As loud as hell
A ringing bell
Behind my smile
It shakes my teeth
And all the while
As vampires feed
I bleed
I bleed
I bleed

Prithee, my dear
Why are we here?
Nobody knows
We go to sleep
As breathing flows
My mind secedes
I bleed
I bleed
I bleed
I bleed
I bleed
I bleed

There's a place
In the buried west
In a cave
With a house in it
In the clay
The holes of hands
You can place
A hand in hand
I bleed
I bleed
I bleed

Lyrics submitted by ROBRAM89

"I Bleed" as written by Charles Thompson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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I Bleed song meanings
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  • +15
    General CommentThis song is about wasting away your life at a boring 9 to 5 job and having an all around mediocre existence.

    The first stanza reads:

    As loud as hell, a ringing bell
    Behind my smile, it shakes my teeth
    And all the while, as vampires feed
    I bleed, I bleed, I bleed

    The ringing bell refers to the bell that tells you when the day starts and ends, it represents the meaningless grind and conformity. In some cases it's a literal bell (alarm clock, factory bell, school bell) and in other cases metaphorical. Either way it's about being a mindless sheep who follows the herd, or as Pink Floyd might say, 'a cog in the machine.'

    The second line in the first stanza is self-explanatory; although he pretends to be content with mediocrity and living his life as a cog, deep down he wants more out of life.

    The vampires in the third line are all the parasitic bosses and executives in the world who reap the benefits of their inferiors' labor. The singer is discouraged that his meaningless existence constitutes someone elses lavish lifestyle.

    His bleeding represents the liveliness being sucked out of him by mediocrity and parasitic bosses (vampires)

    The first line of the second stanza is about questioning meaningless existence. "Why are we here?" as in, "Why do we just accept this life?" The answer to this question is that there is no rational reason, so we just dull our minds (my mind secedes) with garbage television and cheap booze (go to sleep) as a means of coping with mediocrity. The reoccurring "I bleed, I bleed..." line is the continued dissipation of passion and eccentricity.

    The third stanza is a nostalgic daydream for a time and place in which people actually interacted with each other and valued each others existence, which gave life meaning. The house in the cave represents this ancient time (think cave, clay homes = antiquity) and placing your hands in the handprints of others represents solidarity and human connection. Even though we dream of escaping the grind, we continue to fade away; or as it is eloquently phrased by the Pixies: "I bleed, I bleed I bleed."
    natewhite76on April 08, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"In the first two verses there's no topic whatsoever; all this is just a rhyme structured AABCBDD. It's all very automatic. The rest is about Arizona. There's a very famous cliff dwelling there, with two or three storey houses about a mile up inside these cliffs. It's about 900 years old and you can still see the handprints from the people who pressed the plaster onto the walls. And you can take your hand and place it in the print and it's very wooh." - Black Francis in the NME, April 1989.
    Nimbieon May 10, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf we're gonna talk about songs Nirvana sotle from the Pixies, I think "In Bloom" sounds WAY too much like "I Bleed."
    ROBRAM89on December 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI Bleed sounds nothing like In Bloom...
    YoungxForxEternityon March 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"If we're gonna talk about songs Nirvana sotle from the Pixies, I think "In Bloom" sounds WAY too much like "I Bleed.""

    It's not like that should suprise anyone. Cobain loved The Pixies. He said in an interview once that Smells Like Teen Spirit was basically him trying to write a Pixes song. (Notice, for example, the laid-back verse and then the exploding loud and emotional chorus, which was always a Pixes staple.) =)
    axemrangerson October 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    MemoryThere were these two Jessica’s I used to hang out with after school... smoking pot, reading poetry and listening to music... as this was the early 90s The Pixies were a major influence and I’ll always remember singing this song with them as the male vocal... thanks Pixies !!!
    grenon April 04, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General Comment^never noticed that, but yes...maybe! what to say about this one? i just love it. hm, thisis my first entry so don't expect too much, but I always thought this was about vampires, couldn't that be?
    bone_machineon December 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti mean sure, the word even is in the text, but the whole lyrics are about it, aren't they?
    bone_machineon December 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, I don't think the whole song is about vampires. In fact, the last verse sounds like it's about the Anasazi cliff dwellings in the southwest US.
    CosmicWolfyon May 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGod damnit! This used to be called "Bleed" and I wrote a HUGE description about it, but it disappeared! So, now, I shall try to remember what I said!

    The song Bleed, to me, is about bullies or whatever in school, they are the vampires feeding off of misery. The "as loud as hell, a ringing bell" could be a school bell? The sound to the vitcim is hell. The victim tries to seem happy "behind my smile, it shakes my teeth" but as the vampires feed, the vitcim will "bleed", perhaps attempted suicide or crying or something.

    The victim asks a sister or a friend in the same position "Why are we here?". The victim's only way to escape it's horrible life is to sleep and dream, "As breathing flows, My mind secedes"

    I'm not too sure of the last part... Maybe it's a fantasy where things are nice?

    Anyhoo, this is my idea of the meaning of this AMAZIN song! (and in case you were wondering I'm not depressed or EMo or anything)
    The Machiniston May 19, 2006   Link

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