Song Analysis – “Mr. Brightside” The Killers

[Meaning-making should begin with the title. I believe “Mr. Brightside” is an ironic title. The tone of the title is optimistic while the tone of the song is pessimistic.I will explain later in the post.]

Coming out of my cage

And I’ve been doin’ just fine

Gotta gotta be down

Because I want it all It started out with a kiss

How did it end up like this?

It was only a kiss

It was only a kiss
[Coming out of a cage is an experience with which many of us can identify. Without more context, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what this cage is. Judging by the rest of the song, I would guess it is an abusive or unhealthy relationship. But jobs, families, even countries, can be cages. The lines “It started out with a kiss/ How did it end up like this?” say so much with so few words. It’s amazing how quickly even the best of relationships can fall apart. The same person who made you feel like you were floating in the clouds suddenly makes you feel like screaming at the top of your lungs.]

Now I’m falling asleep

And she’s calling a cab

While he’s having a smoke

And she’s taking a drag

[A simple gesture – a man offering a woman a smoke – becomes a huge betrayal. Is he overly jealous? Perhaps. There is a strange intimacy about sharing a cigarette. She places her mouth where he has just placed his.]

Now they’re going to bed

And my stomach is sick

And it’s all in my head

But she’s touching his chest now

He takes off her dress now

Let me go

[Some critics have suggested the woman in this song is a prostitute. If she is, the strongest evidence is here. He watches her hop into bed with a man that it appears she has just met. If you want to argue she’s not a prostitute, you might say that these lines describe what the speaker imagines rather than what he actually sees. On the other hand, it’s so vivid (“she’s touching his chest now”) and his reaction so visceral (“my stomach is sick”) that it seems too real to be a dream. Also, you might say that she may just be sleeping with this man because she feels attracted to him – not because he is paying her.]

And I just can’t look

It’s killing me

And taking control


Turning saints into the sea

Swimming through sick lullabies

Choking on your alibis

But it’s just the price I pay

Destiny is calling me

Open up my eager eyes

‘Cause I’m Mr. Brightside

[The speaker feels distraught over what he has just seen. Perhaps he did not know she was a prostitute until this moment. Or maybe he knew, but he was so naive that he thought she would change for him. He compares the sense of betrayal he feels to a swimmer suddenly choking. There is a double meaning to “price I pay.” The price is the fee that she charges for her “services.” But the price is also the emotional toll he endures because he fell in love with her. In his misery, he sarcastically names himself, “Mr. Brightside.” An optimist always looks on the bright side, the hidden good in a seemingly bad situation. Yet the tone of everything he has just said, “jealousy,” “choking on alibis,” and paying a [heavy] price all reflect his true emotional state – depression.]

I never (x4)


, ,

  1. #1 by Tiny Lansberry on September 3, 2011 - 12:10 pm

    Last year I could dunk on people and now that I hurt my knee I can barely dunk, and my teammates don’t think can dunk in a game, I wanna prove em wrong and get back yo dunking on people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: