Sanitarium Lyrics - Metallica

Review The Song (89)

Welcome to where time stands still
No one leaves and no one will
Moon is full, never seems to change
Just labeled mentally deranged
Dream the same thing every night
I see our freedom in my sight
No locked doors, no windows barred
No things to make my brain seem scarred

Sleep, my friend, and you will see
The dream is my reality
They keep me locked up in this cage
Can't they see it's why my brain says “rage”

Sanitarium, leave me be
Sanitarium, just leave me alone

Build my fear of what's out there
Cannot breathe the open air
Whisper things into my brain
Assuring me that I'm insane
They think our heads are in their hands
But violent use brings violent plans
Keep him tied, it makes him well
He's getting better, can't you tell?

No more can they keep us in
Listen, damn it, we will win
They see it right, they see it well
But they think this saves us from our hell

Sanitarium, leave me be
Sanitarium, just leave me alone

Just leave me alone

Fear of living on
Natives getting restless now
Mutiny in the air
Got some death to do
Mirror stares back hard
kill is such a friendly word
seems the only way
for reaching out again

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do this don't do that | Reviewer: HellzWind | 8/26/13

Do share your stories, they're most interesting. Let those goody two shoes never tell you what to or not to do, what to say or not to say, what to think or not to think or what to or not to feel! Life is your own motherfucking precious piece of experience so if You feel like it, spill your motherfucking guts out like Metallica do! Just be a man about it, ya know what I'm saying. Grow up don't let such things as asylums put you down, your soul is eternal!

I grew up on Metallica when I learned to rebel, but figured out soon that rebellion is of not really of any usefulness! Roll along with reality , enjoy every second for this mortal life 'will' be over before you know it. Sanitarium, let me be!

Music is for your own interpretation | Reviewer: BrPeat | 4/5/13

Bands make music which is of, especially in the case of Metallica, a very high standard. The songs and lyrics come from the writers own emotions and experiences. The greatest thing about music is that every individual has their own interpretation of the music. That is what makes it great.

Great song, a lot of inaccurate reviews | Reviewer: anonymous | 11/6/12

Ok, first of all, most of you that are you are so much more knowledgeable to the meanings of the lyrics than everyone else because you've been to a mental hospital, are probably lying. Second of all, James didn't even go to a mental hospital himself, so he was "ignorant" to the meaning of the lyrics as well according to your assertions. In my opinion, he just wanted to have a song that touches on a deep subject so it would be interesting. So, please stop bragging about how bad your fake experiences were and how much more you understand this song than everyone else. The lyrics are pretty straightforward, and I think this is one of Metallica's best songs, so do it some respect and make some good reviews.

? | Reviewer: asvtx | 10/14/12

Metallica write music, not poems. To assume the story is entirely in the lyrics is to assume a female is always being honest when she says "don't worry about it".

If you 'must' know the lyrics to a song, your not listening to the music enough (or listening to the wrong music). The lyrics are generalized, most likely to try and project the most general version of the emotions of the writer at the time. We can never expect to understand what he truly meant, so please do not dictate a lyrics meaning, rather share what they mean to you.

To me, the lyrics provide only context. The story is in the music, not the words, and that is exactly why I like Metallica above all others.

If you truly love Metallica, you owe it to yourself and them to do one thing.
Find the most comfortable seat in your home.
Remove absolutely every light source visible from that seat.
Play 'Metallica - Call of the Ktulu' (I personally much prefer the S&M version) at the perfect volume (entirely dependent upon you).
Embrace it.

Consider vocals as another instrument, like a guitar or the drums, the words will only alter what you truly want to feel.

The meaning of the word "Sanitarium" | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/17/12

A Sanitarium is just a nice word for nuthouse. If you've ever been locked up, because people thought you were insane (like me) then you understand what this is about. Mostly people who get locked up in a Sanitarium are perfectly sane, but in the "healing" process they get insane. Sanitariums drive people insane instead of healing them.

pure hell | Reviewer: Ivles | 7/7/11

Seeing as how I just lost my husband, my interpretation of this song has changed so much... Time now stands still. I cannot leave. Everything stays the same while everyone around me says I'm simply depressed. My dream of freedom takes me back to before he died. This is my reality and it's infuriating.
Life without him scares the hell out of me... moving on... the thoughts of I cannot do it while everyone tries to stuff pills down my throat to make me better and all it does is piss me off. But to all, I must be better b/c I get out of bed and go to work and function each day.
They know the truth, yet continue to think they're saving me from this hell of a life.
The entire last part of the song is pretty self explanatory when thought of this way... fear of living on. Mirror stares back hard... if only people knew who I saw when I looked in the mirror... it's not me. Not anymore. Seems like the only way for reaching out again.
I love this song. It was my husband's favorite. How ironic.

jail,death | Reviewer: jeremy | 5/15/11

if you have ever bin threw the corections system you know what this song is all about they put you in a cell with bad people and when you get there you got to put on a face you got to look out for your self not trust any one and watch your back all the time and you start to become one of them thats why long time cons become like they are judge tells you in nice words your a peace of shit you get your early release but you got to go to a rehab center were they say your anger is destroying you your drinking is killing you and they put you on meds then when you do get out you never really leave the system you will be back on some bullshit violation it changes you for the rest of your life if you wernt crazy before all this when you leave you will be

Ignorant | Reviewer: Justice | 12/4/10

So many ignorant claims about this tune. Until you expeiriance being told theres somthing wrong and hidden away and handed off, it will never be fully understood, when its been proved by professionals that your fine, and your told otherwise by the same people, violent use brings violent plans. Being held in the cell and being fully fine, and someone shows you a freedom and changes your life, thats what the song is about,GET IT RIGHT!

Amazing | Reviewer: Amazing | 11/15/10

Love the lyrics. I love how the lyrics explain how this man thinks he sane and that the people taking care of him thinks that they're doing him well but insuring him that he's insane as such when he THINKS that he's completely sane.

The whole song is reversed by the last part, "Got some death to do
Mirror stares back hard
kill is such a friendly word
seems the only way
for reaching out again"

It is clearly not a sane thing to kill to get out of the asylum or wherever he is, and it's just great how the last part of the lyrics turns the whole thing round.

Amazing. Could you believe that James was probably drunk when he wrote this?

Markus | Reviewer: sdgfsdf | 8/18/10

if i ever im in a war hope not, i´ll listen sanitarium because it express the shit that happens in war, as the point of view of a soldier imagine WTF I KILLED FUCKING GUY JUST FOR MY SHIT OF COUNTRY
but theres no choice... moon is full never seems to change, as the face of the dead man

Welcome Home (Sanitarium)...Lyrical Analysis... | Reviewer: Mars Barger | 6/1/10

First...I'd like to say that this is My Absolute Favorite Song by /METALLICA\!

I believe the "Moon is full...never seems to change." is referring to Lanthrocopy (Werewolf Syndrome) as a metaphor to Schizophrenia. Seeing how the Moon is ALWAYS Full...The Mental Patient is in an altered state of one of his multiple-personalities from which he cannot change back. The "Full Moon" is the effect of the cumbersome atmosphere of the Sanitarium and the condemnation of the psycho-analysis the patient has to endure, which is further provoking the altered state and inducing rage, which in turn provokes more psyco-analysis...causing more Physical and Metaphoric "Locked Doors" for the patient as he is pushed further into the "bowels" of the Mental Facility and Mental Health System. Basically...A Downward Spiral from the moment of check-in.

The "Keep him tied, it makes him well...He's getting better, can't you tell?" lyrics are the perfect example of the ignorance of the mental health staff who use irrational and overpowering means of control to "Cure" the patient. When a patient is tied down for exhibiting rage...he fights...realizing that it's pointless to fight, the patient schemes to "jump through the hoops" by mustering a fake calmness and acting out submission. The staff, in all of their ignorant glory, think they've actually helped the patient who is now exhibiting rational behavior.

The "No more can they keep us in..." lyric is two-fold...It means that the patients will rise in revolt to escape the Sanitarium physically, but also means they will no longer hide their "True-Selves and Individual Thoughts" through faking "Rational Behavior".

The Lyric, "Mirror stares back hard..." tripped me up for a long time. I always heard, "Mirror stands like God...". I have permanent Tinitus (a low volume of high-pitched ringing (tones) in the ears) which distorts or causes me to hear words and lyrics differently. Maybe I just hear what I want to hear...not sure. LOL. Either way...the lyrics basically meant the same to me.

Advice for anyone who ever finds their self in this situation. Save face and commit to the fake "Rational Behavior" upon check-in. You can always stalk the bastard that gave you that Thorazine Shot on the outside!

Welcome Home (Sanitarium)...Lyrical Analysis II... | Reviewer: Mars Barger | 6/1/10

After reading a bit more of the reviews...It seems that some people are misunderstanding some of the basic lyrics.

Someone said that it doesn't seem like a mental institution at all, because of the "No locked doors, No windows barred...No things to make my brain seem scarred."

That lyric is a part of "Dream the same thing every night...I see our freedom in my sight" verse...meaning that he Sees the Freedom of having No Locked Doors, No Windows Barred, his sight, which is what he "Dreams" about every night...Escaping. I think the part about "Dream the same thing every night..." means he may be having reoccurring nightmares, but he "fantasizes and schemes" about escaping.

The actual title of the song is "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)". They named the song "Welcome Home", because it's damn near impossible to get a release from a Sanitarium once you've been committed. They put Sanitarium in parentesis so the listener would know it's about being in a Sanitarium...Not a Physical War OR War within one's self. If's a War against the System and Societies idea of what's normal.

The second verse..."Build my fear of what's out there...etc." is talking about how the mental health staff (i.e. Psycologists, Psychiatrists, Orderlies) are SUBLIMENALLY reinforcing the patient that he's safe from the perils of the real world (i.e. Pathogens, Airborn Viruses, as well as, Social Dysfunction, etc.) while in the Sanitarium and he definitely needs to be "cured" of insanity and thinking errors. Sanitarium is derived from Sanitary...meaning clean from foreign contamination...both physical and mental. Sanitary comes from the root word: SANE. However, "Cannot breathe the open air..", is more of an expressed desire to be outside.

Also, someone mentioned that the lyric, "Natives getting restless now..." could be referring to Vietnam. The "Natives" are the Mental Health Patients who are becoming weary of their mis-treatment and incarceration. The main character has spread his Plan of Revolt ("mutiny IN THE AIR...", "No more can they keep US in...Listen, Damnit..WE will win...")amongst the other patients ("Natives") which will become a "Mutiny" against the staff. "Got some death to do..." refers to killing the staff in order to escape.

The last lines in the lyrics can be double-bladed. "Mirror stares back hard..." is simply just that...Staring at his self long and hard enough, for the purpose of self-analysis, that he developes acute psychosis.

Finally, "Kill is such a friendly word..." refers to psychosis induced desensitization in the form of embracing murder...not only as a means to procure freedom, but as a solution to any and all future social dysfunctions (Seems the only way for reaching out again.), but I can see where it could also mean suicide. Imagine staring into a mirror while experiencing acute psychosis and the only word in your mind is "Kill". Suicidal and Homicidal thoughts go hand-in-hand during psychosis. However, I lean more toward the homicidal side in this case, because the music that follows sounds like a murderous rampage...

my thoughts | Reviewer: chris | 1/27/10

i think as a metallica soldier and watchin and listening to metalica since i was 10 yrs old starting out listening to johnny cash this is one of my favorite metallica songs.when i listen to this song it makes me think of how i am my own institution and we are our own hell its cool how each person thinks or relates to a song

Sanitarium | Reviewer: James | 1/15/10

many people have said that they just picked up on the awesomeness that envelopes Metallica; weather it be Larz smashing the drums,Trujillo with his monkey brads beating the hell out of the bass, Kirk killing the serious riffs on lead, or (last but not least) James Hetfield spinning the tails of dream land. I however have grown up with Metallica. My Uncle Dan used to play/sing it for me as a lullaby. It soon became my security blanket and my parents had to play it on cassette for me to fall asleep. This was in 1991

So um... thanks for your life story.

Your point being....???????

Did your uncle touch you at night in naughty places?

ANYWAYS... Fav song by metallica by far. Awesome guitar solos, sick lyrics, and I somehow relate to this song (sorry no life story here).

sanitarium | Reviewer: steponit | 12/29/09

it doesn't always have to involve the extremity of an asylum or serious illness, this song provides one of the most sympathetic and motivating encouragements that has ever been afforded to those in a battle within themselves.. just take the energy and use it in ur favour!!

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------ 11/22/2014

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