Slipknot’s “Solway Firth” Lyrics Meaning

First of all concerning the title of this Slipknot song, the Solway Firth is actually a waterbody along the coasts of England and Scotland. Indeed a firth is a word from that part of the world used to refer to certain coastal waters. However, this is not what Slipknot seems to be referring to specifically.

Rather it has been theorized that the title of the track rather alludes to a famous photograph called the Solway Firth Spaceman. This photo’s claim to fame was based on the its photographer presenting it as one where a ‘spaceman’ miraculously appeared out of nowhere in the background. Of course this claim was eventually proven to be false.  But it is the fraudulent nature of that assertion which Slipknot seems to be focusing on.

That is to say that the main theme of this track is the singer feeling compelled to present himself as someone he is not. In other words, it seems as if he is addressing someone who wants him to “show (his) whole story” and display “a real smile”. However, the singer is not in such a mood.  Indeed it appears as if he is dealing with some sort of depression. And overall he does not seem inclined to share details of his personal life.

In all, this song is highly-symbolic in its presentation. Slipknot also brings up the subject of “killers” and refer to some quite-gory imagery. However, considering the analysis above, this may actually be a reference to the media or people who invade the band’s privacy. But who and what they are referring to in particular may just take a while to fully come to light. It is also possible it may never!

Solway Firth lyrics

Release Date of “Solway Firth”

Roadrunner Records released “Solway Firth” on 22 July 2019. It came out as the second single from Slipknot’s sixth full-length album. This album is titled We Are Not Your Kind. “Unsainted” was the first single from We Are Not Your Kind.

Music Video

The music video to the song was directed by Slipknot member Shawn Crahan and was created in collaboration with Uproxx alongside Amazon Prime Video. In fact it features footage from the Amazon series entitled “The Boys”.

Who wrote “Solway Firth”?

It was written by six of the members of Slipknot:

  • Sid Wilson
  • Jim Root
  • Craig Jones
  • Shawn Crahan
  • Mick Thomson
  • Corey Taylor
  • Alessandro Venturella
  • Jay Weinberg

 Meanwhile the entire band produced the track alongside Greg Fidelman.

16 Responses

  1. Fabio says:

    Interesting, i was looking to some explaning of the title of the song and the meaning of it, thank you

  2. Roman Korvinus says:

    Solway Firth was a thread title on the Marilyn Manson forums about 20 years ago, the exact site eludes me as there was three major sites at the time where a single person under various names wrote on all three. I know cause I was that person and original author of the majority of the songs on this album including Solway Firth. If you go to YouTube, on the song page, in the drop down menu you will see the lyrics. Listening you will notice slight variations or a doubling, or multiplying as is the case with We Are Not Your Kind, of lyrics in the respected areas. Say what you want, but them’s the real facts.

  3. Methusalhem says:

    I don’t know what it means or what it should mean……
    I only know that Slipknot has saved me several times of doing something stupid, although the band and singer is referring to them self’s they helped several peeps out there trying to understand that they are not alone with their pain and agony, monster’s from the past creeping up and try to eat you alive, thanks to them I’ve got a weapon to fight them in my mind and dreams.
    Beats all the painkillers and other meds I have to take when I’m undergoing a bad period

  4. Dude says:

    The Wicker Man from 1973 was shot in a village beside Solway Firth. The movie is about pagan sacrifices and the main character being drawn to his demise by not knowing what is really happening to him. I like the theory about the photographe, but I believe this is also of note. Especially considering how Corey Taylor is a known enthusiast of classic horror movies.

  5. Donovan says:

    Corey is usually cryptic about the actual meanings of his lyrics. A lot of times he’s combining ideas or using ideas out of order. Seems as if part of this may be about his ex-wife (Cutting you out my life, I know I’ll never go home, needle in the back, I haven’t smiled in years, you [expletive] did it to me). Seems like part of it may be about media/haters/both (I won’t show you the whole story. I won’t show you the aftermath. Basically the whole first stanza). I’d put my money on the ex-wife theory.

    If we go by the Ex-wife theory, the body of the song makes way more sense.

    “Today, up on this hill
    I’m counting all the killers
    They sway as they swarm
    A look of gluttons in their eyes
    They mutter as the body loses warmth
    They pick your bones like locks inside a tomb
    And take great care to not take care of you”

    Him feeling vulnerable. Everyone looks like vultures trying to peck at him. These people do not have his best interest in their minds, but only their own.

    “While I was learning to live
    we all were living a lie
    I guess you got what you wanted
    So I will settle for a slaughterhouse soaked in blood and betrayal
    It’s always somebody else
    somebody else was me
    You want the real smile?
    Or the one I used to practice not to feel like a failure?”

    Him recovering from substance abuse, depression, and suicidality, but feeling like she blamed others for his problems, possibly causing problems or rifts with friends/family/bandmates. Her trying to pull him out of this funk (albeit in the wrong way) and him trying just to put a smiling face on to get her to quit.

    “I don’t need you to do it for me
    I don’t need you to understand
    I don’t need you to hide it from me
    I just want to feel like any other man”

    Her trying to force him through the recovery and not letting him go through the proper steps/channels.

    “I won’t show you the whole story
    I won’t show you the aftermath
    I won’t show you my allegory
    Don’t look away”

    Him rebelling against her attempts, but still wanting her to see him and understand him.

    “I’m not ahead of my time
    I just drew the first breath
    If I’m alive tomorrow
    I will alleviate the pressure
    by cutting you out of me
    I found my bottom line
    dead on the front lines
    I know I’ll never go home
    So set fire to your ships and past regrets and be free”

    Him basically going through a rebirth. Knowing he can’t go back to the person he used to be … which includes cutting out what he perceives as toxicity in his life.

    “While I was learning to live
    You taught me how to die
    I guess I got what I wanted
    Another needle in the back through purified scarification
    It wasn’t somebody else
    You [expletive] did it to me
    You want a real smile?
    I haven’t smiled in years”

    Him realizing that as he was recovering, she was hindering his recovery. Him realizing he hasn’t been happy in the relationship in a long, long while. Realizing it’s over.

    There’s kind of a blaming “F.U.” tone to it, like they’re fighting and he’s trying to one-up her in a not-so-friendly way … like it’s the break-up fight.

  6. [Expletive] says:

    Serously, ???.. So no one has made any connection yet with the music video footage at all and the weird fact that the majority of the video is cut aways from the Amazon tv show “The Boys”??.. The show, a comic book web series recently released on Amazon, has a lead character, and almost every lyric of the song can be used to describe to a “T” the true nature of this protagonist/antigonist.. if you watch this new tv series on Amazon it’s ideally about a team of vigilantes that fight back against superpowered people who are abusive, corrupt, and sociopathic in nature; a flip side of the general dogma of superhero shows/movies where they are always the good guys. **Great show and as you will see, the main superhero, the most corrupt and just twisted, has a song named after him.. Soloway Firth. ***Look at the music video again, those images are right out of the episodes..

    • Jon Ostrander says:

      I have seen the entire series and I agree with you. However I do have to add that knowing about tailors ex wife and his battles I feel like there is some interwoven personal information that coincide with”The Boys”.

  7. Rot10rob says:

    Slipknot [expletive] rocks. So all that other [expletive]. ….. Blah blah who cares

  8. BigJoe says:

    A truly amazing song! Can’t wait till January. Please play it live!

  9. Jon Ostrander says:

    I was using voice to type & I didn’t proof my comment. Meant Taylor not tailor.. Sorry.

  10. Christopher R. Sollano says:

    No wrong . Still its in spritual belief. On the first stanza. Today..upon this hill. .. Im counting on the killers. Sorry if my lyrics got wrong. It in the Bible. . Killers talk to each other while jesus loses warmth to his body. .. its on belief. And it say demonic kind of other view of a person who believes but see the truth.

  11. The Ninth Castigation says:

    Sol=The Sun. Firth=A narrow inlet, or opening. This song marks the beginning of Corey Taylor finding his own Sun as he enters the Solway Firth. You can’t live when you are all out of life, so you are destined to wither away in darkness without the light. Find your Solway Firth, cross the threshold.

  12. TZim says:

    Really… its clearly about something that you would know for sure if you had experienced. 100%! I only realized it after hearing it for the thousandth time and after hearing Corey Taylor on Bertcast podcast. Say what you will but Taylor is an incredibly intelligent lyricist. Solway Firth = one of the most beautiful places but littered with quicksand and radioactive weapons….. but that’s just the title!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I was in a few year relationship with a girl and one day she had me meet a guy she claimed was family. He moved into town and started dating her best friend at the time. He was a friend of many thieves in my area. They claimed to be in gangs. Our relationship was off and on breaking up a lot and getting back together. I haven’t been happy in years struggling with mental health most of my life with suicide attempts growing up.

    I am smart and have Autism but I’m a little slow at learning as I was in special education. This guy she had me meet was stealing from me behind my back when he used to live with me. He had many people over but when I had friends over he would say that my friends were stealing from me. I always had stuff end up missing and I’d have to buy more than several replacement Xbox’s, PlayStation, tvs, phones, etc. I never called the police because I’ve called them before and didn’t do anything about a phone I lost at a drug/liquor party and the cop said he was friends with the owners and never got my phone back.

    They would go car hopping and steal sh-t from cars. I asked for a gun to kill myself with and his buddy stole a gun with bullets from a car. He shot the gun at the ground one night to show me it worked. He’s told me about how a friend of his killed himself in front of him. He gave me the gun to shoot myself with because I asked for it. I put it to my head and he grined at me…I previously had a dream I killed myself after going to jail. Well the dream was true but I thought about that and handed him the gun back.

    I’ve witnessed him and his friends stealing from 2 other people with disabilities on social security like me. It took me a long while to realize stuff because I hit my head several times different days after the last break up. I was very gullible and way too nice but I can relate to the lyrics with my experiences.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would fk them up for you, friend. I hope you are doing well and bully mfkrs can burn. Blessings to you and anyone who deals w autism or any issue like that. You are not alone.

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