Burden In My Hand

Album: Down on the Upside (1996)
Charted: 33 40
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Songfacts®:

  • Written by lead singer Chris Cornell, this song is about a man who shot his wife, and is now living with the guilt. The lyrics "Just a burden in my hand - just an anchor on my heart" imply that he's got a guilty conscience. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Landon - Winchester, OH
  • This was the second single released from Down on the Upside, which was Soundgarden's last studio album before they amicably parted ways (they re-formed in 2010). Soundgarden didn't release their singles commercially in the United States, meaning you had to buy the album to get the song. This made them ineligible for the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but many of them placed on the Airplay chart; "Burden In My Hand" made #40.

Comments: 18

  • Marshall from TampaTo me it can apply to many things, but the author makes it clear it's his own fault. The desert is often used as the lonely place with no comforts. To me it's. about ruining Again the good in his life.
  • Ksal09 from Houston, Tx@Mario & Jerry, I think your interpretation is spot on, especially learning more about his personal struggles. The beauty and talent in Cornell’s writing allows us to personally connect with each song.

    Not only does he allow the listener to hear their own story, but he also has an amazing way of making the listener feel as if we were in his shoes, actually feeling what he feels when writing and performing.

    Whether it’s addressing mental illness, addiction, love & heartbreak, life mistakes, or somewhere in between, I feel the best musicians can make you feel it all.
  • Be Kind from Charlotte NcYah know from what I understand is Chris didn’t really do herion! He may of dabbled some but he was more of a drunk so he says …. But he didn’t follow the junkie life style or nothing….he drank n ate pills…..but Chris was brilliant, beautiful, kind, funny….and fn HOT!!! I miss him n knowing he will not be writing or singing anymore….
  • Rob from Raleigh, NcDrives me nuts. Not EVERY song is about drugs. Not ALL songs are metaphors for addiction. This is storytelling plain and simple, no different from Jimi Hendrix singing about shooting his wife for cheating on him. Stop trying to read things into it that are not there.
  • Gp from IllinoisThis song is about heroin. If you know, you know.
  • Mario Flores from Miami, FloridaI always thought the song was about trying to maintain a relationship while depressed, and feeling the guilt of pulling your partner down with you, as for the “I shot my love today... I lost my head again...” part I always thought he was doing some word play by switching the two (I lost my love today... I shot my head again). As well as the “if you live you can fall to pieces and suffer with my ghost. Idk just my take on the song, definitely didn’t put two and two together tho now reading the lyrics again it’s clear my interpretation is way off lmao
  • Jtfjr87 from AlabamaThis song speaks volumes about alcoholism.
  • Alex From Canada from CanadaAnybody notice a tight relation between AIC Layne Stanley, and Burden in My Hand and Blow the Outside World songs ? He was a fond friend of Cornell, and his last days he refused to see anyone, slopping his last years down the hard-drugs addiction. Plus the video in the desert, with the dirty hand...
  • Jerry from AlabamaReading all of these comments and seeing everyone's interpretation of what they hear is fascinating, and just shows the genius behind Chris Cornell's writing. When I hear this song, I hear a man singing about depression. Lamenting the fact that he's sabotaged yet another relationship because, in his own mind, he's unworthy of love. I may be completely off from what Chris intended the song to be, but that's what music is. It's personal, it's unintentional, and it's unique to each of us.
  • Carmen from Little Rock ArKat, couldn't agree more, ALL of his lyrics are brilliant, but these lyrics paint a picture and tell such a valid story just in that one line. And btw, this song is NOT about a man shooting his wife, come on. I shot my love AGAIN , Kill your health and kill yourself
    And kill everything you love
    And if you live you can fall to pieces
    And suffer with my ghost
    This song is about shooting heroin (in his case) or whatever the listeners' drug of choice-doesn't matter b/c what ever the drug, it always leads to a dead (dessert) and along the way, you will always run into the little piggies who have god and The moon is glued to a picture of heaven..... pure genius ! similarly: " You thought you made a man you better think again before my role defines you"
  • Zoe from Auckland, New Zealandthis song is the best song in the world to listen to when you feel everything at once, and all the drugs hit you at once. His voice is heaven
  • Kimberly from Landing, Njthe mornings close s out in the sunshine. love s held in the hands of the believers.
  • Bloodaxe from Lincoln, NeTHis song is absolutely one of the PREMIER pain Rock guilt death songs ever... and Chris NAILS it. The melody is incredible, right when that chorus KICKS IN.... "I shot my love again, will you cry for me?"

    It's more intense than the Filter's "Hey Man, Nice Shot", and the Toadies "Possum Kingdom", both based on real events and locations. Cornell's song carries an urgency to it, where the other two great songs just creep up into your mind and say "wtf!"

    Anything Cornell does is GENIUS (check "Black Sun").
  • Hebrew from St. Paul, MnMisery loves company. Period the end!
  • Nick from Seattle, Albaniathe melody of this song is friken amazing, cornell is god
  • Kat from Chicago, IlThis song is fantastic. I especially love "Where the moon is glued to a picture of heaven/
    And all the little pigs have god"
  • Sunshine from Houston, TxI love this song. The emotion he exhibits is crazy. Soundgarden forever!!!
  • Jena from Leavenworth, KsI can't believe no one has commented on this song yet. I think it's amazing!! You can almost picture this group jamming out in a garage, hoping to someday "make it big". Their sound is so fresh. I love it!
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