Korn’s “Did My Time” Lyrics Meaning

The term “did my time” is actually a popular idiom. And what it generally reflects is a person who feels he has paid his dues in life, as in having suffered enough and accordingly desires relief. Such statements may also be applied to trying to accomplish a particular goal. And that’s sort of how it reads in this particular situation, though the lyrics are ambiguous enough.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Korn's Did My Time at Lyrics.org.

That is to say that the singer has chosen a specific path in life. But now, after being on this road for some time, he is not witnessing any positive results. Verily he “couldn’t last”, as in the pursuit eventually became so difficult that he was compelled to give up.

However, it would appear that others who have conducted themselves similarly, i.e. having followed the same goal, contrarily have actually succeeded. And the narrator is unable to identify any discernible reason why he has failed while others have not.

So currently he is feeling confused and demoralized, to say the least. In fact he uses the word “curse” to explain how he feels about his own personal life. He is plagued by that kind of disposition where he is under the impression that fate itself has turned on him.

And his primary emotional reaction isn’t sorrow or anything like that.  Instead he is very, very angry. Indeed in the outro, he is confessing to God Himself that this anger is so strong that it is “changing” him – and it is definitely not doing so for the better, dear reader.

In Conclusion

And unfortunately enough, the above is perhaps a feeling many of us can relate to. Even Jonathan Davis, a rock star, could feel as if life is treating him unfairly. And sometimes yes, under such circumstances people do let the associated anger dominate their character. But the purpose of this song is not to question the constructiveness or lack thereof of thinking in such a manner. Rather it is simply to highlight that such emotions are real, and perhaps we can further say if left unchecked can potentially lead to disastrous results.

Lyrics to "Did My Time"
Korn's Jonathan Davis talks about "Did My Time"

Usage on “Tomb Raider”

This is a song that Korn laid down to be featured on Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life (2003), the second installment in the Tomb Raider movie series. It is played during the end credits of the film, and its music video is also associated with the flick. 

However, it is not featured on the movie’s official soundtrack, as doing so would have violated a contract that Korn’s frontman, Jonathan Davis, in particular had signed. But the label that was ultimately responsible for putting it out as a proper single would be Epic Records.

That event transpired on 22 July 2003, with “Did My Time” being the lead single from Korn’s album “Take a Look in the Mirror” (2003).

Achievements of “Did My Time”

As legendary as they may be, Korn hasn’t had a lot of success on the Billboard Hot 100. In fact as of the writing of this post, over 25 years after their first single (1994’s “Blind”) dropped, they’ve only had 5 songs make the list. And out of that five, only one of them broke the top 40. And that would be “Did My Time”.

The tune also topped the UK Rock & Metal Chart and made it onto the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart itself. And it charted in 15 countries in total.

The track was also nominated for a 2004 Grammy Awards (which ultimately went to Metallica’s 2003 outing “St. Anger”). So overall, it has proven to be one of Korn’s biggest hits.

And as for “Take a Look in the Mirror”, it was also successful in that it made it onto the top 10 of both the Billboard 200 and UK Rock & Metal Albums listings. Additionally it has been certified platinum stateside and charted in nearly 20 nations altogether.

The music video to this track, as put together by director Dave Meyers, features Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, the star of the Tomb Raider movie franchise.


The composition of this track dates back to a riff one of the band’s guitarists, Munky put together when the crew were working on their sixth album, “Untouchables” (2002).

However, as is standard, the entire Korn crew are individually credited with writing this song. So in addition to the aforementioned Jonathan Davis and Munky (James Shaffer), the others are:

  • Head (Brian Welch)
  • Fieldy (Reginald Arvizu)
  • David Silveria

Silveria, the group’s drummer, left the band a few years later and was replaced by Ray Luzier. And in more recent times he has been embroiled in some type of royalties’ beef with Korn.

The entire band is also acknowledged as having produced “Did My Time”, though as a singular entity. However, alongside the group, Davis is also given individual credit production-wise.

1 Response

  1. ash says:

    this is true i believe

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