Linkin Park’s “Crawling” Lyrics Meaning

While listening to Linkin Park’s “Crawling”, it becomes obvious that the narrator is dealing with a serious situation. The lyrics read as if he is inflicted with some sort of internal dilemma. And this dilemma ultimately results in “too much pressure”, ‘confusion’, ‘insecurity’ and other unfavorable conditions. But what exactly serves as the source of these issues is open to the interpretation.

For instance based on the music video, it would be something tantamount to the singer being the victim of domestic violence. But in his own words, Chester Bennington (1976-2017) classified this song as ‘the most literal he’d ever written for Linkin Park’. That’s a roundabout way of saying that the lyrics are based on his own personal history. And as such, fandom has come to one conclusion in relation to the title and chorus. According to them, they actually allude to Bennington’s struggle with hard substance. Thus the creepy “crawling” sensation is basically one of the effects of the singer being stoned.

Lyrics of Crawling

But again such is not detailed, seemingly intentionally, in the song itself. So considering the music video and all, Linkin Park is likening substance addiction to other situations in which an individual is faced with a “lack of self-control” and the negative effect such has on one’s self-esteem. 

It is for this reason that Bennington has also stated that the actual sentiment this track is based on isn’t being a victim of circumstances but rather espousing the idea of self-responsibility. Putting it differently, even though it’s not abundantly clear via the lyrics, the singer is expected to exercise inner-resolve in overcoming the ‘crawling in his skin’. But that being said, what is made most-evident is that actually succeeding in doing so won’t be an easy task.

Release Date of “Crawling”

“Crawling” is the second single Linkin Park ever released. It was issued as such via Warner Bros. Records on 1 March 2001, originally being featured on their debut album, the rock classic “Hybrid Theory”.

Grammy Honors

This song is one of Linkin Park’s most critically-acclaimed, having earned a Grammy in the Hard Rock Performance category in 2002.

Covers of “Crawling”

Artists who have covered “Crawling” include Chris Martin (of Coldplay) and Oli Sykes (of Bring Me the Horizon). Both of these instances were in the direct aftermath of Linkin Park’s frontman, Bennington, committing suicide in 2017.

Who wrote “Crawling”?

“Crawling” was written by the homeys at Linkin Park:

  • M. Shinoda
  • R. Bourdon
  • J. Hahn
  • B. Delson
  • C. Bennington

This song is said to have a special meaning to Bennington especially, since its lyrical content is based on  his own life experiences. And due to such, he reportedly got emotional when he was called upon to perform “Crawling” live.

“Crawling” was produced by Don Gilmore. Gilmore actually worked on quite a few of Linkin Park’s hits. One such hit is “In the End“.


The music video to “Crawling” was directed by brothers Colin and Greg Strause. The pair is collectively known as the Brothers Strause. The visual itself was nominated for multiple MTV Awards in 2001.

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