Was that somebody screaming
It wasn't me for sure
I lift my head up from uneasy
Put my feet on the floor
Cut my wrist on a bad thought
And head for the door

Outside on the pavement
The dark makes no noise
I can feel the sweat on my lips
Leaking into my mouth
I'm heading out for the steep hills
They're leaving me no choice

And see, as our lives are in the making
We believe through the lies and the hating
That love goes free

For want of an option
I run the wind 'round
I dream pictures of houses burning
Never knowing nothing else to do
With death comes the morning
Unannounced and new

Was it too much to ask for
To pull a little weight,
They forgive anything but greatness
These are scoundrel days
And I'm close to calling out their names
As pride hits my face
See, as our lives are in the making
We believe through their lies and the hating
That love goes free through
Scoundrel days

I reach the edge of town
I've got blood in my hair
Their hands touch my body
From everywhere
But I know that I've made it
As I run into the air

And see, as our lives are in the making
We believe through the lies and the hating
That love goes free
Through scoundrel days

Lyrics submitted by Idan

Scoundrel Days Lyrics as written by Pal Waaktaar Magne (mags) Furuholmen

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

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Scoundrel Days song meanings
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  • +2
    My Interpretation
    This is an incredibly dark song. I believe it’s meant to cryptically describe the disturbing trappings of fame, what really goes on behind the scenes in the music industry, and the physical and psychological abuse a relatively innocent newbie artist has to endure, at the start of his musical career ("as our lives are in the making"), to ‘make it’ in the industry; an industry that is full of “lies and hating." To me, the lyrics clearly reveal the trauma and deeply troubled and shattered psyche of someone who’s endured trauma, most probably through physical abuse/violent rituals, by others in the industry as he was making his debut in the musical scene (hence "I've got blood in my hair/Their hands touch my body"/ "And I'm close to calling out their names".) This individual's psyche is completely shattered (hence, having nightmares, screams, cold sweats, running dazed "run the wind round", and possibly contemplating suicide "as the only escape route to regain his freedom at all levels). Through this trauma, this individual’s undergone profound psychological transformation (hence, “I dream pictures of houses burning”, which I believe is metaphorically used to signify death to his old innocent self and the rebirth and emergence of a psychologically shattered but famous artist whose pride prevents him from naming the names of people who’ve broken him, and who is aware that should he choose to come forth with this revelation, the public and his fans will never look at him the same again (hence, “They forgive anything but greatness”). An artist is more or less a slave in the industry, and if you listen closely to Morten’s interviews, you can see he’s dispassionate about the industry and not very fond of his memories of rising to fame; the industry’s underbelly is after all quite dark and obnoxious.
    AndreaAA17on December 30, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    Suicide. The person in the song is troubled, and he ends it ("As I run into the air.")
    sailorrepublicaon January 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    wow, very beautiful song. I'm not sure what the lyrics mean. I don't think it's about suicide though...
    Vovinon October 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    I think sailorrepublica has it right, This song is about being totally screwed up with life and commiting suicide. 'I'm Heading out for those steep hills, There leaving me no choice'. One of A-ha's all time best tracks.
    Han_Soloon September 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    very cruel words! it doesn't seem to me he want to suicide ... it make me think of a boy that find himself in a violent episode.... all this to talk about the viiolence times we are living in. "I'm heading out for the steep hills They're leaving me no choice "We believe Through the lies and the hating That love goes free Through scoundrel days " I've got blood in my hair Their hands touch my body" all I ask is 'who are "they"?' very hot song!
    seira70on November 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    I think that this song is very confusing... It's very metaphorical without anyone knowing what the metaphors mean exactly. The lyrics could be about suicide but I tend to doubt it, its not really A-Ha's style... I personally think it is just about escaping a very bad place. Beautiful song though... very deep and haunting. Another winner for A-Ha.
    sarge331on May 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    Suicide doesn't really seem like a-ha. And although the "trapped by their fame" idea is interesting, the demos for Scoundrel Days, as well as Cry Wolf, The Swing of Things, October, The Weight of The Wind, and Maybe Maybe, were all written in 1984, before the release of Take On Me. I would think it is generally about escaping a violent, hateful situation.
    TheLastHurrahon July 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    although metaphors seem quite personal, it might have some atmosphere drawn from ww2 escapes in their country as well
    schmilsenon August 11, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    It is not about suicide because : "With death comes the morning Unannounced and new" It is about a bad stuation/scoundrel of a person or social or political I was wondering what kind of bad stuation till now I understand by your comments it is about their reputation: "They forgive anything but greatness", "As pride hits my face" Also they are ready to give the source of problem by names: "And I'm close to calling out their names"
    AlpqlAon December 09, 2017   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation
    I think this song could be about fame and trying to escape the attention of the media, etc.
    nikolai100on July 16, 2022   Link

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