Friday, February 8, 2013

What the song Korn - No One's There means

This song was an instant favorite from "Untouchables" for me, along with "Alone I Break." I think it's because I was going through especially hard times, dealing with depression and problems at school. It was especially hard because I could not relate to anyone in general and about my pain especially.

This song was, and still is, a great consolation, because like a lot of Korn's songs it understands my pain and expresses it accurately, both lyrically and melodically.

Interpretation:

You and me we have no faces
Soon our lives will be erased
Do you think they will remember?
Or will we just be replaced

This is JD talking to the listener. He is saying that we, those who suffer from depression or other great distress, "have no faces" - are not understood by others, and that "Soon our lives will be erased" - we will die, either by suicide or other causes, and nobody will take note. We will just be replaced by other people, and that those that used to know us will forget about us, subconsciously erasing us from their memory, and occupy their memories with the new people, hence "replaced." JD is reflecting on how meaningless our lives are and how we have little significance to others.

Oh I wish that I could see
How I wish that I could fly
Far from things that hang above me
To a place where I can cry

Jon wishes to find a place where he can find peace (a place where I can cry), away from the people and responsibilities that he can't deal with (things that hang above me) and that cause him unbearable pain. But his saying "wish" and "fly" suggests that he still hasn't found that place, and it might be out reach - a hopelessness that contributes to the desperation of these lines.

So why can it be?
No one hears me call
Echoes back at me
No one's there

To all these nameless feelings
I can't deal with in my life
To all these greedy people
Trying to feed on what is mine
You've got to fill your hunger
And stop fucking with my mind
I know it's time
To leave these places far behind

He is crying out "why" in desperation. Why is no one there to understand and to comfort him? He is crying out in pain because he can't find rest, but it seems like no one responds and no one cares. The "echoes" are his own cries resonating back, with no one hearing him. Not his friends, not his family, not god; no one.

The "nameless" feelings are the feelings that he feels that have no names because they are so intense and uncommon to normal human experience that they have not been experienced by enough people to even warrant a name. Only he feels them, and nobody else can understand these feelings or even remotely relate. These feelings are so intense and unknown to him that he does not have the emotional resilience or strength to endure these feelings.

He also says that people are taking advantage of his inability to cope with his state, which hurts him even more. This theme returns in their next album "Take a Look in the Mirror" with the song "Counting On Me" ("You see the pain in my face / While you keep putting me down"). He tells them to satisfy their hunger for messing with him elsewhere and leave him alone. He says that he can't bear this anymore and wants to end the pain by leaving the places where people are causing the unbearable feelings. He does not say what that place might be - a vacation resort? a hospital? afterlife? The location is immaterial - the point is that he is extremely distressed and wants to find peace.

You and me we have no faces
They don't see us anymore
Without love as they had promised
And no faith for what's in store

He says that his and the listeners' lives have already been "erased" by those malevolent people. They betrayed us by not giving their promised love and support.

Where are all these feelings hiding?
Dancing in and out my mind
Burning up all that I long for
Feeding me to my decline
Where are you?
My soul is bleeding
I am searching
Am I blind?
All alone and bound forever
Trapped inside me for all time

This is the bridge of the song and my favorite part because it captures my frustration with not being able to identify the source and, therefore, the cure for my debilitating feelings, which cause unimaginable distress.

These feelings "burn up" my ambitions and take away all the joy from life. There is not opening for these feelings to escape because they are engraved in my mind forever. "No one's there" means that he is helpless and that THERE IS NO HOPE.

In conclusion, this song has nothing to do with him being angry at people for material reasons because it is much deeper than that. He is talking about those around him who are supposed to be supportive, but who instead show insensitivity, nay, even worse - indifference - and take advantage of him while he is in this vulnerable and despairing state.

Originally written on 6.30.2009

Despair

Only a person in a state of despair beyond despair can feel such utter isolation, pervasive meaninglessness, and interminable torment as to oppose the life's most basic instinct to survival and wish to die.