Album: Hybrid Theory (2000)
Charted: 16 79
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  • This song manifests that nasty feeling that something is crawling under your skin. Much of the lyric delivered by Chester Bennington deals with the side effects of taking methamphetamines - a drug he used throughout his teens. The anxiety, hallucinations and a feeling of things crawling under his skin. The song, though, can apply to anyone feeling uncomfortable and helpless.
  • In the video, the girl (played by Katelyn Rosaasen) is physically abused by her father. At the beginning, we can see all her bruises. Many of the lyrics demonstrate how hard it is to break the cycle of abuse ("These wounds, they will not heal" and "It's haunting, how I can't seem to find myself again, my walls are closing in"), and how self-confidence is crushed. The blue crystal background closes in on her at the beginning of the first chorus - this shows an emotional shell that she has built around her. The thick make-up is like a mask, trying to hide what's going on inside. The septum ring is designed to link with Chester's lip ring. When the girl walks away from her boyfriend, it's because she's too scared to get close to people. This is also true for the high school bathroom scene. When Chester sings, "Against my will I stand beside my own reflection," he and Katelyn are looking at each other. She looks like she wants to get out of the shell she's in. She also sees painful memories from her past in the crystal. When the second chorus starts, the crystal begins to break and chunks of it are flying about - this is her shell falling down. It represents her father's departure, as does her smiling at the end with the roses in the vase. She's not wearing the thick make-up because she doesn't feel like she needs the protection of a mask - she's got nothing to hide from. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Abbey - Essex, England, for above for above 2
  • This won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance. At the time, Shinoda wasn't too clear on what the award meant, thinking it was akin to best rock song. Later, he understood it referred to the studio performance, which, he told Kerrang in 2020, was entirely due to Bennington's vocals. "His vocal in that song, it was even hard for him to do some nights on tour, and it's impossible for anybody else to sing it that well," he said. "Every other cover of it is a mere shadow of the Chester performance of the song."
  • This was the second single off Hybrid Theory, the best selling album of 2001 in the US.
  • The video was nominated for Best Rock video on MTV's Video Music Awards. It lost to Limp Bizkit's "Rollin."
  • Chester Bennington told Rolling Stone magazine 2002: "The song is about taking responsibility for your actions. I don't say 'you' at any point. It's about how I'm the reason that I feel this way. There's something inside me that pulls me down."
  • There is a remixed version of this song on Reanimation, their 2002 CD which contained remixes of the songs from Hybrid Theory and a couple of new songs. The remix features Staind's Aaron Lewis on vocals. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Nick - Paramus, NJ, for above 2
  • In the CD booklet, the lyrics "These wounds, they will not heal" were incorrectly written as "Consuming all I feel."
  • Chester Bennington claimed it was hard to perform this song live due to his own personal experience similar to the problems in the song. He felt as though his past drug addiction, to crystal meth and other hard drugs such as cocaine, was literally under his skin. In an interview he said: "'Crawling' has caused me the most trouble live more than any other song. 'Crawling' is about feeling like I had no control over myself in terms of drugs and alcohol." He also called it "the most literal song lyrically I'd ever written for Linkin Park." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Chris Cornell, who was one of the acts on Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution festival in 2008, joined the band to perform this song throughout the tour. Cornell and Chester Bennington were good friends; in 2017, they both died from suicide two months apart.
  • Bennington explained in a 2001 interview how the song relates to self-esteem issues: "In a song like 'Crawling,' we are talking about self-consciousness or the lack of self-confidence. That's a big part of that song because when you get into those situations with a lot of people looking at you, you find faults in yourself and you get nervous and want to change them. Things like that are really charged topics to be talking about, and when we started to write lyrics we found ourselves energized and interested in writing these songs and going after them with a lot of intensity. Sitting in front of a computer thinking about the crap you did before you go to bed, that you thought you could have done better – that will freak you out sometimes."
  • Brad Delson, the band's lead guitarist, said this song is an example of how Bennington's vocal talent helped Linkin' Park improve their songwriting. He told "What happened when Chester joined the group, we moved from 'Hey, these are the kind of singing parts we want,' to 'Wow, these are singing parts that we never even thought of,' because his range and versatility are such that, like 'Crawling,' who would think to write that melody? You couldn't because there are very few people in the world that could probably sing that. So that's an example of when I say he really expanded our writing ability in the sense that he has such a range vocally. He really was kind of the final piece of the puzzle, and he brings vocal talent that, when we were looking for a second vocalist, we didn't see anything close to his talent in anybody else."
  • According to Mike Shinoda, the chorus lyric, "Fear is how I fall," came from producer Don Gilmore mishearing the actual line, "Fear is powerful." Shinoda told Kerrang in 2020: "He just heard it wrong, and he heard a really great line."

Comments: 58

  • Rach from IndianaCrawling in my skin, because in the end, I just wanna be somewhere I belong. Chester isn't alone. Anxiety sucks! Being abused sucks! what's done is done. You have to forgive and move on. Even though you do think about it, You gotta think happy thoughts. It's people who seem to appear to be so happy are the ones who feel alone, and are really sad deep inside. You feel as though if you can make everyone else happy it will take your mind off your pain. ( only for a little while). Chester was amazing, had a very amazing voice, cared about helping people. what a great person he was, what a big heart he had. We need more people like him in our world! He's songs have touched a lot of people we can't express our words, That's where Chester comes in because he expressed them for us!

    We cannot express our words. That is where Chester comes in because he expressed them for us. Bless him.
  • Anonymous from Canada Its years later and I didn’t actually find this till recently but ya I guess back in highshcool I understood right away what this song was about and it actually helped me fight my condition that is better now but back then it was scary and horrible and even though I never took drugs I understand this song completely. My condition is my drug and ya this song and this band they made me be strong and as today I’m not alone anymore but before no one heard of my condition. I understand every word just to me it slightly is different. I actually heal with god now. I still love the music but realized I was to angry. I still love all the music and keep certain things a secret. But ya love linkin park always. Its cool how people you don’t even know or have met can make a big difference also of how people can connect and stuff. I found out to my other favourite band did a song for Chester and I couldn’t believe it.
  • Kaykay from NyAfter doing mad amounts of research, I interpret this song to be about his "father" and how he was sexually abused and now feels like he had thoughts about the past. When he thought of those things it disturbed him and made his skin crawl and his was afraid of losing himself and falling suit to the patterns of his "father". Chester was and always will be a legend and its a shame that he couldnt break the habit of feeling less than the amazing person we all saw and looked up to! May he be resting with that melting smile knowing how many lives hes changed.
  • Tyler G from Mckinney TxThis song is most definitely about Depersonalization/Derealization. The darkest feeling I have ever felt in my life. It's a dissociative disorder. I have little flashes of it. Chester had it most of his life. When I have my episodes of it. This song is exactly what the feeling is while experiencing depersonalization. You don't feel real and you question if anything is real at all ("confusing what is real"). And when you look at yourself in the mirror, you can hardly recognize yourself. Scariest feeling EVER. ("against my will I stand beside my own reflection. It's haunting how I cant seem to fins myself again").

    Trust me. This song is about battling Depersonalization. So is Numb. Numbness is the only word I could think of when I experience the dissociative disorder. The loneliest, scariest feeling ion the world. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Those who have never experienced it will never understand. This song is incredibly unique to a very, very small amount of people.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjThis was the song that got me into LP. The techno notes at the beginning kind of remind me of a video game.
  • The from Liverpool, United KingdomTowards the end of the song, the following:
    "There's something inside me that pulls beneath the surface, consuming. This lack of self-control I fear is never-ending"

    was not sung by Mike Shinoda. It was modified and made tighter
  • Emily from Around Chicago, IlThis was used as background music during the 2010 Winter Olympics for a brother-sister couple ice-dancing. I believe they were from Scotland or Great Britain. The song worked very well with their dancing, which was supposed to represent a a guardian angel (the sister) directing a boy who's gone astray (the brother) to live life better. All in all, a great preformance and a great song.
  • Azalea from Hot Springs, ArI definately think this song is about being abused in your life, and even though the abuse has stopped, you can still feel the pain. I can relate to this song in many of ways. I definately dont like the feeling, but this is a good song.
  • Jordan from Wagoner, OkThe song is clearly about the
    feeling you get you get from looking in the mirror and feeling uncomfortable with yourself,check out my tool comments to!!!
  • Todd from Corsicana, TxI think this song might be about rage in a way brcause when you have rage and don't want it you feel like there is something crawling beneath your skin wanting to get free
  • Janet from Orlando, FlWat is the meaning of this song?A girl abused by her father?Cheaster?Ive read some but I belive it' about da gurl being abused but by whO?
  • Mike from Parts Unknown, NjThis is the kind of song that really inspires me. and this song I can relate to in my own way I think jsut about anybody in this world can becasue we are all flawed physically and or mentally in one way or another. But we can always keep pushing forward and make us all we can be, and accheive a sense of well-being naturally in a way that is out of this world.
  • Zana K. from Hicksville, TxGreat song.
    But it's about a girl in an abusive relationship, or so I've read in many articles.

    Great description, despite though.
    I love Linkin Park. It is the best band ever.
  • Blake from Chico, CaTo me, this song is about being alone, and hating it, and hating yourself for being alone, and you can feel the hatred making you weaker, but you can't do anything about it.
  • Ria from London, United Kingdomi think this song can mean something slightly different to the individual, because 'crawling in my skin' can mean so many things to diffrent people and thats the main reason why people love linkin park - cuz you can probably relate to them in some way or another. like this song to me reminds me of how i've been ridiculed so much by people in the past that now if im not with my friends, i feel like people r watching me or judging me - like something called social anxiety. but the weird thing is that im the most confident and sociable person at times and then if im feeling insecure i just shut up! anywayz i just scream at the top of my voice when this songs on lol.
  • Selena from Griffin, GaPersonally, I love LINKIN PARK so much! I don't think they are capable of doing anything bad. I also don't feel the need to psycho-analyze thier lyrics simply because everyone can find their own meaning and that is point of listening to and appreciating music. It will always mean what it means to Chester.
  • Adam from Plainfield, Ilawesome song its one of my favs
  • Jess from Melb, AustraliaThis song is Amazing :)
  • Andrew from Gotham City, NyWell, I always did think this song was about abuse by some guy...din't know it was her father thogh, and I basically got the mental shell, and everything. But this song was really good.
  • Timothy from Boise, IlThis song is obvisoly about drug use "crawling in my skin these wounds they will not heal fear is how I fall confusing what is real".
  • Bek from Australia, Wai really like chester and the way he expresses his feelings in songs you can really feel the pain that he was in. i think thats why i like it so much because im going though the same thing as he was going though in childhood and i feel like i can relate to him so much...every time i listent to the song crawling it makes me feel better when he screams i dont no way i think its because it releases my pain too.
  • Kelsi from I-town(ionia, Mithis song is very deep....kinda almost emo...but it's one of their best
  • Punkster from Edmonton, CaI have been looking up "crawling" and what this song is about i been watching documentys chester wrote this song about his confusion as a kid, his addiction with cocaine and meth.

    To all people who wondering
    by, punkster
  • Kevin from Quebec, Canadai stopped liking linkin park after finding out the singers name was chester
  • Chelsey Loudermilk from Oaktown, InI love Linkin Park. Chester is is so passionant and I love when he sings, He screams. Every time i hear linkin park i get goosebumps. The song crawling in my skin gives me this feeling and i love every bit of it
  • Alex from Madrid, SpainBest Linkin´ Park song by far
  • Mikey from Galesburg, IlThis song really is my favorite because it reaches deep inside of me and releases all of my pain. You can tell by this song that Chester had so much pain inside of him just by listening to the lyrics: Crawling in my skin, These words, they will not heal; Fear is how I fall, Confusing what is real! Just by those lyrics, Everyone can tell that Chester was abused in some way, but this song really reaches deep inside of me!
  • Kelsi from Ionia, MiWOW i did not know Chester was abused.
  • Amey from Zion, IlAccording to Wikipedia (the online encyclopedia) and several other resources, Chester Bennington's childhood involved accounts of sexual abuse (to let everyone know, it was not caused by his family, but from people around the neighborhood). The song "Crawling" features a girl about seventeen or so being hit by her father because of the bruises on her forearms, along with the shudders caused when he touches her. It relates to Chester's past, where he also had experimented with cocaine, so after the rush he knows the feeling of breaking down. He and the girl are linked together, not to show a relationship of any kind except that they have pulled through some similar times. As when the girl (Katelyn Rosaasen featured in the video) is looking at herself through the mirror, it perhaps shows her mother. Either her mother was placed in a rehab. center or she is deceased, it wasn't shown. People that tend to want to hide themselves try coping methods, which include a piercing here and there, and usually very heavy or no make-up, which is why after the girl is abused (although not specifically shown, but is highly correct)she cries black tears. They ARE NOT bloody tears, for the information in this episode linked to Linkin Park (with the addition of Chester's GF commiting suicide) would not make much sense unless his GF was being abused. But of course, no one can really say the reason, can they? The crystal featured around the band and the girl represents everything falling around them, like a bad depression and what slick and mirrory blade of ice (which I think is what the crystal really is)is every pain inside. And when the ice begins to melt and fade, everything is all right again and the girl can leave her father and return to something new.
  • Kenny from Ubly, MiLinkin Park's guitarist doesn't know how to properly play his instrument.
  • Takashi from Tokyo, JapanThis song is about Chester's girlfriend. The events in the video are what happened to her in real life. Plus lt's face it: THEY ARE BLOODY TEARS. I have the "frat party at the pancake festival" DVD and There's a clip (cut from TV) where her father cuts her by her eye( right before the chorus is repeated for the last time). Chester's GF commited suicide and it didn't show that in the video. See, the band is in a chrystal room (excuse my spelling) because Chester is having a flashback.
  • Kayla from Rancho Cucamonga, Caum "dude" from texas - its DAVE "Phoenix" Farrell. and when have we ever heard brad play bass? we know he can... but hes the guitarist man... anyways... i agree that the girls troubles in this song might relate to chesters past. the video definitely gives us insight into the meaning of the song and i see abuse and when i think if abuse i think of chesters painful past......
  • Corey from Dothan, AlI've noticed that "Mercedes" comments on alot of things.

    The way she types is extremely annoying.

    Don't You Think So?
  • Mistik from Sydney, AustraliaThis songs really emotionally saddening and just sad really, this is one of my favourite LP songs alond with One step closer and Faint, these lyrics are deeep and disturbed, "against my will i stand beside my won reflection" i think, chester's talking about his addiction with heavier stuff and feeling the way he did . "how i can't seem to find my self again, my walls are closing" thats like the emotions you feel when you're in the state he was in. sad.. but i love the film clip, cold and dramatic.
  • Missy from Riga, EuropeWhen I see this video, I can really relax. I think, that girl feels sad and cries black color. She's lost in herself. And that man is trying to wake her up! Or she has sexually transwested girl and now she's trying to forget all that or something like that. But Chester looks very pretty in that video. Girl is beautiful too. Oh... I just started to dream!
  • Mercedes from Portland Yah!, OrI Think Its About SomeOne Just Shutting Down And Feeling Insecure About Themselves And They Wear A Mask To Hide It I Dont Think Its Much About Abuse Just Becuz The Video Has A Girl With A Black Eye....But Its More Like Someone Who Hates Themselves With No Respect For Themselves And Think They Dont Have A Purpose And They Were Hurt Not Abused But Hurt By Someone Like A Bully Or Parent That Made Them Insecure.....And there Confused About Why They Feel This Way towards Themselves But Thats Just me And How I Got This Song...This Is My Fav Song When Im Sad And Im Think Im Gonna Do Something Stupid I Put This Song On....Its Not Like I Dont Agree With U Guys But Thats Just How I Got The Lyrics But I Could Go On So Bye
  • Kelly from Liverpool, Englandi think the girl in the song reflects chester because chester was a victam of abuse also
  • Josh from Reading, PaHeather fruita, what DVD had that video? I cant seem to find any Dvds with linkin parks videos, just the cds.

    Like I said, this song has multiple maenings, what you interperet from it depends who you are.
  • Josh from Reading, PaThere is a true storyline to this song, its written a post or two below me (The guy/girl didnt leave a name) but I think we can all find a meaning in the lyrics chester sings. My interpretation is that the girl is actaully older and leads a life of ugliness and sin, and her life begins to lose its meaning and her fears and despair (The crystals) begin to close in, at the end, she finds herself and recovers her hope, breaking the crystal and smearing the mask of makeup (Which represents her life before, which was filled with ugliness)to reveal a truly beautiful person within the shell of her past self.

    Another interpretation I have of this song is that she has a boyfriend whom she fears does not love her, but her body. but she loves him and follows him, along the way of her life she beggins to doubt even more and more that he loves her, but longing for his atention she abuses her body with peircings and covers herself with a makeup of deciet. then in the end, I believe she finds that he really loves her and when she realizes that she sheds the makeup and piercings to find and even more beautiful person that was slowly growing inside her, I believe the roses are the final prrof that he loves her.

    There are many things you can interperet from this song, I like it alot.
  • Dude from Tx, TxI actually think that Brad Delson is a better bassist than Darren "Phoenix" Farrell.
  • Hassan from Nyc, NyI really, really love this song. I do admit, that it's not a song for fun, or any exciteman,thus it is very deep, about how a girl is abused, and the guy was on drugs that almost ruined his life. It's very meaning ful, and I really think the music to this song, affected many people then the lyrics. I mean the lyrics acaully took in great stage to the song, and Themusic video was awesome. And when he says "controling, I cant see", i think it means, drugs, that are controling him,and making him feel insecure. And after he has taken it, it had confused him, and it will not heal. I really love this, considered one of my favorite songs. Linkin Park, your the best!
  • Anonymousnope its talking about being abused watch the video very closely to get it right i always do this its works but yea its about abuse.
  • Michelle from Pueblo, CoChester was never addicted to herion he was addicted to cocain as a teen but he isn't addicted to it anymore
  • Betty from Albany, NyI've heard that the song is about Chester's addication to herion.
  • Gabe from Utica, NyThis song is so cool. I love the lyrics and the guitar and the synthesiser. It's also one of the few LP songs in which you can actually hear the bass guitar. The music video is awesome. I love Chester's singing in this song.
  • Sean from Toronto, CanadaI just think that it is not fair to say that it's about abuse, since there is no mention of a second party. The music video is the director's intrepretation of the song, so it may not be so accurate, but it is a good portrait of the song's atmosphere. The song seems to be more about self-reflection ("Against my will I stand beside my own reflection.."). but that is just my point of veiw.
  • Heather from Fruita, CoIn the DVD I have on Linkin Park, you can clearly see that they're not "bloody tears" it's make up! They keep the exact type of abuse obscure, but they show very clearly that there is some type of abuse going on. Linkin Park themselves said that they write about universal feelings, something almost everyone can relate to.
  • Sara from Grand Falls - Windsor, CanadaWell after I heard about the bloody tears, I desided to watch the video. First off it her makeup...mabie blood...I dont think apears black on the video I got on the computer, shes crying upset, probally because she was beaten by her father. I think her mother is dead, if the woman she seen was her mother and she is trying to deal with all the pain, but in the end she changes and is over the pain, more happy now that change has came to the surface. Sorry about writing alot...Ill stop now :p
  • Sara from Grand Falls - Windsor, CanadaI think this song is about how people change when something upsets them a great deal. For example if someone loses someone that was close to them for sometime then they have no choice but to change who they are...
    "There something inside me that pulls beneath the surface" as in something is inside him that is trying to get out, in this case the person he will change into.
    "This lack of self control I fear is never ending" relates to the part that upsets him and makes him not think about his actions, he feels that he will never get over it.
    "Disconfort endlessly has pulled itself upon me" is refering to what bothers him.
    "Against my will I stand beside my own reflection" is where he notices what he is changing into, and he can feel himself change due to whats around him.
  • Amir Fekrazad from Tehran, Iranas far as i know, it's about a girl raped by her father.. that's why she cries bloody tears.
  • Scott Baddwin from Edmonton, EnglandIts about chesters gf who commited suicide.
  • Rabi from Zionsville, InI think you all have very good points, except for you Cody. Linkin Park does NOT write meaningless lyrics
  • Cody from Gc, KsThe song is about absolutely nothing. Like most Linkin Park songs, its just a lot of cool words that rhyme.
  • Jon from Grand Forks, NdThis song is about betrayal of a parent's love, though not necessarily about molestation.

    "Lack of self-control" Common problem in children abused physically or emotionally

    "Without a sense of confidence" and feeling insecure (see above)

    "Fear is how I fall, confusing what is real"; how can you not fear being hurt by someone when your own parent(s) can do it so easily?

    "Against my will I stand beside my own reflection, it's haunting, how I can't seem to find myself again" Someone just realized every comfidence they had in themselves was discarded out of hand by someone so trusted as a parent or other loved one. To the point they can't even face themself.

    this song should be in Psych textbooks.
  • Kristi from Ivor, VaWhat I got from this song was actually about someone with a bit of evil inside of them trying to take control. Somewhat of a split personality. "There's something inside me that pulls beneath the surface, consuming" "It's haunting how I can't seem to find myself again" "Against my will I stand beside my own reflection" Perhaps I got that cause this song felt alot like me. ~.^
  • Chronometer from Somerset West, South AfricaI personally think it's about deppression because you want to be happy, you really do, but it's there, you can't run away from it. It's eating you from the inside, where no-one can see. You know what is real, you know that people are trying to help you. But all you see is the hurt, you're "confusing what is real".
  • Holly from Pensacola, FlThis is about being malested, or raped, or hurt by someone that ruined your life, and you're reminded of it daily. "crawling in my skin", means that you can still feel that person in you, you still feel that pain, and it's creepy cause if something is crawling in your skin that's representing an uncomfortable feeling.
  • Zac from Drexel, MoThis song is about having a disease(AIDS) and being able to feel it slowly break down your body
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