The Unforgiven II

Album: ReLoad (1997)
Charted: 15 59
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This is a sequel to their 1991 song "Unforgiven." Both songs start with the same extended note. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • The boy in the video is the same boy from the first "Unforgiven" video. In the first one, he was about 8 years old. In this one, he's about 14.
  • This was written by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Nick - Paramus, NJ, for above 2
  • Metallica have rarely played this live. The song was first aired during the band's December 1997 performance at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. Metallica performed the track live for the second time ever on May 29, 2015 at the Rock Im Revier festival in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Comments: 61

  • RyanI think it's "we share this pair o' lives" rather than "we share this, paralyzed"
  • John Williams from Ireland I reckon it's about his Mother's passing
  • Jess from JapanMost of these comments are talking about the man murdering the woman but I don't think so.
    The best thing about songs is that you can interpret them into your own circumstances. So i will give my mine and maybe I'll help you understand thia song better.
    So in this song he finds a lover who makes him feel better.. she soothes his pain. He opened his heart to her after she assured that she is honest but slowly he realizes that she is not who he thought but still loves her. It may not be the perfect relationship but they are trying to make it work.
  • Edward from College Station, Texas UsaMetallica came up with winners in Unforgiven I and II, but I just couldn't relate to number III for some reason.
    In I and II, I came from a home life during my formative years until my early 20's and when I got out of serving my military obligation [6yrs back then] the family tried the same crap. That's when I decided to slowly just not care any and realized that I was ok, but they viewed me as "Unforgiven"and finally later in life I dubbed them all "Unforgiven". Like I said I could really get into the lyrics. These two songs are like a Grand Opera of my life, LOL. Storm On and keep up the excellent work. Later, ej
  • Jarrad from Johannesburg South AfricaOnly once you've faced your own demons and forgiven yourself will the light break through your dark world. If you don't deal with your own s--t your s--t deals with you. Love this song! Love and light members.
  • Chet from CharlotteAlso, big ups to Kelton. You def nailed it, & broken it down in a simple enough way. ^_^
  • Chet from CharlotteLooks like most of you at the top of this comments section are on point. I want to point out the unique way they talk about the boy & girl understanding each other. So often when we (as the general western culture population) say, "I understand you", what we really mean is, "I hear/comprehend what you're saying". I think that's why James, Kirk, & Lars use "the me" & "the you" instead to delineate what they mean from what has become common usage of "understand me/you". They are talking about the boy & girl's identity here, so the boy is saying, "if you can understand who I am, then I can understand who you are", which is a much deeper level than the common usage I've pointed out & still deeper than just having similar experiences. It's more about being open & capable of understanding a person, with no judgements, biases, etc... because you care more for the person than any of those things and it doesn't matter what they've been through or the scars they've borne from their past.
  • Dionisio from San Jose, Costa Ricakelton, pittsburgh, - Congratulations, difficult song to crack. Nailed it on the head. I would just add regarding

    (What I've felt
    What I've known
    Turn the pages
    Turn the stone
    Behind the door
    Should I open it for you?

    *about him contemplating letting this girl have his heart)
    The obvious reference to the first song, What I've felt
    What I've known is nothing, but what the control institutions wants the unforgiven to know and feel, which encompass his regrets. And is also a heavy burden, repetitive and heavy, a rocky page of the same tragedy. The old man dies alone, unable to forgive the unforgiven (killing the only flame of hope, actually and literally in this woman that says the words, but dont shed the light. Revealed as another unforgiven that defines the subject, because they all are unforgiven because no one can forgive the other. This matrix is fueled by the hate of regret, prison hate, the self loathing of letting be controlled, hating when wanting love as diabollicly is stated in sad but true
  • Jake from New York City, NyThis song is a perfect fit for a character in a story I'm writing, it's loosely based off the Monster Hunter game series:
    The character is a man who lost both his parents, then met the love of his life. However, she sacrifices her life to save his friends and his lives while battling a powerful dragon. He then goes 5 years in the shadow of grief, as he puts himself at fault and cannot forgive himself(thus, he's "unforgiven"). Then he meets another young girl, who has her own demons. He is conflicted, and this song would be a sort of theme for a flashback of sorts.

    First I imagine the new girl speaking with him.
    "Lay beside me
    Tell me what they've done
    Speak the words I wanna hear
    To make my demons run"
    They reveal each others internal demons to each other.
    "The door is locked now
    But it's open if you're true
    If you can understand the me
    Then I can understand the you"
    His grief is the door. She is on the other side. If they learn to understand each other, maybe the door will open(his grief will end).

    This time, he is speaking with the ghost of the girl who died.
    "Lay beside me
    Under wicked sky"
    The setting of this flashback is the memory of her death, an eternal storm.
    "The black of day
    Dark of night
    We share this paralyze"
    Both his days and nights have been darkened by her passing.

    "The door cracks open
    But there's no sun shining through
    Black heart scarring darker still
    But there's no sun shining through
    No, there's no sun shining through
    No, there's no sun shining"
    His grief opens up into anger, which is darkness. It hides the rest of the world to him(no light from the sun), as he is too absorbed in the darkness of his pain and anger.

    "What I've felt
    What I've known
    Turn the pages
    Turn the stone
    Behind the door
    Should I open it for you?"
    This is directed to the new girl in his life. He is trying to forget what he has felt and turn the page on his life. He is wondering if he should let her into his life.

    "What I've felt
    What I've known
    Sick and tired
    I stand alone
    Could you be there
    'cause I'm the one who waits for you
    Or are you unforgiven too?"
    Back to the past girl. She would also feel regret, for putting him through this. He always waits for her, for her memory. But she cannot forgive herself, just as he cannot.

    "Come lay beside me
    This won't hurt, I swear
    She loves me not
    She loves me still
    But she'll never love again
    She lay beside me
    But she'll be there when I'm gone
    Black heart scarring darker still
    Yes, she'll be there when I'm gone
    Yes, she'll be there when I'm gone
    Dead sure she'll be there "
    Again, the past girl. The memory of her death, that he always relives, will no longer hurt her, as she is dead and gone. She loves him, but being dead, she cannot love again.
    When he dies, perhaps he will meet her spirit?

    Chorus was explained.

    "Lay beside me
    Tell me what I've done
    The door is closed, so are your eyes
    But now I see the sun
    Now I see the sun
    Yes, now I see it"
    At the end of the memory he knows she is dead, and his grief returns. The sun shines as he comes back to the present, and realizes he needs the new girl to help overcome his sadness.

    Oh, what I've felt
    Oh, what I've known
    I take this key
    And I bury it in you
    Because you're unforgiven too
    He has left his "key" in the dead girl. The key symbolizes his joy, love and emotion. When she died she took those things with her. But her spirit is sorrowful and cannot forgive itself for the pain she caused him. Not until he accepts what has happened and that it wasn't his fault.

    "Never free
    Never me
    'cause you're unforgiven too
    Oh"
    Pretty much the same as above. He cannot be free until he learns to love again and how to forgive.

    That's my attachment to the song.
  • Jake from New York City, NyThis song is a perfect fit for a character in a story I'm writing, it's loosely based off the Monster Hunter game series:
    The character is a man who lost both his parents, then met the love of his life. However, she sacrifices her life to save his friends and his lives while battling a powerful dragon. He then goes 5 years in the shadow of grief, as he puts himself at fault and cannot forgive himself(thus, he's "unforgiven"). Then he meets another young girl, who has her own demons. He is conflicted, and this song would be a sort of theme for a flashback of sorts.

    First I imagine the new girl speaking with him.
    "Lay beside me
    Tell me what they've done
    Speak the words I wanna hear
    To make my demons run"
    They reveal each others internal demons to each other.
    "The door is locked now
    But it's open if you're true
    If you can understand the me
    Then I can understand the you"
    His grief is the door. She is on the other side. If they learn to understand each other, maybe the door will open(his grief will end).

    This time, he is speaking with the ghost of the girl who died.
    "Lay beside me
    Under wicked sky"
    The setting of this flashback is the memory of her death, an eternal storm.
    "The black of day
    Dark of night
    We share this paralyze"
    Both his days and nights have been darkened by her passing.

    "The door cracks open
    But there's no sun shining through
    Black heart scarring darker still
    But there's no sun shining through
    No, there's no sun shining through
    No, there's no sun shining"
    His grief opens up into anger, which is darkness. It hides the rest of the world to him(no light from the sun), as he is too absorbed in the darkness of his pain and anger.

    "What I've felt
    What I've known
    Turn the pages
    Turn the stone
    Behind the door
    Should I open it for you?"
    This is directed to the new girl in his life. He is trying to forget what he has felt and turn the page on his life. He is wondering if he should let her into his life.

    "What I've felt
    What I've known
    Sick and tired
    I stand alone
    Could you be there
    'cause I'm the one who waits for you
    Or are you unforgiven too?"
    Back to the past girl. She would also feel regret, for putting him through this. He always waits for her, for her memory. But she cannot forgive herself, just as he cannot.

    "Come lay beside me
    This won't hurt, I swear
    She loves me not
    She loves me still
    But she'll never love again
    She lay beside me
    But she'll be there when I'm gone
    Black heart scarring darker still
    Yes, she'll be there when I'm gone
    Yes, she'll be there when I'm gone
    Dead sure she'll be there "
    Again, the past girl. The memory of her death, that he always relives, will no longer hurt her, as she is dead and gone. She loves him, but being dead, she cannot love again.
    When he dies, perhaps he will meet her spirit?

    Chorus was explained.

    "Lay beside me
    Tell me what I've done
    The door is closed, so are your eyes
    But now I see the sun
    Now I see the sun
    Yes, now I see it"
    At the end of the memory he knows she is dead, and his grief returns. The sun shines as he comes back to the present, and realizes he needs the new girl to help overcome his sadness.

    Oh, what I've felt
    Oh, what I've known
    I take this key
    And I bury it in you
    Because you're unforgiven too
    He has left his "key" in the dead girl. The key symbolizes his joy, love and emotion. When she died she took those things with her. But her spirit is sorrowful and cannot forgive itself for the pain she caused him. Not until he accepts what has happened and that it wasn't his fault.

    "Never free
    Never me
    'cause you're unforgiven too
    Oh"
    Pretty much the same as above. He cannot be free until he learns to love again and how to forgive.

    That's my attachment to the song.
  • Mike from Ny, NyThis song makes me think of one of my best friends relationships hes really quiet not very social smokes weed. But anyway he had this girlfriend last year who well it was the happiest Id seen him and she got him to quit drinking Im in high school so its kind of a big deal then she broke up with him when he didnt quit weed and I feel so bad for him he genuinely loved her it saddens me to see it what cudve been with him now hes into some weird chick
  • Austin from Bristow, VaI came across this video of Unforgiven II on YouTube with footage of the PlayStation 2 video game Kingdom Hearts and it's sequel, Kingdom Hearts 2. The song's lyrics match the footage almost completely. Check it out, here's the linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDwptjPsVlk
  • Szabolcs from Pécs, HungaryThis is one of the most depressive songs I've ever heard.
    This is about fear, distraction, and damnation, except the song's ending.
  • Aden from Novato, Cai wrote an essay on this song for my rock band class. here is part of it:
    |
    |
    The lyrics are about a man, the same man from the first song, who was pushed around and abused all his life. "Lay beside me, tell me what they've done. speak the words I wanna hear, to make my demons run." He meets a woman who had a similar childhood to him. "The door is locked now, but it's open if you're true. If you can understand the me, then I can understand the you." he has closed himself off from the world and is considering opening up for her, as long as she is "true" and not like the rest of the world. "Lay beside me, under wicked sky. Through black of day, dark of night, we share this paradise." He believes he has found someone he can open up to, that they can be two against the world. "The door cracks open, but there's no sun shining through. Black heart scarring darker still. Yeah, there's no sun shining through. No, there's no sun shining through. No, there's no sun shining" Sunlight is symbolic of purity and safety. He opens the 'door' to his heart, but she betrays him like the rest of the world, being impure like the rest of the world. 'Black heart scarring still' is saying how when he thinks that he cannot have anything worse happen, it does. "Lay beside me, this won't hurt, I swear. She loves me not, she loves me still, but she'll never love again. She lay beside me, but she'll be there when I'm gone. Black heart scarring darker still, but she'll be there when I'm gone. Yeah, she'll be there when I'm gone. Dead sure she'll be there..." In a sudden rage, he kills her. He tries to justify it by saying that she never loved him, but he realized that she did love him even though she lied/cheated/whatever. The meaning of 'She'll be there when I'm gone' is pretty obvious; he is saying that he'll see her again in heaven/hell/afterlife. "Lay beside me, Tell me what I've done. The door is closed, so are your eyes, But now I see the sun. Now I see the sun. Yes, now I see it..." After killing her, he closes back up and sees the sun. He feels safe being alone and closed off from the world, the world is only there to hurt him. "I take this key, and I bury it in you" is symbolic of killing her for betraying him. He takes the key to his heart and buries it along with her. "Because you're Unforgiven too" is referencing the first song. In the first song, he called everyone who wronged him "Unforgiven," so now he says she is "Unforgiven too", the same as the world, out there only to hurt him.
  • Patrick from Plainfield, Nhwow kelton of pittsburgh. you nailed the meaning of this song.
  • Kelton from Pittsburgh, Payou people have no insight or any sense of perception

    the unforgiven's music video and it's sequeal match the lyrics (unlike most)

    the second song fits in between the time in the first song when he is a boy and the time when he is an old man. that is why they used the same boy from the first music video in the second one.




    "Lay beside me
    Tell me what they've done"

    *the boy finds someone.. he can relate to her.


    "Speak the words I wanna hear
    To make my demons run
    The door is locked now"

    *he wants to feel that opening himself up to her won't cause any more damage to him.


    "But it's open if you're true
    If you can understand the me
    Then I can understand the you"

    *he is willing to leave the place inside himself in order to have her...he is starting to open the door to heart up (he shut it long ago)


    Lay beside me
    Under wicked sky
    The black of day
    Dark of night
    We share this paralyze

    they share there views on the evils of this world.
    the world is against him but he wants it to be "two against the world" because he would not be alone.



    The door cracks open
    But there's no sun shining through
    Black heart scarring darker still
    But there's no sun shining through
    No, there's no sun shining through
    No, there's no sun shining

    *he ends up opening the door to his heart only to have her hurt him just as the world had done to him again and again. the sun is symbolic of feeling safe and secure and protected. The "room" the boy in the the video is in is the place that he hides from the world (it was shown in a physical sense) but it was actually a "defense" he put in his own mind.



    What I've felt
    What I've known
    Turn the pages
    Turn the stone
    Behind the door
    Should I open it for you?

    *about him contemplating letting this girl have his heart


    Yeah
    What I've felt
    What I've known
    Sick and tired
    I stand alone
    Could you be there
    'cause I'm the one who waits for you
    Or are you unforgiven too?


    *hiding from the world has left him bitter and lonely. he spends all his time with the smallest hope that someone will safe him from his hell, but his fears consume him

    Come lay beside me
    This won't hurt, I swear
    She loves me not
    She loves me still
    But she'll never love again
    She lay beside me
    But she'll be there when I'm gone
    Black heart scarring darker still
    Yes, she'll be there when I'm gone
    Yes, she'll be there when I'm gone
    Dead sure she'll be there

    *he finds that the girl was like the rest of the world. in his long hidden rage, he kills her

    What I've felt
    What I've known
    Turn the pages
    Turn the stone
    Behind the door
    Should I open it for you?

    *already explained



    Lay beside me
    Tell me what I've done
    The door is closed, so are your eyes
    But now I see the sun
    Now I see the sun
    Yes, now I see it

    he dies all alone.





    Oh
    What I've felt
    What I've known
    Turn the pages
    Turn the stone
    Behind the door
    Should I open it for you?
    So I dub thee unforgiven

    *again she was just like the rest of the world

    Oh, what I've felt
    Oh, what I've known
    I take this key
    And I bury it in you
    Because you're unforgiven too

    *he gives up. he has lost the tiny bit of hope that he had.

    Never free
    Never me
    'cause you're unforgiven too
    Oh

    *i hope you can at least guess this part!

  • Austin from Bristow, VaPretty good song off a mediocre album. But in my opinon, it's the weakest of the Unforgiven trilogy.
  • Eddie from Dublin, IrelandAnybody that thinks this song is about sex is a complete idiot. This song is about dealing with his personal demons (more than likely about a certain woman in and out of his life) and finally this woman is feeling his pain. This pain that she is feeling is helping him to finally cope with his and he can finally let it go and be at peace while he knows that she is in for a long road. "Lay Beside Me" means that she is finally feeling some of the pain that he felt. Where in the first song he was the Unforgiven now he has company in the second song, "Or are you Unforgiven Too". Just take a look at the smirk on his face when a sings those lyrics in the video. He is saying "Oh now you know how it feels to be betrayed and used".
  • Abel from Houston, TxI like this song, many of the comments remind me of something I had with a gal named Nancy, but sometimes it felt like betrayel but it wasn't, it was the situation of me(loving her), she(being my friend but never thought I was a great love for her), still I don't know what to do since I won't be seeing her anymore, I sent a friend to tell her goodbye for me and about several things because It's hard being with her because it felt like she was the cause of my anger for a while just the thought of her made me get angry and feel like I wanted to cry, I don't know if I could ever ever let her back in my life, after getting rejected by her twice I rather move on then keep on trying my friends suffering also but it wasn't that much romance involved with them. I jsut never knew why she wouldn't give me a chance but I managed to move on and my friend can't well I told him he can only help himself and the advice I have given him can help him.
  • Fsadfs from Fsdfas, AkIt is clearly about death. At the end of UNFORGIVEN I the old man dies. This song is about his passage to the other world, at the start we can see death speaking "Lay beside me, tell me what they've done" Referring to all he has passed in his life. As the song progresses, death tells him to open his heart as this is the key to his salvation (sun). What many of you pervs think is sex, "she" is referred to as death, and "This won't hurt I swear" is the passage.
  • Avarice from Newport News, VaThis song and the first one they remind me of what my brother has told me. He told me that the dragons of destruction walk among man, a long with many more hiding for what they are holding a hatred inside for man. and shown me. As he said mankind treats them differently like outcast. Anyways the girl is death the power of the dragon named Daishi, the power of black fire. The only reason he would use this is if he was fed up with man, and mankinds' way of thinking and probably stealing away his mates heart. But I have been watching the one called Daishi and his life is the definition of suffering.
  • Jake from Burke, Va"The Unforgiven" was even significant enough to have a sequel. This is it.
  • Balltongue from Vigo, SpainWell, I always thought this song was about killing a girl as most of u said, but talking to a friend i can interpretate it in other way:

    -The song could be about abouy himself trying to suicide himself. It's posible that he doesn't refers to a woman in particular, he could b talking about death: "she" is the death herself.
    He is tired, his s--tty childhood made his life a continous suffering, and also he is tired of trusting people and all of'em betrayed him, so he wanna end it all and he wanna know if she (death) will be the right choice, if he can trust her to find the peace he has been looking for by her side, or if she will hurt him again as all the others did (or r u unforgiven too?) and he is trying to know if she really would be there when he's gone (when he kill himself)... then he ends giving the key of his heart to her...

    Well, anyway i still conviced that the best interpretation is the option that he kills a woman he loves trying to end suffering, burying the key of his heart in to her (killing her with a knife maybe) looking for redemption, but it didnt work, the peace never comes, and he cant live with all these regrets (never free, never me)
  • Andy from Lincoln, United Kingdomthis is about a guy who has been alone for a long time, he meets some one who lies to/takes advantage of him,they split and he soon feels alone again and cannot take it(sick and tired i stand alone), he feels that everone eles has someone (never me)he finds a escape ((death???)) (now i see the sun)
  • Jason from Beaufort, ScAS hetfield himself said in so what the song is about forgiving no one and ending up alone
  • Eduardo from Pelotas, Brazilits about a person that he opened too but this person disappointed him. "The door is open now" he open himself up "but there is no sun shining through" was a mistake... "what ive felt what ive known turn the pages, turn the stone" trying to get over his feelings and live everything behind... "should i open it for you" should i give u another chance... "im the one that waits for you" he wount go back to her if she does not apologize to him, he is willing to wait then to accept what she has done. "I take this key
    And I bury it in you" this was the last person to hurt him and the key will be lost with this person, meaning no one will be as close as she was and his door will be closed.
  • Vítor from Guiamrães, PortugalSeriously! You're all wrong.
    As James from New Zealand said it is about death, but he is not the one killing her. It is about his mother dying early of cancer because of her Christian Science religious beliefs. (Due to his parents beliefs, James was never allowed to participate in school activities such as physical education and sex ed. He felt singled out at school, being treated like a "freak" by his classmates.)
  • Myra from Chicago, IlThis song is not about sex! Don't put the song to shame by saying that. It's about murder.
  • Fani from Avlon, Greecethis song rules! xairetismata thessaloniki
  • Katerina from Thessaloniki, GreeceI think you most of you are taking things too literally. So I would like to make it a little more metaphorical. The door that is locked mght be his heart, his emotions and is locked because he can't open himself easily. But it's open if you're true, if I think that you are genuine, you really care for me I will open myself to you. What I said above gets clearer in the 'if you can understand the me then i can understand the you' lyric. 'Come lay beside me this won't hurt I swear' telling the truth and hearing it, is many times very painful, but his time it won't hurt. Sick and tired he stands alone because no-one does or at least tries to understand him thing that makes him so tired. 'Lay beside me tell me what I've done' something from the things I said hurt you or frightened you,'The door is closed so are your eyes but now I see the sun' even thought you are closed into yourself now I feel free and i finally see the sun...
  • Rqpon from Den Helder, NetherlandsThe song is about the way the memorie remains after the door crackes open. Gone insane, that's the key, burried insight of you.
    Understand the you will be there, darkest steel, when i'm gone. To share this paralysed eqauls the student and teatcher , in witch the teatcher wanna hear the words, to male the dream a drum. The door still llooked now, but will open when you true, let me understand the me, now i understand the you
  • Justin from Ft. Luaderdale, FlWhoa, dude. That's deep, and I mean it. Awesome, awesome, awesome...
  • Chesney from Sherwood, ArI'm going to do a breakdown of the lyrics with my personal interpretation. My interpretation assumes that the first song is about a man who was abused or otherwise hurt by everyone in his life. For their misgivings, he could not forgive them, so he dubbed/labeled them the "Unforgiven." I don't think the song has much to do with sex, if anything. I believe instead that the song deals with betrayal and ultimately murder.

    Lay beside me. - He's speaking to someone he's familiar with, as he's extending an informal invitation to open the floor for conversation.

    Tell me what they've done. - The song deals with betrayal somehow. It could be that she was unfaithful to him in some manner, possibly having to do with sex and affairs. It's very ambiguous, so it could be anything. However, other people were involved. He wants to hear what happened.

    And speak the words I wanna hear - He knows what she's done, but he still needs to hear her say it. He needs to hear her confess.

    To make my demons run. - I believe he's basically saying that, "When you finally confess, it will give me the permission I need to be rightfully upset. I need to be angry, but I cannot be until you tell me everything that happened."

    The door is locked now, - There are two sides to the "door." On the side of the singer, the speaker, is his mind, his soul, his heart, and his thoughts. On the other side lies the rest of the world and everyone in it, including the Unforgiven. The "door" is the barrier he's placed between himself and everyone else to avoid being hurt any more. He wants to stay safely locked inside himself, safe behind his "door."

    But it's open if you're true. - If she's true to him, loyal and faithful, and no lies, he will open up to her, let her into his heart, to his side of the door.

    If you can understand the me,
    Then I can understand the you. - He's making an effort to work this out. He wants to talk, to understand what's going on, why she betrayed him. And he wants her to understand him, why he is the way he is. If she can try understand him, he'll try to understand why she's done whatever she's done to upset him. I believe it also has to do with the fact that she is similar to him in that she has been through similar experiences, mistreated in the same way by the Unforgiven.

    Lay beside me, - Again, this sets the tone for an intimate conversation with someone who is well-known to him, as you'd never ask a stranger to lay beside you.

    Under wicked sky. - This is a line used to convey imagery and set the mood. The mood is darkening now as the emotions are being portrayed in the song. The sky is a parallel to this.

    Through black of day, dark of night - More imagery to set the mood. Even though it's day, there's still no light. There's nothing bright to look forward to in his mind, at least not while there's this betrayal.

    We share this paradise. - I think this again alludes to them sharing similar experiences with the hurt that the people from the "other side of the door" so to speak have caused them.

    The door cracks open, - He's taking a chance and opening up to her. He's letting her in.

    But there's no sun shining through. - And he discovers it was a mistake. Instead of seeing the light he'd hoped, which represents good and peace coming in, he sees only more darkness, just like all the other times from all the other people.

    Black heart scarring darker still. - Out of all the black hearts he's witnessed in the world, he learns there is more still that he hasn't yet seen. Similar to the cliche "Just when I thought I'd seen it all..."

    Yeah, there's no sun shining through.
    No, there's no sun shining through.
    No, there's no sun shining... - Reiterates his disappointment in her, and in her not being the light he was hoping she would be for him.

    What I've felt, what I've known.
    Turn the pages, turn the stone. - Just kind of a generic set of lines. I believe it alludes to something along the lines of, "Though I may seem stoic to you, on the inside, I am very sensitive. If what I have felt, what I have known, were written on paper, there would be pages and pages to turn through. Flip to the end, to the here-and-now."

    Behind the door, should I open it for you? - He's struggling internally, wondering if he should let her into his heart. Is she on the right side of the door? Does she belong with all his other enemies, or is she really someone he can finally open up to?

    Yeah, what I've felt, what I've known.
    So sick and tired, I stand alone. - He's so "sick and tired" of being the only one he trusts and the only one on his side of his barrier. He's tired of being alone and wants just one other person he can trust and who will understand what he's been through.

    Could you be there? 'Cause I'm the one who waits for you. - He's explaining that he loves her, and that those are feelings he can't turn off even though she may not be who he hopes.

    Or are you unforgiven, too? - He's wondering, "Or are you just like all the others who've hurt me so much? Are you one of them?" Is she one of those whom he in the first song labeled as "Unforgiven"? If you observe the video, you can see in the singer's face an air of apprehension and almost psychotic rage at the mere idea that this girl he's finally let into his heart might be just like the people he hates.

    Lay beside me, - Now he's extending the familiar conversation starter, only this time, he's the one who will be doing all the talking.

    This won't hurt, I swear. - He's decided to kill her for what she has done and she knows it. She's scared, crying, and afraid. He doesn't take joy in killing her. He still loves her, after all. However, she is one of the Unforgiven, and he, therefore, cannot forgive her. His only option is to kill her for her sins. Since he does still love her, though, he wants to reassure her that he won't let her suffer when he murders her. It will be quick and painless.

    She loves me not, she loves me still, - He struggles inside, telling himself initially that she never loved him, or else she'd not have done what she did. It may be an attempt to justify his murdering her. However, he realizes soon after that she really did love him despite her transgressions.

    But she'll never love again. - But it doesn't matter now, because she's dead. She'll never be able to love again, be it him, or anyone else. She'll never do anything again.

    She lay beside me, - Note the past-tense now, indicating further her demise.

    But she'll be there when I'm gone. - Now that she is dead, both physically and inside his heart, he can leave her where he killed her, and that is where she will remain, always.

    Black heart scarring darker still, - He's now realized the darkness of which his own heart is capable.

    But she'll be there when I'm gone.
    Yeah, she'll be there when I'm gone.
    Dead sure she'll be there... - Words used to drive home the point that she is now dead.

    Lay beside me,
    Tell me what I've done. - He feels remorse for having to murder her and realizing his own heart's not so pure, either. He still believes killing her was the only option, but it's more the tragedy of the situation, that it had to be that way, rather than remorse for the physical act of actually killing her.

    The door is closed, so are your eyes, - The door, his barrier, is closed again and locked, closing out anyone else from entering and betraying him again. Her eyes being closed again reflects that she is no longer living.

    But now I see the sun.
    Now I see the sun.
    Yes, now I see it... - Which affirms that killing her was truly his only option to "see the sun" or to be free or what have you. Before, when he was alone and trusted no one, he yearned for just one person he could open the "door" for, one person he could let down his barrier for. He was consumed in his own torment with in inability to find just one person to understand him, to trust, someone to be his light shining through his door. His worls was dark because he was concentrating on the dark. However, when he took a chance at someone who could bring him light and was backstabbed, he realized that having no one from the beginning was better than taking a chance on someone and being wrong. Now, comparatively, being alone is much better, and he can see the sun, the light, and all things good that light represents. It's similar to the cliche that in the wake of tragedy, you see how good you had it before.

    I take this key, and I bury it in you. - The key in question is the key to opening the door, the barrier. He's "locking the door and throwing out the key" with her betrayal, so as to make sure no one will ever be allowed back into his heart against his better judgment.

    Because you're unforgiven, too. - He has decided that she turned out to be one of them, one of the Unforgiven. Imagine the shock of finding you had been sleeping with the enemy, someone you thought was on your side, only to discover they'd defected to the other side, a traitor. This is what I believe the song to be about.
  • Chesney from Sherwood, Ar"...and the line "lay beside me this wont hurt i swear" is kinda like the woman is a virgin and she's worried about the feeling of having sex" - Uhh, no, I don't think so. I think he's about to kill her, and they both know it, and he's reassuring her it won't hurt. "...and "she'll be there when i'm gone" is the attachment that some chicks make to the person they loose their virginity 2." Again, I don't think so. I think he's referring to her now being lifeless, which means she can't get up and go, therefore, she'll definitely be there even after he's long gone, to decompose and the likes. I think he drives the point home quite clearly when he says "dead sure."
  • Chesney from Sherwood, ArI can't believe the number of people who re convinced that the line "I take this key and bury it in you" is sexual. He's killed the girl, evidently, as the door and her eyes are closed. He feels remorse (Tell me what I've done), but he also feels it was a necessary way to finally be free (now the sun is shining through). The line, "I take this key and bury it in you" simply means "I opened my heart to you but you betrayed that. To make certain that I never open my heart up to anyone again and risk being hurt the same way, I shall bury the key to my heart along with you so that it can never be opened again (and lead to another betrayal)."
  • Catherine from Sydney, Australiai like this song but hate it too coz my ex had it on repeat when we broke up, played it over and over and over, he liked metallica and I didnt know why at the time. Well then I payed attention to the lyrics....
  • Mike from Falmouth, MaFor those of you who have seen the 11 minute movie version of the video for "The Unforgiven" he plays with a young girl whom he is clearly quite fond of. More than likely, the girl in "The Unforgiven II" video is the same girl all grown up as well. I'm not sure it's the same girl playing the role, but it's surely the same charater. It appeared as though in the first one she betrayed him in some way. After watching both videos, the message is clear. There are times when no matter how much you like, or even love somebody, in the end you may find that if you value your soul, there's no possible way you will ever be able to be with them. She's his one true love, as well as his nemisis.
  • Max from Helsinki, FinlandFrom wikipedia.org: When asked the song's meaning by a fan, Hetfield replied, "Forgiving no one and ending up alone." (The quote can be found on page 128 in "So What: The Good, The Mad And The Ugly".)

    I agree partly with James from New Zealand, and Tiffany from Henderson, NV. My view is that a boy gets neglected but can not forgive whoever neglected him, instead he dubs whoever neglected him unforgiven.
    When he grows a little older he finds someone who has gone through pretty much the same process and kills her.
    He then dies old and alone.
    Notice that in both the Unforgiven and in the Unforgiven II there is a key and a door and when he opens the "door" in the Unforgiven video the sun shines through it. That might also mean something.

  • Luke from Manchester, EnglandMarcus, Nykoping, Sweden
    - Jaymz sings "she in 'Don't Tread On Me' in reference America, countries are known in the female sense, rather like boats or cars.
  • Mia from Copenhagen, DenmarkThis song is NOT about sex. It's about the same boy we heard of in the unforgiven nr. 1. The boy who got hurt and abused by all the people he met in his life. So he dubed them 'unforgiven'. Now he's older and thinks he has found somebody to relate to. 'if you can understand the me, then I can understand the you' - 'the door is locked now, but it's open if you're true' meaning his heart is locked, but he'll open it for her if she's true. 'no sun shining trough' meaning there's no truth. he doesn't trust her. he goes trough a lot with this girl, trying to figure out if he can trust her or if she's one of the "unforgiven". at the end of the song he finds out, that he can't trust her. 'never free, never me, 'cause you're unforgiven too'- he has no ability to have faith or trust in this person. so he can never be free.
  • Zach from Carlsbad, CaTiffany from Henderson, NV, I believe, is the person who i agree with the most, I ended up with the same meaning as her
  • Eddy from San Diego, Cai am a guitar player and i have no idea how the riff is the same but played backwards!!!
  • Bryce from Rugby, NdActually "key" is not a sexual reference. But the song is about murder (so is Harvester of Sorrow) according to Jaymz.
  • Spencer from Fresno, Cawhat this song really to me seems to be about is he is hurt by a woman for the last time and is so afraid of being hurt again that he is deciding whether this girl is genuine or worth it. "the door is locked now, but its open if your true" is saying that i want nothin to do with you because all the women in my life have been fake so are you real or true. "behind the door should i open it for you, or are u unforgiven too" he is saying should i open myself up to you or will you hurt me like all the others?
  • Phil from Niagara Falls, Canadai heard that the riff in this song is the same as the prequel but played backwards
  • Mohamed from Cairo, EgyptGuys i finally knew what this song is about. its about a girl who cheated on him so he tell her *lay beside me tell me what've they done* and he want her to speak the words oto let his demons run as he want the truth from her. and when he's saying the door is locked but it's open if u true he means he wont forgive her but he might listen if she's telling the truth, figure the rest, but when he saying i take this key he is saying that he closed the door and she is unfogivn as his parets in the first song ;) thanks guys
  • Jessie from Brisbane, Australiathe song could mean so many things. first of all there is definately sex involved and there is the feelin of trust involved. i think it's about sharing your life with someone and then when they do something to hurt you, this is how u would feel. "sick and tired i stand alone" symbolises that he's sick of lies and cheating and his chick being unloyal. the whole sex things is pretty clear. "i take this key and bury it in you" is basically saying he's having sex with her and the line "lay beside me this wont hurt i swear" is kinda like the woman is a virgin and she's worried about the feeling of having sex and "she'll be there when i'm gone" is the attachment that some chicks make to the person they loose their virginity 2.
  • Tiffany from Henderson, NvHel-loo!! Please listen to the 1st song, then this one. If you have been through a hell of a childhood, and then manage to grow up anyway, don't you go looking for a life partner who will be able understand you and help set free those bad memories? Don't you usually end up with someone who has been through a similar childhood? The first time I heard this song, I understood it's meaning so clearly, and now about 100 times later, it still has the same meaning for me. This sad boy grew up, found a girl who also had a really sad childhood (unforgiven too), and is afraid to trust her, but she's also afraid to trust him. So, it is about him telling her that he is struggling to trust her and really wants to, but at the same time he trying to tell her that she can trust him. REALLY!! Yes, it's complicated, but so is that situation in reality (trust me)...
  • Marcus from Nykoping, SwedenBy the way, great song, the one that actually got me into heavy metal.
  • Marcus from Nykoping, SwedenTo Peter in Berlin: ever heard "Mama said"? Or "Don't tread on me"? In both of them, James sings "she". I'm sure there are more examples, but I can't think of any more right now... oh yes, "Sweet Amber".
  • Kyle from Lake Village, InThis song play the same notes as the song Fade To Black just in a different order
  • Rob from Perth, Australiaim still not to sure - like the song, lovw the depth of the lyrics (as has been proved i think in this thread - it can be about whatever you want it to be about - it depends on your life and what is happening in it at the moment... to those who have been scorned it is about an affair... for those who are angry with life its about misery and "making the demons run...)
    im just a little concerned about the title and the musical similarity to Unforgiven (1 i guess)... im still struggling with it 8 years on
  • Chris from Pawtucket, Rii have a little elaboration on the comment from mr. new zealand... the line "speak the words i want to hear to make my demons run" could possibly be asking for a reason to kill her... its like saying "say sumthin that will make me mad so i can kill you!"
  • Charlo from Sthlm, SwedenIn my opinion this song is about being curious about what the woman sharing your bed really feels about you. Hetfield over and over sings "Lay beside me" almost as a question, why would you lay beside me? "Behind the door, should I open it for you?" It almost feels like he is scared to know, for the chance that he means nothing to her compared to what she does to him. I always imagine someone laying next to his girlfriend at night, studying the woman and trying to figure out how their relation really is working out. "She loves me not, she loves me still, but she'll never love again" Probably a small dose of jealousy that comes with all this doubt?
  • Hildur from Reykjavik, IcelandI totally agree with James from New Zealand. That's exactly what I thought about this song.
  • Crispen from Victoria, WaWow, i listen to it over and over and i also thorght it weas about an affair, but that dude from new zealand opend my eyes! I ove metallica. :)
  • James from Auckland, New ZealandHas anyone considered that this song may be about killing the person that caused the feeling of being unforgiven as told in the original song Unforgiven? In the first verse his mind is closed "The door is lock now, but its open if your true" and then in the second Verse he wants to feel the person has changed and so listens again but hears the same torment, "The door cracks open, but there's no sun shining through, Black hearts scaring darker still". Then after the chorus James indicates that she will die "..but she'll never love again...she'll be there when i'm gone...Dead sure.." Then after the next chorus he kills her and feels the freedom he has been searching for, "The door is closed, so are your eyes, but now I see the sun" Further more I think he killed her with a knife as reference is made later "I take this key and I bury it in you" The reference to 'key' (being the knife) symbolises the opening and release of his own mind and that in killing her he is free. But he never is "never free, never me". Or have I totally missed the plot here and it is about sex like Josh has suggested?
  • Nina from Townsville, OhThis song is clearly about having trust in a woman after she did something unloyal, and whether or not she should be forgiven.
  • Elisabeth from N/a, Inlove this song
  • Josh from El Paso, TxThe song is about sex and the feelings after sex.
    "Lay beside me, tell me what I've done..."
    "I take this 'key' and i bury it in you."
  • Peter from Berlin, GermanyThe only song where Hetfield refers to woman in 3. Person. As a "she"
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