Metallica’s “Low Man’s Lyric” Lyrics Meaning

On “Low Man’s Lyric”, singer James Hetfield is taking on the role of a homeless drug addict. And based on the lyrics, this character is indeed a “low man”. He has come to realize that the path he has chosen in life is a self-destructive one. Thus he is begging for forgiveness from the addressee, who reads as if it may be a loved one. Yet simultaneously, he is also well aware that his addiction still has a hold on him. So his disposition throughout is one of humility, or perhaps more accurately we can say self-pity. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Metallica's Low Man's Lyric at

Indeed whereas he is apparently seeking some level of sympathy from the addressee, at the same time he is also telling this person not to feel sorry for him. For ultimately it can be deemed that he feels this unfavorable fate which has been cast upon him is the one he deserves.

This track came out on 18 November 1997 as part of Metallica’s album entitled “Reload”.  Elektra Records never issued it as a single.

A live, acoustic version of “Low Man’s Lyric” was also featured on Metallica’s 2010 “Six Feet Under” EP.

Metallica’s Hetfield and Lars Ulrich co-wrote this tune. And it was produced by one of their regular collaborators, the amply named Bob Rock.

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