"Coma" as written by W. Axl Rose, Saul Hudson, Duff Rose Mckagan, Izzy Stradlin, Darren A. Reed and Matt Sorum....
you've caught me in a coma
And I don't think I wanna
Ever come back to this
World again
Kinda like it in a coma
'Cause no one's ever gonna
Oh make me come back to this
World again

Now, I feel as if I'm floating away
I can't feel all the pressure, and I like it this way
But my body's calling
My body's calling

Won't you come back to this world again?

Suspended deep in a sea of black
I've got the light at the end, I've got the bones on the mast
Well, I've gone sailing
I've gone sailing

I could leave so easily
My friends are calling back to me, I said, they're
They're leavin' it all up to me
When all I needed was clarity, and
Someone to tell me what the fuck is going on
Goddamn it

Slipping farther and farther away
It's a miracle how long we can stay
In a world our minds created
In a world that's full of shit

(Help me)
Okay, let's get this guy in the program please, we're losing him (start an IV Please)
Come on, his airways someone's got to protect his airways I want two
Where's the defibrillator?
Two IV's over here please, that's two more now, we're losing him (let's go) (help me)
Okay, respond, we're losing this guy (help me)
Where's the, where's the crash- what's going on? anyways, in protective two IV's
(Bastard) slow motion here (let's get him in ER)
Going out on us
Who's got the defibrillator?

Please understand me

I'm climbing through the wreckage of all my twisted dreams
But this cheap investigation just can't stifle all my screams
And I'm waiting at the crossroads, waiting for you
Waiting for you
Where are you?

No one's going to bother me anymore
No one's going to mess with my head no more
I can't understand what all the fightin's for
But it's so nice here, down off the shore
I wish you could see this, 'cause there's nothing to see
It's peaceful here and it's fine with me
Not like the world where I used to live
I never really wanted to live

Okay, we're starting to lose this guy
I want that IV and his airway protected (let's get some people in here)
Get the crash cart please, we're losing this guy, he's going under (give me an airway please)
Zap him again
How about an IV, stat?
Okay you better protect the airway, you're starting to lose him (clear)
Zap the son of a bitch again

Listen to me
Axl, are you listening to me?
No, don't walk away from me "Get back over here
('You are such a fucking prick, I am so pissed with you)
All I hear is bullshit, all the time
All you ever wanna do is have sex, sex sex
I just don't give a shit anymore

(I love you)

You live your life like it's a coma
Won't you tell me why we'd wanna?
With all the reasons you give, it's
It's kinda hard to believe
But who am I to tell you that I've seen
Any reason why you should stay?
Maybe we'd be better off without you, anyway

You got a one way ticket, on your last chance ride
Got a one way ticket to your suicide
Got a one way ticket, and there's no way out alive

An' all this crass communication that has left you in the cold
Isn't much for consolation when you feel so weak and old
But if home is where the heart is, then there's stories to be told
No, you don't need a doctor, no one else can heal your soul

Got your mind in submission, got your life on the line
But nobody pulled the trigger, they just stepped aside
They be down by the water
While you watch 'em waving goodbye

They be calling in the morning, they be hanging on the phone
They be waiting for an answer, but you know nobody's home
When the bell's stopped ringing
It was nobody's fault, but your own

There were always ample warnings
There were always subtle signs
And you would have seen it coming
But we gave you too much time
And when you said that no one's listening
Why'd your best friend drop a dime?
Sometimes, we get so tired of waiting for a way to spend our time

An' it's so easy to be social
It's so easy to be cool
Yeah, it's easy to be hungry, when you ain't got shit to lose
And I wish that I could help you with what you hope to find

But I'm still out here, waiting
Watching reruns of my life
When you reach the point of breaking
Know it's gonna take some time
To heal the broken memories
That another man would need just to survive

Lyrics submitted by mike, edited by laura11489

"Coma" as written by Izzy Stradlin Saul Hudson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Coma song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentI believe this song is about contemplating suicide, not being able to cope with the pressures of the world. If I'm not mistaken, Axl went to a lot of mental trauma around 1990, and these lyrics may've come as a result of that. He is quoted as saying this is the most difficult song he's written, and that he got completely exhausted writing it. To me, this is GnR's best lyrics and one of their best songs. I hate it when the song ends, because the last part of is maybe the most powerful rock music I've heard.
    jaknudsenon January 04, 2006   Link
  • +6
    My InterpretationIncredible song. Having been through deep bouts of depression, I can tell you that this song is probably about just that. It's about the feeling of wanting to end it all, but without doing it at your own hands. When I was going through depression, I often wished my life would just end, but never considered suicide because I knew what it would do to my family and friends. I didn't want them to suffer through that. Besides, suicide is for "crazy" people, right? And nobody wants to be remembered as the crazy person. I always thought the best possible scenario would be to be able to end it through some other means, which is where this song comes in. The subject of the song has been given that opportunity through the Coma he finds himself.

    There's a bunch of lines in the song that pointed that thought out to me, including almost the entire first verse.

    For example:

    "I could leave so easily
    While friends are calling back to me
    I said they're
    They're leaving it all up to me
    When all I needed was clarity"

    To me, the first verse symbolizes Axl arguing with his own consciousness. It's like Axl sees his easy way out of the Hell that is life. Does he want to take it? He does, but his family and friends are calling to him. Should he end it and finally cease his struggles, or would it be wrong to give up on his family and friends when he has a choice.

    He seems to be weighing the pros and cons throughout the song.

    "I like the world where I used to live.
    I never really wanted to live."

    I can absolutely relate to this. You love the people in your life, and the memories that made it enjoyable in spots, but are the good times worth all the turmoil in the end?

    The last verse is kind of Axl blaming himself for everything that's gone wrong in his life, and it's almost like he's berating himself for even wanting to take the easy way out. I think he comes to the realization that if he's flaky enough to even want to die like that, then maybe he should. Maybe the world would be better off without him if he's willing to hurt people like that. Maybe there's no room for hurtful people like himself.

    Stubb063on January 27, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentmy interpretation is as follows!

    The first part of the song tells us about somebody who feels the intense need to get away from all the pressures that life has thrown at him. He is perhaps feeling suicidal, angry and stubborn all at the same time, maybe imagining what his spirit or inner self would say to anybody who sees him should he pull the trigger... the lyrics translating to a vastly more articulate version of "Hey! I LIKE being dead and there's nothing YOU can do about it! HA!"
    The next part is when the person has gone away and he feels relief and a sense of peace, completely unaware that he might not succeed in killing himself until a still small voice calls him from far away, trying to bring him back. He turns his back in a desperate attempt to stay dead so he can remain in this peaceful state he's just found. So peaceful that he cannot imagine how or why anybody would really want to be alive. Its dark, its all his dreams in front of him, but nothing bad matters anymore.
    But just then he is being very rudely dragged back to life by a defibrillator and he can hear all the bullshit he's had to put up with in his life repeating itself as he's slowly coming back. And he tries again to ignore it, but the defibrillator is too strong and unable to be fought. Slowly all the negative thoughts and feelings return to him and he is back, only to feel even worse than before.
    The end part of the song tells us that he feels how useless absolutely everything and everyone is, so he ignores it all, trying to regain the feeling of peace that he had when he was dead, but to no avail, all he feels is guilt and negativity. He knows he can go out and do normal things, he knows he can do that, but when his life is so focused on and there's always going to be certain expectations of him, he doesn't want to because those expectations would break him one way or the other, should he take note or not.

    .... and I can see exactly why this took a year for him to write! Interpreting all those feelings at once and putting them in a song. No wonder its so long, no wonder its all so different! One would think it would be easier to simply shout at the world "GET OFFA MY BACK!" instead. But that would be taking the easy way out, and I don't see Axl EVER doing that.

    And we got the best damn song out of it.
    Thank you Axl. :)
    TheBabyon June 24, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis has recently overtaken Estranged as my favourite GN'R song. It's so musically complex, and the lyrics speak to me in a very particular way. I think most people here have gotten pretty close to the meaning in the first few parts: the desire for isolation, taken to the extremes of death or brain-death. But there's one detail of the final rant that no one here has focused on, so let me give my two cents.

    Starting with the part "You live your life like it's a coma..." I noticed something a couple of years back. It starts focusing on the second-person pronoun "you" where beforehand the song was sung in the first person. Now, this might sound like a minor grammatical quibble, but what if it's more important than that? Perhaps the character singing the final portion of the song is not Axl at all, or any part of his psyche. It is, literally, someone else.

    I always felt that this song involves self-restraint when it comes to suicide. Perhaps Axl doesn't want to die, but a COMA might be seen as a bit more acceptable. In the first few parts, there are a number of lines where he's clearly searching for an answer. For example: "Please understand me/I'm climbing through the wreckage/Of all my twisted dreams/But this cheap investigation just can't stifle all my screams/And I'm waiting at the crossroads/Waiting for you..." More than anything, this is a song of self-discovery.

    Where I'm going with this is that in the last part, Axl gets what he was asking for. Someone else finally steps in and gives him an answer to his questions of why nobody cared about him. And the answer this other person gives him is complicated. First of all, the person says, we have been worrying about you. We may not have reacted in a way that was comforting to you, but we've been there, bailing your ass out when you get into situations like that. You, Axl, just haven't wanted to see it. Ultimately, it's up to you to figure things out ("No you don't need a doctor, no one else can heal your soul").

    When I realized this about this song, there was one part that was especially chilling for me, and that's right at the end:

    And I wish that I could help you
    With what you hope to find
    But I'm still out here waiting
    Watching reruns of my life
    When you reach the point of breaking
    Know it's gonna take some time
    To heal the broken memories
    That another man would need
    Just to survive

    This is the answer that Axl has been needing. He needs to know why other people haven't been able to truly help him deal with his problems on his own terms. And the reason is because other people have their own shit to deal with. People have to keep their distance from Axl because what he's dealing with is too close to what others have been dealing for them to allow themselves to get to close. It will impact them as well. This is what I think is meant by the person talking about "reruns of [his] life." That leaves only one thing he can tell Axl: it's going to be complete hell. Axl will "reach the point of breaking." The only comfort is that Axl will be able to pull through it, because he is even stronger than people who've been through similar angst before him. After all, he's gone a long time trying "to heal the broken memories that another man would need just to survive." And yes, Axl has survived. With that epiphany in mind, Axl finally allows himself to come back to the real world and out of his coma, where he has found the stillness he sought.
    SquireOfSaskatoonon August 21, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAlthough the GNR gig was all but over when I got into their music, this song hit me the hardest. I do beleive this song is about life, the mind, and suicide. In my mind the song is about a person living his/her life as anyone else, however, this isn't how it is in their mind. They contemplate suicide for a very long time before eventually giving in. The drugs, their behavior, and the alcohol are all contributing factors, possibly among other things. Their friends see this behavior as out of control, but don't recognize all the signs until it is to late. Once it is too late they are hangin on the phone. They know what has happened but don't beleive they let it happen. The signs are there people all we have to do is think, it just might save your friends life. It should have saved Jake's, but i never noticed the signs until it was to late.
    powerstrokedieselfordon March 07, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me it is a warning against being too selfish.
    Lesteron September 25, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDrug overdose.
    jordanson June 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song means alot to me. its one of my moms favorite songs. and ive heard it since i was little. plus i connect with it.
    ddog1230on October 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentVery underated but it's one of my all time favourite songs actually... I can defenetly relate to the song, I love it and I think its about alot of things, mainly just about how Axl's mind works. The very end of the song (from about 7 minutes to the end) is the best. Defenetly some drug and suicide reference as well as alot of emotional shit going on in it. There are alot of lines that I think are directed at Steven Adler as well. Lucky ba$tards, I wish I was alive when Guns was still functioning, being only sixteen sucks...
    SL_UTon December 27, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song is totally unbelievable and extremely underrated. While things such as Steven Adler and Slash's drug problems are undoubtedly inspirations for some of the lyrics, I don't think the song as a whole is about something as specific as drugs or a member of the band. It's just about being overwhelmed by the craziness of life and wanting to find some peace. The interludes with doctors trying to save someone (presumably Axl), the women bitching at him (one mentions him by name so it is clear he is the protagonist, these women are credited as "bitches" in the liner notes) are really just metaphorical. No one dies, attempts suicide, or overdoses on drugs in this song, it's just an escapist fantasy with a stream of consciousness concerning many different aspects of a hectic and stressful life.
    percepteson January 06, 2009   Link

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