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Black Hole Sun

by

Soundgarden



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

The band is named after a sculpture in Seattle called "Soundgarden," and longtime speculation was that this song got its name from another Seattle sculpture called "Black Sun," by the artist Isamu Noguchi. (The piece is located in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill. It looks kind of like a huge, black doughnut and is aimed so you can see the Space Needle through the middle of it.)

Chris Cornell stated in a 2014 interview with Entertainment Weekly that the title came from something he heard on the news - he thought the anchor said "black hole sun," but he really was saying something else. Cornell started thinking about the phrase and decided to write a song around it, as he felt it was a thought-provoking title. He wrote the lyrics first, then composed the music based on the images he came up with.
This song was written entirely by Chris Cornell. "If I write lyrics that are bleak or dark, it usually makes me feel better," the Soundgarden frontman said.

This song is certainly bleak, with references to snakes, a dead sky, and the summer stench. It's one of the more morose songs to get consistent airplay, and it helped associate the Grunge sound with depression and angst. Cornell, however, was simply expressing some dark thoughts in song - he was not suffering or crying for help in the manner of Kurt Cobain.
In our interview with Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, he said of this song: "We'd had singles before. But that was easily our biggest hit. That was more singer/songwriterish. Chris went that direction of singer/songwriter guy, and the band was more accepting because of the success of singer/songwriting stuff as opposed to more guitar oriented rock. It was more vocal accompaniment rock, some guitar. So we started utilizing a little bit more of that."
This song got a lot of radio play because the Alternative format and "Grunge" sound were popular at the time and Top 40 radio stations were playing a lot of songs by artists like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots. It didn't make the Hot 100 because it wasn't released as a single and therefore ineligible for the chart (it did make #24 on Billboard's Airplay chart). Holding back singles was a common ploy around this time, as it encouraged fans to buy the albums. Accordingly, Superunknown went to #1 in America, far better than the #39 peak of their previous album, Badmotorfinger.
This won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance. They also won Best Metal Performance that year for "Spoonman."
The song was covered by Peter Frampton on his 2006 instrumental album Fingerprints. The lyrics were replaced by Frampton on guitar, playing through his trademark "talk box," through which he simulated the pitch of the vocals, but not the words. The only distinguishable words (played through the talk box) in the rendition are "Black hole sun, won't you come," which can be heard in the verses after the bridge/guitar solo. Fingerprints won the 2007 Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album. (thanks, Colin - North Dartmouth, MA)
The surreal Howard Greenhalgh-directed video finds the band performing the song in an open field as a suburban neighborhood are swallowed up by a black hole. Speaking with Artist Direct in a 2012 interview, Cornell said that at the time he had made a number of videos with directors who didn't understand where the band was coming from and he was disillusioned with the whole process. "We just read treatments for it, and Howard Greenhalgh's treatment just read weird as the video turned out," he recalled.
"I suggested we just pick one that we want, try to find a great one, and let the guy do whatever he wants," continued Cornell. "We should just be there and not emote, not pretend to be excited to play the song, deadpan, stand there, and do absolutely nothing. We chose his treatment because it seemed interesting. I told him on the phone, 'We're not going to do anything. You're not going to get anything out of us. We're just going to stand there because we don't want to do this anymore.'. Somehow, for whatever reason, he loved that.
I love the video because it worked. It just happened to be a guy with a great idea who happened to believe in our notion that we're reluctant video stars who are going to give you nothing. The contrast of us giving you nothing and your vision is actually going to be better than if we're jumping around acting like crazy rock people and you're doing these flash jump-cut edits and crazy lighting. We're weird enough as it is, and we're tired of trying to not be. It worked. It was a big lesson. If you get out of somebody's way, or collaborate in the right way, a good thing can come out of it."
Chris Cornell got the idea for this song while driving home from Bear Creek Studio, near Seattle, where Soundgarden were recording a version of "New Damage" for a charity album. He recalled to Uncut magazine August 2014: "I wrote it in my head driving home from Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, a 35-40 minute drive from Seattle. It sparked from something a news anchor said on TV and I heard wrong. I heard 'blah blah blah black hole sun blah blah blah'. I thought that would make an amazing song title, but what would it sound like? It all came together, pretty much the whole arrangement including the guitar solo that's played beneath the riff."

"I spent a lot of time spinning those melodies in my head so I wouldn't forget them," he continued. "I got home and whistled it into a Dictaphone. The next day I brought it into the real world, assigning a couple of key changes in the verse to make the melodies more interesting. Then I wrote the lyrics and that was similar,a stream of consciousness based on the feeling I got from the chorus and title."
Cornell reflected on the song's lyrical content to Uncut: "What's interesting to me is the combination of a black hole and a sun," he said. "A black hole is a billion times larger than a sun, it's a void, a giant circle of nothing, and then you have the sun, the giver of all life. It was this combination of bright and dark, this sense of hope and underlying moodiness."

"I even liked the way the words looked written down," Cornell added. "I liken it to Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, where there's a happy veneer over something dark. It's not something I can do on purpose but occasionally it will happen by accident."
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Comments (122):

My own personal opinion about this song, I think it's a gloomy synopsis of all the recent events that had recently happened in Seattle.
- Lance, OKC, OK
I love it when people comment saying with great conviction that it means one thing or another despite the fact that the artist him or herself has stated on several occasions exactly what the song is about - and it usually has nothing to do with what these people think it does. Like this one, different people say it's about death or poverty or depression, but Chris Cornell said many times that the lyrics don't really have a meaning - and since he wrote the song, I think he knows what he's talking about.
- Rob, Duluth, GA
The song itself is about surrealism and imagery. Like Lennon & McCartney, Cornell wrote this song for the sake of playing around with words. The song doesn't really carry message (in the converntional term),,,it's ART. It's hilarious because since there are references to snakes, black holes, and suns many if not all christians think the song is about the apocolyse, which is understandable since that has been the focus of their entire lives. Non religious people, the song can be about drugs, or sex, battling depression, or even an non religous outlook on the human race in general. The point is that "Black Hole Sun" doesn't really have to be about anything, It's surrealism and that's the best part about the song.

The video, on the other hand shows the combination of surreal and the apocalypse. However I do not think in the later is presented from a religious point of view. In obvious terms it shows different stereotypes of Middle America being swallowed by a black hole. It's hard to say what the meaning behind the stretching smiling faces, melting ice cream and Barbie dolls, feeding a baby goat a bottle of milk, etc.....It was the early to mid 90's and A lot videos were doing strange almost perverted things for the sake of shock value. Then it was only hinted at, were as today it's right in your face......
- Ryan, Sarnia, ON
Danggggg! This video used to scare the living crap out of me...Still does. But on the other hand, the song is awesome. I love this song, it's composed nicely!
- Megan, Stevenson, AL
Chris Cornell has stated that "Black Hole Sun" has no real meaning. He was more or less playing around with words as he was writing it. As with most gifted songwriters, Cornell wrote it in such a way that all the lyrics are universal, and can mean whatever to whoever. The idea behind the video had nothing to do with Cornell or the band, it was entirely the director's idea. The band went with it cause they thought it looked cool.
- Ryan, Sarnia, ON
Brad Mehldau Trio did a live instrumental version of the song which is the longest Brad Mehldau Trio song at 23 minutes and 31 seconds.
- Melissa, Fairborn, OH
Holy Crap I know that sculpture. Thats like my favorite sculpture ever!
- Printer Paper, New York, NY
Great song. It matches the whole grunge picture
- Jacob, Elderwood , CA
Why are some of you, especially Californians, crying about the "evil rich"? It it weren't for the so-called "evil rich" no one would have a job, which most of you probably don't anyway. Grow up, get out of your mommy's basement and learn something about economics. Get a grip.
- Refugee77@gmail.com, St. Simons Island, GA
I like the parody:
http://www.lyricallegend.co.uk/songs.php?artist=weird+al+yankovic&title=asshole+sun
- Cyberpope, Richmond, Canada
The song is somewhat about the Nigredo Stage. It's about the death of the old state of consciousness and the corruption that must take place before growth. By the way, if anyone has noticed the album cover of Badmotorfinger has a Black Sun.
- Vinayak, Mumbai, India
I am pretty sure this song has to do with addiction of sounds to me like heroin. Heroin is a very powerful painkiller and maybe the lead singer was just changing a few words around so that he doesnt have to tell the public about it i think this was a personal song. but parts of the song that really tell me is when he says Stuttering, cold and damp if anybody has ever been through with draw you would relate this pretty close to cold sweats and just lack of
speech ability. also when he says walking sleep heroin is a drug that makes you very tired so that person is pretty much out of it but still walkin around and kinda functioning. but other than that the whole song just has that wallowing feeling of hopelessness and at the same time everything is ok which is almost exactly what heroin does to people.
- Matt, Baltimore, MD
weirdest video of all time. sorry rob zombie
- jessie, hillsboro, KY
the song is said to be about having the first sexual experience.
just pay close attention to the lyrics. (but do not misunderstand "wont you come")
- Oppenheimer, Buenos Aires, Argentina
So much creepy smiling :)
- Dylan, Dodge City, KS
sounds like it could be a doors song.
- Nick, Seattle, Albania
This is such a beautiful song... it holds so much meaning to me, even though I don't really look into the words: it just seems like a depressed, hopeful drabble. Pure emotion. There will never be another song like this.
- Kayla, Oklahoma City, OK
but its usually laugh cause of the woman cutting fish at boiling heat and she has this big smile hahahahahahahahaha!!!!! aaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!
- Alan, ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!, TX
this video is weird. its like i dont know whether 2 laugh hysterically or scream bloody murder.
- Alan, ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!, TX
'in particular the little girl sucking on the ice cream appearing'

The way I saw it was that the girl was burning the Barbie doll, flashing back and forth, to the older sun tanning model, her supposed future ideal self. When the ice cream was foaming, she had the *eyes* of absolute loathing like she despised what she wanted to become.

In a sense, it fits well with the whole self-immolation theme of the video where everyone's looking for their own personal armageddon, end of world, end of self.

Lots of other scenes depicted Karmic retribution (kids burning the insects/then them getting fried themselves, the bee keeper lady getting stung by bees), the blond muscular couple continuously doing pushups & applying make up while everything is being destroyed (classic denial of perfection seeking beings), the born again Christians in complete obsession towards their Rapture, etc, etc.
- Jamison, Burlington, VT
this song is most likely about nihilism that is total destruction of the human race by a highly negative force that we are supposed to be helpless against. but i think it really refers to the devils coming to claim his own.
- BABATUNDE, LAGOS, Nigeria
This Song is talking about the coming of the companion sun to what we believe is the only sun in our solar system, and it signifying the "end of times" as per the Bible states in the Book of Revelations. The 2nd sun is believed to be a "dark star" or a brown dwarf that is easily seen with in the infared spectrum since it does not illuminate like the sun we see(Sol), and the stars/suns in the sky that we can see. The reason it is hard to see with the naked eye, is because we do not actually see direct light, but rather light that is reflecting off of objects. This companion sun will be not be seen to the naked eye until it is close enough for our visible sun to illuminate it. Don't believe me? Bible talks about the star "wormwood" in Rev chapter 8 if you believe in the prophesy. Ancient Sumerians, the first civilation he have record of, believed that the "gods" were alien beings that created us with their DNA and that they were from a planet that orbited into our solar system every 3600 years. For that planet to sustain life, it would need to be orbiting a sun much closer as well. They signified the coming of this planet being seen in the sky as the cross that Christianity uses today as its symbol. INterestingly enough they are the ones who the Hebrews got the cration story about the garden of eden from (and the story was changed dramatically by the Hebrews) and the Flood story as well as sooo much more.
This 2nd sun will be a sign of the "end times". And yes this vid is all about the second coming of Christ, and the supposed Rapture. And remember even if you disbelieve, doesn't mean that it isn't true. We will all be "seeing" soon enough. Perhaps 2012?!?
- Nikki, Madison, WI
Frampton's cover of this song is incredible and a good, very different, take on it. However, nothing compares to this, the original version.
- Joe, Sin City, NV
i get the video it's based on sureallism
and this song means to me that when everything good happens usually theres something to take it away like a black hole sun
i consider it really depressing you have to agree that its a depressing song
- Kane, wytheville, VA
I saw that someone said that the meaning of the song is different to each person who hears it. And alot of you say it doesn't mean anything just because Chris Cornell told you it didnt. Maybe what he's saying is that what it means to him isn't what it will mean to everyone else. If you have ever know an artist I think you can agree with that possibility, personally I think it has spiritual meaning and you can't convince me otherwise but thats the beauty of it. If Chris would have told everyone what he was thinking when he wrote it we wouldn't be talking about it would we?
- Kenny, Woodward, OK
This song was featured on the video game Rock Band.
- Austin, Smallsville,New England, --
does anyone get the video though?
- Chelsie, Tonawanda, NY
Alot of people seem to have great ideas about this song, but don't shun the people that say it's about sex. I DO think it's about someone's first time, and how scared and nonresponsive they are. Here are some anlaysis:
1 "In my eyes, Indisposed, in disguise, as no one knows": This could be a reference to someone refusing to believe that they are losing their virginity. In his eyes, his virginity is Indisposed, and in Disguise. As no one knows could be a reference to the fact he has no one to reassure him about his virginity.
2 "Hides the face, hides the snake" A closed vagina hides the face of a vagina and the penis
3 "The sun, in my discrace" This could be talking about he is happy (He sees the sun: A reference to being happy), but he is so discraced at what he is doing he forgets about his happiness
4 "Boiling Heat, Summer Stench" He is obviously sweating, and sperm has a weird stech to it.
5 "Neath' the black, the sky looks dead" This is helping to set the mood of it being the dark of night
6 "Call my name through the cream" Basically, this is the girl calling his name, but he doesn't really seem to think about anything but his ejauculation
7 "I'll hear you scream again: Black Hole Sun, won't you cum? Wash away the rain?" This is saying the girl wants him to do it again, she is saying "cum, wash away the rain" The rain is a reference to how a vagina gets wet when a girl gets horny.
8 "Stuttering, cold and damp" He has now had repeated Ejauculations and calms down, a vagina can be cold and damp sometimes
9 "Steal the warm wind, tired friend" This could be a reference to how this girl will be absorbing his "warm wind", and they are both tired
10 "Times are gone, for honest men" His time as a complete inocent gentleman is gone.
11 "And sometimes, far too long, for snakes" He seems like he has been having sex for too long and wants to stop.
12 "In my shoes, walking sleep" He feels like he is in a dream, problaby a wet one
13 "And my youth, I pray to keep" He hopes he won't get the girl pregnant
14 "Heaven send, hell away" He feels like he is doing something wrong, and continues to want to stop
15 "No one sings, like you, anymore" Now that he has shared his body with this girl, he feels an emotional attachment to her
16 "Hang my head, drown my fear, till' you all just dissapear" He feels stupid for being so worried and hopes he won't be scarred by his expeirience.
(Sorry about my bad english)
- Jacob, Rocky Mount, NC
dude,this song is about depression,its no walk in the park.
i listen to it whenever im depressed(which is all the time).
- alexandria, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Black hole sun....hellooooooo...it's all about the beautiful black hole vagina!!!!! Won't you cum.... and wash away the rain (of penile ejection). Hides the face, lies the snake (again-penile substance). He's insecure, lonely and angry...he needs a hug and a black hole sun. A true rock star!!!!!
- JC, San Francisco, CA
Really who cares what it is about it is plain and simple an awesome song!
- Adam, Yarmouth, ME
Ive been thinking about this song alot and I have concluded that its about praying for Christ's second coming. At least thats my view of it now.
- James, Orange County, NC
This song was featured in the video game rock band
- Austin, Smallsville,New England, --
This song can be about end of the world...like most of soundgarden lyrics...It can mean about preachers telling you to join there religion...it means anything!
- Alice in a Garden, Plainfield, IL
I remember reading an interview where Cornell said the song wasn't supposed to mean anything in particular, that as he was writing it, it was as if he were painting a picture with words that seemed to come together on their own.
- Palmieres, Lisbon, Portugal
In the video, Cornell is wearing a necklace made by the late lead singer of Blind Melon- Shannon Hoon
- Joey, Westville, NY
I believe the meaning of the song is in the eye of the beholder.
- Brandon, West Nyack, NY
I have read all the comments open mindedly and this is my idea 1.2 Theory

The First verse
The Video could make things seem as a illution
(as to drug referrence)
The lyrics relate to seattle weather

The Second Verse (last part of first)
Two way to look at this verse not yet figured ou which is better

Theory 1
The video also has two worlds (Youth and Adult)
Youth is representing good
And the evil was of the rich
Also the dolls being roasted could give reference to "heaven send hell away" as the rich lady refering to Dolls being roasted (not dieing in the fire) refereing to being tortured in hell.

Theory 2

This is show'n by the lyrics (not the video)
"Stuttering" referse to drugs and how people stutter when they take them"

"steal the warm winds tried friend"
This could have a few meanings
1.This could be someone asking the sun to steal the warm winds from another place because its "cold and damp" which makes you tried
at this place(seattle)
2.It could also mean steal something and incuraging hi to do this by saying Times are gone for honest men
"In my shoes a walking sleep" Is reference to drugs

The Last verse
No doubt about it this is Apocolypse

Other notes
This song could be the depressed match to Mr.Sun
Also It might be a three person view like run to the hills.
It's always possible that the songwriter was high or drunk when he wrote it and sub-conseously heard Mr.Sun in his head and thought that it would make a better song if it was deppressed.

Thanks
- Hunter, South West, MI
Chris Cornell said himself that it has no real meaning.
- Nick, westwood, NJ
Mabey he just wrote it about a scuplture too
If you think about He was in seattle and saw the sculpture and just was inspired of a cool name he could of just wrote it, went out and partyed and
when he went to write a song seen these words or just a title and began writeing music for it
- Hunter, South West, MI
I think its about the Evil People (in this case rich)being sucked up by a black hole as in the parable of the rich man and lazureth
- Hunter, South West, MI
this song might have another meaning it reffrences to revalations in the bible it could be about the end of the world look at the video it also looks like the end of the world too.
- Dale, KY, KY
Firstly, this thread made me remember why i like songfacts. This thread isn't just 30 comments debating which drug this is about, which is refreshing. There's actually real debate, with very little stupid insults over the internet. Second, I think i read all the comments, and haven't seen any (i think) talking about the screaming/yelling underneath the lead vocals in the last little bit of the song. I think that that's one of the coolest parts of this song. It gives it a more pained feel, without saying stupid stuff.
- jack, Claremont, MN
I guess we should ring Chris Cornell and ask him what the song means, eh? The song definitely fits the mood of the Pacific Northwest - sort of a depressed mixture of sadness and melancholy. Ha Ha - maybe this is the Abyss. The light never gets up here either! (Seriously, you religious folks need to get a clue.)
- Alder, Portland, OR
The singing gets to me. Very depressing sound to it, the guitars very good though. The whole song is very well written
- Allie, a little ol' town in, MI
It's not about a drug addiction he has... this song is about a man's view on the world... and his prayer for judgement so that the righteous people in the world no longer have to suffer and that the corrupt and phonies and destroyers of good things on earth are sent to hell. I remember watching this video when I was a kid... one of my favorites
- Michael, wakefield, MA
As one person noted, this is a prayer to Satan or Shaitan as the Persians and Arabs refer to the devil. For those of yo unot versed in the Old and New Testaments, these books refer to the devil as being cast into utter darkness, or the abyss, where the presence of God is not and from which no light eminates. The song also mentions that "no one sings like you anymore." THis is a reference to the fact that before the heavenly battle that saw Satan or Lucifer cast out of Heaven, he was appointed as the chief composer of the most beautiful music which was performed before the throne of God by the heavenly host of angels. The main refrain of implores the Black Hole Sun to come and wash away the rain." The rain being referred to is the shed blood of Christ upon the Cross, which in Christian literature is referred to as "the rain that washes away all sin." Of course I couold be wrong about the whole thing.
- Le Roy, Oakland, CA
I just want to say for the record, Black Hole Sun is the number one song of the 90s. There was simply no song which equaled it before or after its release. It's a one of a kind and is perfect. I apologize to any Nirvana or Metallica fans here so think otherwise.
- RandyO, Boston, MA
I hate when I like a song that I dont know what the meaning is. Then i feel like the song isnt better than any lil john song that makes no sense. But to me, Black Hole Sun is about people believing in things that arent real and people stupidly trusting things that are misty, like rain, which feel so real but make it hard to see the truth. The Black Hole Sun is the cold hard truth, everythings clear, but its not joyful
- Sean, Brooklyn, NY
I just recently heard this song again for the first time since it came out..I was watching VH1s best of the 90's. When I heard it I for some reason or another became obsessed with finding out the meaning of the song...then on VH1 they had made the comment that the video was like an acid trip...so I looked up the video and that just made it even harder for me to figure out...I cant get some of those images out of my head...it was so creepy..and yet I loved it!
- Brittany, Fox Lake, IL
listen up people, many artists write and record songs and leave it up to the listener to interpret a song any which way they choose, it's kind of fun and challenging to come up with meanings instead of actually knowing what the song is about.
- Nick, Browns Country, OH
Greg, yer an idiot. This song has plenty of meaning. It's a prayer to Satan to destroy us all.
- Hebrew, St. Paul, MN
just one of those hazy, bleak songs that really brings me back to being a little kid in the 90's
- Nick, Cleveland, OH
When I first heard the song, I thought they sang, "Black ol' Sun", as in, "Black Old Sun". Until now, I never knew it was actually, "Black Hole Sun". How can the sun be a black hole?
- Annabelle, Eugene, OR
"black hole sun" is a type of lsd. if you have ever done acid before, you will understand this video a lot more. just the way the people in it act and the distortion on faces is basically perfect. graet song!!!!!!!!!!!!! what happened to the 80's and 90's bands??? won't they come and wash away the RAIN?
- guillermo, tegucigalpa, Other
a quick correction, our sun will not become a black hole, we live by a yellow dwarf star at the end of its life it becomes a red giant until it burns out and becomes a planetary nebula, then finally a small white dwarf. Yellow dwarf stars are also reffered to as gv stars. bigger stars either explode witch is reffered to as a super nova or implode causing a black hole. supernovas are more common, but black holes suck up everything in a snowball like effect, at the end black holes will suck up the entire universe and then themselfs. yes, it is about the end of humanity on earth and the black hole is whats gonna do it.
- george, jackson, NJ
This is an awsome song and one that will live in rock history forever. Cornell is amazingly talented and can back that up with one of the best voices ive heard in rock
- chris, new york, NY
screw stairway(i love led-zepp no offense)
this is in my opinion the greatest song of all time
- Angelo, Las Vegas, NV
A cool and marvelous tune. This one`s about unspeakable and you would never comprehend. But Chriss Cornell didn`t write it. This was written by Ben Shepherd. I sort of don`t know what is this about. It is rather about something that totally hopeless. Obviously he was depressed when he wrote it and it feels like you hate everybody and you want to die because you`re weak and knowing that the world is going to end. Yes it is definitely about Apocalypse. Why? Yep, it is wriitten in the title. Black hole is a star that collapses in on itself and into which all matter is sucked. This occurs when the gravitational force on the surface of a star becomes too great. Nothing, not even light, has sufficient velocity to escape. Our Sun will eventually become a black hole either. After some billion years of its permanent radiation I suppose. And this is why it is the end. Srange enough how author used Einsteins theory for his song but that`s true and sad.
Basicaly it has no meaning. It`s a game. A word puzzle. The lyrics are absurd, the stream of consciousness and nothing more. You need to know the cipher in order to read its lyrics meaning. Much like Jim Morisson`s "This is the end " or Axl Rose`s "Coma". Seems as though Sheperd just wanted to match the words that would rhyme with the others. Though it had some reference to events in Seattle. Dont hesitate realizing that black holes aren`t drugs, people or emptiness, they are stars, dead stars. Oddly to say the song seems to be a call for Armagedon but that is what it appears to be.
- Kuzma, Moscow, Europe
I just started to learn this on guitar but the tuning is annoying. It is just a little sharp from normal drop D tuning. Kind of strange, but that's probably something that makes this song so interesting.
- Lucas, Campbell, CA
Definitely about the apocalypse. I think it's welcoming the apocalypse because of the poor state that man is in. Phrases like "in disguise as no one knows hides the face, lies the snake...", and "Times are gone for honest men" just seem to point out the decadence of mankind and "wash away the rain" to me means wash away the tears of those that see the evil. So yeah, it's welcoming the apocalypse to end the decadence IMO.
- Ty, Holland, MI
It's about the Apocalypse.

Nothing more, nothing less.

That is all.
- Dan, Perth, Australia
This song is one example of why Chris Cornell is such a fantastic singer/songwriter- it means exactly what YOU want it to mean...and 13 years later, people are still talking about it.
- Bryan, Pell City, AL
When I think of some of the most appropriate sounding voices in music history, I have to think of Chris Cornell when I think of the word "Rock"...not "Rock N' Roll" like a Bill Haley & the Comets, but R.O.C.K. I don't even feel the need to further label it like "Hard Rock", or "Alternative Rock", because it seems to make sense as it is. As the saying goes, "It is what it is", and Chris Cornell is a name that is synonymous with ROCK." So, Rock On!!!
- Lefty_2ndbaseman, Chicago, IL
i heard this on the radio when i was a kid,and i loved it,its what got me to want to be a musician,and a avid lover of the guitar and rock music in general(except that emo,i hate that.)i went on pretty much a stationary journey to find out who did this song and what was this songs name.it took me 10,maybe 7 years,becuase they didnt play that song alot on the radio anymore,and all i knew was that hypnotizing tune.I have a theory of it being about his drug addiction,because in the last verse before the last chorus,he goes "Hang my head,drown my fears,till you all just disappear".i think this means he knows what hes doing is wrong,and i think his family wants to help him,and he feels ashamed and wont let his family help him,and he wanted to forget so he did more drugs,a brutal process.
- Chris, philly, PA
This song has nothing to do with Kurt Cobain's death. The song was released about a month before Cobain committed suicide.
- Stephanie, Indianapolis, IN
Peter Frampton recorded an instrumental version of this song for his 2006 Grammy winning album, Fingerprints, even inputting his signature Framptone voicebox on the song. Mike McCready from Pearl Jam plays guitar on the track.
- Stephanie, Indianapolis, IN
I just love this song and the video, butt i really would like to know more about it. Does anyone knows who's the director? does he or soundgarden ever talked about the great images in that video? what was the inspiration? I guess by all the discussion above the lyrics can have diferent interpretations, but what the about that great video?
- johnnybgood, lisbon, Portugal
i think the song is about drugs the sun represents happiness that people get out of them and the black hole is wen they get into a darker place and they get addicted
- siobhan, dublin, Ireland
Absolutely another rock song that doesn't make too much sense but rocks! Soundgarden was totally the best "grunge' group to come outta Seattle, but most of that was Chris-if you listen to his solo records and Audioslave's music he's just incredible.
- Jeff, Columbia, SC
This is about how depressing the climate is in Seattle and he wishes the sunshine would come and wash away the rain... It's on an official interview
- Luke, Manchester, England
I believe Peter Frampton covers this song on his new "Fingerprint" Album coming out 9/12/06.
RJ, Bridgeton, NJ
- Robert, Bridgeton, NJ
I think this song is about send Chris Cornell's
bad demons away like the following quote he is
reffering to here "heaven send hell away and wash
away the rain".
- Sara, Savannah, GA
The "No one sings like you anymore" bit is about John Lennon.
- alpesinger, Inverness, Scotland
Kim's Guitar part remind's me of Alice Cooper Dead Babies. Amazing song. I love Soundgarden.
- alpesinger, Inverness, Scotland
It's been a long time since I listened to this song, so I am not sure what it's about. It's a great song though, and I remember hearing in 1994 when I was around 5 or 6 years old. My mom and sister like alternative music from that time, and we listened to sound Garden and similar music groups a lot.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
Hhhh.. people say that this song is about the statue that shares the same name or that it has no meaning, but maybe it does have meaning and Cornell lied to protect his reputation or to make people like me be frustrated. When i listen to the lyrics, i hear alot of things that refrence some type of drug, maybe weed or something stronger, like heroin. Black Hole Sun its self might be more than a statue, it could also be refering too a dialated pupil in someones eye after using a drug. The chorus is "Black hole sun wont you come, and wash away the rain (pain?)", which can mean, "I wanna get high and get rid of this pain." In the second verse Chris says, "Stuttering" and "times are gone for honest men" drugs can often make you slur words, or stutter. He also may be saying the subjectof the song is not honest, because he does drugs. Also during the second verse he says, "Walking sleep", if you yourself have smoked weed, you know how you feel when you walk. It's sort of a "sleep walk". The third verse states, "In my head, drown my fear, untill you all just dissapear." Or, "I wanna get messed up and lose my fears and make my problems go away." So, in the end you guys can say its about the statue/weather/nothing but i think its about drug usage. Not nessisarily by the band, but drug usage itself.
- Garrett, Louisville, KY
great video....mildly disturbing, in a nauseatingly, pleasing, acid-tripping sort of way.
- rob, vancouver, Canada
Brilliantly written, produced and performed.
Easily one of the best songs of the 90s
- Doug, Lake Mary, FL
According to Chris Cornell, the song has no actual meaning behind it, he thought the lyrics sounded cool, which they do, so good for him.
- Kalin, Los Angeles, CA
When I watched this video long ago it was clear what it meant, and the song. I don't know if I am right - but the song look like it was about "Judgement Day", or the day God comes. It makes perfect sense. The Jews, Muslims, and Christians were there saying "come", "come" to repent to one religion to be save. That's how I see it. And there was this one part when these people were screaming - i guess they were scared of judgement day. I need to look at that video again.
- Valerie, Brooklyn , NY
I think it could be about Waterfly and the future of the world's rock and roll. Go to www.myspace.com/waterfly1 and tell us if u dig it
- Ed, Melbourne, Australia
My friend thinks this is about anal sex. I don't know how he got that idea though.
- Elliot, St. Louis, MO
I can't get this song out of my head!! When I first heard it I was dying to know the name of the band. And now that I do- well I'm happy!
- Marilyn, Murrieta, CA
Listen to audioslaves new,no offence,slow crap it makes me feel empty.Chris Cornell was an awesom performer and song writer,full of energy and new ideas.I look at soundgardens Black hole sun video clip and see a look in chris's eyes.i cant tell what it is but i know that its a happy but empty look.now i see his new pop songs an i remember that look in my head and it makes me and all die hard soundgarden fans feel a pain for chris.the look almost looks like hes worried about something.Maby you dont feel that pain but i certainly do.HAHA i just needed to express my feelings to some fans who actaully care because no one in Australia really appreceates old underground rock music.
- Rob, Perth
Awesom song.great to sing and drum too.it is depressing but depressing songs make me feel better for some reason.
- Rob, Perth
The singer admitted in a Guitar Magazine issue, "its funny, all these people say thay get so much out of it. and i dont even know what its about."
- Dan, Santa Clarita, CA
This song is about people who have black hearts. the black hole sun represents there black heart
- Zackattack, Sacramento, CA
This song is about people who have black hearts. the black hole sun represents there black hole
- Zackattack, Sacramento, CA
This is a great song, and Soundgarden rocks. This song didn't display all of what Soundgarden has to offer, they made better songs then this, but this is still a great song. SOundgarden rules!
- Elliot, St. Louis, MO
To further complicate the meaning of this song, here's my opinion:

Cream doesn't alway have to refer to sex. I think that it refers to hazy period of time; like depression. The snake may refer to a dishonest or cruel person. However, If the phrase containing the word cream is used as a sexual reference, this sounds like a break-up song. The snake could be a term for how he feels/ his ex. He may have done something cruel, feeling that, "times are gone for honest men." He wants something (asking heaven to send hell away + asking the sun to wash away the rain.) to ease his pain. "No one sings like you anymore," sounds like a referal to another person. If that isn't it, then I hope it makes sense.
- Renae, Mill Grove, PA
I think black hole sun could be anything that people are waiting for to help make their lives better; whether it be that special someone, the Messiah, or whatever.
- Matt, Millbrae, CA
The video clip is like a bad trip
- Elysia, Hamilton, New Zealand
the video is really odd but i like it. i always picture the end of the world like that...strange.
- John, Glasgow, Scotland
One of the best songs ever. soundgarden is awesome and the video to this song really creeps me out
- Brandon, Saskatoon, Canada
Wow, this is one of the most spirited debates that I've seen on this Website. This is probably just the type of thing that the creators of the site had in mind. The theories here for what this song is about range from sex to the apocalypse to rainy weather to Kurt Cobain! Just two other comments: To Sean in Fresno, CA - Dude, can I get some of whatever it is you're taking??? And to "professor" in Seattle, WA, what are you, a disciple of Charles Manson?
- Ash, Charleston, WV
Wow. I can't believe there aren't any references to Kurt Cobain. It has always been my interpretation that the song was about him since it was released not long after he died. The whole music scene was hurt and to me this song just reflects that. I could be wrong, though, I've never heard for sure.
- Jennifer, Waco, TX
I love this song for the many interpretations it has. I don't think there was one specific message in this song. But a reaccuring theme is of Depression and how the world can be a very depressing place to live in.

I believe it's a song seen through the eyes of a depressed man hiding behind different personalities (In disguise as no one knows) to cope with a tough lifestyle. He does'nt seem to care for the people in his life or even the world around him and wishes it would all just go away "Till you all just Dissapear". But he's regretting hating life and wishes he could stay the age he is and not decay into an old man.

The line "Heaven send Hell away" obviously refers to his afterlife. Meaning he is unsure if his sins he's previously commited will take him to Hell...So he tries to save himself from it.

There may be something about an ex-girlfriend involved such as the "no one sings like you anymore" and "Call my name through the cream/Scream Again" meaning no other girl is like her and that they will inneivitably meet once again.

Anyways thats how I see it..sorry if I repeated anything.
- Mike, St.Catharines, Canada
my favorite soundgarden song
- Matt, Millbrae, CA
This might be totally wrong and off the wall, but iv always interperated the lyrics to mean that hes tired of rich people dictating everyones lives, and he saying that the rich fear the end (the black hole)because when they are dead they will not be the most powerfull people anymore and they want to stay alive on earth where they bascaly rule and can do whatever they want. like when he says "times have gone for honest men" hes saying that people have been corupted my wealth. and "sometimes far too long for snakes" the snakess being the "evil" rich people how they can afford surgeryd and stuff to prolong their life when the poor cant. also when he says "In my eyes
Indisposed In disguise As no one knows Hides the face Lies the snake" hes saying that evryone has evil in them and if the poor were to suddenly become the wealthy then the same thing wuld happen, theyd get all powerful and not care for anyone else.
- marco, stanfield, United States
Love it!!!For me, its about how fulfilling your needs in order to become happy can leave you feeling empty. Sunshine leaves you with a black hole. It reminded me of the song ' Happiness is a warm gun'. The video portrays the superficiality and meaninglessness of an ordinary or even an ideal existence. Its also about the end of the world (or death-the inevitable). Maybe the conclusion is that whether you had everything you wanted & were content or the opposite, in the end it we'll all be swallowed up by nothingness. Strange and great how the songs with most meanings have hardly no comments from the artist. I love Chris Cornell!
- Kamila, Colombo, Other
The song is probably about how you just don't care anymore. 'black hole sun wont you come and wash away the rain?' means that you need something worse to take your mind off of an already bad thing, because you just can't stand it anymore, and need something new, good OR bad.
- Ashley, MOncton, Canada
I feel the first half of the songs describes a somber mood caused by the bad weather that Seatle is famous for. However, I believe the second half of the song, from "Times are gone for honest men" on refers to a changing world, how innocence is lost - "And my youth I pray to keep Heaven send Hell away", and that one often wishes 'something' would wash the world clean.
The depressing weather is a metaphor describing a depressing world.
- Hess, Saskatoon, Canada
The video looks as though it was based on some of David Lynch's works, especially 'Blue Velvet,' and 'Twin Peaks.' The most noticable similarities are the white picket fence with the blood red roses in front, like in the beginning of 'Blue Velvet' and the extremely creepy guy with the long hair, who looks an awful lot like BOB from 'Twin Peaks'.
- Jacquie, Sparks, NV
I feel this song is about death. The black hole wipes everything out of existence in the universe. I interpret "wash away the rain" as ridding of pain. He is asking death to come and just take him already from his life he feels is full of sin.
- anonymous, anonymous, NY
I have always had a disturbed feeling when watching the video - in particular the little girl sucking on the ice cream appearing to give it "head" and then letting the white cream ooze down her chin like she was letting cum drip down. That image along with "call my name, through the cream, and I'll hear you scream again" just never felt right. I liked the song a lot before seeing the video, but after I just can't get that sad little girl - the vision of her - out of my mind when I hear the song. It still creeps me out 12 years later...
- Choice478, Duluth, MN
I always seen the "call my name, through the cream, andi'll hear you scream again" as having to do with the end of the world, becuase thats what I see the song as being about. I think "the cream" is supposed to be the clouds, and perhaps it is saying that people will scream to god for help when this happens. It could also tie in with the first line, which could mean God or some other higher power, saying literally, "in my eyes, you are sick", and thus judging humanity.
The second verse of the song I could never figure out, but a huge soundgarden fan that I know of said it could very well be about Andy Wood.
The hang my head line, I always pictured that as the when armaggedon is happening, he puts his head down as maybe not to look, and hides his fear of death, and wacthes and the black hole sun makes everyone "disappear".
- Kevin, a town, NJ
i'm kinda glad he can't remember what he meant. i wonder if anyone else picks up on some sexual references in these enigmatic lyrics?
"call my name through the cream..and i'll hear you scream again"? (reference to a woman calling his name, screaming/moaning during intercourse?)
are "black hole sun" and "snakes" sort of phallic references?
that would give the phrase "won't you come?" an entirely different twist. if you think about it that way maybe the song could be about a man kinda disgusted with himself and the world because of how casual, superficial and meaningless sex and relationships have become.
also it sounds to me like when he's feeling empty ("stuttering, cold and damp") he reminisces about more innocent times ("in my youth...") when he would pray for good to overcome evil ("heaven sent hell away") - back in the days maybe when his mother used to sing him to sleep? ("no one sings like you anymore"). but it's too late to turn back the hands of time - he's a jaded, hardened, cynical man who manipulates and decieves others just as they have manipulated and decieved him ("in disguise as no one knows, hides the face, lies the snake") and he is devoid of "good" things like love, compassion, integrity, intimacy....in his eyes people just aren't that way anymore ("times are gone for honest men and far too long for snakes"). his innocent, idealistic self is totally submerged - he walks through life like a zombie ("in my shoes a walking sleep").
lastly, when he says "hang my head, drown my fear til you all just disappear" - maybe he's hanging his head in shame but also because he doesn't want to be confronted with his ultimate fear - that he is indeed surrounded by "snakes" who are just like him. he wants it to just go away - disappear.
- A., nowhere, Other
After looking at the comments as to what it is about and then listening to it twice and reading the lyrics, it has no meaning. Its a beutiful song and I love it but its a song written by someone drunk or high.
- Izzy, Vernon Hills, IL
Heh .. Space-needle .. eyow ... hard imagery in the sculpture ... "postmodern, even!" ... but .. ok, "point taken!" -- the great big, material structure heretofore referred to as "The Space Needle" in Seattle .. home of the Whopper Coffee Industry Giant .. near to the home of the Gates/Balmer Glamco team ... "wow, that's a marvel" .. the black-hole sun ... kind of nihilistic, even.

(no, I do not write like this, usually. "This is just a //peculiar// thing".)

effing Seattle.

hehe, rock on, Soundgarden, right serious.
- Sean, Fresno, CA
chris cornell was drunk out of his f***ing mind when he wrote, so he doesn't really know what it means
- Jimi, stamford, CT
Quote from Chris Cornell: "No one seems to get this, but Black Hole Sun is sad. But since the melody is really pretty, people think it's almost chipper, which is ridiculous." Judging from other people's comments, they seem to get it, but I thought I'd add this to confirm it's supposed to be a sad song. And it's one of my all-time favorites!
- Kurt, Downers Grove, IL
I hate this song. IMO it's saying that life is so terrible (unfairness, poverty, war) and people are so horrible (superficial, plastic, cruel) that we would all be better off if a black hole came along and swallowed the entire earth. Images in the video are definitely disturbing and mirror the song's depressing sentiments.
Are you kidding me? This is one of my favorite videos!! It's amazing.

Jaded
- Jade, Sterling Heights, MI
Whatever it means, its real depressing. It play it at my funeral.
- Lyle, Brisbane, Australia
black hole sun is about a post apocolyctic world where the sun is imploding on itself.
- will, mcallen , TX
this song is pretty cool! i think the video is awesome! my bro is a big fan of soungarden ,so i had to like it even if i didn't want to!
- Virna, Santo domingo, Other
my favorite song since 3rd grade :)(im in high school now)
- mishel, madera, CA
the video for this song has always had a lot of hype, because its very confusing and has many mildly disturbing images.
not so much gross or anything, just questionable.
- Terri Lynn, Heart's Desire, Canada
The song was written because Chris Cornell was fed up of the wet, depressing Seattle weather, he wanted something to suck up the sepressing sky and being something nice back.

"Black hole sun, won't you come, wash away the rain..."
- Luke, Manchester, England
Chris Cornell said he can't remember what this means even though he wrote it. I guess I can mean whatever you want it to mean.
- Nick, Paramus, NJ
This is an awesome song. The video is really wierd though.
- Hans, Oakdale, CA
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