Story behind Metallica's "One"

Discussion in 'Music' started by Merc, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    First watch the video:

    YouTube - Metallica - One: Video

    The song was inspired by the story Johnny Got His Gun which is about a World War 1 veteran who had his body decimated by a mortar shell in the war. He lost his arms and legs, his sense of smell, sight, hearing, and taste. He was considered brain dead by doctors and was left in a hospital room on life support while he was mentally there. However, he could not communicate and was left to his own mind, a prisoner in his body who could not communicate with the world.

    One day, a nurse began noticing spasms and the doctors could not find out what it was. A fellow soldier recognized it as morse code and began to translate it. The incapacitated soldier had been saying, "K-I-L-L-M-E," over and over and over again.

    The passage that inspired the song:

    "How could a man lose as much of himself as I have and still live? When a man buys a lottery ticket you never expect him to win because it's a million to one shot. But if he does win, you'll believe it because one in a million still leaves one. If I'd read about a guy like me in the paper I wouldn't believe it, cos it's a million to one. But a million to ONE always leaves one. I'd never expect it to happen to me because the odds of it happening are a million to one. But a million to one always leaves one. One."

    I may be late to the party is learning this story, but it shook me to find out what the truth behind the song really was. I have a whole new respect for the song. I had always known it was about war but I never knew to what extent.

    Additional information grabbed from here:

    One by Metallica Songfacts
    Impact likes this.

  2. Impact

    Impact Registered Member V.I.P. Lifetime

    Well you learn something new everyday. That's really interesting. I always liked the song, and it's interesting to learn the meaning behind it.
  3. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    It just added a whole new angle of darkness on the song that I never really picked up on before. I want to see the movie now or perhaps read the book.
  4. NINnerd

    NINnerd Survived a M&G with Trent

    Here are the lyrics, cause the video got removed.

    I Can't Remember Anything
    Can't Tell If this Is True or Dream
    Deep down Inside I Feel to Scream
    this Terrible Silence Stops Me
    Now That the War Is Through with Me
    I'm Waking up I Can Not See
    That There's Not Much Left of Me
    Nothing Is Real but Pain Now

    Hold My Breath as I Wish for Death
    Oh Please God,wake Me

    Back in the Womb its Much Too Real
    in Pumps Life That I must Feel
    but Can't Look Forward to Reveal
    Look to the Time When I'll Live
    Fed Through the Tube That Sticks in Me
    Just like a Wartime Novelty
    Tied to Machines That Make Me Be
    Cut this Life off from Me

    Hold My Breath as I Wish for Death
    Oh Please God,wake Me

    Now the World Is Gone I'm Just One
    Oh God,help Me Hold My Breath as I Wish for Death
    Oh Please God Help Me


    Imprisoning Me
    All That I See
    Absolute Horror
    I Cannot Live
    I Cannot Die
    Trapped in Myself
    Body My Holding Cell


    Has Taken My Sight
    Taken My Speech
    Taken My Hearing
    Taken My Arms
    Taken My Legs
    Taken My Soul
    Left Me with Life in Hell

    It's a really fucked up story. Makes me really depressed. :(
    Side note -
    I would be careful with believe absolutely everything on that website "Songfacts". I just looked up Nine Inch Nails on there, and I can't believe some of the stuff being said about his songs. Crazy. But the Metallica facts seem to ring true. Plus, with the book and movie, they're more easily backed-up. Just a note. :)
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  5. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    The video isn't removed, it's just not allowed to be embedded but yeah, my bad.

    The songfacts site was the only one that had any detail on the story and I checked on other sites too and the information seems to be correct.
  6. Italiano

    Italiano Film Elitist

    JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN is a decent film too. Scenes from the actual movie are used in the music video. It's one of the most powerful films I've ever seen. It's not the most well made at times, but the story is chilling.

    On top of "One" being such a brilliant song, the story behind it leaves a much more interesting yet saddening trail to follow.
  7. Mason

    Mason phawq

    Pretty interesting and depressing story. "One" is one of my favourite Metallica songs, and glad to learn something new about it, which like with Cons, gives me a whole new respect for it.

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