Once upon a time they called me the bleeder
Well swimmin' up this river with sentimental fever
But this ain't my first ride, it ain't my last try
Just got to keep movin' on
If they catch me ever they'll throw me back forever

I guess I should be ashamed
But I forget to be vain
Well I did the best I could I guess
But everything just bleeds
They say you're only sad and lonely
And no one is impressed

I sent it off in a letter, I need somethin' better
Than a nail and a hammer to put me back together
But this ain't my first ride, it ain't my last try
Just got to keep a-movin on
Got to keep this together, maybe next time is never

I guess I should be ashamed
But I forget to be vain
Well I did the best I could I guess
But everything just bleeds
They say you're only sad and lonely
And no one is impressed

Sometimes I must confess, I do feel a little over dressed
Sometimes it's hard to tell the wishing from the well
Where you threw the penny and where it fell

I guess I should I should be ashamed
But I forget to be vain
Well I did the best I could I guess
But everything just bleeds
I guess I should be ashamed
But I forget to be vain
Well I did the best I could I guess
But everything just bleeds
They say you're only sad and lonely
And no one is impressed


Lyrics submitted by 3ssence

Bleeders Lyrics as written by Jakob Dylan

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Bleeders song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    This song has got one of my favorite lines of all time in it: "Sometimes it's hard to tell the wishing from the well / where you threw the penny and where it fell."

    I suppose the song for me hinges on those lines. It's about making choices, about how who you want to be or what you want to do ends up not turning out how you thought it would. Sometimes the consequences of your choices hurt you. The chorus says you gotta be tough. You make mistakes, you get cut, you bleed. You can't let it get to you. You're only sad and lonely, and no one is impressed. This song is about hanging tough even through your mistakes and bad choices, patching yourself up, and still trying.

    drew_007on May 01, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Beautiful song.

    To me it's about a murderer who has escaped from prison. He believes he is a changed man and is truly sorry for what he has done yet no one gave him a second chance. He tries to move on with his life, "but everything just bleeds". His actions keep catching up with him even though he tries to start a new life.

    "If they catch me ever, they'll throw me back forever" and "got to keep this together, maybe next time is never" are the lines that really enforce this to me. He's on the run and always looking over his shoulder.

    He doesn't want to dwell on the past, "I guess I should be ashamed, but I forget to be vain" and wants people to see that he is trying to start a new life but still, no one is giving him a chance, "and no one is impressed". This is why he is "sad and lonely".

    AweSamon December 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Wow, can't believe I'm the first one to comment on this song. My second favorite on "Horses" after "One Headlight". This song is amazing. I think it's about a succession of failed relationships, and how you've "just got to keep movin' on". You want people to help you through it, but "you're only sad and lonely and no one is impressed" and really you have to help yourself before others can help you.

    sein514on October 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think it's about being a melancholy kind of person. And feeling heartache and sadness like everyone else, but saying it and writing about it in a sentimental way and then having people tell you that you're putting on act, like they should be impressed or you should be ashamed, because everyone bleeds, so why are you talking about it? Jakob is saying, well yeah sometimes I feel "overdressed" but I'm gonna sing about being sad and I'm not being "vain." He's just being himself and he won't feel ashamed. It's kind of like an "it's okay to be a little emo" song. Even though emo is a juvenile term here. Oh well.

    songagoneon June 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    A long time ago, I used to cut. It's a part of my life that I'm usually able to forget about, more or less, but recently someone noticed and asked about my scars and that got me thinking about it. And that made me think about this song.

    Is it what the song is about? Unlikely. Am I being too literal? Probably. (Yes, yes, cutting, bleeding, bleeder...it's far too obvious, really.)But still, it's how I feel, now, this week, with all this bleeding crap from the past suddenly coming back to bite me. "I guess I should be ashamed/but I forget to be vain" is doing a nice job summing up where I'm currently at with the scars: Should I be ashamed and keep them covered so things like this don't happen again? Maybe, but I can't be bothered. And of course, "They say you're only/sad and lonely/and no one is impressed," is a pretty good summary of most of the world's views on cutting.

    gravity_defianton September 09, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It feels like he tried but failed at suicide. When he "forgot to be vain" I think he's saying he missed the vein. When he says, "Everything just bleeds" I think that's his excuse for cutting himself, thinking he did it right because blood was coming out, even though it wasn't a fatal wound... Then elsewhere he's talking about it not be his "last try" and "maybe next time is never" as if he still intends to pull it off eventually. He "sent it off in a letter" ... suicide note? The idea of failure is also amplified by apparently missing the wishing well when he tossed a penny. etc.

    xmor61on July 27, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The guy reminds himself that maybe they used to call him a bleeder but that is past tense. He's lived with this kind of emotional turmoil in the past but he's gotten through it and in the song it seems he's had some kind of upset where he needs to remind himself of this and reaffirm his perspective. The idea that this can be dealt with and he knows he will get through this is repeated - this aint my first ride, it aint my last try - He reminds himself he will get through this and there will be more chances, and that he's 'Just got to keep movin' on'. In the lines 'I sent it off in a letter, I need somethin' better' and 'Got to keep this together, maybe next time is never' it eludes to the seriousness and depth of this emotional turmoil from what he's experienced in the past.

    He depicts himself as a fugitive on the run, but I think this is metaphorical, He reveals he's always struggled emotionally 'swimming up this river with sentimental fever' and he feels that he's a failure in the estimation of society or some group of people in it, and was judged as a failure by others - 'they called me the bleeder'. The 'nail and a hammer' brings up the idea of being forced to be a certain way. He feels that he's a prisoner of the standards and expectations of society and how he is judged by this. He also "confesses" that he never really felt up to those standards, and how its difficult to try to be someone you're not.

    In the song he is repeatedly reassuring himself in order to comfort himself that whatever this latest failure that he did the best he could. In the line 'I guess I should be ashamed but I forget to be vain' he is mocking society for its corrupted standards. Where he says 'only sad and lonely' is tong-in-cheek as he continues mocking society for its lack of compassion - 'no one is impressed'.

    IAVDortmunderon July 09, 2023   Link

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