about to mention) Sunshine... sweet love, my labor (his mother addressing Jerry at her deathbed, telling him he is the fruit her labor) Don't mind... I don't care no more (she tells him to not mind her death, as she herself has already accepted it)

Memory, set me free, yeah (he's trying to forget the pain her death caused him) I don't care no more (remembering her words once again) Mother please, come for me (asking his mother to come back)

Can you face the question? (facing the question of not knowing when we will die) Is my soul entire? (is his soul entire now that she died) Sunshine...sweet love, my labor Don't mind... I don't care no more

My Interpretation

@kachimbo11 I think you nailed it with your interpretation. I agree with most but will add just a couple items.

Full of sick desire - either: he wishes so hard that his mother was back that it's affecting his life in general, he himself said he doesn't know how to function now that his mother is gone. OR - Conversely, this loss has caused him to run to a life of excess as a way of trying to cover up and blunt his feelings and emotions over her death (much like people "pour themselves into their work"). This lifestyle has...

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I like this song, I not sure what it's about though? something sexual apparently.

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from what I get, the verses are about some guy who raped a woman"am I too congtagious full of sick desire" and the chorus seems like someone telling the story of the rape "then some dude came down to tocuh the Mother" anyways.... great song

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