Metallica's "Unforgiven"

DH and I disagree over the meaning of this song. We sang it on karaoke and I had never heard it before. I thought it sounded like the guy probably killed the girl (words like “bury” and talking about “never leaving”–I forget the exact phrases–and some other dark imagery throughout). But DH says that he’s never thought of the song that way but rather thinks it about the ups and downs in their relationship. He is teasing me that I’m looking too far into this, but I am pretty sure I am right!:smiley: Am I? :confused:

“The Unforgiven?” It seems like it’s about a child who becomes an adult…and is forever repressed, and almost like a drone–where his thoughts feelings, dreams really don’t matter–only pleasing the adults should matter. That’s what I take from it.:o I could be way off base though!

I never really paid attention to the words;), I just love the music and guitar riffs:D :thumbsup:!!! I am a metal fan…what can I say:thumbsup:!!!

Ooooh, DH just informed me that I’m thinking of “Unforgiven II” but he agrees with your synopsis of the first one. :thumbsup: Are you at all familiar with the second one?

Your thread caught my eye, as a new member, I didn’t expect to find a ‘Metallica’ thread here. I’m only a ‘fan’ of 2 songs from this band, but Unforgiven seems to me to be a thumbnail sketch of the feelings and observations of a person who came into this world, conformed to the world, conformed others to this world under ‘him’ and now looks back over all of this to see where and why he is where he is now. Bitter, regretful and angry.

I didn’t see the word or reference to ‘bury’ anyone or anything when I rechecked the lyrics out. After re-reading the lyrics online, I still come away with someone (the lead singer in this case, since he is singing the song), being born, learning the ‘rules’ of this world as a child, growing up applying these rules, and starting the cycle over again, and finds himself an old embittered man who is labeled ‘Unforgiven’ for what he’s done in life and in that embitterment, throws that label back onto all around him.

The lyrics to this song:

A lesson to take to heart through the lyrical eyes of a song.
Just a thought.


Yes, I made a mistake :blush: It’s actually called “The Unforgiven II”. Confusing! :whacky:

I just found the lyrics to this song:

I think it’s somewhat of a ‘sequel’ to the first one…how do I know this? Because we are listening to Metallica at my house these days, as DD is taking guitar lessons, and One is on her menu now of new songs to learn. They are very talented musicians…I told her, I listened to this band in high school…that’s how long they’ve been around! haha;)

Ha ha! :smiley: They’re like The Simpsons of bands!

Sounds like your DD is having fun with her guitar! :slight_smile: Does she have dreams of being a professional musician?

She does…she also would like to be a professional snow boarder.:o It changes with the wind…but she is planning to become an architect–she’d like to major in engineering…just in case her band idea doesn’t pan out. I say good thinking to that.:wink:

I think the inspiration for “Unforgiven” was James Hetfield’s very repressive upbringing as a Christian Scientist.

As for “Unforgiven II” I don’t know the lyrics well enough to comment.

In Unforgiven it speaks of child who is controlled, feels like can never please, never feels he can be who is, that he is “unforgiven” for who he is. (Which is pretty much how James Hetfield grew up). In Unforgiven II this child has grown and what I take from it is that he has found a girlfriend that has grown up in the same type of family enviroment as he so they understand each other but still have to deal with their “demons” from their childhood. Ofcourse I could be projecting.:smiley:

I never took Unforgiven II referring to mean he killed his girlfriend, it’s kind of a twisted depressing love song :wink: .

Well, I guess I can see it that way. Maybe I’m just not familiar enough with their style to “get” their meaning. DH is napping right now, but I bet he’s going to be lauding it over me when he wakes up–I can almost hear the "I told you"s now! :smiley:

But next time you hear Unforgiven II, listen to it from my ears and see if you don’t agree that it could be taken another way. :wink:

I think it’s funny that most of the people replying to this Metallica thread are my mommy pals from the Parenting forum! :slight_smile: You all didn’t seem like the Metallica-listening crowd to me!

Heh heh… ya never know about us crazy Catholic mamas!

I’ve been listening to Metallica since my brother first discovered them. That’s at least 15 years…

My DH loves Metallica, too, so I have gotten very familiar with their work. There are some songs I really love, and some I could really do without. (So What comes to mind…yuck.)

That smiley ROCKS!!!:smiley:

Same here, in my case I was introduced to it by a former flatmate who was a total Metallica devotee :slight_smile:

Couldn’t agree more, some of their songs are like :shrug:

:stuck_out_tongue: My hubby introduced me to Metallica in 1989 while we were in high school. Although I did see them at the Monsters of Rock concert in 1988 but I wasn’t into that heavy of music yet. I have seen them in concert three times -the last time was in the 90’s.
Yeah, I used to be headbanger once upon a time.:smiley:

Me too. ANd I used to love the song, so I am certain that at one point I looked up the words.

I STILL Like heavy metal, even some of the newer stuff.

James Hetfield, the lead singer and usually the guy that writes all the songs, went through a lot of bad stuff in his childhood. If I remember right, his mom died when he was young and his parents were very much into the Christian Science thing, and very repressed. For much of their career, you can follow the songs he has written and somewhat understand the pain he has behind this stuff in his childhood. It drove him to drink, a lot, and have bad behaviors and habits. He did a long stint in rehab and counseling and tried to put that stuff behind him.

On the good side though, Metallica helped me through my angry years when I was in my early 20s. Fade to Black in particular was a very good song for me to help deal with my mother’s death.

IMO, Unforgiven 2 is more about two people in a relationship with hard hearts and lots of emotional scarring and baggage that they have to deal with, learn how to trust, to open up, etc. It seems to me James spent a lot of time building walls to hide his hurt and this song is about that, and how we hurt each other when we’re trying to hide our hurt and keep people from finding it.

The album that song comes from, the Re-load album, has a lot of tthose darker songs in it. I didn’t like it very much.

FWIW, So What was a cover song they did. Although they are not strangers to singing stuff to shock and suprise people. That’s what heavy metal does best, after all. And IMO, they haven’t been the same since they parted ways with Jason Newstead. I did not like St Anger at all. Ugh.

That is the funniest smiley!! :smiley: DH loves it!

OK, so I guess I was just way off base on this one, huh? :o But thanks, everyone, for clearing this up for me!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit