Just a little rush, babe
To feel dizzy, to derail the mind of me
Just a little hush, babe
Our veins are busy but my heart's in atrophy
Any way to distract and sedate
Adding shadows to the walls of the cave

You and I nursing on a poison that never stung
Our teeth and lungs are lined with the scum of it
Somewhere for this, death and guns
We are deaf, we are numb
Free and young and we can feel none of it

Something isn't right, babe
I keep catching little words but the meaning's thin
I'm somewhere outside my life, babe
I keep scratching but somehow I can't get in
So we're slaves to any semblance of touch
Lord we should quit but we love it too much

Sedated we're nursing on a poison that never stung
Our teeth and lungs are lined with the scum of it
Somewhere for this, death and guns
We are deaf, we are numb
Free and young and we can feel none of it

Darlin', don't you, stand there watching, won't you
Come and save me from it
Darlin', don't you, join in, you're supposed to
Drag me away from it

Any way to distract and sedate
Adding shadows to the walls of the cave

You and I nursing on a poison that never stung
Our teeth and lungs are lined with the scum of it
Somewhere for this, death and guns
We are deaf, we are numb
Free and young and we can feel none of it

Sedated we're nursing on a poison that never stung
Our teeth and lungs are lined with the scum of it
Somewhere for this, death and guns
We are deaf, we are numb
Free and young and we can feel none of it


Lyrics submitted by basser, edited by jacob16675

"Sedated" as written by Andrew Hozier Byrne

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Sedated song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +5
    My InterpretationPersonally, I think this song is about drugs, yes, but also about escapism. It's about the tragedy that is escaping yourself with drugs.

    "Just a little rush, babe
    To feel dizzy, to derail the mind of me
    Just a little hush, babe
    Our veins are busy but my heart's in atrophy
    Any way to distract and sedate
    Adding shadows to the walls of the cave"

    Here, Hozier is basically saying that he'll take a little bit of his drug, just to feel better. He would do anything to get distracted from reality.

    "You and I nursing on a poison that never stung
    Our teeth and lungs are lined with the scum of it"

    A poison that never stung is such a beautiful way of meaning drugs, because we all know hat drugs are bad. Some are worse than others, but all are like poison in some way. Yet, drugs are so different from poison. Poison hurts, but drugs don't. They make him feel good for a moment. But they also leave ugly marks, like yellowing your teeth.

    "Somewhere for this, death and guns
    We are deaf, we are numb
    Free and young and we can feel none of it"

    Possession of drugs is punished by the law, but you also punish yourself. You can end up killing yourself by accident. In the second and third line of this segment he basically talks about all the things he's missing out on. He can't really hear or feel anything anymore, and he can't live his young life like others do.

    "Something isn't right, babe
    I keep catching little words but the meaning's thin"

    This in where he notices that something's wrong. He is so high that he can't really grasp the meaning of anything anymore.

    " I'm somewhere outside my life, babe
    I keep scratching but somehow I can't get in"

    This is where the escapism bit of my theory can fully be explained. He doesn't really participate in his own life. This stanza is when he notices the bad things that come from the drugs he takes. And he tries to get back to his life, but he can't because he's so addicted to the drug that he can't stop taking it.

    "So we're slaves to any semblance of touch
    Lord we should quit but we love it too much"

    This is just to underline to addiction again. He knows it's wrong and he should quit, but it gives him a too good feeling, he's still too addicted to it.

    "Darlin', don't you, stand there watching, won't you
    Come and save me from it
    Darlin', don't you, join in, you're supposed to
    Drag me away from it"

    Now this bit was the hardest bit to interpret for me. But after I made up my mind about what these verses mean, I think this might even be the saddest bit of the song. He meets somebody and hopes they help him stop taking drugs. But instead, they just watch on and then, ultimately, join in too.
    It's a very tragic song about someone who wants to escape himself. And Hozier manages to capture the feelings so well that I, a bystander, someone who never got involved in the slightest with drugs, can feel like I understand it. I really think that right now, Hozier is the best thing that could have possibly happened to the world.
    fili82on January 03, 2015   Link
  • +4
    General Comment"adding shadows to the walls of the cave"

    nice reference to plato's allegory of the cave.
    coolcroweon December 14, 2014   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI'm in this boat currently struggling to rid addiction of opiates with my spouse. Currently wide awake from withdrawing from the drug and it's almost like I was meant to hear this song right now. Sucks horribly but I will beat this.
    MD915on November 29, 2014   Link
  • +2
    General Commentits about drugs in general tobacco/heroin
    tomasthemossyon June 11, 2014   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI feel the song is about deep love or relationship and how you behave and feel when you are completely consumed by it.

    Same way a drug consumes you.

    Its sometimes messy ,but you are so consumed by it even knowing you are free ,you have choice to get out of it, you can quit, you don't quit because you are in love with the addiction and like being sedated by it.

    "Our veins are busy but my heart's in atrophy" : how restless you feel inside even though you are busy in some thing.

    "You and I nursing on a poison that never stung"
    harjoton December 18, 2014   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningPretty clearly a song about heroin/opiate addiction. The line about veins being busy suggests shooting up, while the bit about scum on one's teeth refers to smoking.
    basseron May 22, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel like this song is about Jessie and Jane (Breaking Bad)
    Stormoon October 27, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSong is definitely about drug addiction, the line "veins are busy but my heart is in atrophy" refers to shooting up. "Poison that never stung" refers to the fact that it feels good but it is killing you.

    Being a former opiate addict myself really hit home for me, it made me cry. How someone who never experienced it for themselves could so accurately sum it up is crazy, makes me wonder what Hozier's experience with addiction is. The one line

    "Darlin', don't you, stand there watching, won't you
    Come and save me from it
    Darlin', don't you, join in, you're supposed to
    Drag me away from it"

    brought me to tears because it is exactly what happened in my experience. And "free and young and we can feel none of it", I lost 10 years of my life to this drug, I'm 30 and I just finally got my life together. Damn you Hozier for making me cry :' )
    jacob16675on November 24, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about using drugs in the context of a romantic relationship. At the beginning he uses to try to escape reality. He then starts to realize he has a problem but is so used to being high that he doesn't know how to properly connect with his surroundings. Finally we learn his partner started using after being with him when he had hoped she would save him.

    This is just my interpretation based on my experiences. I heard this song for the first time as an addict. It made me cry then and it sometimes still does.

    "Just a little rush, babe
    To feel dizzy, to derail the mind of me
    Just a little hush, babe
    Our veins are busy but my heart's in atrophy
    Any way to distract and sedate
    Adding shadows to the walls of the cave"

    This is when he first starts using. "Rush", "dizzy", "hush", and "sedate" indicate getting high, probably off of a depressant like an opioid. "Derail the mind", "distract", and "adding shadows..." (Plato's cave) all indicate that the purpose is escapism . At this point he thinks he'll be fine as long as it's "Just a little..".

    "Our veins are busy but my heart's in atrophy"

    The veins being busy indicate shooting up, and while he hopes to gain positive feelings from what he's doing (the connection between veins and heart and the word "but") he is actually having a harder and harder time accessing emotions (like love) because he is going about it the wrong way and is going longer and longer not truly feeling or loving.

    "You and I nursing on a poison that never stung
    Our teeth and lungs are lined with the scum of it"

    We think of "nursing" as helpless infants or injured creatures feeding on or drinking something they need to survive. However here they are nursing on poison (drugs), so it gives a pretty pitiful/pathetic picture, which is fitting for addiction. Drugs poison (physically and emotionally), but "never stung" because it doesn't feel that way when taking them. "Teeth and lungs...scum" refers to smoking, or just generally to how it actually is poisoning and defiling them, despite how it feels. "Never stung" may also refer to shooting up.

    "Somewhere for this, death and guns
    We are deaf, we are numb
    Free and young and we can feel none of it"

    "Death and guns" refers to all the violence that goes on around the world "for this" (drugs). People are literally dying and then they are "deaf" and "numb" to it because of what they're doing and because they don't have to see it ("somewhere"). It's such a terrible thing and the line "Free and young" is a stark contrast which drives home the lack of concern for what happens in order for them to have their escape.

    "Something isn't right, babe
    I keep catching little words but the meaning's thin
    I'm somewhere outside my life, babe
    I keep scratching but somehow I can't get in"

    This is when he first starts realizing that his life has changed and "something isn't right" - things are no longer in his control the way he thought. Use has become addiction and he sees what has happened as a result of constantly trying to escape reality. He feels disconnected ("the meaning's thin", "outside my life","can't get in"), even when he tries to be connected ("I keep scratching").

    "So we're slaves to any semblance of touch
    Lord we should quit but we love it too much"

    The only feeling of closeness or lessening of loneliness they get is from touch. It's "any semblance" because it isn't true connection or closeness, but they're so desperate for "any semblance" of connection they'll take whatever they can get. The second line is pretty straightforward - by this point they really realize it's a problem but they don't even want to try to give it up. Despite how removed he describes being elsewhere he uses the word "love" to describe how they feel towards using, which underscores how problematic his relationship to drugs is.

    "Darlin', don't you, stand there watching, won't you
    Come and save me from it
    Darlin', don't you, join in, you're supposed to
    Drag me away from it"

    So far the song has been pretty chronological, but this verse jumps back to the beginning of their relationship when his partner wasn't using. It is also different from the rest of the song in that we learn about his partner's experience separate from his. She has only been included so far when it has been both of them ("our/we") and when it has been about what being an addict as part of a pair is like: the chorus about how dependent they are while at the same time being purposefully oblivious and in the last 2 lines of the 2nd verse about loneliness and choosing not to quit despite knowing how much you should. We haven't learned about her in the "story" parts of the song so far. She wasn't in the 1st verse (other than "our veins are busy") about when he starts using or in the first 4 lines of the 2nd verse where he starts to realize this is no longer a temporary escape, but a problem. He has been 'talking to her' throughout the song ("darling","babe","you and I") and it feels sad because when we finally learn something about her it's how she started using through his perspective of it being a failure to save him. The contrast between this verse and the rest of the song highlights the message it sends about the tragedy of their situation: These two people are not a unit - a "we" or "us" - helping each other get through, but rather two damaged individuals dragging each other down.
    Kitten Whiskerson October 15, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General Commentabout a man addicted to certain drugs and he gets a girlfriend and ends up pulling her into it
    tomasthemossyon June 12, 2014   Link

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