Yes, the song IS about James' life! | Reviewer: Anonimous | 5/22/10

This song is about James Hetfield's life.
I can prove it with simply explaining the lyrics.
"New blood joins this Earth and quickly he's subdued. Through constant pained disgrace, the young boy learns their rules"
-this means James is born, and soon his parents (who are in a special Christian cult that does not believe in medicine but only in prayer) subdue him to their own religion, even though he knew better. They didn't allow him even to go to P.E. in school, that's why kids bullied him and named him an outcast.
"With time the child draws in, this whipping boy done wrong, deprived of all his thoughts"
A whipping boy is someone who gets all the blame, and that was him. The kids blamed him for being different, and it wasn't his fault. But, unfortunately, he had to get used to this cold and cruel world.
"The young man struggles on and on he's known
A vow unto his own, that never from this day, his will they'll take away"
-When he grew up, he decided to completely reject his parents' religion, as it has given him nothing but hell.
"What I've felt what I've known never shined through in what I've shown"
-Whatever he believed in when he was a child never got out of him as his parents never allowed him to ever express his feelings.
"Never be, never see, won't see what might have been"
-His mother died of cancer because of this religion, and James is wondering whether medicine could have saved his mother's life.
"Never free, never me, so I dub thee unforgiven"
-He labeled his parents as unforgiven, because of his forever tamed feelings, emotions, thoughts and his mother's life that could have been saved.
I do hope I cleared it out for you :) song is amazing...

umm you guys? the unforgiven 1 n 3 | Reviewer: Jon | 5/20/10

ok guys there are alot of untold or symbolized things in the music industry but one thing is that this song is formed to have a few sides. first of all in the unforgiven one he isnt talking about himself even though he says he is you see the message is different from the story which is different from the reason for writting this.the story is of a person who so badly wants to be famous or with this group or to be known, which can be interperated different ways like, as a person wanting to be in the music industry but has to conform and play by the rules set by the industry.Or it can be seen from any stand point in climbing your way to the top, because on your way there people will try to change you conform you and manipulate you so when you get to the top you are exactly what the industry wants you to be. and then you realize that its not what you wanted and you wish for your freedom and creativity back but they wont allow it.The message is dont conform or do what everyone else does be yourself or youll lose sight of what you actually wanted in the first place and "die regretfully", i know souds totally different from the song but think about it real hard yknow listen and think how it fits. but what i belive is the reason for this story is they know somthing most dont and they are talking of what "this" has done to cliff burton, yes i know how he died but im just sayin maybe it wasnt an accident or maybe im crazy.

livingdeadman | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/2/10

I know this song, it is my life. I am sure it is others as well. I was disowned at 3 by my father, so my mother tried to get rid of me, to no avail. So they led me to disgrace myself unknowingly, to have all believe I was a disgrace. For 45 years now they have kept me imprisoned in the cage they have built for me. I have no life, I have no friends, all love I have ever had they have taken. Their lies have scorched my garden and in its place grows their hollow oak tree. I cannot win though my will I refuse to give. In my face I carry the scars of pain, in my heart I carry good will towards all. Where my life goes from here only the good powers to be will show me the way. Be glad in your cageless life and take no day for granted for freedom is only a word to me. Each day gives me life that I cannot share with others, yet I celebrate the coming of the sun and rain. It is my world that keeps me alive and free, not theirs. No, I am not in prison, I walk amongst the living, a dead man.

So True!!! | Reviewer: sumit | 2/22/10

i feel as if the story of my life is being told through this song..it sounds to real..when u rob a small child of his thoughts ...he can never think properly by himself..he becomes silent and gets into depression..others exploit him..his silence is his weakness..this bloody world sucks...a child should be taught to dream..to freely express oneself..let him live his life

The real meaning? | Reviewer: Makiavela | 2/19/10

Well, for you all to know, this is like poetry (it IS): there's no real meaning, just leaves us to try and understand it.

I could say this song is just telling oneself how many mistakes they did, but they can't go back and correct them, can they? So what they do is seek for their own forgiveness.

However, it'd mean something different for Tom or Bob. It's quite abstract, you see.

So the only thing we are left to do, is stop burning our brains trying to figure this out, because we all are right in our assumptions of the meaning there (save for those who quote the entire song, that is), and just enjoy the wonderful rythm and accoustic sounds The Unforgiven I has by kilograms.

( Smile, life is funnier than you think. :D )

What I know | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/22/09

What I know is what it is;
I'm sure that after reading the review many have felt different responses, What I felt was that as long as people can discuss something than that something lives and that mixing of poetry, philosophy and ideal of what it can be, makes a wondering of all. Therefore it is.

Metallica forever | Reviewer: Travis Bush | 9/30/09

You guys are all wrong, the song is about a boy, and society is trying to tell him to live his life a certain way, and he vows, that never from this day his will they'll take away... which means he will live hi life the way he wants and not listen to the rulles that they tell him to obey, but as you get into the unforgiven 2, this boy has become a bitter old man, and hes gone his whole like, and is beginning to give in to society, because his whole life has been a fight, from the words of James himself... search what Unforgiven II is about..

The Unforgiven | Reviewer: MusicalHistory | 7/14/09

WOW I'm flabberghast like this is a real word... fuck man you all listening to rap music or what.... this song is based on the whipping boys through history... man ... guys read up your H-School history you guys must be illeterate OR SIMPLY DROPOUTs. anyway prefer big time real songs that made music what music is today... man you guys really suck big time lol. go back to Africa YOYO man!

Never! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/4/09

There is an adult pondering upon the past, never me, never free. Intertextuality. The Raven by Edgar Allan poe. Label me, so I dub thee unforgiven - (Disgrace,) I repeat what you say, you are unforgiven, I repeat it, Unforgiven refers to me, never free.

Many of you were close.. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/1/09

The true meaning of this song is the following, as said by James. Doug was close.

Well James grew up in a VERY religous family, and like doug said, they sheltered him from life. They were very strict and made his life hard. Eventually his sister got cancer, but his parents didnt beleive in modern medicine, and didnt bring her in for radiation. his parents are THE UNFORGIVEN for letting his sister die.
"You lable me, I'l lable you.. so I dub thee unforgiven"
They lable him as one of those mega religous kids and after all the hardship this has caused him, he decides nto to forgive them, and lables them THE UNFORGIVEN.

The Unforgiven II and III | Reviewer: The Rogue | 5/11/09

I disagree with Orion, if you listen to The Unforgiven II and III, you hear him say " How can I blame you when it's me I can't forgive?" so I think it's that he's changed himself and can't forgive himself for it.

Orion | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/6/09

I hear.... the story of a man who became something he is not. He regret's his life, and that is the point of regret, is that you cannot forgive yourself for the things you should or should not have done.

individual | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/6/09

born,put down and down learns the rules of society keeps himself in no expression.They punished him and he vows they will never change him through all he has lived through he has never shown what he could be no one will ever see he will never show who he could be.In his eyes they are unforgiven.They try harder to break him he tries to let them be happy with the lie they have created and he is pissed because he still has not broke free from the chains of people trying to control his life. He fights and fights for freedom but freedom he never gets he see's it and no longer cares he dies the same as he started.

About the meaning of Forgiveness | Reviewer: Janne Räsänen | 4/30/09

Forgive me, forgive me not, forgive me, forgive me not. Why can't I forgive me?

Forgiveness is asked from someone. When you ask yourself for forgiveness, who is there to give it?

This song is the sound of one hand clapping.

Really, if you relate everything what they say in this song in the terms of buddhism, you can express everything told in it.

I understand why many feel that they can relate to this song. This is the reason why many people see the "meaning" of this song in different light.

The meaning, as I see it, is simple. The song has lots of questions that have arisen in the mind of men in all eras of humans. They all boil down to simple question of "why".

In my (buddhist) view, the answer.. well, let me phrase it like this:
I don't know the answer.. I don't even know what the question is!

That is the answer.

Guys, guys! | Reviewer: Zero | 4/21/09

Stop all the fan in-fighting. Do you think anyone writes a song like this for it to be taken 100% literally? Of course not! It's for you to interpret, like poetry; so that everyone may gain meaning from it. Unless you are the actualy lyricist, stop speculating on what it's about, and just enjoy it! :)