The Outsider by A Perfect Circle: Lyrics Meaning And Interpretation
The song, The Outsider is one of the most popular songs ever created by A Perfect Circle. This song was a part of their second album ‘Thirteen Step’ released back in 2004. The Outsider lyrics meaning made it so popular that it made its way to US Billboard’s Hot 100 list. The song has reached so many people and hearts that two remixes of it were created later on. But to understand The Outsider lyrics meaning better, you must know little about the song’s original creators.
The band, A Perfect Circle was formed in the year 1999 in Los Angeles, California. One of the famous rock bands of America, this band created a lot of amazing music in the 2000s. The group was initially formed by Billy Howerdell (lead guitarist) and Maynard James Keenan (lead tool vocalist). In the first four years of their formation, they released 4 albums, one of which was “Thirteen Step”. But after releasing their first four albums, they took a break.
But from 2010, the band again started creating new albums. Their latest album “Eat the Elephant” was released in 2018. Although the band members have been replaced a lot over the years, their albums are still well received by the audience. In fact, their first 3 studio albums, which include ‘Thirteen Steps’ have sold over 4 million copies.
What Does the Title Mean?
In the song, The Outsider lyrics meaning explain the story of a guy who is addicted to drugs and wants to take his own life with the help of drugs themselves. But, the song is also written from a loved one’s perspective. You will only be able to understand the essence of the song once you understand The Outsider lyrics meaning.
The song talks about suicide and drug abuse but is not written by the person who wants to commit this sin. It is rather a friend or the parents of the drug addict who is singing it. The narrator says how the addressee has had a great life but has turned suicidal. The narrator of the song also indicates that the addressee is probably doing this drama to gain attention. So, he asks the addressee to kill himself if he at all wants to but not to do it in front of the narrator’s eyes.
But is that true? Or is the narrator an outsider who has no idea about what the addressee is going through? The narrator undoubtedly loves the addressee, but he certainly does not understand that the addressee is depressed. Even though he loves him, he is still an outsider who has no idea about what is going on in the addressee’s mind. When Keenan wrote this song back in the 2000s, he had lost his friend Layne Stanley to drugs. Listening to the song will make you feel as if the song is written for him. Keenan tried to be a good friend, but he had no idea about what Layne Stanley was going through, and he was ‘the outsider’.
The song is very dark and talks about disturbing things that the narrator has to go through. As he is a friend of a drug addict and someone who is depressed. But the video version of the song is much less dark. Understanding The Outsider lyrics meaning will leave you emotional. This song was the second single from the album “Thirteen Steps” and it reached #74 on the US Pop chart in 2004.
Verse 1: What Does it Mean?
Help me if you can.
It’s just that this is not the way I’m wired.
So could you please help me understand why
you’ve given in to all these
reckless dark desires?
The first verse of the song is the key to understanding The Outsider lyrics meaning. In the first verse, we see the narrator accepting the fact that he has never been into drugs. That is why he fails to understand why the addressee is engaging himself in such dark deeds. In the tone of the narrator, we can see that he is genuinely concerned about the addressee. It shows in the way he speaks about the addressee that he loves him, and he fails to understand what is driving him towards his destruction.
Pre-Chorus: What Does it Mean?
You’re lying to yourself again, suicidal imbecile.
Think about it.
You’re pounding on a fault line.
What’ll it take to get it through to you precious?
(I’m) over this.
It is in this part of the song that we get to understand that his friend is not a drug addict, but has also become suicidal. The narrator thinks that his friend is putting up a drama, and he will not take his own life. In this part of the song, we again see how the narrator is “the outsider”. Being his friend, he is supposed to be the one who knows why his friend is going through such a tough phase in his life. But at this point, he seems to be an outsider who has no idea about what is going on in his friend’s life. He tells his friend that he thinks his friend is too “precious” and he cannot see his friend in such a mess.
Chorus: What Does it Mean?
Why do you wanna throw it away like this?
(You’re) Such a mess.
Why would I want to watch you disconnect
and self-destruct one bullet at a time?
What’s your rush now?
Everyone will have his day to die.
The chorus of the song explains how his addiction to drugs is taking him away from everyone he loves. “one bullet at a time” could mean how he is sniffing heroin and destroying his own life. He also tells his friend that nobody in this world is immortal and everyone will die one day. His friend must try to live his life properly and not be in such a hurry to end his own life because that day is going to come anyway for everyone.
Verse 2: What Does it Mean?
Medicated drama queen.
Picture perfect, numb belligerence.
Narcissistic drama queen, craving fame and all its decadence.
In the second verse of the song we see how the narrator fails to understand what his friend is going through and thinks that he is being a “drama queen”. The narrator fails to see that his friend is depressed and instead of trying to understand his situation, he calls him a “Narcissistic drama queen”.
Bridge: What Does it Mean?
They were right about you.
They were right about you.
In the bridge of the song, the narrator sings a single line twice. He says how everybody around was right about his friend. How they were right about him being a total mess. He also says how everybody was right about his friend being a “drama queen” and he would never commit suicide, rather it is a tactic to seek attention.
Outro: What Does it Mean?
(But) If you choose to pull the trigger,
should your drama prove sincere,
do it somewhere far away from here.
The outro of the song includes the chorus, along with 3 more lines. In those 3 lines, the narrator tells his friend to “pull the trigger” or kill himself if he wants to. At least by pulling the trigger he will be able to prove his point. But, the narrator also says that if he wants to do it, he must go away from the narrator. After that he can commit such a hideous crime. The narrator says these lines because he believes that his friend will not commit such a sin, and he is acting.
In the song, The Outside lyrics meaning succeeds to reach the heart of the listener. The narrator feels that he is indeed an outsider who has failed to understand his friend and help him out in the situation. The song successfully makes the listener connect to the emotions of the narrator and his friend at the same time, and that is exactly what makes it a hit.