Waiting, to be born again

Wanting, the saddest kind of pain
Waiting for the day when I will crawl away

Nothing is what I feel
Waiting, for the drugs to make it real
Waiting, for the day when I will crawl away

Waiting, to be disciplined
Aching, for your nails across my skin
Waiting, for the day when I will crawl
Waiting, for the day when I will crawl away

Lyrics submitted by Ministry

Waiting Phase One Lyrics as written by Steven John Wilson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing

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Waiting (Phase One) song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment@unsound:
    if he really was in a hospital because of cancer or anything similarly serious, he wouldn’t be crawling away. either walking or flying.

    these lyrics depict a man who is on the one hand arguing about his situation and on the other hand enjoying it with relish.

    “Waiting... to be born again”
    metaphor for beginning a new life (after having successfully crawled away of course).
    ironically to “be born” is not an action one can undertake, but something that is done to you without your help (and, in the literal sense of being squeezed through a chokingly tight tunnel out of your warm and comfortable mother into a cold and much too loud world, without your approval). so being born is quite the opposite to crawling away, which means an act of will and body, mustering your remaining strength to end a harmful situation, probably in order to save your very life. seems like he’s waiting for someone else to do the job for him.

    “Waiting... for the drugs to make it real”
    word is, getting away from drugs once you really are in is quite an effort. again an act of body as well as spirit. but going back to “feeling nothing” is not exactly a very promising outlook.

    “Waiting... to be disciplined”
    sounds like bdsm to me.

    “Aching... for your nails across my skin”
    common picture: woman scratching man’s back while having sex.

    “Wanting... the saddest kind of pain”
    “sad pain” can only be emotional (sorrow), or at least I can’t imagine what a sad bodily hurt could be.

    he WANTS pain. he LIKES being disciplined (whipped? bonded?) and made sad. so why end it? makes the statement about wanting to crawl away seem pretty pathetic.
    at least he seems to be aware of the harmful potential of his situation.

    in no way do I intend to compare bdsm-fans to drug-addicts. the former is about temporarily giving control over my self to a trusted, intimate person. the latter is about giving myself away to a chemical substance for good, denying to take responsibility for my life.
    ledaethon December 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOkay, let me take a stab at this.

    Waiting... to be born again

    (He feels failure, he feels lost. "To be born again" = redemption, to live life again with meaning)

    Wanting... the saddest kind of pain (this can be read two ways: 1) he wants the saddest kind of pain, or 2) wanting IS the saddest kind of pain. so, he either wants pain, or he feels it because he wants. based on another version of this song I've heard where the lyrics here are slightly different, I've recently learned it is in fact the first interpretation, which is unfortunate to me.)
    Waiting for the day when I will crawl away (hopelessness... thinking he SHOULD crawl away, just go away.)

    Nothing is what I feel (feels nothing)
    Waiting... for the drugs to make it real (wants life to feel real again, but it's all dead)
    Waiting... for the day when I will crawl away

    Waiting... to be disciplined (pretty clear)
    Aching... for your nails across my skin (I immediately think of a sexual scene. I'm thinking this whole song is about the failure of a perhaps unhealthy relationship where he was quite submissive, willingly.)
    Waiting... for the day when I will crawl away
    Mindsafireon October 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdissapointed at them for this? this song is brilliant.

    it runs along with the theme of signify - monotony and apathy. giving up on living a life of meaning. he's just sitting there ......waiting.
    atomsplitteron March 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt does the job it's supposed to do perfectly. Goes with the entire statment of Signify.
    It makes you shiver... Becasue this emptiness is too hurrible, yet very realstic in a way because it consits of daily-like activities. Of an average life basically.
    Wakeboard_Snufkinon June 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is about being bored with your life.
    magnesium72on July 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is brilliant in its simplicity. Just look at the choice of words. He's waiting for the time when he will take action and escape the opression of the situation, but the fact that he will 'crawl away' when he does means that he won't get away unscathed.
    SpiralIntoTheNihilon September 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti like the live version better...bass line rocks
    RedRavenon September 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese guys kinda remind me of a cross between Pink Floyd and Stabbing Westward (especially with the lyrics and vocals to this song).
    samwaltonon February 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this can describe at least one point in every person's life.
    "Waiting...to be born again
    Wanting...the saddest kind of pain"
    These lines are great, and seem to share a Buddhist perspective, in that wanting causes us so much grief and pain.
    One of my absolute favourite PT songs.
    mammadaddioon March 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Waiting... To be born again"
    Wanting... The saddest kind of pain"

    Being "born again" is a term common to religion, specifically Christianity, which seems to lie beneath the surface of this album, and a few others. I think in this context Wilson is waiting for some kind of initiation of acceptance into some kind of organisation (not necessarily the church).

    "Waiting... For the day when I will crawl away"

    Waiting for yourself to crawl away. To me, it's the same feeling of hopelessness as when you know you have to get out of bed, but you're just waiting for some kind of strength to do it for you.

    "Nothing... Is what I feel
    Waiting... For the drugs to make it real"

    Moving, but I don't think this is really anything unique.

    "Waiting... To be disciplined
    Aching... For your nails across my skin"

    Someone above said that this song was about a break-up, drugs for comfort, and the nine yards. I don't think so, not at all. To me nails across the skin means some kind of conflict; Hate. (Listening to the song now, it doesn't sound like they're saying "nails", but I could be wrong.)

    Looking at it from another perspective, the drugs may actually be medical drugs, and he is in the hospital.... Which makes me think; What if he was lying in a hospital bed dying (~cancer)? The entire meaning of this song would be changed...

    "Waiting to be born again"

    The only thing now he has to look forward to is the chaplain to come and help him make his peace with god...

    "Waiting for the day when I can crawl away"

    Waiting for death, release from... I guess his state of intermediate... indecision... Just waiting to stop waiting.

    Shine on
    Unsoundon June 12, 2007   Link

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