What does Mr Brightside mean?

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The Killers: Mr Brightside Meaning

Song Released: 2003

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Mr Brightside Lyrics

I'm coming out of my cage
And I’ve been doing 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

Now I’m falling asleep
And she’s calling a...


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    Jul 10th, 2005 7:22pm report

    The key in this song is its title. By calling himself Mr Brightside, the speaker is commenting on how he is incurably optimistic - he always looks at the bright side of any given situation.

    The song is about his propensity for getting overly involved emotionally with women he has only just met, and suffering heartbreak when his love proves to be unrequited. His "destiny" is to continually experience such heartbreak because he always opens up his "eager eyes" to the next possible paramour.

    To get into a closer reading, look at the first stanza:

    Coming out of my cage
    And I've been doing just fine
    Gotta gotta be down
    Because I want it all

    Here, he is freeing himself from the emotional restraint that was protecting him from having his heart broken and allowing himself to become interested in a girl. The "all" that he wants refers to true love, the kind that you can only get if you are willing to give the entirety of yourself to someone else.

    It started out with a kiss
    How did it end up like this
    It was only a kiss
    It was only a kiss

    Here, he's wondering how he's gotten to the point that he cares so deeply about her after just one kiss - the answer is because he allowed himself to invest that kiss with meaning that for her was not there.

    The next couple stanzas basically tell the story of him seeing this girl that kissed him once hanging out with other guys - and because he feels so strongly for her, he becomes deeply jealous/angry. It's sort of like a situation where two people made out on a dance floor one night, and the girl felt like she was just having fun whereas the guy thought there was actually a connection.

    Where we get the best crystallization of Mr Brightside's true nature and motivation is in the following stanza:

    But it's just the price I pay
    Destiny is calling me
    Open up my eager eyes
    'Cause I'm Mr Brightside

    Here, we should be getting that the "price" he pays is the intense feelings of jealousy, rage, and heartbreak that come from his penchant for getting too attached too fast. He asserts that it is out of his hands, that this pattern of behavior is simply part of his core personality by referring to it as his "destiny." His eyes are "eager" for the next girl that he will fall for, which is sure to happen because he is the perpetually optimistic "Mr Brightside" - always looking for and ready for love.


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    Oct 23rd, 2007 10:36pm report

    There's an English story about someone called Tim Brightside, Mr. Tim Brightside was an Englishman who came to America and fell in love with a prostitute. The prostitute promised to quit her job for Tim. Tragically, one night she meets with a client in a carriage, and she cheats on Brightside for her job. Mr. Brightside finds out, climbs to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, and commits suicide.

    I think it's based on this.


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    Aug 10th, 2009 8:33pm report

    I feel the meaning of this song is given away in the title to a certain extent. The term ‘Mr. Brightside’ is describing a male character who tries to find the positive side of every difficult situation, he aims to seek the benefits of emotionally-damaging events and use them to help him move forward in life. This song describes this mentality and how it is applied to his love life. Firstly, “coming out of my cage” could describe how this man has escaped from the emotional chains of a failed past relationship- his isolation and loneliness caused by this bad experience has been washed away and he is ready to move on and escape the ‘cage’. “I’ve been doing just fine, gotta gotta be down, I want it all” tells us he is eager, confident and ready to find new love. “I want it all” states he wants a girl and a long-lasting, successful relationship, and that he feels confident enough to find this. However, the song then opens up a new chapter of this mans love life. “It started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?” could be describing how a small kiss that this man interpreted as being meaningless and insignificant has come back to haunt him, and has transformed into yet another romantic travesty, a failed relationship. “And their going to bed, and my stomach is sick, and its all in my head but she’s touching his chest now, he takes off her chest now, let me go”, is describing how this man’s partner is cheating on him behind his back. “My stomach is sick” tells us how distraught and sickened this man is by the thought of his partner being involved with another man. “Let me go” is a lyric of great importance, it sums up how this man is trapped by the love and promise that his partner promises, but is begging to be let go from the heartbreak and disappointment that she is caused. “And I just can’t look, its killing me, and taking control” continues to suggest how this situation is controlling this mans life and making it a living hell. “Jealousy, turning saints into the sea” describes this mans jealousy towards the situation, he is jealous that his partner has been took away from him and he powerless to what she decides to do behind his back. “Swimming through sick lullabies, and choking on your alibis”, describes how his partner has tried to rescue their relationship by telling lies and producing untrue stories to excuse her untrustworthy behaviour, however “choking” tells us they are not working, she is digging herself into a deeper hole. “But it’s just the price I pay, destiny is calling me” highlights the vicious circle this man is trapped in. His eagerness and willingness to be open-minded and continue looking for love has once again backfired and proven to do nothing but break his heart and disappoint him. “Open up my eager eyes, because I’m Mr. Brightside” concludes the song by repeating the meaning of the beginning of the song. This man shall put the events of the past behind him, and continue to live on and find new love.


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    Aug 25th, 8:54am report

    This song is about a man obviously pushed around by disloyal girlfriends too often without setting them straight.


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    Aug 12th, 8:24am report

    The song is about a man's obsession with his significant other who is cheating on him. He tends to miss these things because he is an optimistic person. But now it has hit him. See mr Brightside for more.


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    Jul 1st, 2019 7:10am report

    He's coming out of his cage, and you may think he's doing jus fine. But he's not!


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    Jun 14th, 2019 6:19pm report

    All you douche bags are wrong!!! READ EM AND WEEP!!!


    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Nov 12th, 2018 11:15am report

    When I hear this song, I see someone sitting somewhere, talking to a girl. They are friends and have been for years. In his mind, he always feel there is more than just friendship. They kissed once, but just a friendly peck on the cheek. Although he knows better, it "confirmed" his delusion. Once home, knowing he cant have her,he pictures her, with the other guys she was talking to; perhaps one in particular.


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    Oct 18th, 2018 10:52am report

    Seems to me this is a song about jealousy. It's obsessive and uncontrollable.
    Falling asleep, he's imagining her going out and cheating on him.
    He sees his girlfriend share a friendly hello kiss (it was only a kiss, she says when he confronts her......)
    Hence the repetition. It was only a kiss. It was only a kiss. This is crazy unbelievable to him.

    Over and over his jelous mind takes him into a black hole of imagined consequences.
    She shares a cigarette with someone... it happens again.
    The Mr Brightside title is ironic.


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    Jul 31st, 2018 7:55am report

    This song is clearly about a deranged man who has been sent to a mental asylum after being convicted of sexually assaulting a woman, whilst being mentally unstable. the line 'coming out of my cage' refers to the man being released from the asylum, after 'doing just fine'. In the song, the man speaks about the demons in his head, in the lines 'I just can't look its killing me
    And taking control'. this refers to the mental instability of the man, and how he is slowly losing control. this is why he was sent to an asylum instead of prison. the incident itself for which he was convicted is explained in the lines 'It started out with a kiss
    How did it end up like this
    It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss'. This informs listeners that because of his mental state, he was convicted of a crime that did not actually happen. He did not sexually assault the woman, instead he wrongly kissed her, and, taking advantage of his mental incapacity, she took him to court. thanks for reading my story


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    Oct 11th, 2017 10:11pm report

    This is not about Flowers girlfriend or anything Flowers. Dave Keuning wrote the song and Flowers introduces that during the Live at Albert Hall show in 2009


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    Jul 20th, 2016 7:41pm report

    Its about Flower having a crush on a girl and kisses her and falls for her. He realizes she loved another guy and is kids depressed at the start but becomes more paranoid throughout. The I never bit is about Flower never thinking this could happen to him. I have been in the same situation. Twice.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Jun 4th, 2016 6:50pm report

    This song at first stumped me, but after really dissecting the lyrics, I think I've got something

    'Coming out of my cage
    And I've been doing just fine
    Gotta gotta be down
    Because i want it all'

    This is sorta like, he's finally confident enough to date the girl he likes, and he just wants to be the center of her attention.

    'It started out with a kiss
    How did it end up like this?
    It was only a kiss,
    It was only a kiss'

    He didn't expect that he would fall this hard for the girl, after all, it was only a kiss

    'Now I'm falling asleep
    And she's calling a cab
    While he's having a smoke
    And she's taking the drag'

    So there's another guy in the picture, she isn't necessarily dating him though

    'Now they're going to bed
    And my stomach is sick
    And its all in my head
    But she's touching his chest now
    He takes off her dress now
    Let me go'

    This is where he admits he has some suspicions and paranoia, and he thinks that she might be having an affair

    'And I just can't look,
    It's killing me
    And it's taking control'

    This is where his paranoia is starting to get out of hand

    Turning saints into the seas
    Swimming through sick lullabies
    Choking on your alibis'

    This is another metaphor for his paranoia, and he doesn't believe the girl when she tells him she isn't cheating

    'But it's just the price I pay
    Destiny is calling me
    Open up my eager eyes
    'Cause i'm Mr. Brightside'

    This is where he decides that he's going to have to deal with his paranoia and trust the girl if he wants things to work out, and chooses to try and look on the brightside of things

    Hope this helps :)


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    Jan 17th, 2016 1:40pm report

    Haven't read all interpretations but I just add mine for the sake of it :)
    I think the person singing the song is a guy that fell in love with a girl that is in a relationship and she just won't leave the guy. The song starts with "Coming out og my cage and I've been doing just fine..." and so on... In this part, he explains how he hasn't seen her in a while, probably tried to hide from her, and he felt down because of it... He wants it all, meaning he wants her, her love, and all of her, but she decides to stay with her bf instead. It started all with a kiss... probably they met, had mutual feelings for each other despite the fact that she had a boyfriend, and he fell terribly in love with her after a while, probably for real when they finally kissed each other (it was only a kiss!), where they may have started an affaire together afterwards, leading to him believe she fell in love with him too and will soon get rid of her bf... However, she may not be sure if she actually wants to leave her bf because of their history and maybe she still loves her bf and the new guy is only a fling she is trying out... In the next part (now i'm falling asleep...) she probably just left his home after having sex again, waiting for a cab and going to see her boyfriend. When he's in bed, he imagines how she touches her bf's chest and how they are going to sleep together (he takes off her dress) and it's killing him and the thought won't let him go. So jealousy takes over, she proabably has ten thousand lies told her bf about where she had been and he's annoyed that her bf doesn't seem to realise it and maybe finally would break up with her (the singer is choking on her alibis... they annoy him, the whole situation annoys him, how can she cheat on her bf so hard and he doesn't notice anything), which he imagines would mean that she would finally come to be with him. But then he again realises, although he loves her and wants her badly, he has no saying in what she does. She has a relationship with the other guy, she maybe loves the other guy, and he realises that if she would want him, she would be with him. So all he can do is trying to accept it (but it's just the price I pay, destiny is calling me, open up my eager eyes...) because he probably is acting out a lot, trying to convince her to stay with him, breaking up with her bf, but the more he pushes her to decide, the more he pushes her away into the other guy's hands, reducing his chance to be with her. Because she may show him that she likes him, she may have fallen in love with him, but the whole drama is tyring her... He has to be Mr. Brightside, the guy that does not get too caught up in his feelings for her because she is more likely to stay when she feels save with him, and she probably won't feel that when he is acting out because of jealousy that takes over control of him... And girls don't prefer drama boys like he is recently a lot...
    Yep that's mine, actually much of an own story so that's why the much detail but it really feels like that :)


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    Jan 4th, 2016 1:00pm report

    my friend actually interpreted this for me since I wanted to do a little project on this song. her interpretation was much different from most of these. she thinks that maybe the narrator is someone who is down for anything to get all he wants. So he frick fracks with some woman (I've got no idea about their relationship) and it just started with one kiss. He didn't see all this coming. In the next few lines she thinks that he's looking at the events as a different person. He is both men in this song. He doesn't know what's happening and views everything as a different person. He can't look because he can't control his actions. He doesn't know what he's doing and why. The jealousy inside him is making him uncontrollable. All the excuses this woman gives him are sugar coated lies. He doesn't know what to believe. So he doesn't and lets go completely.

    The repeat is actually more of an acceptance. He's accepting everything he is doing, so he repeats it.

    The "I never" part can be interpreted differently. I interpret it as him never feeling like this before. Never feeling like he didn't have control since he usually got what he wanted. She thinks that it means he never believed he would get what he wanted this way.


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    Jan 22nd, 2015 1:14pm report

    To me, this song is about a guy who, as the song states, just kissed a girl who was in a relationship with another man. But even though it was "only a kiss" the guy started having feelings for this girl. When he says, "Cause I'm Mr. Brightside" he is saying that he is the better man for this girl. But Thai girl is still in a relationship with someone else without knowing the guy has feelings for, her since he says that it was only a kiss, anyway the guy is jealous but keeps saying that "it was only a kiss, it was only a kiss" or saying that he has no feelings for her even though he does.

    Now, this is just my theory after listening to the song a good number of times.


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    Oct 19th, 2014 10:06am report

    He suffers from paranoid personality disorder!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Oct 18th, 2014 10:55am report

    well it looks like DarkBlue04 paid attention in comp lit class. or is just the sort who thinks while listening to pop songs instead of shouting lyrics that roughly approximate what's being said (though i'm not judging that, that's fine, too).
    one more thing to bolster DarkBlue04's interpretation:
    the song lyrics repeat, with no variation. the real reason may be they couldn't write any more. but if they did it on purpose, they're very clever, because if you follow DarkBlue04's analysis, the repetition of the lyrics can be interpreted to mean he's doing it all over again.
    "i never" just means being surprised.
    so he's surprised, again, and again, and again.

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