In the first verse a person is tired and has so much running through his
that he can't sleep, so he calls up a friend to talk about what he's going through. I
think he also wants the friend to prevent him from killing himself. He says how
"he's a firefly without a light and the friend is a blowtorch burning". This friend is
his light in the dark and someone he can turn to. The line "so many secrets I
couldn't keep" shows this. He wanted to keep his depression and suicidal thoughts
a secret, but needed to let it all out to someone and that is why he's calling this
friend. He also didn't want to break down and cry. Now that he's done that he's
angry with himself. The line "one more promise I couldn't keep" supports that and
shows he has low self esteem. The next few lines "it seems no one can help me
now I'm in too deep, there's no way out this time I've really led myself astray" are
all reflecting upon past depression/suicidal lapses and how they compare to this
one. This time he's really deep in depression and feels like no one can pull him out
I think that the runaway train symbolizes his life. In the chorus he's
on how it's never going to be what it used to be, he's heading in the wrong direction
with it. He feels like he should be going somewhere with his life, but the depression
has stuck him in a rut.
In the second verse he is reaching out for the friend when he asks "can
me remember how to smile and make it all worthwhile"? He wants his friend to
help him recover his life and enjoy it again. He wonders how he got to this point of
being worn out (jaded) of life. Life doesn't hold any pleasure or mystery for him
anymore. I think this is the point where he most seriously considers suicide. He
says "he can go where no one else will go and know what they don't know". This
means that he has the power to take his own life. I think "drownin' in the rain"
means that he can't handle life's problems anymore and the only way he can
escape from all of this is to kill himself. He says how "everything seems so cut and
dry", but he doesn't believe that things are really that way under the surface. He
puts on a madman routine because that's easier then dealing with his feelings of
inadequacy and overwhelming depression.
In the last verse, "tearin' up the track" means that his life is being
When he says "runaway train burnin' in my veins" he feels that he is very aware
of the life that pulses through his veins. The last line "runaway but it always seems
the same" is the most important of the song in my opinion. I think this means that
you can try to run away from your problems, but sooner or later you have to face
them. You have to deal with them because you can't escape them.
I think that the song is not meant to promote suicide. I think that it
is trying to
give the message that the last line states. I think the man in the song didn't kill
himself either. The song is written in the past tense and I think that it is meant to
be a reflection on this very rough time in the person's life and what he is feeling. I
think that his friend probably stopped him and helped him overcome the
depression that had taken over his life. He gives the friend a lot of credit in the
first verse and I don't think he would have done that if the friend hadn't helped pull
him through. Throughout the song I think that the man was trying to fight the
depression off and in the end stood up to his problems and overcame depression.
In my opinion this is what he wants listeners to do as well.