Passenger by Deftones Lyrics Meaning – Unraveling the Enigmatic Journey Through Sound


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Deftones's Passenger at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

Here I lay
Still and breathless
Just like always
Still, I want some more
Mirrors sideways
Who cares what’s behind?
Just like always
Still your passenger

Chrome buttons, buckles and leather surfaces
These and other lucky witnesses
Now to calm me
This time won’t you please
Drive faster

Roll the window down this
Cool night air is curious
Let the whole world look in
Who cares who sees anything?
I’m your passenger
I’m your passenger

Drop these down
Then put them on me
Nice, cool seats
There to cushion your knees
Now to calm me
Take me around again
Don’t pull over
This time won’t you please
Drive faster

Roll the window down this
Cool night air is curious
Let the whole world look in
Who cares who sees what tonight?
Roll these misty windows
Down to catch my breath and then
Go and go and go just
Drive me home and back again

Here I lay
Just like always
Don’t let me
Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go
Take me to the edge

Full Lyrics

Deftones’ ‘Passenger’ is an enigmatic anthem that encloses its listeners in a cocoon of atmospheric guitar riffs, haunting vocals, and lyrical paradoxes. As the track unfolds, we’re ensnared by the confounding beauty of an existential ride, hands pressed against the cool glass of introspection.

Within this cryptic composition – a collaboration featuring Tool’s Maynard James Keenan – lie layers of meaning that beg to be peeled back. ‘Passenger’ is a journey through the night, a merging of souls on a shared voyage with embracing ambiguity and complex emotions.

The Lure of the Unknown: Embracing the Darkness

The opening lines of ‘Passenger’ set a scene of stillness and the yearning for more—despite or perhaps because of the character’s motionless state. The mirror’s reflection, often a symbol for self-scrutiny, is cast aside in favor of the pursuit ahead. It speaks to a profound human desire to move forward, unhampered by the burdens of the past.

These sentiments are made visceral through deft musical modulation, where the steady build of the music parallels the swell of anticipation. The beckoning of the ‘unknown’ invites a certain freedom, hinting that the journey embarked upon is as internal as it is external.

Redefined Control: The Illusion of the Driver’s Seat

There’s a potent dialectic at play between submission and empowerment when the words ‘This time won’t you please / Drive faster’ echo through the chorus. The ostensibly passive act of being a passenger is turned on its head; the directive to ‘Drive faster’ suggests a control from the backseat, revealing a nuanced power dynamic at the heart of this song.

The interplay between Keenan and Deftones’ frontman Chino Moreno adds depth to this dichotomy, as if each vocal melody carries with it a shifting balance of authority and surrender, allowing the listener to reflect on where they stand in the driver-passenger dynamic of their own lives.

Windows Down, Defenses Down: Vulnerability on Display

In ‘Passenger’, the act of rolling the windows down to let the ‘cool night air’ in serves as a metaphor for vulnerability. To ‘let the whole world look in’ is an invitation, a deliberate choice to be exposed, to be seen without a filter, emboldened by the anonymity that night-time grants.

This thematic thread of transparency pervades the song, both sonically with its spacious melodic interludes and lyrically in its unguarded confessionals. It suggests a deeper message about embracing the essence of our true selves, and the liberation that accompanies such exposure.

The Unquenchable Thirst for Movement and Momentum

From ‘still, I want some more’ to ‘don’t let me go’, the narrative voice of ‘Passenger’ reveals an insatiable hunger for continuity, for the inexorable pull of the journey. The repetition of ‘go’ in the closing lines signifies a relentless pursuit of motion, a testament to our existential chasing of an elusive ‘more’.

As Deftones escorts us through this soundscape, the driving beat and the repetition of lyrics reinforce a central theme: the human experience is defined, and indeed compelled, by an inherent need to move, explore, and ultimately, to feel alive.

Veiled Meanings: The Hidden Depths of ‘Passenger’

While ‘Passenger’ may first present itself as a narrative of a nocturnal car ride, it serves as a conduit for deeper interpretations. The lyrical canvas Moreno and Keenan create is rife with allusion, beckoning a broader meditation on existence, companionship, and the journey we are all taking.

It’s the kind of track that whispers of the existential – the stillness amidst chaos, the calm within the storm. The imagery used – mirrors, windows, chrome – poses a juxtaposition of the internal and external, inviting the listener to question not just their place in the world, but also the world within themselves.

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