More mellow than previous Linkin Park songs, this seems to be about someone thinking about a friend who is suffering, most likely from depression or a physical illness. He talks about how sometimes it is easier to just stop trying, even though everyone wants you to push onward. Life isn't nearly as simple as it seems, and sometimes giving up is the best solution.
The song has a very melancholy tone. Chester Bennington has the only vocal part on this, and he sings about how "the shadow of the day will embrace the world in grey and the sun will set for you." This is where he is talking about how eventually, everything ends. To dust you shall return (that's where the world is embraced in grey; death is here and you're going back to being the dust of the earth). The sun sets, the day is over - your life is done. The shadow of the day refers to what happens when a person dies - only their memory is left. Their memory is the shadow of their life. Shadow of the day.
Suggestion credit: Kay - Chicago, IL, for above 2
Guitarist Brad Delson in Kerrang! magazine: "This was probably the most difficult arrangement to nail. It sounded very derivative at first but then we kept replacing different elements on it. We put an acoustic guitar on it, then an electric banjo and then a marimba. It's definitely one of the best songs we've written."
This won for Best Rock Video at the 25th annual MTV Video Music Awards. Joe Hahn directed the video, and lead singer Chester Bennington thanked him when he accepted the award, saying: "This award really goes to him."
Deb from OregonMy daughter lost her life as a passenger in a pickup truck accident. She was 18 years old and had just graduated High School. I remember she always listened to Green Day music and Linkin Park music. She was a country girl and listened to a lot of country music also. Anyway she liked the Shadow of the day song. It was one of many songs we played at her Celebration of Life event. A few months after that event I was going through some of her things. She always liked to draw and doodle different things. I found a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of copy paper with her short name artistically written with pencil in big fat letters in the center of the page. This song Shadow of the day was written across the page line by line on the page but not within the letters of her name (just around each letter). She had then colored over each word with a green marker only half way down the page. It looked like she just never finished coloring it in. It actually looks good unfinished. So I framed it. My point is, I just wanted to find out why she chose this song to doodle around her name and also am searching for meaning(s) behind the song. In my search it brought me to this site. I do agree that this song can very easily have different interpretations, meaning and value to each individual that listens to it and reads the lyrics. To the writer!!! I'd give anything to have conversation with him. I like Linkin Park, this song is so special to me. I listen to it quite often. After loosing her I have a whole different perspective of life. It is a bit mind blowing to me, how life experiences and to the end, roll......messages? coincidences? I really think there are great comments on here and I do appreciate them!!!! I will never know all the answers I am looking for and I am OK with that. Thank you
Taylor from You Wanna Know? Well... No..., WaRory... LP is the greatest band ever. They make the greatest songs I have ever heard.
Brandon from New Britain, CtIt actually kind of sounds like how my relationship went, "sometimes solutions arent so simple, sometimes goodbyes the only way" it really wasnt gonna work... the sun sort of just set on our relationship... no real surprise. In cards and flowers on your window, your friends all plead for you to stay (its weird because her friends really thought we should've stayed together, and "sometimes beginnings arent so simple" easy to see how that could apply. i just find it humorous that my perspective is so far from everyone else's but, to me still applies perfectly to this song
Zero from Nowhere, NjOne of the few LP songs where Chester plays rhythm guitar on. Another one is Iridescent.
Emily from Chicago Area, IlThank you, nate. Thank you a million times! That is exactly what the comments are for: to name and discuss the different and personal meanings to a song. I'm glad someone else finally realizes this... anyway, this song to me seems to be about someone seriously considering ending their life, but his friends are begging him not to. I like to listen to this song when I'm in a dark mood.
Nate from Crystal Lake, Iland to me, this song relates to how i get depressed, and suicidal, and it seems that the only way i can be happy, or make anyone else happy, is to die, but my friends are all there for me, telling me not to. now, quit saying "what it means" and start telling "what it means to YOU".
Nate from Crystal Lake, Ilthe way i see it, this song is simply another exceptional song by a wonderful band. as far as the meaning, Mike Shinoda said, and Chester Bonnington agreed, that most if not all, of their songs have a different meaning to each person. Mike wrote a song when chester had his drug addiction, and for three years after that, chester couldnt sing that song on stage cause he would cry, as it reminded him of the mistakes he'd made. now mike on the other hand had a completely different take on the song. they both admitted that they want each song they make to be special to everyone for one reason or another, even if the reason is completely different from the one they had when writing it. quit trying to pick apart every song you hear. it may mean something to you, and something completely different to someone else.
Wilson from Sapulpa, OkThis song reminds me of the hours sitting in a hospital ICU with friends and family waiting for my wife to die. That end was inevitable. Sometimes goodbye is forever.
Thomas from Surabaya, IndonesiaThis song has a strange piano or synthesizer after Brad's guitar ends, it's located approximately on 4:19 until 4:49. The video clip of this song doesn't include this sound, maybe Mike Shinoda wanted to make a transition between "Shadow Of The Day" and "What I've Done", instead of just silence.
Uzoma from Kano, OtherThis song is so so like wit or witout u by U2 yet so so sweet!
Uzoma from Kano, OtherThis song is so so like wit or witout u by U2 yet so so sweet.
Emily from Around Chicago, Ilthis IS really simalar to with or without you! whatever, it's a good song anyway
Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnI have to agree this song is similar to With or Without You, the guitars especially.
Mandy from Pa, Ski think the songs about leaving period...suicide, bad situation or maybe even emotional drama. all i know is its a good song. I try not to over analyze these things because only the writer knows the true meaning.
Landon from Winchester, OhThis song is most diffidently about the inevitability of death, and how when someone's time comes, there's nothing left to do except get ready to leave. Although the tone is very slow and dark, pretty depressing, they fit perfectly with the heartfelt vocals and truthful words. Linkin Park has made a huge change in their average sound since this album was released. But they're still a really good band. This song was inspired by death, but can probably fit for many other subjects that are significant to their listeners.
Kitty from Montreal, QcSuicide! definitely!
Larry from Staten Island, NyJudging by the video, I think the "Shadow" is America and the "Day" is other countries where there's war on their land everyday.
The "sun will set for you" means there's hope that there can be peace around the world....and that America doesn't have to be one of the few countries living without wars everyday on their own land....theres hope for other countries.....
Laurenn from Vegas, CaMy interpretation of the song: I think this song is about suicide. For example, as other people have mentioned, "your friends all plead for you to stay" could be representing telling the suicidal person not to commit suicide. However, the person singing the song to "you" (says you in the song), understands. He's saying "sometimes goodbye's the only way", like somtimes the only way to live is to die, the only way to be happy is to be dead. He's also saying "the sun will set for you and the shadow of the day will embrace the world in grey", like the sun will set, days will go on, even if the person dies, but the "shadow of the day", or the death, ending of the day, or death, "will embrace the world in grey", will affect people and mourn "you". He's saying that you're not going to cause the world to end if you commit suicide, but the world, or the people who knew you, will of course feel saddness. Even if people try to convince you otherwise, you still feel that goodbye/suicide is the only way.
Elmer from Zamboanga, Philippinesevry song of LP has a meaning..dats wat makes LP a unique band of all d bands in d world...even d screamo band doesnt win....cn any1 tell me abt the whole lyf of chester???wikipedia doesnt xplain all
Courtney from Salt Lake City, UtI completely agree with what songfacts describes this song to be. I have been in a dark depression before and tried and tried and tried to find the way out, but in the end, I just had to let life take it's course. It's difficult, but sometimes there really isn't much you can do. Also, the love of my life just got married to another woman and absolutely broke my heart...Listening to these lyrics give me peace of mind.
Yusuf from Durban, St. HelenaA brilliant song no doubt: I think he is talking about a situation that has no answers or solution...
Cristina from Long Beach, Cathis song is so kool...#1 requested song on KROQ..... dis is the only kool song of linkin park....
Annmarie from High Bridge, NjCmon people...Its a good song...just leave it at that...
Julian from New Jersey,Clearly this song is all about being ok with the fact of letting go, not giving up. Linkin Park is all about emotion and mostly positive stuff, they are saying accept a defeat and admit your mistake and let go
Claire from Las Vegas, NvA freshman at my school committed suicide, and I knew his sister. It was kind of like a reality check for me since no one I was connected to in any way had had anything bad happen to them before. I listed to this song for him. It describes the event very well.
Kayla from Cumberland, Rithis is a really good! I love Lincoln Park!
Stephen from San Pedro, CaThe song seems to be about the trouble in the world as a whole, and not specifically Iraq. Especially since the music video appears to be in a European location.
Janatha from Houston, TxThis songs to me means that you should let a person go......example when you have a love one on life support and you know that all hope is gone. Or when a love one is suffering painfully and your friends and family are crying at the hospital yelling DONT GO! WHY!....i think the song is saying just let go.
Steven from Las Vegas, Nvok Ryan u make a good point and you're right we were acknoleledging and I don't know about Francesca but i'm sorry that was not my intention
Mindi from Mansfield, OhDoes this song even have a meaning? Maybe it is whatever you want it to be.......I wouldn't think too hard people, it has like 4 lines of lyrics and the rest is the chorus.
Sapphire from Denver, Cothis song is depressing! Its pretty much telling you to just give up! thats not true!
Stephen from Denver, Coryan wtf. this has nothing to do with bush. linkin park just write songs bout alienation and depression not politics
Kristen from Saucier, MsThis song sounds like its about someone who is going to commit suicide and their friends know they are. "Your friends all plead for you to stay." It sounds like they are trying to convince the person not to die.
Ryan from Largo, FlI'd just like to point out some things semi-relevant to the conversation. First, rory, if you're going to try to persuade people to your point of view, you need to actually lay out thoughts and evidence.
Second, steven and Francesca, by acknowledging rory, you're giving him just what he wants: to stir up trouble and emotions.
Third, and most relevant, the music video for this seems to indicate a violent riot somewhere, which makes me think the song has some political undertones. The sun that is setting could be a reference to the end of George Bush's presidency. And it seems that the treatment the rioters were receiving could, if people were sufficiently angered, set off nation-wide rioting.
Steven from Las Vegas, Nvrory shut up Linkin Park aint no emo band next time get your facts straight before u go and talk trash about them
Briana from Greensboro , NcI think he is talking about someone who is dying. "Pink cards and flowers on you're window"= When you are in the hospital people leave you gifts. "You're friends all plead for you to stay"=not die. See? Yep.
David from Newtown, PaKay from Chicago wrote an actually intelligent description. I appreciate the work done. It helped me alot. thanks
Rory from Melbourne, United Statesemo eemo emo emo emo emo emo emo emo emo emo emo emo emo
Joy from Melbourne, AustraliaSeems loke its talking about someone thats going to commit suicide, 'sometimes goodbye's the only way'