Korn’s “Pretty” Lyrics Meaning

Korn’s “Pretty” is based on a disturbing real-life event. The event is so disturbing that we recommend some sort of a parental advisory before reading forward.

In his late teens Korn’s frontman, Jonathan Davis, worked as an assistant to a coroner. And one day a dead 11-month old baby was brought into the establishment. This is the same girl whom he is talking about throughout (when he isn’t referring to himself). And we are not compelled to go into details about what happened to her, as Jonathan gives a graphic-enough description in the first verse.

Then in the second verse he is baffled, as perhaps any sane human being would be, that someone could actually rationalize ‘stealing the life’ of this baby. Then his confusion turns into rage. For he is noticing two frustratingly-conflicting characteristics of this individual simultaneously. First is that, as the title implies, she has a “pretty face”. In other words, she is a beautiful baby. But this selfsame face also bears the physical scars of the harrowing ordeal she has been true. 

Indeed even for him to bear witness to such is so traumatizing that in the bridge he likens it to his very soul being taken. Or stated differently, he has seen his fair share of BS in life, especially if we consider his profession and all. However, in the case of this little girl, he has come across what he classifies as “a real crime”. Or stated otherwise yet again, what happened to her was so heinous that his mind cannot process it.

Never-ending Nightmare

In fact when describing the history behind this track, Davis has stated that he ‘still has nightmare about’ that work-related experience. So this is sad song indeed. For not only did its primary subject suffer a gruesome fate, but even the person who is chronicling the situation has been negatively affected psychological from having to directly deal with it.

Lyrics of "Pretty"

Facts about “Pretty”

“Pretty” was written by the members of Korn. The official credited names are as follows:

  • Jonathan Davis
  • Reginald Arvizu
  • James Shaffer
  • David Silveria
  • Brian Welch

The entire band also produced the track alongside Toby Wright and Steve Thompson.

This song is featured on Korn’s third album, which was brought to us by Immortal Records and Epic Records. And it was released with that project (“Follow the Leader”) on 18 August 1998.

For the record, Jonathan Davis went on to state that he developed PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) as a result of his days as a coroner’s assistant.

Jonathan Davis’ Problem is a Real Problem Affecting Many

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a mental illness that can happen to a person who has experienced a horrible and traumatic incident.

For example, witnessing the death of another is the most common event that causes PTSD in many people, according to psychologists. News of the death of a loved one or other persons always elicits strong physical and emotional reactions when received. In a situation where a person witnesses the death of a loved one, especially if the loss was tragic and unexpected, the memory creates many psychological issues in the mind of the person, which may ultimately result in PTSD.

PTSD experienced by a person, from witnessing a death may be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Repeated flashbacks of the event.
  • Nightmares that may include the lost loved person.
  • Intense fear that the traumatic event will recur, particularly around the site where the death was witnessed.
  • Depression that can often accompany traumatic stress, causing nausea and headaches.
  • Sudden anxiety and nervousness whenever something related to the place of death is mentioned or seen.

Psychology experts suggest that anybody who has witnessed a shocking death should seek professional help immediately after witnessing the event.

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