Hey you slave, go hang your owners
Draw your names among their ashes
Lay your children on their thrones
Gather 'round and fall right down

Here at sundown nothing is when
Everything is all right
Switch opens
Opening around and let's the garden rise
Switch is on

Hey, you patients
Where's your surgeon
Left with your
Insides open
Hung your hearts out
On the table
Gather 'round and fall right down

Feel the air now
Stumbling and wander in the moonshine
Switch opens
Nothing is when everything is all right
Switch is on

Lyrics submitted by jt, edited by MaxwellHB

Switch Opens Lyrics as written by Shepherd Cornell

Lyrics © HIPGNOSIS SONGS GROUP, Peermusic Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Switch Opens song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +6
    General CommentThis is my favorite Soundgarden song, and i am a HUGE HUGE fan. This never really is talked about at all, especially when seeing the comments so few on so many of the best soundgarden songs.

    I honestly have tried so hard to understand this song, but I can't. My best guess is that it is about just changing things. The slaves hanging the owners, the patients STOP getting surgery. Think about hollywood and how many people give up their hearts and pride just to look beautiful. "Feel the air now, stumbling and wander in the moonshine" basically is saying now that you've had surgery, feel the changes, can you live with it?

    When the switch is on, things change.
    jbRAGEGARDENon May 04, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commentyah its about role reversals,
    slaves for masters, children in roles of authority(thrones)
    do we need those above us
    the second verse shows that they have important roles and without those above us we would be in chaos like a patient without a surgeon left with your insides open it is a graphich description to emphasise the point that those above us have a purpose.

    i am not saying u should not aim high but don't condemn those doing their jobs which can be seen as being above us. its the way of the world.
    ThayilBeGodon September 21, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about rising up and taking action. Not against anything in perticular, just moving forward. It's like it's your time to do something. "Hey you slaves, your switch is on. Go do somthing." I think that it's about action. "Hey you slaves, go hang your owners. It's your time." then there's the second verse. To me, it's about not doing anything. You've got your heart out on the table, and you let somebody else put it there. Why aren't you doing anything.

    And then there's the chorus. I've been clueless on this part for a long time, but I'll try and take a shot. "Stumbling and wander in the moonshine" = Confusion. You don't know what to do, either because you've acted and broken free from whatever was holding you back (be it your masters, or just your daily routine). "Nothing is when everything is all right." Normal is not alright. It's nothing. It's average. It's a daily routine (like in PJ's Slight of Hand)

    I think this song is about self-awakening. About coming to life. About turning your switch on, and letting the gears in your head work. It's about breaking free, and living.

    To me, it's about living.
    Screamcageon July 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love that second verse. The whole song has this surreal quality that makes me think it's about being confused and you just need to stop everything ("Switch opens") to figure it out.
    Gfngfgfon September 12, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song, put simply, means 'waking up'. It's about changing the status quo of your own mind. Changing your perspective, sometimes painfully, in order to break free from an old, obsolete, damaging part of your own identity.

    As opposed to 'closing the switch' and letting the current pass through, instead 'open the switch' and move through the gate to see what possibilities await on the other side.

    It's about destroying the old familiar and stagnant in favor of the new and unknown possibilities. Kinda like being born, it's a terrifying process. But literally everything awaits on the other side of this barrier.

    Just listen to the lyrics with all of that in mind and everything about this song falls into place.
    elias ashlon September 29, 2022   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song does have a sort of surreal quality to it..that may be why i like it so much....it tends to stand out againts their other songs, but fits perfectly onto this album...i believe its about re-evaluating upon whom you rely on...
    RedRavenon March 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti'd guess you DO understand this song...
    RedRavenon July 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song seems like it would be something some meth user would get high to but other than that this song a good song
    Doomsday578on October 30, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove this song! One of my favorites of Soundgarden. Without being really specific, I think it's about making life changes.
    Markus12345on November 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about fighting against oppressors.
    The "switch" is actually a whip.
    "switch opens" = a whip opens.
    And in the "Switch is on" part you can hear Chris doing a whipping sound.
    SOMMSon July 08, 2017   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top