Lithium

Album: The Open Door (2006)
Charted: 32
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Songfacts®:

  • Amy Lee has been quoted saying the song is about losing the comfort of sorrow. Lithium is a mood stabilizer that would take away the sorrow that the writer holds inside and she is not ready to let go of it. She has lived with sorrow so long that losing it now would be like losing a part of herself. That is what the whole refrain is about: "Lithium, Don't want to lock myself up inside, Lithium, Don't want to forget what it feels without, Lithium, I want to stay in love with my sorrow." Lee's lyrics are often metaphorical and the words consist of double meanings. It's about her inner feelings toward herself.

Comments: 48

  • Stevenwall44 from PennsylvaniaSo when this song came out I was so in love with it because I too suffer from a very horrible case of Bipolar disorder.. fast forward a few years and I was put on Lithium as the last resort due to no other meds helping.. so I fell even more in love with this song and could relate more.. but then I was researching about it cause I was curious and discovered Amy Lee was NEVER on Lithium. It's just used as a metaphor... she admitted it in an interview which ill include her comments in such interview...which is kinda heart breaking because for once I thought a famous artist finally wrote a song from personal experience but turns out its just a metaphor.. still a great and powerful song tho... but here ya go!

    It's not literal, it's not literal about the drug for me, I've never taken lithium before. It's sort of a metaphor about numbness and happiness and sort of like, it's me looking at happiness in a negative way because I've always been, you know, kind of afraid to be happy. Like with the band and the art and everything else, it's always like I'm never letting myself break through into the happiness it seems like, because it's not cool or something. And describing happiness is lithium, it's like saying 'that's numbness, I won't be able to be an artist anymore if I'm happy,' which is hilarious because that's just not true, I'm happy. So it's like this fight within the song of like 'do I do this and get out of here and get happy or do i wallow in it like I always do?' and it's cool because at the end of the song I say 'I'm going to let it go,' like I am going to be happy."

    She told in an interview with a Australian newspaper:

    "It's about the choice between the comfort of sorrow and the possibility of happiness," Lee says. "I let sorrow be an excuse to make music. I put it out there and I get satisfaction from the song. But I'm getting a little older and wiser and I don't want to be stuck in this cycle forever."

    She gave another explanation in late 2006:

    ”Lithium’ is definitely a metaphor,’ explained Lee. ‘I felt like I was in love with my sorrow. I get into these moods where I write music. It’s not about so much about being depressed ‘ it’s just the strange low that I ride. But at the same time I want to be free and break through and be happy. I think that was kind of me, getting ready to play [and saying], ‘That’s it, drop the ball and just change and move on.
  • Xynestra from CaliforniaAs someone living with bipolar... the verse that strikes me the most,

    "Darling, I forgive you after all
    Anything is better than to be alone
    And in the end I guess I had to fall
    Always find my place among the ashes"

    It is sort of an acceptance of the drugs that leaves you feeling nothing (or at least relatively nothing compared to the highs and lows that you have experienced). A recognition that despite how great the mania can feel, and how much better it can be to feel those extreme emotions than the blunted existence that is on mood stabilizers... without those mood stabilizers, you are a destructive force in your own life, losing friends, hurting family... and when it is all said and done, you always come down from the high only to find yourself in the ashes of the life you just scorched.

    I come back to this song when I consider stopping my mood stabilizers just to feel something again... so that I can be reminded that I'm not the only one to experience this, and that line can remind me of the inevitable consequences of when I go off the deep end. I'm not sure I could survive another full manic episode, I pretty much ruined my life last time around and have spent the last five or so years putting everything back together. I don't want to find place among the ashes again.
  • AnonymousGuys, love what your all saying but wanna point out the artist's name is Amy Lee. Evanescence is the band name. Sorry to be that guy, lotta really great input here.
  • Tony from AlabamaAs someone who is Bipolar this is a love hate song about the meds used to control it. Having been on lithium myself, you feel like who you are is locked up inside the medication as you generally feel no emotion. You crave to feel so you hate the meds for numbing your emotions, but at the same time you love them for keeping you from the hellish Rollercoaster that is Bipolar. You want to feel sorrow or fly, the swings from depression and mania. But you know the cost of being released from the prison of lithium. You truly are a prisoner inside lithium, but if released you know the monster you are awaits.
  • Amanda from Louisiana I feel this so much as I am bipolar and though I don’t take lithium I take other BP meds this song I can relate with! And her singing about not letting the sadness go or loving the sadness. I see this as when you have a mood disorder sometimes medicine can make you numb and feel blank and feel nothing. So in that state you beg to feel something.. happiness or even would welcome the sadness. Also it’s easy to fall in a love hate relationship with depression and sadness. Plus even if it’s sadness it’s a feeling and much better than feeling numb
  • Chris from Miami The song is about manic episodes in bipolar disorder and the classic drug used to treat them lithium. The whole song is about struggling to let go of her manic highs and take the lithium to treat it. "I don't want to let it lay me down this time drown my will to fly" refers to the lithium bringing her down from her manic state. Mania in bipolar disorder can feel like being high on stimulants and a lot of the time people don't want to loose that feeling. "Don't want to let it lock me up inside" again refering to it stopping her manic episodes. Also evanescence is bipolar so it would make sense that she would write a song about it.
  • Sappylaia from CataloniaMy personal thoughts on this song:
    (Sorry my english is bad)

    Lithium is used to beat bipolar disorders, which really fits the song,
    but I think it's mostly about depression and numbness.
    This song is so relatable to the feeling of being sad for so long that when you're not you feel lost or numb, and you miss the feeling of being sad, but at the same time "wanting to let it go". It's a constant battle.

    The line: "I can't hold on to me, wonder what's wrong with me" speaks about how she can’t control her emotions, she feels out of control.

    "I don't want let it lay me down this time, drown my will to fly.
    Here in the darkness I know myself
    Can't break free until I let it go".
    She doesn't want the sadness to take over her, but she wants to throw her hope away.
    She wants to end the pain but she feels comfort in being sad.
    She feels like she has to let go the sadness to move on.

    Also the music video is amazing, it shows the fight between sadness and hapiness.
    But I noticed something that made me think.
    If you look carefully at 0:02 on the video there are some razor blades.
    This could be a reference to self-harm, which I personally find relatable to the song's theme.
    Self-harm is addicting in some way and the feelings are very similar to what the song is about.
    Trying to stay clean from self-harm it's also this constant battle with sadness. You feel the urge, the need to do it, but you know you have to stop doing it.
    I know it's weird but when I listen to this song it really reminds me of this bc of my personal experience.

    In an interview with MTV Italy, Amy said: "It's not literal, it's not literal about the drug for me, I've never taken lithium before. It's sort of a metaphor about numbness and happiness and sort of like, it's me looking at happiness in a negative way because I've always been, you know, kind of afraid to be happy. Like with the band and the art and everything else, it's always like I'm never letting myself break through into the happiness it seems like, because it's not cool or something. And describing happiness is lithium, it's like saying 'that's numbness, I won't be able to be an artist anymore if I'm happy', which is hilarious because that's just not true, I'm happy. So it's like this fight within the song of like 'do I do this and get out of here and get happy or do I wallow in it like I always do?' and it's cool because at the end of the song I say 'I'm going to let it go', like I am going to be happy."

    It's a weird feeling, but I can relate to this song a lot. Just my personal thoughts on it. Thx for reading :)
  • Shadow from Depression, VaAnd by the way, Nirvana's sound is so different from Evanescence's. I don't think she tried to "copy" Nirvana. The lyrics are so completely different. And Tatum from Cape Town, anyone can enjoy this song. Sure, I'm depressed, have been for a long time. Big f***ing deal. I liked this song before I was depressed, so it is not "loaded with emo" like you said it was.
  • Shadow from Depression, VaThis is my favorite Evanescence song, and Evanescence is my 3rd favorite band (2nd Coldplay, 1st Linkin Park). This song used to be my favorite song of all time, and it is truly amazing :D This song is a song that I feel describes me. I love it so much. Amy Lee's voice is the prettiest girl voice I've ever heard and Evanescence is amazing XDXDXD
  • Amy from Pensacola, FlIn 1983 there was a study for Lithium possibily being able to reduce the craving for alcohol. The real Amy Lee, not Amy Lynn Hartzler, got the idea from these news articles as well as Kurt Cobain whom she met at the age of 15. The idea to name the band Evanescence came from an review of A Chorus Line by Frank Rich of the New York times Oct '83 titled "A Chorus of LOVE" & is the same article which inspired this Amy Lee to write Like A Virgin for Madonna.
  • Cara from Rockville, MdSo what shes saying is she wants to let go but she is afraid to?
  • Marlene from Montreal, QcI understand what she means for sure...those drugs kind of flatten your emotions but at the same time, you don't want to be suicidal.
  • Michelle from Costa Mesa, CaThe fact is, Amy was inspired by & wrote this song for a FRIEND of hers that was on Lithium. It is NOT about Amy's ex-boyfriend, Shaun, nor has Amy ever been on Lithium. I saw her talk about it in an interview a few years ago. Look it up.
  • Tori from Boston, MaFor those who think that the line "just couldn't drink enough to say you love me" is about her ex boyfriend, I disagree. I think she is talking about self medication. She could have been the one drinking to self medicate. She is talking to her internal demons. There are two things coming across in this song, she wants/needs the help to consider taking the drug Lithium, but she also doesn't it to change her. Her pain, sorrow, illness, they are inspiration. Those are what make her who she is. It is her artistic ability. After being on Lithium you can no longer write. You are in Zombie mode. When she says "darling i forgive you after all, anything is better than to be alone," she is referring to her dark side. "never wanted to be so cold" she didn't ask for her illness. "can't hold onto me" she feels herself already changing into something she is not.
  • Ruby from New York, NyThis song really shows everything so well. It talks about the pain and shock of depression, but also about how you can't leave. It shows all the sides so well, the wondering, "I can't hold on to me, wonder what's wrong with me..." and the purely scary amounts of emotion you can have. It's the only song that has ever made me cry, it just brings up bad memories of last May. I almost know what it's like- almost. It's like an echo of my thoughts from May, what I was thinking. My friends tried to get me to see the school counselor, but I knew that wasn't how it was going to go away. I knew that I wanted to live with it until it was gone. And now it is, as much as it ever will be. It scared me so much, hearing this song. Hearing my thoughts on my speakers, spoken better than I could have put them. The music is amazing, and it fits the song so well. Still scares me, but I love this song. I don't know why. Btw, Angel from Maryland- perfectly put, I totally agree.
  • Angel from Bath, MeOk, well like anyone who has suffered with depression , and bipolar and all the different medications that the doctors push on people now a days can relate to this song, she hits the true heart of why people like us choose to stay off medication, all your true feelings are masked with a fake smile, and you loose all your emotions , it's like looking through glass watching yourself inside yourself .
  • Lexxus from Not Telling......;d, TxSorry - that below was suppose to be a heart you can make on the keyboard! :)
  • Lexxus from Not Telling......;d, TxI love Amy Lee in this music video. She is so pretty, and I would do something like that. Evanescence is my inspiration for my songs I write. Go Amy! ♥
  • Mariah from Fort Worth, Txdespite amy's ties to nirvana, she didnt try to "copy" nirvana. take pink floyd's The Show Must Go On. drop dead gorgeous has a song with the same exact name. no need to s--t twinkees over stuff like that.
  • Crystal from Fresno, CaOkay, I'm going to get this out of the way first: I like both Nirvana and Evanescence. Okay, got it? Good. Now, I think that both songs deserve the name Lithium, because both (although Nirvana's never mentions the stuff) seem to talk about it. I agree with Aimee, TX this song does seem to have more of a deeper meaning associated with the effects of Lithium on those with bipolar. My sister is bipolar, and I've seen how it affects her...I do understand how it can be to feel in love with your sorrow. It almost feels good to have that sadness and pain, because at least it feels more real than faking a smile. Some days, I don't know what it would be like to not feel that, and it almost keeps me sane.
  • Dekkun from Anonymous-ville, HiThis song is pure melancholy, deliciously depressing, and it's become one of my favorite songs of all time. That means it's ranked up there with Queen and the like. ^_^
    This song is amazingly beautiful and stunning. I can never stop listening to it, it's perfect.
  • Jeff from B-town, Mai personally think this song is about not wanting to let go of your sadness, because you've had it so long, you don't know what to do with yourself once its gone. it makes you feel empty. believe me, it's better to feel pain than nothing at all.
  • Mandie from Town, BotswanaOkay, for all you morons saying "oh, she copied Nirvana!!!" Are you high or just stupid? If you did some looking around, you'll find that Evanescence did a cover for some of Nirvana's songs, Heart-Shaped Box and Rape Me, just to name a few. So next time, why don't you look and know what you're talking about before you go and criticize someone for something, K?

    Mandie Lee
  • Caitlyn from Naples, FlI love this song but since it was inspired by her ex boyfriend shaun it's kind of mean. Still LOVE it though!
  • Catrencella from Mooresboro, NcI agree with the next person! Amy has a great voice, this song is not in anyway like Nirvana's Lithium!
  • Gisella from Hollywood, AzDude you guys seriously need to stop hating on amy just for choosing same name on her song. and by the way nirvanas lithium has a totally different meaning and is less deep that evanescence's lithium. personally evanescences is better. i love nirvana but this is a battle they lost
  • Steve from Port Harcourt, NigeriaEvanescnece is one of those groups that manages to reach you in a very deep and and almost spiritual level with their lyrics.
    Lithium,just opens up your consciousness to the boldness that every soul is yearning for..but which somehow eludes us all
  • Taylor from Pueblo, CoThis song is so beautiful. The lyrics are amazing! Amy Lee has one heck of a voice. She blows doors on losers in the pop/hip-hop industries.
  • Caitlyn from Naples, FlShaun Morgan told her to write a song about lithium and she admitted that to the judge while they were breaking up. I know this because I'm related to her.
  • Austin from Smallsville, NeFirst off to all the haters. Nirvana didn't make up lithium. It is a chemical dumbasses. So basically you can say that Nirvana ripped off some scientist name that he gave it. And smells like teen spririt was a womens deoderant. Do some research. Just cause Kurt Kobain says something doesn't mean he made it up. (Nothing against Nirvana, great band)
  • Aimee Mcdurmon from Commerce, Txto me this song has a deeper meaning. im bipolar and i was put on this medication and it literally makes you feel trapped. the part of the song that says "dont wanna let it lay me down this time, drown my will to fly," relates to the reaction that some people have on lithium. so she stole the name from nirvana, big whoop, its a much better song with a much deeper meaning.
  • Ember from Council Bluffs, IaI love how Evanescence writes metaphorically...
  • Horacio from Celaya, MexicoI love this song. I love the tone and the way the piano and guitars listen. Besides, Amy Lee's voice is great!!!
  • Taylor from San Antonio, Txjust cause she has the same name as nirvanas song doesnt in the least bit mean she doesnt have her own talent nirvanas good but there dead so get over it
  • Keriah from Naples, FlJim from stonerville CA is right Nirvana's lithium is the only song that's worth listening to, Evanescence have a lot of nerve it's like I decide to write a new song called smells like teen spirit. If they did a cover of this song it would have been okay and Amy Lee is trying to rip off Kurt Cobain's style by letting the song have two meanings. Lithium belongs to Nirvana and no one else.
  • Joel from Columbia, ScThis song is good but it depresses me. I've been on mood stabilizers since I was twenty.
  • Jailene from K-town, WaMaybe her ex boyfriend's drinking problem was the reason for the sorrow, and she'd gotten so used to the drinking and the sorrow caused by it that it would've been harder to get back into a normal routine without him than to just stay where she was then.
  • Jim from Stonerville, Cathere is only one song called lithium worth listening to. its by NIRVANA...
  • Dj from Pipestone, CoI could possibly agree with you Chris, but I don't think it's all about her ex-boyfriend from Seether, Call Me When your Sober however, could completly be about him.....XD
  • Tatum from Cape TownIts a really good song,but only if you are depressed.Lithium is loaded with emo!
  • Kiwi from Gurnee, Ilshe just wanted to write a song called lithium because nirvana has a song called lithium
  • Chris from Lincoln, England"lithium is more about shaun morgan, her ex bf from seether, who is an alcoholic, i didn't notice it until the line "just couldn't drink enough to say you love me"." maybe its about numbing the pain from her last relationship? thatd fit
  • Katherine from Akron, OhI relate to this song because no it dosen't matter what it is your used to pain,sorrow,drugs I guess or friends without that one special thing you feel lost
  • Katherine from Akron, OhAmy Lee has a beautiful voice and i really relate to this song
  • Teresa from New York City, Nyi love this song so much i love the combination of amy lee's voice and the piano they go so well together
  • Aaron from Albuquerque, NmThis song totally rocks. I love Amy Lee's voice.
  • Chris from Eau Claire, Wilithium is more about shaun morgan, her ex bf from seether, who is an alcoholic, i didn't notice it until the line "just couldn't drink enough to say you love me"...but i digress
  • Anzi from London, EnglandI love this song sooo much coz' it really shows off amy lee's AMAZING voice! Go Evanescence!
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