"The Day I Tried to Live" as written by and Chris Cornell....
I woke the same as any other day
Except a voice was in my head
It said seize the day, pull the trigger, drop the blade
And watch the rolling heads

The day I tried to live
I stole a thousand beggar's change
And gave it to the rich

The day I tried to win
I dangled from the power lines
And let the martyrs stretch yeah

Singing, one more time around
Might do it
One more time around
Might make it
One more time around
Might do it
One more time around
The day I tried to live

Words would you say
Never seem to live up to the ones inside your head
The lives we make
Never seem to ever get us anywhere but dead

The day I tried to live
I wallowed in the blood and mud with all the other pigs

Singing, one more time around
Might do it
One more time around
Might make it
One more time around
Might do it
One more time around
The day I tried to live, live

I tried

I woke the same as any other day you know
I should have stayed in bed

The day I tried to win
I walled in the blood and mud with all the other pigs
And I learned that I was a liar (one more time around)
I learned that I was a liar (one more time around)
I learned that I was a liar (one more time around)
I learned that I was a liar (one more time around)

Singing one more time around
(Might do it)
One more time around
(Might make it)

One more time around
(Might do it)
One more time around (might make it)
The day I tried to live, live

Just like you
Just like you
One more time around
One more time around


Lyrics submitted by jt, edited by Mellow_Harsher, BigCheese, Mindspan, bboo_bboo, markydissod

"The Day I Tried to Live" as written by Chris Cornell

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management

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The Day I Tried to Live song meanings
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89 Comments

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  • +8
    General CommentI think it's the exact opposite, Timmay. Instead of trying to be like society, I think the figure protrayed in the song woke, deciding he was gonna go out, change the world, and do something memorable and worthwhile. At the very end he realizes that he's just like everyone else, no matter what he does, that he's not special. This is after the day is done, him reflecting on what's happened. The voice in his head when he woke up, for instance, was himself, but he's been distanced from that. In the morning, he was an idealist, but by the time he fell asleep, he was a realist, finally having realized that "words you say never seem to live up to the ones inside your head."
    Blind Opiuson July 05, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General CommentFools! It's basically their song that says how disgusted they are with the rest of the human race; how corrupt everyone is deep down - But in a first person, sarcastic tone. I really wish more people could put sarcasm meaningfully into a song like this. The day he "tried to live" is the day that Chris decided he would try to fit in with everyone else; and by doing so, he gave up all moral integrity for the purpose of just getting along and doing well, unfortunately.
    sommyon August 29, 2002   Link
  • +6
    Song MeaningFrom Chris Cornell himself:

    It's about trying to step out of being patterned and closed off and reclusive, which I've always had a problem with. It's about attempting to be normal and just go out and be around other people and hang out. I have a tendency to sometimes be pretty closed off and not see people for long periods of time and not call anyone. It's actually, in a way, a hopeful song. Especially the lines "One more time around/Might do it", which is basically saying, 'I tried today to understand and belong and get along with other people, and I failed, but I'll probably try again tomorrow.' A lot of people misinterpreted that song as a suicide-note song. Taking the word "live" too literally. "The Day I Tried to Live" means more like the day I actually tried to open up myself and experience everything that's going on around me as opposed to blowing it all off and hiding in a cave.
    arhoddon May 18, 2017   Link
  • +4
    General CommentSince you're all so off-base I feel I have to set it straight.

    This song is about existentialism. The references are all there, if you know your existentialist literature. Existentialism at its core is about getting off your ass and living life to the fullest because there's no god and no heaven and nobody else can live your life for you and once your life is over that's it.

    A lot of the people who have commented seem to have very negative views toward capitalism. That's idiotic, of course: Chris Cornell is a capitalist! He makes millions of dollars off of his talents, and by buying his albums and being fans of his music you are all capitalists as well. The line "stole a thousand beggar's change and gave it to the rich" is NOT about capitalism, because capitalism (1) redistributes wealth more evenly than any other economic system and (2) is the opposite of theft, since under capitalism all exchanges are voluntary. Socialism and communism are systems which take money by force and place it into the pockets of the rich and powerful.

    More than anything, this song is about accepting the fact that you are a member of the animal kingdom, and in doing so, accepting both the flaws and wonders of being human.
    01229583w49343on December 18, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentChris sings this song with emotion, makes me think it's more than a story about some guy he's thinking of.
    It's about trying to fit in and not being accepted, realising you're not a true person , you're just like everyone else you loathe, a liar, the day you tried to change something, the day you tried to live. This is one of those songs that SOME people can relate to.
    Calculator Joseon May 15, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWords you say never seem
    To live up to the ones inside your head

    My favorite part of the song.. It is so hard to communicate
    xinniefulon February 20, 2005   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionHe said that this song contains some positiveness, especialy in the lines: "one more time around might do it, one more time around might make it". He tried to behave like everyone else and it didn't go so well, but he still carries a little hope one day he'll succeed his goal - to feel alive.
    In an interview I once saw, he admitted that though he has friends (after all, when you're this famous you obviously create an interest to your acquaintances) he tends to be alone. So at least in this period of time he probably felt that it's better to isolate himself from the outer brutal world.

    In the day he tried to live he discovered a few things:
    He acts the opposite of what the mainstream society expects him,
    He gives up very quickly and let the others take the lead, while he crawls behind,
    When he talks, he only tries to please the people around him by not telling them what he really thinks,
    He finds that even when he's doing what's so called 'living', he'll still end up just the same as if he would'nt,
    He saw that for achiving something you want you have to fight over this with others as if it was a piece of meat, and that you can't win without step over the others skulls.

    After he's coming out of his bed and discovers all these stuffes, he regrets that he even tried.

    Maybe it's better to stay in bed with the door locked and windows closed and let the world to slowly fall apart around you. to let the wolves bite their own brothers and hide yourself silently beneath the safe ground.
    nati1271on October 02, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit is defenitely about waking up and deciding that it was time to 'live' and 'win'...which meant to join the rat race, lie, support capitalism...


    anyone know what this verse means??

    The day I tried to win
    I dangled from the power lines
    And let the martyrs stretch
    Singing
    daddioon April 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWith the comment daddio made on the lines

    The day I tried to win, I dangled from the power lines
    and let the martyers strech

    I think that means, hanging from power lines would be instant death for anyone, and you would fry yourself doing it. Martyers, those willing to die for a cause, would stretch upward to try to save him, thus, becomming a martyer by dying to save his life. I think his meaning was to kill himself or try to kill himself and kill those who are willing to sie for his cause, in otherwards, it would be pointless to save him, because he would already be dead. Making their effort utterly worthless.

    I might be 100 percent wrong, but it goes with the rest of the song, stealing from the poor, giving to the rich, taking from people who are needy and giving to those who are not. Trying to live as those who have no heart, no soul, in other words, living like most people do day by day.

    I might be wrong....I usually am.
    MasterShake1979on January 21, 2005   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song obviously explains a lot lyrically but Chris' vocal and emotional input is simply astounding. The message of the song is a man that has been depressed for a very long time and he tries to change his life by getting out of bed and being active, forgetting that he has been seperated from society he isn't accepted by anyone and decides it would of been better to stay in bed and live another day feeling like death!
    mehoweeon July 19, 2010   Link

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