Would?

Album: Dirt (1992)
Charted: 19
  • Know me broken by my master
    Teach thee on child of love hereafter

    Into the flood again
    Same old trip it was back then
    So I made a big mistake
    Try to see it once my way

    Drifting body it's sole desertion
    Flying not yet quite the notion

    Into the flood again
    Same old trip it was back then
    So I made a big mistake
    Try to see it once my way

    Into the flood again
    Same old trip it was back then
    So I made a big mistake
    Try to see it once my way

    Am I wrong?
    Have I run too far to get home?
    Have I gone?
    And left you here alone?

    Am I wrong?
    Have I run too far to get home?
    Have I gone?

    And left you here alone?
    If I would, could you?

Comments: 57

  • Kitten79 from Portland, Or Would was not about Layne’s addiction. Jerry Cantrell wrote it for Andrew Wood from Mother Lovebone. Get it “Would” And “Wood” Andrew Wood died of a heroin overdose in 1990. Cantrell wrote a lot of songs that AIC sung, as did Layne but not every AIC song is about laynes addiction. Takes 2 seconds to do some digging as opposed to spreading internet rumors.
  • Seattle Mike from Seattle WaCome visit Seattle sometime, there is literally nothing to do here for 9 months out of the year. It rains every f--kin day from October to June or longer. The clouds smother you and feel like a weight on your soul. So yeah the music that comes outta here is heavy and depressing cuz that's what life is like here. Why do u think we are famous for coffee? It's not cuz it's sunny and beautiful all day. It's cuz we're friggin tired and cold from workin in the dark in 40 degree down pours. It's also why you get so much great music and art from here. When your stuck inside you tend to find hobbies to fill your time. Heroin unfortunately happens to be one of them. And Beantown Brian, these song lyrics are based off the death of there friend. I don't know a ton of sanguine music about death. And nobody could or should ever get heroin out of this town or it's music. It is a part of our culture. Kinda like how cocaine is part of the culture and never leaving Miami. Heroin is the Pharmaceutical Doppelgänger to the Emerald city. It's like asking why does bubblegum punk sound so cheerful? Or why is cotton pickin blues depressing? Or why is Peruvian flute music so Peruvian and flutey? Cuz that's the life and environment they were dealt and they're expressing there feelings about there situation through music. Either way it's good because it's human expression right? If your not a fan of this albums sound check out Jar of Flies it's acoustic and much more blues/jazz. Still fairly depression and heroin based lyrically, but a much more mellow clean sound. It's slightly funny and ironic now that the biggest AIC ripoff band was from Boston and named themselves after an AIC song that literally says heroin in the title. U could always put some good old 90s groups from Boston on. Cuz you had the amazing sounds of bands like New kids on the block, Bel biv devo or Maaaaky Maaaaak. Funny when I listen to that s--t I actually want to slit my wrists!! Oh and do u think the AIC song Queen of the rodeo is about heroin? How bout them apples?! Oh sorry Hope I wasn't to haaaaad on ya.
  • Ed from RenoMy very fave song of all-time....sounds equally as good now as it did when released.
  • Branden from Orange Park, FlMan I seen alice in chains live at Metro Park great song live man...my moms friend did a amazing job with this song in his local band...
  • Kathleen from MarylandMy favorite Alice in Chains song. Ever.
  • Luke from Manchester, United KingdomBrian, boston - What a completely misguided and blinkered approach to music you have. Just because a song is depressing it doesn't mean it's always going to be about heroin and that everyone who listens to it has to slit their wrists.
  • Ryan from Abingdon, VaWhy does everyone always assume that all Alice in Chains songs are about heroin?
  • Kenne from Phoenix, AzHere is what Jerry Cantrell said about Would?, “I was thinking a lot about Andrew Wood at the time. We always had a great time when we did hang out, much like Chris Cornell and I do. There was never really a serious moment or conversation, it was all fun. Andy was a hilarious guy, full of life and it was really sad to lose him. But I always hate people who judge the decisions others make. So it was also directed towards people who pass judgments.”
  • Chris from Saugus, MaBrian from Boston I have to agree with you. Well I don't really like "happy" music that much this can often times get to be too depressing. Oh and Man in the Box is supposedly about animal cruelty (still a depressing subject but not as depressing as heroin). I still listen to Alice in Chains from time to time because I like their dark atmoshphere in their songs but I can't listen to them a lot because they an be too depressing. At the same time I think most people listen to it to get rid of their pain. Sometimes music can help soothe the pain of somebody. Negative*Negative=Positive right?
  • Jimmy from Hastings, New ZealandI'm not a junkie but for some reason i identify with AIC.
  • Eric from Richmond, VaIn the 1970's I had a older friend by just a couple of years. I was still a relative child and I watched him destroy himself from a number of drugs. When my mother showed me his obit in the paper I remember how sad I was. I never got a chance to say goodbye.

    I always think of him when I hear this song. Thanks Layne and RIP!!
  • Brian from Boston, MaDid Alice in Chains have any songs that were not about heroin?No seriously I want to know.How much of this can anyone listen to?This is absolutally miserable music. Why is that there were so many heroin deaths and heroin addicts in bands in the early 90's? I reaize drugs have always played a role in music but it just seems to me that the "heroin" music of the 90's was darker and more miserable than anytime before or since.I listen to music for pleasure.No I don't think music has to be about "happy things" but what pleasure is there in listening to dreary droning guitars and someone telling you how miserable they are?.Life can be depressing enough why would anyone want their music to be too? Also in other songs that talk about drugs the songwriter is usually descibing the pleasure of that drug.Weather it be an intense LSD trip or a mellow pot smoking experience.If heroin is as s--tty as described in these songs why would anyone one want to try it in the first place? I always thought people did drugs because they enjoyed the high.Don't get me wrong I listen to a lot of music that was drug influenced.The difference being I don't to slit my wrist after doing so.
  • Matt from Houston, TxThis is badass. love how cantrel does the beginning lyrics on this
  • William from Pheonix, AzWould is one of the best songs by Alice in Chains by far
  • Stephanie from Riverside Ca, CaThe song would? to me is a metiphor. My interpretation its about a relationship with two people how are using drugs at least the last part of the song seems to me that there taling to someone. Anyway this is what i feel their saying Know me broken by my master( Herion ) . Teach thee child of love here after (Hooked first time using. So i made a big mistake(Relapes) Try to see it once my way (accept it) Im i wrong? the end seems to be asking have i hurt you to much for being addict. If i would? ( stop using ) could you (stop using) i left a post on lyric interpretation as well about this song. There is a lot more to it then it seems. You have to listen to it not just here it.
  • Paul from Croydon, Paone of the best grunge songs I've ever heard - one might even say a masterpiece. The beautiful dark, haunting harmonies with Cantrell and Layne just sends me. The deep, driving base and guitar work later in the song pushes you to the edge. Nothing else like it in the world of rodk. God bless and RIP Layne Staley. We are saddened not only in your early loss, but in what treats would have been in our musical future that only you knew. Peace.
  • Jane from Austin, Txthe thing i liked most about alice in chains (layne staley era) was that when layne sang you could feel his pain as he was singing these songs. Nirvana, I never could get. Kurt sounded like he was one of those whiny people that goes around moping and saying, "my life sucks, i'm so bored i'll write a song and make a million off of my woes." Puh-lease!
  • Leighann from Buffalo, NyI only wish i would have seen them when the were together and instead i wasnt as into them then as i am now. Im 28 and in 92' I was thirteen so thats my only regret. I am almost obsessed with him because i feel his lyrics and music and i just wish there was something I could have done to help him. I also use and when I listen to his music it makes me want to even more, like its ok or something...thats f'd up I know.
  • Austin from Smallsville,new England, --The line "If I would could you" means(in my opinion" that the narrator is questioning someone else that if they were in their shoes would they have done things better of differently.
  • Kermsit from Plainfield, IlThiis sung is about Andrew Woods off Green river and also was about Staleys dad and how staley made the mistake of him doing heroin like he did!
  • Elie from Antelias, Lebanonwould?talks about layne's mistake which was being heroin user like his father was and it's clear INTO THE FLOOD AGAIN SAME OLD TRIP WAS BACK THEN SO I MADE A BIG MISTAKE TRY TO SEE IT ONCE MY WAY
  • Brendan from Vermontville, MiKurt is just as cool as Layne and they both changed the grunge seen forever
  • Stefan from Stara Pazova, YugoslaviaLayne Staley is probably THE BEST singer of the 90's,and AIC one of the most original bands...Of all the grunge bands,most of my respect goes to AIC...
    R.I.P. Layne...
  • Jeff from Austin, TxLayne Staley was Wayyyy cooler than Kurt cobain!! the only reason people idolize Cobain is because he blew his head off when his band was still in the spotlight. RIP Layne
  • Mark from Twin Cities Metro Area, MnSo many of the talented singers from the Grunge era are dead. It's very sad. They seem forever locked in that period of time. I always wonder how they would sound had they survived. I was a child of the 50's and 60's and grew up loving the Beatles,Elvis,Led Zeppelin and the Who. Most of the 60's English invasion bands and Bands like the Byrds and CCR. It's strange to look back and think John Lennon was frozen in time at 40 years old. I was 27 when he died. I am now 13 years older than he was when he was shot. It's just strange to look back and remember all that has happened in those years. So sad all the lost talent. Like Pete Townshend once said " Rock is like a huge raging inferno except it's fueled by the bodies of his friends". A good assessment by one who knows.
  • Tamara from Jacksonville, FlLayne's fiance Demri Lara Parrott did not die of a heroin overdose, that much is clear. She died of endocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart valves caused by bacteria. While the bacteria can be introduced into the bloodstream by dirty needles, many other things can cause it as well, including dental procedures (did you ever wonder why dentists give patients days of antibiotics before performing certain procedures? That's why).
  • Dortez from Mesa, AzI think i get it now...i think ii understand about the drugs and the "Master". hmm interesting.
  • Erin from Tulsa, OkThis is one of my favorite songs by them. Jerry Cantrell was a true musical artist, up there with Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. Honestly, this defines alternative/grunge music. I'm so glad Layne convinced Jerry to do the intro because Layne as we all know, has the most amazing beautiful voice this earth has ever known-- but Jerry has such a deep, melodic harmonizing, intro voice as well. Its so perfect when they sing together, or just alone. RIP Layne!!
  • Ryan from Las Vegas, NvWould? is the quintessential "alternative" rock song of the era. I would rate it right next to Smells like tean spirit. What is so much more powerful about Would? is it forshadows Layne's death so accurately, who could have known 12 years later L.S. would die a lonely death in Seattle. Listening to Would? performed on the unplugged album is even more haunting. In fact, L.S. wore fingerless gloves probaly to hide the needle marks on his hands.
  • Talha from Lahore, Pakistanthis song probably is the soundtrack of the "cotemporary punk rock / grunge " era, i'd pick this over "teen spirit" on any day of the week,AIC are atrists in the truest sense, idont know why poeple undermine the song by sayin: "ooh...just another drug song",besides 2 me:all nirvana songs sound monotonous,they did'nt have half the versatility of wat AIC had
  • Kevin from Sandy, UtMTV sucks, what would they know about music? all they play are reality shows that are only watched by teenagers who are dumb enough to believe MTV is cool.
  • Toni from Vienna, AustriaThis is surely one of the greatest rock songs. And every year at about april MTV Europe is kind of celebrating a Kurt Cobain memorial day and the whole time no one, really no one ever mentions the name Lane Staley. It's such a shame MTV!
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI thought Layne died in 2001. Or was it 2002?
  • Jay from Long Island, NyI know this isn't really on the topic of AIC or the song, but I'm seeing so many references to singers that are/were great vocalisits, thatI had to throw in this glaring ommission from the list -

    Chris Cornell of Soundgarden & Audioslave!

    Hands down, this guy is the GREATEST male rock vocalist of all time.
  • Grant from Stoke On Trent, United StatesJerry and layne were great, i will love alice in chains until the day i die... i think that layne did reflect alot on his life...but like any other great artist he woz famouse which means he wanted you to feel...when he shouts 'IF I COULD WOULD YOU?' to me that means put urself in my situation... if i would stop would i?
  • Kevin from Castaic, CaThis is one of the best Alice in Chains songs that I think has ever been made. Perhaps even the greatest grunge song ever. When it comes to grunge, I have much respect for Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana, but it pisses me off when many will remember Kurt Cobain on the anniversary of his death yet leave out Layne Staley.
  • Mike from Sonora, CaWhat can I say about Alice In Chains? Its so apparent that they were the most talented band to ever come out of Seattle. Laynes voice was so beautiful and angry. Jerrys guitar playing was phenominal and his voice was made to sing with Staley. The bands influenced so many huge bands that are around now days. I hope Staley is at peace now, this is his 4 year anniversary today.

    Would is such a great song! Gotta love that bass line. " Did she call my name?? I think its gonna rain.....when I die!"
  • Kevin from Calgary, CanadaThis song is not just about going into rehab. It's about going into rehab and failing. But I firmly believe the song has a second meaning, or even many more: It has dark undertones and was indeed an ode, of sorts, to the MLB singer. "If I would, could you?" Could mean "If I could die, could you?" Or alternatively, "If I would quit, could you?" Food for thought man. But hey... I'm just a little drunk and high.
  • Ed from Melbourne, Australiayeh mother love bone was pearl jam's original band with out eddie and mike mcredi, pearl jam did a secret song on lsot dogs for layne
  • Bob from Jimbotown, OhThe song is for andrew wood of mother love bone an early seatle band its for andrew and says IF I WOULD die of an overdose COULD YOU sing a song for me and layne and his girlfriend demri both died of a heroin OD but layne asked that her death was called a medical term which i forget.
    A mainstream and well know band did sing a song for him called layne but its not a good song more of a good try and respected effort, it didnt realy have anything to do with layne except his name was in it.
  • Matt from Braintree, Malayne did have a girlfriend.. her name was demri.. she died of a heroin overdose in 1996? i think.. layne and demri were so close.. i think thats one of the reasons layne just shut down

    oh and by the way layne and kurt [cobain ] died on my birthdate///// april 5
  • Jaime from Londonderry, OhOne of the best songs ever. I still get goose bumps when I listen to it.
  • Elysia from Hamilton, New ZealandYeah D, I agree. My list of best, most powerful voices to the beautiful world of rock/metal are: Maynard, Ozzy, Axel, Bon Scott, Layne Staley, Jim Morrison. Okay so Ozzy and Jim probably aren't overly powerful, but so unique - you'll never hear another voice like either.
    What a shame AIC aren't and weren't given the recognition they so deserve.
  • Jim from Troy, MoI read that this song was written about a guy in another band that died of an overdose. I don't recall the guys name though.

    Clearly a song dealing with drug dependancey.

  • Elysia from Hamilton, New ZealandThe MTV Unplugged show is awesome. It's just really sad in some bits seeing Layne singing; He looks really broken and seems to want to hide the obvious signs of addiction his face. Will never ruin his beautiful, powerful voice though.
  • D from Many, Ma>>yeah i know. they are 2 of the best vocalists i know along with maynard james keenan from tool and royston langdon from spacehog. <<

    Throw in Axl Rose and John Lennon and Jim Morrison...
  • Andrew from Harrisburg, Paphil you are spot on, they are so underrated
  • Tom from Berlin, MdIn response to "Polish, Crap-Hole, Poland", if Staley never resorted to using drugs, then Alice In Chains probably never would have been what it was.

    The thing that sets Alice In Chains apart from other grunge bands though is their vocals. Both Cantrell and Staley have excellent voices, and their voices mix and harmonize so well. If anyone here does not have the MTV unplugged album go get it. Now.
  • Phil from San Jose, CaAlice in Chains was in my opinion the best of the Grunge bands. They showed real talent on multiple album's. Cantrell showed he could write, and well Layne a true original vocalist, in a time of blandness.
    I embraced Alice in Chains because so many bands are so popular with no real talent or originality, they obviously were the exception! As with so many other greats Layne died way to soon, a tormented soul lost. And to top it off they are underated?
  • Tif from Ny, NyLayne was beautiful and didn't deserve to live life the way he did. He was dying for years and he didn't want real help. He needed a guide like a girlfriend (like me) to take him in and do drugs with a limit. He didn't know his limit and he loved drugs more then anything. We'll always miss and regret Layne's death..
  • Everett from Providence, RiI began listening to them when Layne died; my friend had a college radio show and played them for an hour straight, my fav band since then. supposedly theyre doing stuff with the lead singer from damage plan. I've heard Chris Cornell was Wood's roommate.
  • Polish from Crap-hole, PolandWell, I have to say...Alice in Chains is like my favorite band, next to Nirvana and STP...I love their doomy, sad sound; its what makes them unique...I just wish that Layne had never resulted to drugs and drinking...RIP LAYNE!
  • Steph from Ottawa, CanadaA great song, full of powerful imagery. It's amazing that Nirvana became so popular while these guys never achieved the same cult status.
  • Don from Spokane, WaThat was a very touching comment, Lorri. I "used" for about 15 years, but finally decided to stop before it killed me. I met a wonderful woman and have been clean for at least a decade now. I hope things are going well with you guy's struggle. It was very tough for me, but well worth it.
  • Lorri from Elk Grove, CaI always knew my husband was "stuck again" when I heard this song playing...he identified with the pain Layne Staley felt and the words of the song so strongly it was like his way of telling me baby, I'm using again...DAMN I don't want to but I am and I need HELP ! Listen for stuff like this people..in your family, friends, loves...doing so saved OUR lives...he's in rehab...and this time with God in his heart....he's done for good and not going out the way Layne did...Rest in Peace Layne, I wish you had someone to listen to you....
  • Ben from Clemmons, Ndyeah i know. they are 2 of the best vocalists i know along with maynard james keenan from tool and royston langdon from spacehog. but i noticed the connection of gossard and amet from pearl jam who also starred in the movie singles which was the release of that song after 'dirt.' pearl jam cant act. and AIC was the best live show i saw in my life well after tool. sorry .
  • Brian from Paoli, InCantrell and Stayley harmonized so well, sometimes you don't even realize their harmonizing it just sounds so perfect.
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