The Outsider

Album: Thirteenth Step (2003)
Charted: 79
  • Help me if you can
    It's just that this is
    Not the way I'm wired
    So could you please

    Help me understand why
    You've given in to all these
    Reckless dark desires you're
    Lying to yourself again
    Suicidal imbecile
    You're pounding on a fault line
    What'll it take to get it through to you precious
    Over this, why do you
    Wanna throw it away like this
    Such a mess, well I don't wanna watch you

    Disconnect and self destruct one
    Bullet at a time
    What's your rush now, everyone will have his day to die

    Medicated, drama queen
    Picture perfect, numb belligerence
    Narcissistic, drama queen, craving fame and all it's decadence

    Lying through your teeth again
    Suicidal imbecile
    You're pounding on a fault line
    What'll it take to get it through to you precious
    Over this, why do you wanna
    Throw it away like this
    Such a mess, well I don't wanna watch you

    Disconnect and self destruct one
    Bullet at a time
    What's your rush now, everyone will have his day to die

    They were right about you

    Lying to my face again
    Suicidal imbecile
    You're pounding on a fault line
    What'll it take to get it through to you precious
    Over this, why do you wanna
    Throw it away like this
    Such a mess, over this, over this

    Disconnect and self destruct
    One bullet at a time
    What's your hurry, everyone will have his day to die
    If you choose to pull the trigger, should your drama prove sincere
    Do it somewhere far away from here Writer/s: BILLY HOWERDEL, MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 30

  • Chrstphr Cook from TexasThe song is written in third person. The “third person” that Maynard had a conversation with is Layne Staley‘s brother. Layne!s brother could not understand Layne’s drug addiction. Maynard wrote a song about it. The End.
  • Jordan Goodwin from PekinThis song is about Layne Staley whom was the best singer of Alice in Chains. He was a friend of Maynard's and Maynard got sick and tired of seeing him strung out on heroin. Lying through your teeth again= he lied about his drug addiction. Suicidal imbical you'll think about it pounding on a fault line.=Layne said he would think about quitting but at the same time was using hardcore. I'm over this is self explanatory - Maynad was tired of seeing it. RIP Layne Staley.
  • Hannah from Gratz, PaThis song was in Resident Evil: Afterlife

    To me it seems to be from the point of view of a friend or family member, speaking to someone who is suicidal. They seem to be asking for the suicidal one to help them understand what it is about life that makes them want o die so badly. The way that the lyrics use "suicidal imbecile" and then "precious" it sounds like a best friend,
    angry, but trying to hide it by being affectionate about it.
  • Michael from Deridder, La@Jim from Rogers, AR: No. It's DEFINITELY "Disconnect and self-destruct/one bullet at/a/time" (AWSUM GUITAR RIFF) "What's your rush, now/everyone will/have his day/to die" (ANOTHER AWSUM GUITAR RIFF) "If you choose to/pull the trigger/should your drama prove sincere/do it somewhere/ FAR AWAY FROM/here" (END)
  • Ian from Chattanooga, TnThis song to me is a theme song to my sister who would act stupid and make threats and threaten to kill herself to get attention I pictured Maynard telling my sister off telling her if all your drama is sincere do it some where far away from here.
  • Danielle from Kettering, OhI love this song. It expresses my views on suicidal people. I think tht there is no reason for anyone to ever kill themselves except for certain reasons such as being blind,death and in extreme pain form something tht cant be cured. but they have to have all 3 of those or in extreme pain form a disease tht can't be cured for it to be acceptable in my opinion for them to kill themselves. This song is basically saying to me ur must be rlly stupid to want to kill urself and if ur rlly not doing it for attention then don't tell anyone ur going to do it cuz then u r doing it for attention.
  • Adam from Atttleboro, Ma I personally think that this song is about a person that is saying or threatening to kill themselves and making it very well known to everyone. Now this person may be doing this just to get attention, but the line "should you choose to pull the trigger..." insists that Maynard is saying if you choose to kill yourself stop talking about it and just do it get it over with and stop making it such a big deal its your choice don't talk about it so much and tell everyone about it.
  • Jonny from Sudbury, United KingdomI personally think that the song is from the veiw on someone who doesn't understand depression and isn't thinking of a suicidal persons feelings "over this?
    Why do you wanna throw it away like this? ...

    Lying through your teeth again
    Suicidal imbecile ...

    If you choose to pull the trigger, should your drama prove sincere,
    Do it somewhere far away from here"


  • Jonny from Sudbury, United KingdomI personally think that the song is from the veiw on someone who doesn't understand depression and isn't thinking of a suicidal persons feelings "over this?
    Why do you wanna throw it away like this? ...

    Lying through your teeth again
    Suicidal imbecile ...

    If you choose to pull the trigger, should your drama prove sincere,
    Do it somewhere far away from here"


  • Austin from Smallsville,new England, --The band performed this song on Saturday night live
  • Michelle from Dallas, TxI heard somewhere that Maynard wrote it for a member of Alice in Chains that was thinking of killing himself and after Maynard wrote the song he died a month later

    I have no clue how I got a hold of that information but I'm not sure.
  • Adrianne from The Wood, OrI agree with this quote: "Another possibility: The song is about a guy killing himself with drugs and it's sung from a loved one's view: "If you choose to pull the trigger should your drama prove sincere do it far away from here." The trigger is the needle containing the drugs and the loved one wants nothing to do with that person killing himself. (thanks, Sarah - Sydney, Australia)", but only to a point.

    The title of the song is "The Outsider", so I think that it's an outsider's view on the situation, not from a loved one's view. The outsider doesn't necessarily understand what's going on in the user's life and merely looks at his/her drug problem as just that--a problem, and not theirs, so they don't want to deal with it.
  • Frick from Colorado Springs, CoI am going to kill myself real soon, the only thing this song enlightened me with is to have the courtesy to splatter my brains all over the trees in the mountains where no one will be offended. I hate this life and everything in it.
  • Joe from Norway, United StatesI agree with Danny. It`s very sad, but it says "Straighten up. Think about it"
  • Chris from Manalapan, NjIn order to understand this song, one must read "The Stranger" by Albert Camus. Both "The Outsider" and "The Stranger" are based off Camus' "The Stranger".

    APC isn't the only band to have this existential novel as an influence. The Cure's "Killing an Arab" is also based off the "Stranger".
  • Kristene from Nowhere, TxWhen this song first came out (I think), about three, almost four years ago, I was going through a really bad time in my life, and was ready to give it all up. I had planned to kill myself one night, and had put one of my favorite songs playing on Yahoo. I wanted to die to something I liked. I know it's morbid, but its true. I sat there, and right before I finally worked up the courage to do it, this song came on. I sat for a second, stalling I guess, and I listened to it. I don't know why, but this song saved my life. Literally. I guess I realized that maybe I didn't have to do it. That I wanted to, but then again, I didn't. That maybe I was being selfish. Maybe I wasn't alone. Maybe I was just plain stupid for wanting to do it. I don't know what I thought. All I know is that for some reason, it helped me. It still does, in those hard times. Still somehow helps me pull through. Yea, I know. I'm pathetic.
  • Emily from Antigonish, CanadaThis is the actual words of MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN describing what this song means.

    "THIS IS A STRANGE," clears throat "STRANGE SONG. IT'S HARD TO EXPLAIN WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THIS SONG. I HAD A FRIEND WHO HAD SOME CHEMICAL PROBLEMS AND AH I ENDED UP MEETING HIS BROTHER AND HIS BROTHER WAS SO...OUT OF TOUCH WITH WHAT HIS BROTHER WAS GOING THROUGH. HE WAS THE KIND OF JOCK GUY YOU KNOW, HE JUST DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS OF WHICH HIS BROTHER WAS GONG THROUGH. SO THIS SONG IS SUNG FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE BROTHER WHO DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT HIS LOVED ONE IS GOING THROUGH. AND IN A WAY HI IS KIND OF INSENSITIVE AND HAS NO COMPASSION ON WHAT THIS PERSON IS GOING THROUGH AS IF THEY'RE HAVING A CHOICE IN THIS MOMENT ABOUT THESE CHEMICAL ADDICTIONS. AND ANY OF YOU THAT HAVE FRIENDS THAT ARE GOING THROUGH THAT YOU REALIZE IT'S JUST NOT THAT SIMPLE, IT REALLY ISN'T. THAT'S WHY THIS SONG IS CALLED THE OUTSIDER BECAUSE YOU KNOW THE BROTHER IS BASICALLY STANDING ON THE OUTSIDE OF AN UNDERSTANDING, YOU KNOW HE DOESN'T GET IT. SO THIS SONG IS NOT A CONDEMNATION OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ON DRUGS THIS SONG IS SUNG FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF SOMEONE WHO IS IGNORANT AND DOES NOT HAVE THE TIME OR PATIENCE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS LOVED ONE IS GOING THROUGH.
  • Alicia from Moab, UtI think this song is about a person getting frustrated that a person they love is being so self destructive. Probably with drug abuse. They want to know why this person is making such a big deal out of their drug problems. They want to know why they can't just fix it. And if they can't stop, then the person's not going to sit around and watch them kill themselves. I know that drug addiction is a disease and a lot of people can't understand why a peson just doesn't stop.
  • Kevin from Houston, TxI feel like I truly understand this song, because I've been in the narrator's shoes. If there's someone in your life who you love and care for, and want nothing but the world for (could be a friend, loved one, family member, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever) but that person turns their back on you and everyone else, despite everyone's attempts to help this is the way you feel.

    This is the angriest song I've ever heard. It's not a "Don't do it, we love you!" song. You're right. It's a "Go ahead and do it, even though it kills me and everyone around you. If we're not good enough to hang around for, and if you want to be an imbecile, just do it. I've tried to get through to you, I've tried to help. Just go away and don't come back. I don't want to hear about it." song.

    Believe me, I've been there... this song PERFECTLY describes those feelings of frustration and helplessness.
  • Rafael from Wildomar, Cai agree with interpretation that its about a suicidal person. I feel he is simply pointing out how selfish it is .. like someone said earlier .. all they see is how bad thier life is .. but if they do it .. there will be others close who would be afftected. so basically go screw yourself on your own time .. not mine kinda feeling
  • Adam from Dallas, TxIf you listen to the commentary from aMOTION, you are told (and realise) that this song is not about the addict or suicidal person at all. It's about the person who does not understand what their loved one is going through. Its the older jock brother telling his little brother to "walk it off", when that really won't help. The person singing is hurting their afflicted loved one when they think they are giving them a 'taste of reality'.

    And the song isn't about suicide: it's about addiction, be it behavioural, drug related, sexual, or anything else.
  • April from Elizabethton, TnI believe that the outsider is about a drug problem, specifically shooting dope. Maynard was friends with lane staley of alice in chains whom died from an overdose of heroin. "disconnect and self-destruct one bullet at a time, what's your rush now everyone will have his day to die" listen to the lyrics, if you have ever had a drug problem, and i have, everytime you stick a needle in your arm you are slowly killing your self i.e."one bullet at a time". What he is saying at the end of the song is that if you decide to keep up the self-destructive drug addicted behavior to do it somewhere far away from him, not because he doewn't care but because he does care and it truely is hard to watch someone you care about die from drug abuse.
  • Dylan from California, CaThis song means a lot to me because it's exactly the way I feel about my older sister. She tries so hard to get fame and attention by being reckless, depressed, suicidal, and stupid. It feels like sometimes she has this hostile attitude just to be pissed at something, but she doesn't realize she hurts other people in the process. Does she even care? She lies and bitches to make things go her way and puts the blame for her own actions on others. For so long I've tried understanding and helping her with her "problems" but I've come to a point where im just over it.

    In my opinion this is no anti-suicide song, the line "If you choose to pull the trigger should your drama prove sincere, do it somewhere far away from here" sums what I've been thinking perfectly. If she really is sincere about all her problems well she can go ahead and pull the trigger, just do it somewhere far away from here.

    I know this all sounds like me just ranting about a personal problem and has nothing to do with the song, but I'm sure if you read this and the lyrics of the song you should see my "interpretation" makes sense.
  • Peter from Ottawa, CanadaThe lyrics seem pretty straightforward and it looks like most everyone has hit the nail on the head. As an extension to these ideas, the song seems to speak to a famous person getting into a relationship with a girl who seemed sincere ("craving fame and all its decadence"), though they were warned by their friends that was not the case ("they were right about you"). The girl is such a "narcissistic drama queen", that post breakup she has actually convinced herself that it was a sincere, incredibly important relationship, and has become suicidal. The singer does not understand, saying "i'm over this" trying to make her realize that it was trivial and not a heartfelt relationship.
  • Brittany from Candia, NhOnly a few months ago, I tried to commit suicide. I went to a mental hospital and everything like that...but let me tell you, suicide is much different to the one who is experiencing it first hand. i did what i did because i felt like i had nowhere to go or no one to go to. whoever's perspective this song is sung from is, in my opinion, handling the situation perfectly. no force, no demands, just reason. that's the way life works.
  • Tasty from Canton, NdI beleive the song pertains to something like... Columnbine. his conscience tells him that fame is full of decadence. He's an outsider, he has no fame, but he craves it. He beleives that the only way to get fame is to go kill all of those who do have fame. Hence, Colmnbine. He's an outsider who's picked on by the well known preppies and jocks, show he goes and shoots 'em up. His conscience says no, don't throw it away like this, this is a mess.
  • Eric from Fort Worth, TxThe last line "Do it somewhere far away from here." matches the rest of the tone of the song. Its an anti-suicide song, but the person that's doing the talking also seems to realize that suicide is the ultimate selfish act. Its sole because the other person can't or doesn't want to cope and has no consideration for anyone else's feelings. Its done strictly with the "victim's" feelings in the spot light. So the last line is basically saying, "If you feel that you need to do it, take your selfish act elsewhere because its not fair to those here that care about you to have to endure it so directly."
  • Celticknot from Phoenix, Azif it's a don't do it, we love you song.. than why does he say at the end "If you choose to pull the trigger.Should your drama prove sincere.Do it somewhere far away from here." it doesn't really sound like he has had much impact on the other person.
  • Jim from Rogers, ArYea that sounds right, but i have been having debates about this recently, somone came up with the idea that instead of the lyrics going "Disconnect and self distruct on bullet at a time" he thinks it goes "Disconnect and self destruct one women at a time" anyone have this idea too?
  • Danny from Franklin, GaThis is an anti-suicide song. Not the usual, "Don't do it, we love you!" song, but something a little bit different. He's asking, "Why do you wanna throw it away like this even though you're miserable?" just hang on and see where life brings you. This is just my opinion, feel free to flame.
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