Metallica’s “Wherever I May Roam” Lyrics Meaning

This would be a really deep song for listeners who actually have or are considering adopting a nomadic lifestyle. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Metallica's Wherever I May Roam at

As the story goes, “Wherever I May Roam” was inspired by the fact that at the time, Metallica was touring constantly. But there isn’t any sort of directly-related terminology herein, i.e. the vocalist alluding to being a professional musician. Instead, what the listener is met with can be defined more along the lines of the type of ideology a person who willingly becomes a wanderer, i.e. someone with no fixed home, would adopt.

Or let’s more comprehensively say that the vision of this narrator is that he will change the world, even, as theoretically implied in the post-chorus (based on theoretical interpretation), being remembered after he passes away. 

Furthermore, James depicts himself as being akin to a king without a castle. In other words, he doesn’t come off as some type of defeated, wandering tramp. Instead ‘the Earth is his thrown’, and his intent is to “redefine anywhere” he may find himself throughout his adventures. 

Or put otherwise, even though he’s living a life that isn’t particularly idealized or mainstream, yet and still the vocalist is supremely confident. And as relayed, there are prerequisites to enjoying this sense of freedom and dominion. That would be a willingness to face the world “stripped of all but pride” and in the process ‘severing ties clean’.

Although “Where I May Roam” isn’t religious, what Hetfield and the rest of the gang are espousing can be most simply defined as faith. For example, at the time of this song’s composition, Kirk Hammett purchased a home that he didn’t even have time to reside in nor, according to his own words, had ever seen. 

So being out on the road for Metallica was obviously about a lot more than income generation. That is to say that at that point in their lives (as inferred in these lyrics) the band received a priceless sense of edification simply from having the opportunity to be out on the road and do what they love best.

“Oh, but I’ll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere
And I’ll redefine anywhere
Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home, yeah”

Release of “Wherever I May Roam”

The song’s issuance date is August 12 of 1991. It was released as the fourth single from Metallica’s self-titled fifth studio offering.

The “Metallica” album was launched in 1991 through Elektra Records. It was accompanied by the following other singles:

Writers and Producers  

“Wherever I May Roam” was authored and produced by the group’s members, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. They received production assistance from a Canadian record producer named Bob Rock.

Wherever I May Roam

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