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Pain by Three Days Grace

Album: One-XReleased: 2006Charted:
44
  • This song is about how you would rather feel pain then nothing at all: a lack of sensation makes you inhuman. (thanks, Ryan - Ottawa, Canada)
  • The lyrics verbalize the thought process of cutters (or people with similar disorders/feelings). The line, "Pain/I like it rough" could suggest the song is about sexual numbness or even abusiveness. (thanks, Angela - Sacramento, CA)
  • On the Three Days Grace official website, lead singer Adam Gontier explained that he wrote the song after going out on tour for their first album, and found out that you can be lonely in a crowd of thousands: "This song really came to fruition while we were up in Bancroft, Ontario, Canada, at our buddy Art's cottage, on Stiemer's Lake. We were sitting on the deck, with guitars, beers, and a barbecue, when this song came to life. It's a song about feeling like you're constantly numb to things around you, thanks to your own actions, and it's about being sick of that feeling. The main lyric in the chorus, 'I'd rather feel pain, than nothing at all,' really stands out to me, as one of the strongest lyrics on all of One-X."

    Gontier is also quoted as saying that the verses come from "someone telling me there's something wrong and you have to do something about it." (thanks, Jess - North, NJ)
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Comments: 62

I have too much pain. I have a beast inside me now though which makes it worse.Giovanna - New Alexandria, Pa
The numb that comes after pain.Zack - Noblesville, In
Ok. WTF are some of you guys talking about?! Its not about sex. When they say when the lights go out, it means when you know nobody's looking and no one can you see you, how do you act? Many people are different and show their real selves when they're alone. Because people, just like some people on here, judge others on how they act. And so to avoid further PAIN from the rest of the world, they hide their sad selves from the world so that they won't be judged
Also, WHOEVER STARTED THE WHOLE 'CUTTERS ARE EMO or TDG IS EMO' JUST SHUT UP!!!!!!!!! You have no idea what you're talking about. Take it from me, a tdg fanatic. TDG is about recovering from hard times and music that tells people that they're not alone so that they can recover. Its not emo crap like some people act like it is. Second, CUTTERS ARE NOT JUST DRAMA KINGS/QUEENS. Again, take it from someone experienced in that area, some peoplejust have so much sadness and anger at the world built up in them, that they take it out wanting to harm something or someone. In those cases, the only thing they can harm is themselves. Theres also the feeling in them that others dont care if they harm themselves because nobody cares about them... Because they're judged by others so many times they feel like there is nobody out there like them. Then theres the fact that, like in my case, there is so much emotional pain and misery locked in their head that they can't think of anything else. It completely numbs them and they're desperate for any kind of feeling that reminds them that they still are capable of feeling anything and that they're human (hence the line 'I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all.' Also for the same reason they might do it because it's the only that will take their mind off of their mental misery. Cutting is not just an attention getter for attention seekers, its a real thing that people do because all else in their world fails and there's nobody in their life to help them.
THATS WHY PEOPLE NEED TO HELP THESE PEOPLE, BECAUSE ITS BECAUSE OF OTHERS THAT THEY FEEL THE WAY THEY DO IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!!! So if you take only one thing out of this extremely long comment that i hope you took the time to read, get out there and help others. Lend a hand to reach out to those who need it. Take it from a survivor of depression that just being there for them, (HOWEVER DON'T SAY 'OH I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL'.. THATS ANOTHER THING YOU CAN MESS UP BECAUSE CHANCES ARE YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHATS GOING ON IN THEIR HEAD!!!!!) won't impact the entire world, but it will positively impact that individuals world.


Ok lets face it that wasn't a comment that way a side narration XD Sorry i go off on tangents like that. If you don't like I don't care
Dmonheart - Not Telling Xd, Va
I love this song. I can really relate to what the lead singer is trying to say. Sometimes I feel numb no matter what is going on around me. When that happens I just play this song and somehow everything is alright.Brittany - Lyons, Ks
Love this song(:Kyndall - Lex, Ga
This is my favorite song...i can relate because i'm masochist, though i don't cut myself...Cricket - Somewhere, Hi
"Search and you shall find"

I think that you are all entitled to your own opinions when it comes to this INCREDIBLE song. As, of course, your own experiences cause your understanding of things, like this song.

For example, one of my friends is under the full idea that this song is about cutting, another believes it to be about depression (that is the FULL absense and void of all emotion) and another again believes it to be about the death of a friend and how it affects those that are left.

Would you believe that my friends are cutters, depressed and grieving after loss?

It comes down to the your experiences affect you.
Deejay - Nowra, Australia
I think the song is about having to endure pain through out their life like a friend dyeing or something like that. I listen to this song all the time and my friend says only emo kids listen to this song. I'm like, no they don't. rugular people listen to this song also. And do you have a problem with emo kids or something bcuz i don't have a problem with them. You just need to shut your mouth so i can hear this song.Marissa - New Orleans, La
Well giving my honest oppinion it is acually related to deppression and depression is very hard to deal with it seems like the person is a girl or guy like everyone else in your school for all you probley know they could have killed there parents in a car crash when she was six-teen. you should never mess with us emo kids let us be and we wount make your life a major living hell.Makayla - Elizabeth City, Nc
Whenever I hear this song I think of Linkin Park's song, "Numb"
Seeing as how they both have similar messages. Especially since it was written after "Numb" and is says almost right off the bat: "You're sick of feeling numb, you're not the only one."
Then in the video for both songs it depicts a teenage audiance (in "Numb" a girl and in "Pain" several teens)

Just my thoughts.
Courtney - Salina, Ks
First, any song can be taken anyway. often music is a form of escape. Therefore, different people feel it has a meaning that helps them, and that they can relate to..even though it may not be why the song was origianlly wrote to mean.

Second, most people who cut themselves are addicted to the drug, endorphin which gives a sensation of dulled pain. This is produced by the body as a natrual pain killer. Therefore what starts out as a popular trend can soon be addictive and though the cutting hurts the endorphins do make you feel better. Have a nice live. (EpiclyFatalError on YOUtube watch my videos please)
Jacobi One Fanobi - Bristol, Tn
This song is NOT!!!!!!!!! about emos and NOOOOTTTT!!!!!! about sex!!!!!!!
What the hell are you talking about!?!
Three Days Grace are NOT!!!! a f--king emo band, they are much to intelligent for being it.

It's simply about being not alone, even if you fell like you were.

Everyone who cuts is insane and has no life.
Roach - Nowhere, Germany
Not many people get this song really its not really about cutting yourself or hurting yourself its not about sex its like its about that your not alone "pain without love" duh he got no one to love so he feels pain "rather feel pain then nothing at all" he wants bo be able to feel something then nothing see its SAYS it in the song "i like it rough" duh all relationship are rough and if its not then its not real relationship so he likes his relatiionships to be rough so he can have a real one not a fake one. and i have looked up this song looked at inveiws of them and looked up Adam's history and if you did that then you really know why he wrote this song.Kayla - El Paso, Tx
I agree with becky on this one the song sounds like its about BDSM i mean look at the lyrics "when the lights go out you'll understand" what would that have anything to do about cutting?Chris - Idaho Springs, Co
what about the red x that are on the back of all of their necks?Michelle - Olathe , Ks
Ben: no some cutters do it to be "cool" but some really do have problems.Ty - A City , Mn
and i think that connie is incorrect for being so sure that the line "i like it rough" is about sex, that makes absolutly no sense, why would the writer put a line like that in if it has nothing to do with the rest of the song! so im pretty sure it doesnt mean thatBen - West Bend, Afghanistan
ok first of all i think that people that cut themselves are completely idiot drama queens/kings, who need to grow up... i believe that this song is about cutting yourself, but i have heard from alot of people that this song is about the lead singer in rehab and the pain that he is going through but he likes that more than his addictions, and if you lisen to just about all the lyrics it matches upBen - West Bend, Afghanistan
When we listen to this song we have to remember that pain is different to everyone and we all deal with it in different ways. So this song can be taken differently by each person.Sara - Cincinnati, Ok
I think this song is about BDSM. BDSM, is about the illusion that you could actually hurt the person, that you would do what the game pretends, wich includes pain. "Pain, without love Pain, I can't get enough Pain, I like it rough 'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all" He is saying that with BDSM, you don't actually have to love the person, that he is very masohistic person. He also hints that when he has normal sex, it dosen't feel as good without the pain, and that he is addicted to it, so he is a nymphomaniac.Becky - Pickere, Wi
Also, about people who feel it's about cutting, or this song elps you. It's great that u feel u can have a song or an artist to connect to but personally i dont think it could be about cutting. When u cut, it isnt about the pain, it acts as a release. All your emotions and feeling build up and it was a way of me letting it all go. I never felt any pain i just felt relaxed.Jo - Chester, United Kingdom
I have always felt that this song is about relationships. He loves this girl but cannot be wiht her for some reason, maybe personal commitment issues or something, so hes left with this choice which either way gives him pain.Jo - Chester, United Kingdom
basically what every artist is trying to put in their lyrics todsy they want different meanings to their songs and the words will never change so you people who are arguing with other's people's opion need a to get a lifeJessica - San Antonio, Tx
From what he is saying, he's talking about being affected by the world around him. He doesn't specify exactly what he is talking about so I guess thats why people can relate to what he is saying so well. They apply it to their own lives and I think that is great because it shows union. When he talks about "numbness", he's not just adressing the physical side of it, he's getting fans to see the mental aspect. Like we go through the motions of our life, set our self up for what we are not ready to do or expected to do. When people feel that way, they panic and try to escape that life (so overwhelming) that it was like Adam pushed himself so far before he could realize what he was doing to himself. Its as if he forgot to conciously take a breathe and notice where he was. Pain is also a means of communication. The nervous system tells the brain when vulnerability strikes. Its like reassurance or drowning in cold water(your body is numb and your mind is going), so you try real hard to get yourself up to the surface for that one breathe of life; its a sigh of relief. Pain is universal and we all feel. He is saying it in a way that people think is massachism because, really who wants to feel pain? Though we all don't, sometimes avoiding it just brings you closer and some of us would say "pain without love" means finding ways to compensate for the pain you feel like reaching out to millions of people (making youself vulnerable), which is what artists do, but hes built such a loyal fan base, that to take it all back means denying the very thing we take for granted. Our lives! Ask any doctor about the function of the "Nervous system" and they'll tell you it speaks to the mind and tells it when something hurts.Brownie-p - Hermiston, Or
I personally think that the lead vocalist in this song is trying to personify the pain that some people feel. They would rather feel pain the be lost in nothingness.Nmedovich - Meriden, Ct
It's definitely about masochism. "Pain/I like it rough." That is DEFINITELY about sex.

At first I thought it was about sex with someone who you have no emotional or romantic relationship with. About having no feelings for them- so you like the sex to be rough, to stop you from feeling nothing when you're with them.
Or being with someone who gives it to you rough, which breaks how numb you feel in life.

I think it's about both, or maybe it's just about the psychology behind masochism.
Connie - Northampton, United Kingdom
The only thing that comes to my mind when i listen to this song is.. Sex.

it probably isn't about it but thats just what i think about when i hear it ;p
Jessica - Boston, Ma
I think this song is about dealing with any kind of pain because to feel something is better then not feeling anything at all. Whether it is sexual or not feeling anything is better then nothing...I'm speaking from experience if that's what you want to call it.Lynne - Easthampton, Ma
You all are (except Fisher from Cali cuz he/she gets the point) iddiots ok. Its about a masochist. And for all the dumb people out there a masochist is a person who gets their pleasure from being in pain.Tonya - Sharon Grove, Ky
ok, this comment is for sue from WI. music doesn't make people cut. cutters don't hear a song, and suddenly decide that they want to hurt themselves. if you think that, you really need to get a reality check.Jeff - B-town, Ma
I hate to say this, but I think it's about rape. "Pain, without love, Pain, I can't get enough, Pain, I like it rough, cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all." Basically, it's a person who's depressed, and somebody sayd they will help them, but "When the lights go out (or come up), it ends up that they just hurt them more. Any other explanations for the song or the lights refrence in particular?Trogbob - San Diego, Ca
I think that this song is about how when you're feeling empty you want to find something to replace it, whether it be pain or love. Adam is saying that emptiness is the worst, and pain is bad, but it's better.Noah - Madison, Wi
Wow--It's MUSIC--Can't you just listen and enjoy? The thought of people listening and cutting, kinda makes me not enjoy the song as much!! You know what I mean?Sue - Marinette, Wi
Brian - it's not for pleasure - the cutting or self-inflicted pain releases chemicals in the brain making what you were feeling to make you cut in the first place subside. And I don't really think this song is specifically about cutting.Mel!ssa - Pittsburgh, Pa
"Pain, without love. Pain, can't get enough" I believe that this song means that there is a significant amount of difference in physical pain and emotional pain. Pain from losing a loved one is
infinitely more painful than from a flesh wound.
Brian - Dublin, Ireland
Ohh......sorry. I wasn't paying attention.Annecram - Killeen, Tx
Annecram,They do mention love in this song...
Actually,they do in the first line... more than once..
"Pain, without love"
John - Bridgewater, Ns
Why does anybody think this song is about love? Really, I love this song, but its about pain. Did it ever say the word relationships or love in it?Annecram - Killeen, Tx
i personally think this song's about a depressed masochist. i don't necessarily think it's about cutting tho. oh & to all the cutters on this pg you're not alone. but always remember that no matter how bad things are for you & no matter how much you think no one cares there's always someone out there who'll miss you. peace!Amy - Nunyabiz, Al
I listened to this song right after a break-up, and in my opinion this song is sarcastic... in a deeper meaning, this could refer to relationships... other than the supporting lines of the song, the ones that everyone else is focusing on. Its like, those people who cant stand to be alone and have to be in relationships all the time, they feel numb, empty, alone, and basically just depressed without someone. What this could mean, "i'd rather feel pain than nothing at all" Imagine it this way, "i'd rather feel hurt than no love at all." think about this next time you listen to the song...
this is just my take on the song.
Daniel - Tulsa, Ok
I believe this song is about a person who is very alone in the world and they feel that they would rather have pain than "nothing at all". For example, I had a boyfriend who treated me poorly, but I'd rather have the pain he brought than to have nothing at all. The second verse is about "you're sick of feeling numb", this also relates to being a sad, lonely individual who feels there's no hope with life. But then the person tries to reach out by relating to others: "You're not the only one." The song progresses to say "I'll take you by the hand and I'll show you a world that you can understand." This is saying that he has hopes to find someone that relates to him and together they can travel to a place where everything was finally good and everything made sense. The chorus is like what was stated above that the person is going through a lot and cannot find love, but they'd rather feel the pain from the love they're searching for than nothing at all. The next verse says "anger and agony are better than misery." Once again, my example about my ex and I was that dealing with the anger and the pain that the person brings is better than being alone and sad. The next line states, "trust me and take my hand and I'll show you a world that you can understand." Once again this person giving love a chance and trying to show that they are reaching out and trying to find a love that is understandable and easy. After the chorus, the song says "I know that you're wounded. You know that I'm here to save you. You know that I'm here to save you. You know that you'll thank me later." This part is stating that this person understands that there is problems, but that they are going to try to fix the pain and that someday the other person will thank them for it. This is all my perception of the song, so don't get mad if i butchered it!!!Brooke - Canby, Or
The song is about masochistic sex and some of the darker reasons that some of us are drawn to such.

To me it's obviously a sex reference when he talks about "the lights going out".

When he says something about "take my hand and I'll show you a life that you can understand", that is probably a reference to being introduced to the BDSM world.

When I first heard this song, it reminded me of something my first dominant said to me. I asked him why I love being flogged and whipped and he said, "Because you FEEL when it's going on...it reminds you that your ALIVE. You have depression problems and when you're being beaten is one of the precious moments when you actually feel anything at all."
Jessica - Springtown, Tx
To me the song means that hte dude's going thru alot and is depressed he's cuttin himself, and another guy comes along ho's going thru the same trouble and tries 2 help him.Kaoru - Aplace, Fl
I'm depressed, and when I listen to this it makes me feel loved. I'd like to say I think it's about being so depressed you Tune everything out and can't feel anything, But that is typical. Me love, who's name I shan't say for her Reputation, used to cut herself, And was really 'Emo', and Then I started falling in love with her, (I didn't know it at the time) funny thing, We were best friends beforehand (By the way, I've never physicly met her, I just know her online, and god is it annoying not knowing what's going on, and not being able to hold her) And I thought I was falling in love with her roleplay character, then she commited suicide and her mother saved her; The next day she told me she was falling in love with me. She was with a guy in an abusive relationship when she got with me, and A while afterward she called the cops on him, and he's in jail. So then, lately, I was grounded for a month, when I got back on she was grounded, so was my best friend who got on everyday anyway, Love's friend was hit by a car and doesn't remember her, and her other friend is in an abusive relationship. Now she's cheating on me with a man and a woman, and hasn't been online for five days, So I have good reasoning, correct? I don't feel loved at all and I thought about suicide or cutting, So I hope she logs on and saves me. She doesn't want me going down the same road she did...Keelin - No, I Think Not., Md
i inflect pain on myself everday ithink the songs about wanting to feel instead of being numb all the time it could mean cutting or any other form of pain it could even mean hard core sex i mean it all depends on the person lisioning to itEmily - Frankiln, Tn
I must say I like seeing people trying to relate songs to depression. It could be about a vast amount of things. I think everyone can decide for themselves. That's how a lot of songs are. But if a song can be related to depression, that's what I'll relate it to, and that's one of the things I'd say here.Syton - Colorado Springs, Ct
To me this song is about hard to get relationships..."rather feel pain then nothing at all" like his heart is broken "with out love" theres no love in his life which is why he wants pain then empty loneliness. "rough" meaning he likes he relationships being hard to handle...and make him feel this way.Sara - Medford, Nj
STOP CUTTING!!!! there I saved alot of money your family has to spend on your therapy and maybe you life. DEAL WITH IT. I think earl is right (for the most part)Roc - Cp, In
the song means different things for different people, like for me its about cutting, but the people who think its about depression and not cutting, usually people who cut ARE depressed so yeah it can be about both. and people who cut are not posers or psychos. you have no right to say anything about it if you dont understand people who cut do it for other reasons than pleasure...i should know.Keena - Palm Bay, Fl
I agree with Peter. This song, from my impression, is about getting over a love lost or something. Not self abuse. The lyrics do say 'Pain with out love'. But its just an opinion from a fan...Jamie - Brandon, Ms
ya im a old cutter and i hate the scarring but loved the PAIN!!!Ali - Dickinson, Nd
ok brian, u have to understand that she probably has more reasons then what she put here... but i kinda agree with you...cutting for pleasure is kinda creepy...i used to do it and i did it cuz it took me away from what was going at that moment..even for only a few minutes...but it is weird to do it at all...and not to mention the scars ur gonna have 4 life...i dont know about u Kristin but i dont want ppl staring at my arms and legs for the rest of my life...and yes ppl do care for u...u dont need to cut urself to realize that :(Desiree - Powers Lake, Nd
I can get why people are saying its about cutting... but those people are being extremely superficial with thier examination of the song. Though, everyone is entiteled to thier opinion, you are missing so much of what exists in this song.

Look at the words, it's about depression, and realizing that he'd rather go out and rage rather than being depressed. True depression is not sadness, its complete emptiness and lack of any emotion. Its a dehumanization, and a common reaction is to go out and be emotionally self-destructive and sensualistic. Because, really, when you are living day in and day out with that hollowness, you'd rather pursue something garunteed to end badly and be a roller coaster ride, then not do anything. He'd rather feel pain, take it rough, oh he can't get enough, then face the emptiness doing nothing offers him.
Rob - Poughkeepsie, Ny
This song always gives me the feeling of just taking pain as a sensation... not bad, not good. It's something, which is better than nothing.
(Then again, I can't help but feel a little masochistic when I hear this.)
Kimmie - Dallas, Ga
i think it means its better to have felt pain and loved then heve never loved at all or having rough sex is the sh*t (which is trueEarl - Indianapolis, In
I definetly dont think that this song is about cutting..
Its just about how you feel pain..you've lost your love or something...
Just the anger you feel every once-in-a-while..
I would say that this song is a "medication" to help...if you feel alone or unhappy..or anything to do with pain.
This song was meant for people to relate to it.
Winter - Niceville, Fl
This song makes me wonder if I would rather fell nothing or numb. I still am not for sure. Sometimes I am happy to be numb, then sometimes I dont want to be numb.
-Amanda Wabash,IN
Amanda - Wabash, In
now i dont wanna make enemies but, i think Kristin is a complete idiot for cutting at all...the thought of harming yourself just for pleasure disturbs meBrian - ?, Pa
i think this song is about masochism (sex and other forms)Fisher - Palm Springs, Ca
This song is not about cutting yourself you posers, it's about depression. When you're depressed you feel numb and emotionless, the only real emotion you feel is sadness. "Anger and agony are better than misery" pretty much sums it up.Peter - Little Rock, Ar
This is my fav song. It helps when I cut. It makes me realize that I'd whether feel pain, then what I'm feeling. It help me understand that people are their for me.Kristin - Fort Worth, Tx
I also think that Adam is letting people know that they aren't alone (You're not the only one).Mercedies - Soldotna, Ak