Behind the Lyrics - Disturbed: "Down with the Sickness"


(Photo Credit - Disturbed)


We've all been there. Perhaps you were lying on your bed, your headphones creating a loud solace in your head. Maybe you are in your car, sitting in your driveway cranking the music to just feel something. Music is that outlet, and as we have seen in previous "Behind the Lyrics", writing to people's emotions is essential to connecting with your audience.

To highlight this, last weekend, I put on 2000s Rock Radio on Pandora, and Disturbed's "Down with the Sickness" reverberated through my head. Yes, the music is solid. The power chords, the strong drum beats, and harsh vocals all reach out to an inner feeling of anger and misunderstanding, but once again, it is the music paired with lyrics that really is what reaching audiences of all different walks of life.

Let's dive in, shall we?

"Down with the Sickness" - Disturbed

"Can you feel that? Ah, shit Oh, ah, ah, ah, ah Oh, ah, ah, ah, ah oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh Drowning deep in my sea of loathing Broken your servant I kneel (Will you give in to me?) It seems what's left of my human side Is slowly changing in me (Will you give in to me?) Looking at my own reflection When suddenly it changes Violently it changes (oh no) There is no turning back now You've woken up the demon in me Get up, come on get down with the sickness Get up, come on get down with the sickness Get up, come on get down with the sickness Open up your hate, and let it flow into me Get up, come on get down with the sickness You mother get up come on get down with the sickness You fucker get up come on get down with the sickness Madness is the gift, that has been given to me I can see inside you, the sickness is rising Don't try to deny what you feel (Will you give in to me?) It seems that all that was good has died And is decaying in me (Will you give in to me?) It seems you're having some trouble In dealing with these changes Living with these changes (oh no) The world is a scary place Now that you've woken up the demon in me Get up, come on get down with the sickness Get up, come on get down with the sickness Get up, come on get down with the sickness Open up your hate, and let it flow into me Get up, come on get down with the sickness You mother get up come on get down with the sickness You fucker get up come on get down with the sickness Madness is the gift, that has been given to me No mommy, don't do it again Don't do it again I'll be a good boy I'll be a good boy, I promise No mommy don't hit me Why did you have to hit me like that, mommy? Don't do it, you're hurting me Why did you have to be such a bitch Why don't you Why don't you just fuck off and die Why can't you just fuck off and die Why can't you just leave here and die Never stick your hand in my face again bitch Fuck you I don't need this shit You stupid sadistic abusive fucking whore How would you like to see how it feels mommy Here it comes, get ready to die Oh, ah, ah, ah, ah Get up, come on get down with the sickness Get up, come on get down with the sickness Get up, come on get down with the sickness Open up your hate, and let it flow into me Get up, come on get down with the sickness You mother get up come on get down with the sickness You fucker get up come on get down with the sickness Madness has now come over me"

The first line really sets us up - "Can you feel that?" Think about it. When was the last time someone truly, actually asked you how you are? I am sure I wouldn't be surprised, but saddened to learn, many of us do not remember an exact recent time. This song starts with a question - pulling out of the listener - "CAN YOU FEEL THAT?" The strong beats resembling a throbbing headache or pushed-down feelings crawling up.

Psychology has shown us that the best way to make sure someone is listening is to ask them a question. The human brain wants to react to questions, so Disturbed made a very clever move in the very beginning.

Now, depending on which version you listen to (radio edit or original), you are lead to make some assumptions on what is happening to our narrator. The line "You've woken up the demon" alludes to a traumatic event snapping our narrator into "madness". This song is a cry for help. It is a warning that without truly prioritizing our neighbors and our own trauma we will fall to pieces. All within a rockin' musical set.

The question still remains - How do you respond when you hear - "Can you feel that?" Until next time.

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