Drowning Lessons

Information

Drowning Lessons was originally called ‘Wish You Away’.

Meaning

Drowning Lessons is a metaphor for highlighting the way some people can never be broken. Instead of drowning and dieing, they learn how to cope with being proverbially pushed under water time and time again.
Some took this reference negatively and wrongly claimed that the band were promoting suicide in this song.
In interviews Gerard would repeatedly insist that Drowning Lessons was actually about a relationship going nowhere.
Although the meaning behind Drowning Lessons is uncertain, the lyrics seem to depict the continuous abuse and possible murder of a woman in a destructive relationship.

Without a sound I took her down
and dressed in red and blue I squeezed

I dragged her down I put her out
And back there I left her where no one could see
And lifeless cold into this well

These hands stained red
From the times that I’ve killed you and then
We can wash down this engagement ring
With poison and kerosene
We’ll laugh as we die

A thousand bodies are mentioned in the song, which could be a reference to the concept behind the follow up album Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge.

A thousand bodies piled up
I never thought would be enough
To show you just what I have been thinking

The male character on Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge brings the devil the souls of one thousand evil men in order to be reunited with his partner. The following phrase is printed on the back of the booklet:

The story of a man, a woman, and the corpses of a thousand evil men

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Lyrics

Without a sound I took her down
and dressed in red and blue I squeezed
Imaginary wedding gown
That you can’t wear in front of me
A kiss goodbye, your twisted shell
As rice grains and roses fall at your feet
Lets say goodbye, the hundredth time
And then tomorrow we’ll do it again
Tomorrow we’ll do it again

I dragged her down I put her out
And back there I left her where no one could see
And lifeless cold into this well
I stared as this moment was held for me
A kiss goodbye, your twisted shell
As rice grains and roses fall at your feet
Let’s say goodbye, the hundredth time
And then tomorrow we’ll do it again

I never thought it’d be this way
Just me and you, we’re here alone
And if you stay, all I’m asking for is
A thousand bodies piled up
I never thought would be enough
To show you just what I have been thinking

And I’ll keep on making more
Just to prove that I adore
Every inch of sanity
All I’m asking for is, all I’m asking for is

These hands stained red
From the times that I’ve killed you and then
We can wash down this engagement ring
With poison and kerosene
We’ll laugh as we die
And we’ll celebrate the end of things
With cheap champagne

Without, without a sound
And I wish you away
Without a sound
And I wish you away
Without a sound, without a sound
And I wish you away