Number nine out of eleven little littermates
Rotten apples, all the way...
Littermates, all with different fates...
Taught them almost all I knew

and now, the best, the primus
Number Nine of eleven little littermates,
feeling almighty,
is after my throne.

In the bright daylight, little Number Nine
Dressed to kill, much like me
Takes a look at the free world behind the gate
Of a castle and escapes.

I leave the baits, the night awaits
Snare well hidden for the littermate.
Evaded all but one, one by one.

Eleven little littermates
Only Number Nine's not in sight...
Hiding, for the moonlight eats the day
Kisses burn the paperthin wings away

Hate me, hate me, if they want you to break me
Love - is - for - the weak
And the restless, relief in the end.
A broken lock and a twisted dream

for an early tomb, destiny's overruled
Trailed it back to the Pagan Cathedral."

Don't love me, don't you dare!
I lie, I cheat and I don't care
Don't you go telling me tales about fidelity.
truth ain't safe with me

In (sane), in (pain)
Ran into a needle
Eye (love), Eye (hate)
don't need anyone
Lights (on), Lights (out)
read it loud and clear...
and hear the lion roar.

without my eyes, they failed me,
knots untied.
I turned my weakness into a
fine profession
more I hear, more I see
I can feel
the path I choose
What I did was a must,
Faced the music, away from the light, alone...
Without a view.

Someone thought to know me well
Drowned me in a wishing well...
Making mistakes, we all do,
Worst of mine was trusting in a stranger.

For now I'm feeling fine
Drank poison, liked the sign
Now touch the greatest fear
Impaired, to look sincere.

One step behind you, turn around and I am gone with what I need.
The essence of timely death, cold and dark, Love Less Hard.

Lyrics submitted by SergeF2007

The Vice song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationConnecting to the theories already presented, this is mine:

    A man (let's call him Tony), probably a prince or king of some sort, has handpicked 11 orphans (or littermates, if you will) to become assassins (or knights, or something like that). Nine is the smartest, most talented of the bunch. He becomes so powerful, he leaves the "pack" and announces that he is going to kill Tony, and then the rest of the littermates, one by one.

    Tony uses the littermates as obstacles for him ("I leave the baits, the night awaits/Snare well hidden for the littermate."). He manages to trick or get past all but one; not kill them but force them to retreat. The one he could not get past was the only girl in the group. She was in love with him. He couldn't bring himself to hurt or deceive her; love was his one weakness. He tells her, "Don't love me! Hate me, like all the others! is a hindrance! Besides, haven't you seen the horrible things I've done?!" ...well, something like that. But she doesn't listen. She insists. And she kisses him. "Kisses burn the paperthin wings away," symbolizes how her love sort of humbled him and he realizes he's not as strong as he thought. She was his Achilles' heel.

    He spares her, and ends up running away from them, as opposed to killing Tony. He traveled far away to train his mind and soul. He ends up meeting an actual assassin, who agrees to take him under his wing. This assassin wore an eyepatch, leading 9 to assume that he was half-blind. The assassin confirmed this, and taught him how to do many things relying on hearing instead of sight. Then, sense of touch instead of hearing and sight. The assassin told 9 that he had become very good at it. 9 believed he was so good, he could easily kill the littermates and Tony if he were blind and deaf.

    Just as the assassin had planned. The littermate had become cocky.

    The assassin offered to tear out the littermate's eyes. He agreed to it. He was fine with it. "without my eyes, they failed me...I turned my weakness into a fine profession" talks about this. Then (i still can't figure out how), the assassin literally deafens him.

    "more I hear, more I see" is irony. "I can feel the path I choose" refers to his only active sense being touch. "Faced the music, away from the light, alone...Without a view." supports this more.

    "Someone thought to know me well
    Drowned me in a wishing well...
    Making mistakes, we all do,
    Worst of mine was trusting in a stranger."

    I don't know about "drowned", but I believe the assassin threw 9 into a well to die. 9 realizes his mistake in trusting this stranger.

    "For now I'm feeling fine
    Drank poison, like the sign
    Now touch the greatest fear
    Impaired, to look sincere."

    I think at this part, 9 is kind of slowly dying. As for the "impaired to look sincere" part, I think it's either about 9, whose faded eyes (from being blind) make him seem innocent; or about the assassin, who looks more nice than he really is.

    "One step behind you, turn around and I am gone with what I need.
    The essence of timely death, cold and dark, loveless heart"
    Here he reminisces about how he used to be. Clever, sneaky, hardy...this is all gone.

    And then he dies.

    JadeVelcroon July 20, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAll right, might as well start things off.

    I personally believe that the beginning of the song starts off in an orphanage or a foster home or something to that effect as Tony stated this song has nothing to do with wolves or animals. The second line of the song "Rotten apples, all the way" suggests that all 'eleven little littermates' are (if I can invoke another SA song) - raised from a broken seed.

    The song sort of parallels a Japanese movie 'Azumi' that I remember hearing Tony liked. I never saw it, but I guess the premise is that there were 10 orphans raised to become assassins for the sake of keeping peace in the country, so him writing a song about this scenario isn't too far a reach. The song could also be about the mafia, as I've heard some interpretations that way.

    So what happens here is that 'Number Nine' ends up being 'the best, the primus' and the tutor/father/whatever he is becomes afraid of how powerful Number Nine has become ("feeling almighty is after my throne") and the fact that #9 is potentially going to take over his ruling place (sort of like the wolf becoming the heir in 'It Won't Fade').

    Then at 1:11 in the song, Number Nine becomes the narrator - as mentioned above. He "leaves the base" and goes on to find his own life, except that he can never live as a normal person because he was brought up to be evil. Sort of like an 'apple doesn't fall far from the tree' scenario.

    I'm still trying to figure out the very end of the song, any other interpretations?
    SonataArcticaon July 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat is by far the best interpretation I have ever heard for the song, and I've been seeking one a long time.

    That's my one question for Tony, should I manage to meet him this fall. What is this song really about?
    RedFox742on August 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song's lyrics are amazing.
    Most of sonata's fans wonder what is it about...:S
    MikeRainon October 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHehehe.. I always thought it was about some gargoyles. This is probably because of the lines about the paper thin wings and the cathedral etc...
    starfall118on November 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have to say SonataArctica (the poster here at the top) has the best interpretation i can think of.

    my thoughts about the end are:

    Number 9 drinks poison that the father figure gives.
    He knew the drink was poison, so he acted like he died or something.

    #9 survived. he starts a "new" life, instead of stealing lives, he becomes a theif/pickpocket.

    Does that make any sort of sense?
    evilMoWon February 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it has a love element.

    So, yeah, there are a bunch of kids who are being raised to be assassins or something "evil". But #9, the best and the brightest, falls in love with a girl from the outside world. The guy hates himself because he's being raised as a killer and is afraid of what he might become, and at last, he and the chick are discovered, she's killed, he freaks out and murders everyone, then runs off.

    I think.

    Drasianaon February 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAm I the only person who thinks this song could possibly be about the fall of Lucifer?

    These lyrics almost remind me of Blind Guardian lyrics in how they're obviously "about" something but they're vague enough no one can tell for sure what
    elvin_wizardon September 05, 2008   Link
  • -1
    General Comment"Number nine out of eleven little littermates"

    #9 out of 11

    Doesn't that seem suspicious?
    Stoneywagneron April 14, 2009   Link

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