We Die Young

Songfacts®:

  • Layne Staley (in 1991): "We Die Young is about gang violence. That was something that was happening in Seattle, something that kinda opened our eyes. It just seemed like things were getting out of hand. Incidents where kids were getting shot, and getting their tennis shoes ripped off their dead bodies. It just seems like these kids are dying at younger and younger ages and getting involved in gang activity." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Rita - sudbury, MA
  • According to Jerry Cantrell, he was riding to a band rehearsal when he got the idea for song. "On the bus, there were all of these 10, 11, 12 year-olds with beepers dealing drugs," he said. "The sight of a young kid with drugs just scared me, which equaled We Die Young to me." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Billy Ross - Hagerstown, MD
  • This was the band's first single, released in 1990 ahead of "Man In The Box." It was the title track of a 3-song EP that was their first release on Columbia Records.

Comments: 12

  • K from Baltimore, MdIt probably is about gang violence, but when Layne Stayley sings it's about heroin. Not that it's a bad thing, I still love the band and their songs just as much if not more and I don't think people should like them less for the drug references. Drugs create strong emotion and strong emotion creates kick ass songs. Also, don't dwell too much on the meaning cause for me songs are about whatever I want them to be about at that moment.
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationFollowing the demise of his band Sleeze in 1986, vocalist Layne Staley formed Alice N' Chains, a band which he said "dressed in drag and played speed metal" . Local promoter Randy Hauser became aware of the band at a concert, and offered to pay for demo recordings .Alice in Chains soon became a top priority of the label, who released the band's first official recording in July 1990, a promotional EP We Die Young. The EP's lead single, "We Die Young", became a hit on metal radio. After its success, the label rushed Alice in Chains' debut album into production with producer Dave Jerden. Cantrell stated the album was intended to have a "moody aura" that was a "direct result of the brooding atmosphere and feel of Seattle".
  • Caitlyn from Royersford, PaOk, seriously people not EVERY single Alice in Chains song is about drugs(even though sometimes seems that way). I'm talkin to you Robert from Lawton, OK. I'm pretty sure it's about gang violence like it says up top.
  • Layton from Paris, TxWow. Calling Layne Staley 'too drugged up'? How low can you get?
  • C from Titusville, Flrita never said layne wrote the song...she just quoted layne giving the explanation of what the song was about, which is exactly correct... how ignorant can you be to think layne was too drugged up to understand the lyrics to the song. get over yourself.
  • Robert from Lawton, OkAnother heroin song. "watch the blood float in the muddy sewer" = the flashback of blood when an addict hits the vein using a shared or dirty needle. "Take another hit and you shouldve known better" = self-explanatory
  • Chris from Arlington, WaJim - if you go out and buy the "Music Bank - The Videos" DVD, you will see that Jerry Cantrell himself says what Billy Ross said.

    Also, Rita is wrong. Jerry made this song, not Layne (all respects to Layne) which means Layne was probably too drugged up to obtain the full grasp of the lyrics.
  • Jim from Chicago, Ilbilly ross your wrong, rita your right. it says it all on an interview on youtube
  • Michelle from Vallarta, MexicoJerry Cantrell plays awesome in this song!!so powerful.
    Layne´s voice is so deep...really gets me.
  • Mike from Falmouth, MaThis Song is Awesome!!! The riffs, the beat, and the lyrics in particular are what makes this song a true Hard Rock Masterpiece. And speaking of the lyrics, I can understand why one might think the lyrics are in relation to the novel "IT", but the only component that agrees with that theory is the title. The entire body of the lyrics preaches about the horrors of gang violence.
  • Mariah from Miami, FlAlice in Chains is so awesome, this song is amazing, and Layne Staley's voice is amazing.
  • K from Washington, MoSomeone once told me this song was about the Stephen King book, "IT".
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