Leech – Unpacking the Emotional Parasitism in Relationships


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Incubus's Leech at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Emotional Parasitism: The Core of ‘Leech’
  5. A Critique of Societal Apathy: More Than Just a Personal Affliction
  6. The Ride’s Over: A Turning Point in Self-Respect
  7. The Betrayal of Benevolence: When Helping Hands Are Bitten
  8. Memorable Lines: The Sting in Sharp Lyrics

Lyrics

Does it make you envy?
Does it make you proud?
To tuck the world into a paper bag
This body’s state of “I’m OK, you’re not OK”
Yes, men, too, could be on the rag

I’m over my head I need a pick-me-up
Its easy to get high when you’re standing on our backs, man
Would anything ever be good enough for you?
Stand on your own, hold your water if you can

The ride’s over, did you enjoy yourself?
The ride’s over, fair thee well
The ride’s over, did you enjoy yourself?
The ride’s over, fair thee well
Not on my time

It isn’t fair to mention, but it awes the crowd
Your fictional, plastic alibi
So take another hit, steal another line
Did you ever meet a leech who was good at goodbyes?

When you were down I always picked you up
Why didn’t I recognize that everything was never fine?
I’m kicking myself that I shared spit with you
So fuck yourself
And fuck this bleeding heart of mine

The ride’s over, did you enjoy yourself?
The ride’s over, fair thee well
The ride’s over, did you enjoy yourself?
The ride’s over, fair thee well
Not on my time

When you were down I always picked you up
Why didn’t I recognize that everything was never fine?
I’m kicking myself that I shared spit with you
So fuck yourself and fuck this bleeding heart of mine

The ride’s over, did you enjoy yourself?
The ride’s over, fair thee well
The ride’s over, did you enjoy yourself?
The ride’s over, fair thee well

The ride’s over

Full Lyrics

In the realm of alternative rock, Incubus has stood as a band unafraid of deep introspection and raw emotional articulation. Their song ‘Leech’ from the album ‘A Crow Left of the Murder…’ digs into the dark corners of relational dynamics, imbuing their signature sound with a confrontational narrative that’s both personal and universally relatable.

What appears upon a casual listen to be another track flavored with angst is, upon closer inspection, a narrative rich with metaphor and insight into the parasitic nature of some human interactions. Let’s dive into the compelling universe of sentiments contained within ‘Leech.’

Emotional Parasitism: The Core of ‘Leech’

As the title suggests, ‘Leech’ deals with the concept of one person draining another’s resources – be it emotional, mental, or even creative energy. Incubus masterfully weaves this metaphor throughout the song, drawing parallels between the blood-sucking creature and a toxic person in a relationship who thrives at another’s expense.

The recurring inquiries in the opening lines, ‘Does it make you envy? Does it make you proud?’ challenges the leech figure directly, questioning their sense of accomplishment in subjugating another. It’s a powerful condemnation of one-sided relationships where imbalance and exploitation fester.

A Critique of Societal Apathy: More Than Just a Personal Affliction

‘To tuck the world into a paper bag’ – this phrase encapsulates a criticism extending beyond personal relationships to a more global context. The song reflects upon the apathy shown towards larger societal issues, illustrating how turning a blind eye fuels the leech’s power.

Furthermore, the line ‘This body’s state of ‘I’m OK, you’re not OK’ targets the tendency to downplay one’s own difficulties while invalidating others’, highlighting a broader culture of competition and hierarchy that permits exploitation.

The Ride’s Over: A Turning Point in Self-Respect

The chorus is not just a breakup announcement; it’s a reclaimed stance on dignity. ‘The ride’s over, did you enjoy yourself?’ is a rhetorical jab at the exploiter’s joyride coming to an end and serves as a reclaimed narrative from a speaker who’s found the strength to say ‘enough.’

With each declaration of ‘The ride’s over,’ there’s an assertion of autonomy and the refusal to be used any longer. It’s a poignant moment where the victim severs ties, and in doing so, rediscovers their own worth.

The Betrayal of Benevolence: When Helping Hands Are Bitten

‘When you were down I always picked you up,’ exposes a history of support and care that was never reciprocated, revealing a pattern of magnanimity met with exploitation. These lines confront the painful realization that the singer’s goodwill has been abused.

Through such stark honesty, Incubus articulates the betrayal felt when one’s compassionate nature is taken for granted and exploited, stirring a mixture of regret and defiance in the wake of this acknowledgment.

Memorable Lines: The Sting in Sharp Lyrics

‘Did you ever meet a leech who was good at goodbyes?’ This line spotlights the leech’s nature – one that lingers and clings, never parting ways without extracting what it can. Incubus taps into a universal truth with this poignant question, pointing out the rarity of a graceful exit in predatory relationships.

The biting directive ‘So fuck yourself’ marks a radical departure from the speaker’s previous compassion, indicating a closure of the heart once open and generous. It’s a line that burns with the fire of someone reclaiming their inner power and no longer willing to be victimized.

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