I’ve been listening to a particular song over and over over the past few days. I’m listening to it on repeat as I write this: Going Under by Evanescence. Not only do I enjoy the combination of Amy Lee’s clear soprano vocals with the heaviness of the music, but also there is personal meaning to the lyrics.
I’ve got to be honest: it was the attraction of the sound that first got me listening to the song. I’m not one for thinking about the meaning behind lyrics. I tend to take them at face value, interpret them literally. But when I started to notice the words here I thought about my own situation:
Don’t want your hand this time, I’ll save myself
Maybe I’ll wake up for once
Not tormented daily, defeated by you
I thought, yes, I do dream of being free from all the pressure, from all the torment. The trauma of another bout of anger. And I will save myself, take myself away from that harmful environment.
Blurring and stirring the truth and the lies
So I don’t know what’s real and what’s not
This makes me think of how many times I have heard promises only to see them broken, to the point where I don’t know what to believe, what is real. How many times I have been told what I think, what I want. And I started to believe that I must be the one at fault.
Scream at me, I’m so far away
I won’t be broken again
I’ve got to breathe. I can’t keep going under
Of all the verses this is the one that really stands out to me. It speaks of the distance I have imposed out of a sense of self-preservation, of the space I needed to be myself. Because I had been broken. And I will not be broken again. I can’t keep going under. That is why I feel such a connexion with this song.
It was only after fitting my own experiences to these words that I discovered this song was written about recovering from an abusive relationship. In an interview with MTV, Amy Lee said, “The lyrics are about coming out of a bad relationship, and when you’re at the end of your rope, when you’re at the point where you realize something has to change, that you can’t go on living in the situation that you’re in.”
That was an eye-opener because I realized all this recently: I was at the end of my rope. I couldn’t continue in that situation: I made the necessary change. I believe I can recover now that I am out of it, now that I have the space to breathe. Hopefully I’m no longer going under.