4

The following quote is a part of the song "Bring me to life" by Evanescence. Would you please tell me what it means? (I'm aware that not all lyrics are necessarily grammatical, yet was wondering how native English speakers understand it.)

Bid my blood to run

Before I come undone

Full lyrics found here, and the music video here.

  • 1
    Is it a specific element of the phrases you're trying to understand (e.g. what it means, literally, in isolation) or its meaning with regards to the wider context of the song? – Richard Williams Sep 5 '13 at 16:36
  • @RichardWilliams The second option: its meaning with regards to the context of the song. Now that I'm writing this, thanks to kiamlaluno who posted an answer, I have much better understanding though. – user1555 Sep 5 '13 at 17:14
  • Usually we can only speak to the meaning of the phrase itself, but in this case I think that once the phrase is clear, the surrounding context becomes clear as well :) Regardless you have two great answers, and I can see how these particular lines could be challenging. :) – WendiKidd Sep 5 '13 at 20:32
10

By itself it's a rather cryptic sentence. Of course that's not surprising in poetry and song lyrics. You have to look at the larger context of the song.

In this case, just go back one and forward one line: "Wake me up inside" and "Save me from the nothing I've become". So the singer is saying, "Wake me up, bid my blood to run." As Kiamlaluno says, "bid" here means to command or request. So the singer is saying, wake me up, and command my blood to run through my body. i.e. force me to be alive and conscious, and not to be a lifeless non-entity.

"Before I come undone": Again, as Kiamlaluno says, "undone" means "defeated" or "ruined". So the singer is begging someone to save her before she is defeated.

2

Bid is an archaic or literary word that means "command or order"; undone means "defeated and without any hope for the future."

  • Thank you kiamlaluno. You're answer and the answer Jay gave, are equally great. I tried to mark both answers as "Accepted" but turned out this is not allowed. – user1555 Sep 6 '13 at 15:35
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"Death before failure" Which is similar to an old but still commonly used phrase: "Death Before Dishonour".

Literally, "I'd rather die than fail"

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Bid my blood to run judging by the cuts on the wrist of one of the ladies in the picture and by the lyrics of the song, she asking for Jesus to help her not to feal like she's left in the dark and isolated, she doesn't want to cut any more and she obviously wants it to stop. So she is calling out for help to be cured by the only one can can cure her. She wants to be woken up from the darkness and be saved.

  • 1
    This would be better if it focused more on the meaning of those lines and less on the meaning of the song as a whole. – Nathan Tuggy May 24 '16 at 5:24

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