Man In The Box

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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about censorship, with animal cruelty used as a metaphor. The "man in the box" is like a veal calf trapped in confinement.
  • The video got a lot of airplay on MTV and helped break the band. It was the first grunge video that got significant airplay, coming almost a year before Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
  • This was the first single from Alice in Chains' debut album, Facelift. Released in August 1990 a year ahead of Pearl Jam's debut, the album didn't get much attention outside of the Pacific Northwest until 1991, when MTV picked up the "Man In The Box" video and radio stations started playing the song, nudging it to #18 on the Mainstream Rock chart dated July 6, 1991, the same date the album peaked at #42. As grunge caught on, Facelift earned more fans, but it was a slow build: the album wasn't certified Platinum (one million copies in the US) until August 10, 1993.
  • The video was directed by Paul Rachman, whose forte was hardcore acts like Bad Brains and Suicidal Tendencies. In the late '80s and early '90s, most of the work was in hair metal, which didn't suit him, so he was thrilled when grunge came along.

    The video was shot on a farm outside of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains. Staley and Rachman worked together on the concept; Staley's original idea was to have a baby with his eyes sewn shut, per the line, "Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?" The baby was changed to a hooded caretaker, revealed at the end to be blind. Shot in black and white, it was treated in post production with a sepia look.

    The murky clip became a touchstone for the genre, visualizing the music as rough, dark and organic. Rachman's next video was "Hunger Strike" for Temple Of The Dog, where he worked with two more grunge godfathers: Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell. (More in the Songfacts Paul Rachman interview.)
  • AiC guitarist Jerry Cantrell did most of the band's songwriting at the time; he and lead singer Layne Staley co-wrote "Man In The Box."

    Cantrell also contributed some vocals on the track. After lead singer Layne Staley sings the powerful chorus lines like "Jesus Christ," Cantrell comes in with the next line, like, "Deny Your Maker."
  • The opening lyrics are:

    I'm the man in the box
    Buried in my s--t


    The radio edit alters this to:

    I'm the man in the box
    Buried in my pit
  • Jerry Cantrell created that "wah-wah-wah-wah" sound in this song with a talkbox, a device used to make distorted vocal sounds through a guitar amp. Peter Frampton popularized it on his 1976 album Frampton Comes Alive.
  • Many record company machers have claimed contributions to early grunge classics like this one, but Jerry Cantrell would like you to know that most of them were not on board. "I've had conversations with the record company about this, and everybody conveniently forgets the fact that nobody really liked that song," he told Greg Prato. "They thought it was too slow and dirgey. There was some discussion about it maybe not being on the record, and we're like, 'F--k that - that song is killer.'"
  • At hockey games, this song is often played after a player commits a penalty, becoming the man in the (penalty) box.
  • This was the last song Layne Staley performed with Alice in Chains. The band played it to close out their set at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri on July 3, 1996, which ended up being their last show with Staley. The group didn't officially break up, but they fell apart and pursued solo projects. Staley died of a drug overdose in 2002; William DuVall took over as lead singer when the band regrouped in 2006.
  • This was used in the 1994 movie Lassie in a scene where the boy who owns Lassie skateboards to it. It also appears in The Perfect Storm during a fishing scene. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bob - Vallejo, CA

Comments: 97

  • Alice Chain Gang from Shit, Just South Of HellMan in the Box likely has many meanings. Man in the box is Jesus Christ. If you fold a crucifix up it makes a box.
  • Shannon Litteken from Bourbon, Missouri 65441Alice N Chains song was the first of their songs I loved, since May of 2020 I have been in love with a dead man "Layne Staley". I've spent countless hours researching and finding out as much as I can because I guess that he is kinda a obsession of mine. My favorite song is WOULD. I think that he was georgous!
  • Cornwalis from Portlandthis song portrays the real life struggles of woman trapped inside a restaurant eating veal, maybe she had some water to drink, maybe a soda, but we know she would have at least ordered a side dish as well, maybe broccoli or mac and cheese. I like mac and cheese, add some lobster to it, that really makes it a sweet dish,
  • Rooster from Tx The songs about what the writer said, censorship and those who use that as a means to control people, the screams are the voices we hear in the world, one screams Jesus Christ at the same time another screams atheism (deny your maker), the songs not saying for you to believe any particular it’s saying censorship’s a bunch of s--t, let people make up their own minds and believe their own beliefs and not force your rules upon another…. And for me. yes I’m a Christian, saved by the Grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ…… it’s not asking you to deny him or anything else …. It’s literally screaming out let us make up our own minds.

    The man in the box is the closed minded man who cannot think outside of what he’s been told or the box that he is in …the dog that gets beat is the person who excepts that as it is and let’s others beat them and push them by their boxed in pushy controlling personalities….. censorship’s offspring …… the voices we hear in society.
  • Seattlealan from Seattle WaI use the first chunky part as my ring tone. This is one of my favorite songs, crying about being stuck and unable to move/change. This is one of the songs I really crank up... If my phone "rings" and I see someone bobbing their head in time with a "that's me" look in their eye, I have inadvertently found a like-spirit...
  • Kricket from ArizonaRich from Indiana. Dude it's not about veal. It's about censorship and uses animal cruelty as a way of explaining it via a baby cow aka veal in confinement unable to get out and be seen and survive. Read the 1st paragraph under the video. And a song can mean different things to each person, even each 1 of the band members. So don't be saying we're the rocks when you didn't even show up with facts or feelings.
  • Kat from Olympia, Wa, UsaI'm not a responsible adult when this song comes on. I'm almost 45 and I still have issues, I cease to to have a functioning capacity to live in my frontal lobe the second I hear those chords. I want to kick people in the face, drive over other cars, and possibly burn down churches when this song comes on. It's that powerful. It'll probably still happen when I'm 85. I'm just saying.
  • Username5000 from Deep UndergroundThis song is about being trapped in a box. The box could be literal, like an animal confined and helpless on a factory farm, waiting for death. The box could be a metaphor for drug addiction, or for another malevolent force that confines the target to a narrow range of activity (like censorship, or government control, or a ruthless boss or supervisor, or any power that makes you obey and denies you free will). When the man in the box prays, the malevolent force responds "deny your maker," "will be wasted," and "now you've sewn them shut." His prayers go unanswered, except by the demon that torments him. No one saves the man in the box.
  • J from Usa It’s about addiction, it’s about impulsivity, but most it’s about being trapped in a box (contract) where nobody can help you because you’ve signed your soul to the devil. The lyrics “he who tries will be wasted” say it all. If you dare dissent they will kill you. Bullet with butterfly wings is a prime example of the same song written during the same period about the same evil record executives. The unforgiven was said to be about Hetfield’s relationship with his father but you can tell by the lyrics that this is a recurring theme. They had to be subtle about it, and interpret in a way that didn’t get them killed. But I have no doubt that is what these songs are about.
  • Rich from Indiana"The song is about veal".....LMFAO!!! Jeezez Cripes, some people are dumber than a rock...
  • Wolf Howitzer from Alabama I am a Christian and I admit I like this song and I have contemplated the meaning a lot. "Jesus Christ", followed by "Deny your Maker", in my mind it's a man trapped in addiction, he knows his maker but will deny Him regardless..., then adding the dog reference reminds me of how a self proclaimed righteous person (I've known several) would rather spit on some people rather than help them, cast judgment and keep the "dog" where they think they belong. I can say that because I've been that poor before; nothing to my name but memories and dreams. I've never been addicted to anything drug related but addictions can kill you and separate you from those you love and those who love you. It takes a strong and caring person to pull someone out of a box before they end up in a casket..., I've helped put a few in the ground ( working at a cemetery ) it's the most painful thing to watch as a family buries someone they loved dearly and they tried everything they could to pull them out..., sometimes God is the only one who can.

    Don't let someone tell you by your music choices that God hates or dislikes you..., if they do then go somewhere else. That is between you and God.

    I also drink whiskey..., in moderation...
  • Henry from Sanford, Florida, UsaI think the song is pro-Christian and censorship, but in a unique and twisted way: Layne Staley is foreshadowing his own death -- perhaps subliminally -- let's be real here. He was addicted to heroin! How many rock stars have died from drugs and alcohol abuse? Far too many. When he screams "Jesus Christ!" Staley is cursing himself -- not God! He refers to his own spit, a metaphor for vomit, associated with an overdose... From the opening line, "I'm the man in the box - Buried in my s--t - Won't you come and save me - Save me" is an empty plea to God to help him, but he can't help himself as witnessed by his description later on with "Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut? Jesus Christ, deny your maker - He who tries, will be wasted." He's acknowleging here that he's a goner and nobody can help him - not even God as his eyes are shut from the pain that fuels the heroin. He's the man in the box, his own coffin!
  • Bev from SouthThe thing that concerns me with AIC is the apparent intolerance for believers. Early on, Layne Staley cites a show in which he is intoxicated and brings a crucifix on stage then goes on to fondle himself. I love their music but some of their lyrics are disrespectful to my God. I am confused about listening to their music and the influence it has on me. Any advice is appreciated.
  • John Pell from UsaThis song is about long, very long term suffering. When all hope is lost. I'm a Christian too and for those fanatics that believe that this song is anti-christian, let me tell you one thing: Get a life. A real one. With real problems.
    If you never, as a human got to the point where you cannot longer see the light at the end of the tunnel, you never got to the point where you doubt of everything, including God, you either didn't live long enough, or you living a "dream".
  • Randy from Raytown, MoFavorite song on radio.
  • Bob from United StatesI haven't really listened to much Alice in chains mainly just their hits. But I really like this song. I don't know what it's about. It could be a number of things. Mainly what I wanted to say was I am a Christian and to everyone who is commenting on how god is unjust and how it's not fair how some suffer and others don't. I would like to just ask that you at least read the King James Bible for yourself and read what it says in regards to this subject. But most of you won't because you don't wanna know you just want to talk about how you don't believe in god and if there is one he is unjust and you don't want to hear what the bible or god has to say about anything. Isaiah 1:18
  • Anna from Seattle, WaI'd always thought the song had to somehow be about intense suffering, feeling trapped (or entombed alive) and calling for help in utter futility. From the moment it first came out, it both grabbed my attention like nothing else and disturbed me on the deepest of levels. From such a simply written song...f*ing genius. I totally saw the part about veal, I kind of thought that it was being used to illustrate rather than being the song's main subject. But few things disturb me more than that. I can't drive by afeedlot/slaughterhouse and be "okay" for the rest of the day and I know about veal. Killing a growing creature seems the wrongest of the wrong to me. But I've heard some people "sling" their steers before butchering too, which is awful (but nowhere near veal). Veal does illustrate the most helpless, vulnerable and cruel existance a creature can be born tinto. Completely upsetting yet perfectly aimed illustration tool. As for Christianity..I'd always heard anger and questioning which to me doesn't preclude being Christian (which I am not..was married to a Evangelical at the time of this song and he read it as extreme anti Christain and "forbade" me to listen to it, yeah..."forbade"..sure feel sorry to lose that lifestyle..NOT!)
  • Aimee from Hamilton, New ZealandLayne stated in his Fuse TV interview, the lyrics are about censorship in the mass media. It's not about specific abuse, to animal or human... more the censorship of the sh*t side of mankind as a whole.
  • Kyle from New Orleans, LaAnd i think its more of abandonment more than censorship, the man in the box, and the dog being mistreated were neglected, abandoned, and forgotten by any thought of a god who guards lives. Asking "Why do you ignore the suffering of many god?"
  • Kyle from New Orleans, LaSome of your comments make since, but i dont think every song has a metaphorical meaning, i think they lyrics are pretty self explanitory, a man in a box, a homeless man who has nothing but a box, buried in his s--t- his own feicies surround him. and he is wondering why his "jesus" or "god" will not save him from this. and also the dog who gets beat he is a innocent animal being mistreated and having his nose shoved into his crap only because he naturally decomposed of his body waste. and again why will "god" not save him, . aic was basically saying select living creatures have horrible lives, and are basically living to die, and the "god" or "jesus" that is claimed to give people like average citizens these perfect and pain free lives won't save these poor people or animals which is true if there were the christian relegion acclaimed god why is he letting tragedie claim all of these lives? jesus and god are for people who live in fear, we should be thanful and appreciate our lives without torture and scarcity, and stop giving thanks to people who dont exist. becuase i have alot that i dont need so if there is a god why does he only give to select people? give some of what you gave all these celebritys to those kids in africa god!, he cant because he doesent exist, and if he does he dosent have controll of our lives. so i dont want him. neither should any of you especially if theres threats to suffer if we disobey. ....bring it on!
  • Matt from North Kingstown, RiI saw on an interview on youtube that layne said this song was in fact about media censorship.
  • Jimmy from Hastings, New ZealandI remember when this song first came out. -- I thought holy Sh*t, these guys are gonna shoot down the 'spandex big hair bands'
  • Eric from Richmond, VaI guess no one is really sure of the songs meanings and that is okay. You can use your own interpretations.

    I know it is the most " punishing " song I have ever heard!!!! RIP LAYNE....
  • Kate from Tulsa, OkLove this Song R.I.P. Layne
  • Ryan from Anahola, HiIt sounds like there's a talk box in this song.
  • Kevin from Knoxville, TnThe song is about being a prisoner of war.The Vietnamese locked their pows in small boxes and treated them like animals leaving them to sit in their own waste.he is begging for the USA to come save them.As a prisoner he is crying out for Jesus Christ.Deny your maker is what the captures say to the POWs. Rooster is also tribute to Cantrell's dad "Rooster" a vietnam vet.I saw this in a interview.
    - cyn, portland, OR

    This is true...an old Asian torture method, where they put the P.O.W.'s in a box in a hole, then starve them so when they do give them food they gorge themselves and s--t in the box...and supposedly the maggots do the rest of the work.
  • Mike from Lasalle, OnHoly s--t, Layne's voice is powerful on this song!!! Epic.
  • Tyler from Ashland, KyI used to be a really big wrestling fan. This song was ECW fighter, Tommy Dreamer's entrance song.
  • Silentbob from Gettysburg, PaThe song is about veal. You people are over analyzing it.
  • Austin from Smallsville, New EnglandThis song was featured on the video game Rock Band
  • Kayla from Oklahoma City, OkThis is one of Alice in Chains' best songs. I love how Jerry sings along with Layne in this... perfect harmony. =x
  • Kevin from Moncton, Nbdoes anyone know the location of the video shoot?
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InFreakin' scary song.
    Extensive use of talkbox, Stanley and Cantrell sharing vocals in the angriest manner possible, and dark subject matter.
    Definitely not the type of song to cheer you up.
    It still kick a*s, though.
  • Alex from Ocean, NjBEST. SONG. EVER. Yeah, that's pretty much all I have to say. Love ya Layne! You'll always be in our hearts.
  • Cyn from Portland, OrAlthough never officially disbanding, Alice in Chains was plagued by extended inactivity due to Layne Staley's problems with substance abuse, culminating in his death in 2002. Alice in Chains reunited in 2005 and as of 2008 are working on their first studio album in 14 years with new lead vocalist William DuVall.

  • Cyn from Portland, OrThe song is about being a prisoner of war.The Vietnamese locked their pows in small boxes and treated them like animals leaving them to sit in their own waste.he is begging for the USA to come save them.As a prisoner he is crying out for Jesus Christ.Deny your maker is what the captures say to the POWs. Rooster is also tribute to Cantrell's dad "Rooster" a vietnam vet.I saw this in a interview.
  • Ross from Devon, PaThis Song is not about drug addiction, it is indeed about animal cruelty.
  • Nicole from North Syracuse, United StatesTo Jon, Miami, FL and others:
    I don't know why people can't understand what he's saying but OBVIOUSLY most of us are trying to interpret the song's meaning and not type out the damn lyrics --which MANY of you don't even know. "FEEEEEDDD MY EYESSS" for crying out loud is what Layne's singing--GET IT RIGHT gdi! It's not that hard--even IF u don't have the cd to see the lyrics printed out--go onto a damn webiste and find them. GOD!!!!!
  • Dan from Olympia, WaIn my opinion,when Lane is saying
    FADE MY EYES, CAN YOU SO THEM SHUT?
    This means if you try to stop me from seeing something, or fade my sight of it, I will only look for or toward it that much harder. If you say, don't look over there to someone, 99 out of a 100 people will immediatly look out of curiosity.
    JESUS CHRIST DENIE YOUR MAKER
    HE WHO TRYS WILL BE WASTED
    thst one is self explanitory, however wether he is refrering to the church being bad, or his own beliefs I'm not certian
    Then
    FEED MY EYES, NOW YOU'VE SEWN THEM SHUT
    He is saying that if instead you give me something else to look at, a distraction, feed my eyes, then I won't ever even attempt to see what they don't want me too, I'll be blind to it. NOW YOU'VE SEWN THEM SHUT!!!!!
    On a side note, is this song about the boy locked in a box by his mother, who when he was saved and finally learned how to speak, said Jesus was there to comfort him? Thats what the word on the street in Seattle is.
  • Felixt3 from Duncan, ScThe Beatles are, and always will be, my all time favorite, but favorite song of all times is "Man In The Box." I love many Rock Bands, and all of Alice In Chains (and The Beatles). but besides loving the music, the song reflectes, for me, my life and my beliefs as well. I have been buried in my s**t, I have had my nose shoved in s**t, and he who denys Jesus Christ (God - Father, Son, Holy Spirit - One God) WILL be wasted. So - for me - I can relate completely to this wonderful song! Yes, I love nothing but Rock music, but I am a truly devoted Christian. Gee, you can listen to Rock music and not go to hell!
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., OhCourtnee from Springfield, Vt.- after reading what you had typed, are you even old enough to be on the computer without parential supervision? In the opening riff, it appears that Jerry may be using a voicebox attached to his guitar.
  • Wickett from Tampa, Flwho in the hell would think it's fear my eyes? in the facelift cover it tells all the lyrics... and layne had an addiction to drugs before facelift, it just wasn't heroin, YET...there first demo sweet alice had the song chemical addiction in it where he sings about pill popping
  • Grungeluver from Dease Lake, BcLets get this straight, peple are just guessing the damn idea of the song at it is really flipping me off! NO it is not about a trantula, a 3 legged dog, animal cruelty and it was NOT made 4 a damn joke. For petes sake if you dont know what the song is about then you cud atleast keep ur stupid ideas 2 urself and stop pissing people off! The song is obviosly about his struggle with drugs and and his lack of faith and hopelessness. Isnt that why he commited suicide you dips? Also Layne once said that all his songs had to do with drug addiction!
    RIP LAYNE STALEY
  • Tom from Harlingen, TxFEED MY EYES-layne is seeing the hell that his life is
    CAN YOU SEW THEM SHUT-self explanitory
    JESUS CHRIST-crying out to God
    DENY YOUR MAKER-no help from God = no faith
    HE WHO TRIES
    WILL BE WASTED-either he recognizes that he will be punished for neglecting God, or he means that if he tries in life, he will fail anyway
  • Joey from Rabbidtown, InTerrie is very right...
  • Terrie from Santee, CaTo "feed" somebody's eyes would be to show them things. To "sew them shut" would prevent them from seeing things. It's really not that complicated.
  • Frank from Brampton, Ontario, CanadaAnother one of their excellent tunes. But when I first heard this one, I thought it was Guns'N Roses. The song's intro sounds alot like Axl Rose wailing there. LOL

    But....anyway.... I like the tune alot.
  • Sam from Chicago, IlLayne explains at some point that he got the idea for this song while having dinner with vegetarians who explain how veal is produced (lock baby cow in a box and feed it until its ready to be slaughtered. This was the main idea but was likely combined with other ideals relating to the subject. Also the lyrics don't have to be explicit, which in this case the lyrics are implicit by symbolizing the calf with a man/dog. It's a lot like Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Read about it on WIKIPEDIA it will make TOTAL SENSE. Or maybe I am looking too far into it.
  • Avery from Tulsa, Okhey erin (tulsa, OK) thats what I thought too
  • Jeremy from York, PaOh man! My favorite song of all time, I'm 24! Love it!
  • Jeremy from York, PaGod, I'd join Layne and be a Man in the Box if I didn't think outside of the damn thing so much... RIP Layne, your warmth continues long after your candle has burned out. Peace bro....
  • Casey from Blakeslee, Paok to me i think the first line of the chorus is "feed my eyes" i know the last line is because it stands out, and also its on the aic official website, however in the first line you can make out the word "in" so you may think its "fear in my eyes" but like i said every time i hear the song i hear the feed version
  • Erin from Tulsa, Oksubconscious** got**
  • Erin from Tulsa, Oki think whenever jerry and layne are harmonizing its like the voice inside his head. like when layne is saying jesus christ, jerry is like the evil side or something, or his dubconscious saying, deny your maker. did they ever really say where they go their name?
  • Spog Zallagi from Blue Hill, MeThis would have been a perfect song for "Office Space".
  • Scott from Edmonds, WaOn the video for this song at the end of it you see a man with his eyes sewed shut!

    ITS GROSS!!!!!!!
  • Any from Sofia, BulgariaThe lyrics are:"Feed my eyes,Can you sew them shut,Jesus Christ,Deny your maker,He who tries will be waisted,Feed my eyes,Now you've sewn them shut!"!!!!!!!!!They are written at the Alice In Chains official web site!God!
  • Gerrit from Spokane, WaThis isn't about animal cruelty. It makes an example out of it. The point of the song is most people being stuck in the general grind of industrial life. I'm the man in the box (cubicl).
  • April from Ferndale, WaTo the people who are confused about the lyrics, they are correct as written.It Is "Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut" and then "now you've sewn them shut" just like it says inside the album insert which you would know if you were a fan and bought the album. Also Layne Staley died of a heroin overdose quite some time back. Duh
  • Helen from Boston, MaIt seems a masterful piece of lyricism to me.

    It's so short and deceptively simple, yet it manages to take on censorship, animal (and human) treatment, religion, and death, all at once.

    I consider this a marvel of lyric writing.

    As for the band name, theories abound. Evidently it's a slight change from another band Staley was in previously.

    But, as to the whys and wherefors of that name? Those who can speculate aren't talking.

    Anyway, the song lives on - and is it "Feed my eyes," or "Faith in my eyes"? Only Layne Staley can tell us what his gorgeous-sounding, but a bit mush-mouthed, vocals were really saying...

    And if you want to hear it from him, sadly, it's a bit late for that.
  • J from Norfolk, Vanevermind i saw the video and it is about animal cruelty with calves by the way howd yall get the idea about a 3 legged dog.
  • J from Norfolk, Vathis is just a guess but i think that its about someone who was abused and believed in god but had a hard time holding on 2 his belief because gods letting him go through all this i think its christian because after it says"Deny your maker"it says"he who tries willbe wasted Alice in chains rules! R.I.P Layne Staley
  • Matúš from Trnava, EuropeGreat, one of my most favourite songs at all.
    It feels like unbearable pain, fury and despair.
    Jesus Christ, save me... (no comment)
  • Dalton from Columbus, United StatesThis is one of the best songs ever. The guitar, dang. Great lyrics.
  • Becca from Hamilton, CanadaAlice In Chains just keeps on impressing me more and more every day. I don't think they can do any wrong.
  • Billy from Boston, MaMan In the Box is a sick song!!! I love how the guitar yhas a droning solo. It sounds sick. Grunge in general is awesome. Bands Like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and The Smashing Pumpkins are the finest musical acts of the 90's.
  • Jason from Austin, TxFor the Record, Layne hadn't done herion at this point. In the 96 Rolling Stone Interview with him (he was on the cover of the issue) he talkes about how much it hurt him to have his mother hearing he was doing heroin while making Facelift. He said it was ironic, because he never had even tried it until after Facelift, but in the months running up to starting Dirt.
  • Ben from Pine Bluff, Arman in the box is about vietnam. staley or cantrel 1 of the 2s dad was in the war and this song is about pows. youno a tigercage. being treated like a animal, trust in god or die all that stuff. and i think its fear in my eyes, like dont give your captors the satisfaction. rooster is about nam also
  • Joe from Bh, NjNo, it really doesn't sound like "fear in my eyes" at all. How would that make more sense than "feed my eyes" ?
  • Matt from Millbrae, Caincredible song...its a shame layne had his habits
  • Cool Guy from Compton, Canevermind, Man in The Box isn't even the second best song on this album. This album is so underrated.
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaI had no clue this song was in Lassie, but then again I 've never been able to actually watch Lassie without widening my eyes and staring blankly in unbelieveable boredom.
  • Jon from Miami, FlWell I'm not going to sit here and guess what may or may have not inspired them to make the song, or what the meaning is but I am going to clear up the chorus because it's driving me nuts how people think it's "Feed my eyes!" "Can you sew them shut". Or the last line being "Feed my eyes" Now you've sewn them shut". That honestly doesn't even make sense when you really think about it. The lyrics in the chorus are

    "Faith in my eyes!" "Can you sew them shut"
    "Jesus Christ!" " Deny your maker"
    "They who tries!" "Will be wasted"
    "Fear in my eyes" "Now you've sewn them shut"

    I can't believe how many lyric sites have "Feed my eyes" It sounds nothing like "Feed" I swear it I ever get to meet Jerry Cantrell one day that is going to be the first thing I ask him. I'd have to here it from him to believe that was what Layne was saying because it honestly doesn't sound like it when you listen to the song. Just look at my lyrics play the song and then tell me what you think.
  • Joe from Bh, NjI think this song is comparing the man in the box and the dog who gets beat, and is calling out for someone to "come and save them". At the same time, while it may sound like he is calling out to Jesus Christ, I think he is talking about how in one's search for a savior, like Jesus, their eyes can be "sewn shut". Or they can become blind to common sense, and thrown headlong into something they don't even understand.
  • Elysia from Hamilton, New ZealandThis will probably just sound like one of those people who missed the point; but I always thought the name 'Alice in Chains' was based on Layne's drug addiction.
    Referring to the story of Alice in Wonderland is a popular symbolic expression in many artists' work. (Being like the story of a trip.) I thought they had incorporated this into the name being that Alice/Layne had gone beyond the point of the wonderland where drugs take us, symbolising that Alice was now a slave to this world; no longer living the wonderland but chained to it.
    Strawberrylish@hotmail.com
  • Bud from Pointblank, TxI dont think this song is about anti-christ. it sounds like to me its about animal cruelty (the dog who gets beat) its plain and clear fellas.
  • Cool Guy from Compton, CaSecond best song on Facelift. PUT YOU DOWN = 1st
  • Kalie from Pensacola, FlLaynes mother is a religious person. Not like, REALLY REALLY bad...but I mean, she is a religious person. Layne did have a religious background...you can tell in alot of his songs when he talks about all the norms of religion and conforming to them. But Layne wasn't a Jesus freak.
  • Polish from Crap-hole, PolandThis song was like the first song I had heard by Alice in Chains, I loved it, and even when I was like seven, I sung it...IT CRAPPIN' ROX!...and...its totally not anti-christianity...I think Layne may not have had a religous background, but he did believe in God, I'm not sure...RIP LAYNE!
  • Kalie from Pensacola, FlIt's not "Damn my eyes"...lol. Listen to the song again, buddy. LOL..wow, damn my eyes...
  • Kalie from Pensacola, FlThe song was about censorship. There was a dog with three legs...and yes, there was a tarantula named Alice (the band mascott) you will hear about all of this on their DVD...but the song really was about censorship. If you've ever read any books about Layne or any books about AIC, you will learn this. Layne, stated that the song was about censorship and also about a veal farm. Some of the people at COLUMBIA RECORDS were veagan, and this song was kind of a joke Layne said about being veagan, and being an animal on a veal farm just waiting to die basically. RIP LAYNE.
    Kalie...
  • Nick from Arlington Heights, IlIt's not feed or fear in my eyes its "Damn my eyes, can you sew them shut"
  • Billy from Nicholasville, KyUh... anti-Christianity? Listen to the lyrics again...

    It says "Jesus Christ- deny your maker... HE WHO TRIES will be wasted"

    To me that is NOT anti-Christian, it is saying you will be wasted if you deny your maker, Jesus Christ.

    Also, I don't think it is "Feed my eyes", I think it is "Fear in my eyes".
  • Jerry from Chicago, IlI really like this song, even if I am "old" but I am disappointed if it's anti-Christianity, since I am a Christian. But I love the music, singing, and musicianship regardless.

    I don't think something written obtusely, such as this song, qualifies as "well-written" lyrically. If you have something to say, just say it. In my humble opinion, it's not artisitic or clever to hide some vague lyrics; it's just weak. Tell me you disagree with Christianity or tell me you disagree with censorship but tell me.
  • Nelson from Aloha, OrI think Jon Selah nailed it, but the relationship between man and pet is a reflection of the way Layne saw the relationship between a Christian god and man. I doubt this song has anything to do with drugs.
  • Billy Ross from Hagerstown, MdI belive that almost all of their songs were about Layne's battle with a drug overdose.
  • Billy Ross from Hagerstown, MdThis song is really awesome on the "Live" cd.They go right into after "Angry Chair".
  • Jon from Selah, WaThere was no three legged dog named alice. They didn't get their name from the pet spider, and the songs main theme isn't religon.

    Alice 'N Chains was a name Layne had come up with some friends in school around 1985. They wanted to dress in drag, like drag queen drag, not rockstar make up and frizzy hair, and play death metal. All as a joke. Remember Layne was a funny guy. This is they guy that played a gig billing the band as F--k, so they could hand out condom's with "F--K the band," on them. When Jerry and Layne met they decided to work together Layne would sing in Jerry's band, and Jerry would play in Laynes. Then when Layne's band decided to part ways. Layne became the full time singer for Jerry's band, Sleeze. They played a few gigs as Sleeze, and wanted their own name. So the old stand by came to use. Thus the Alice in Chains we know was formed.

    As for this song. Man in the Box, it is not about anti-christianity. However, Layne, especially during these years was spending a lot of time questioning his faith, and his past religious experiences. They said openly that the song was about censorship and animal cruelty. It was inspired after a meeting with Columbia Record reps before their contract was signed. The record reps were telling them about how they were vegans and we telling them about how veal were treated.

    That is plainly seen in the first verse. It is from the eyes of a baby lamb on a veal farm.

    The Chorus is where censorship really comes in. First and last line, is obvious. Show me something good, then hide it. The middle of the chorus is where the religon comes into it. They are saying if you don't follow the religion, you will go to hell, in a mocking manner.

    The second verse is again about the animal cruelty. Plainly taken.

    This song was written quickly during talk with Columbia. It was not really meant to be a super serious song. More of a quick joke for the people they were trying to win over at the label. It worked, and they really like the song. So, of course it had to be on the album. Censorship and Animal cruelty were probably the two big interesting conversations that night.
  • Courtnee from Springfield, Vtok this song was not about a 3 legged dog or about aniti crist or about cesorshp. this song is about how one of the band memembers had killed them self after he had overdossed on coke and then he shut and locked himself inside the box whre latter somone had found him dead! he worte the song before he died and then he fallowed through with the plans lestin to the lyics and then see how the band memember died.
  • Courtney Bracey from New York, NyIn an interview, the members of Alice in Chains said that this song was about cesorship, but if you think its about anti-Christianity it doesn't mean your wrong or right. They sometimes would write songs that could have more then one specific meaning. But the basic idea that you got out of the song isn't completely different from censorship.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesUS wrestler Tommy Dreamer (of ECW fame) used this as his signature music when he approached the ring, and whenever he won a match
  • Larry from Arlington, TxThis is a song about the futility of religion, in specific Christianity.
  • Kyle from Erie, PaNo, there wasnt a three legged dog named Alice, Alice In Chains was a joke amongts the band about a metal band that dressed in drag
  • Tom from Bellingham, WaI would have to stongly disagree that this song is about censorship. I believe it is about anti-Christianity. The man in the box is Jesus. Just listen to the lyrics. "Feed my eyes" implies that christianity is feeding people B.S.. The dog who gets beat and has his nose shoved in s--t is the person who does something morally bad and is faced with christians trying to convince him to be better. More lyrics: Deny your maker. Duh. "Won't you come and save me?" That's pretty self-explainitory. Sewing someone's eyes shut implies you're shutting them off to any other beliefs. I could go on but i think people get the picture.
  • Ben from Clemmons, NdAlice was a tarantula owned by layne or sean before they even put out and album.
  • Kevin from A Town, NjThere was a 3-legged dog named sunshine that terrorized Sean (the drummer) when he delived papers (the dog is on the cover of th self titled album). I'm pretty sure they got name their name trying to think of a good name for a metal band that dressed in drag (they were originally a glam band)
  • Nick from Paramus, NjWasn't there a three-legged dog named Alice who was chained up and beaten by her owner? (How the band got it's name) Wasn't that who the song was about?
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