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.

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Bleeders song meanings
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    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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