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Red – Of These Chains lyrics

So here we are at the end now
I need to leave
But I only want to stay with you

I never asked to be the one
To set me free
Another mask you wore that only I could see

Let me take you when I go
When I go
I don't want to do this on my own
On my own

I'm breaking free
But of these chains
Oh let this one remain
Let me take you when I go

I can still feel you here
Now in this cage
Every link, another piece
Of you, I've saved

I'm free to open up the door
To who I was before
And if I let go of these chains
Now, will I float away
Can I just hold on?

Oh, let me take you when I go
When I go
I don't wanna do this on my own
On my own

I'm breaking free
But of these chains
Oh, let this one remain
Let me take you when I go.

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  • a
    The struggle within each person has been a primary theme for the Christian band, Red, from the start (for a good example, see the song, "The Fight Inside" and all Innocence and Instinct for that matter).

    I believe the words of St. Paul in the book of Romans can shed some light on these lyrics: "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate...For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want" (Rom 7:15,19, NASB). How does this internal struggle within Paul relate to "Of These Chains" by Red?

    I personally think that the speaker of the song, the "I," is someone battling sin and temptation--the war within that every person faces as a result of the Original Sin. However, this battle is not simple. He is struggling. He loves what he hates, and he has known the way of vice for so long that now, once he has reached "the end," the fork in the road where he is ready to denounce his sinful ways, he is having an inner dialogue with his vice.

    The object being addressed by the speaker, the "you," I believe refers to that sin, the internal struggle; a particular vice for that matter. "I need to leave, but I only want to stay with you." Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death." The speaker NEEDS to leave behind his sinful ways because his vice is killing his soul.

    "Let me take you when I go." the speaker is yearning and pleading to keep his one vice with him as he leaves a life of wickedness on his journey to holiness. He wants to go and step into the light - to denounce all that is evil, but it seems impossible to be separated from his dominating vice.

    Yet in the life of a Christian, a follower of Christ must put to death his flesh, that is, his earthly desires and vices. This is wholesale. If a person is to be in the Light, then he cannot also be in the darkness. Indeed, in the end all will be exposed to the light (who is Christ himself, the Light of the world). The song ends in struggle. And the struggle against temptation never ends this side of heaven. Yet we can seek God's grace and practice cultivating virtue in our own lives to root out vices that are entrenched in our souls, that are like siren's singing beautifully but bringing our demise. The irony of this song is that the speaker is unaware at the time that he is NOT alone. The Lord is with him, standing at the door of his heart and knocking, patiently waiting to help (cf. Rev 3:20).

    While beautifully written and performed, this is a chillingly profound song. May it strengthen our resolve in running to Christ for his mercy and grace. May His "beauty" collide with our "rage," the fight inside, and bring our souls back to life. God bless you.
    1 reply
  • n
    Noah Norris Barin
    Red in general is amazing with the way that they pen heartfelt lyrics that resonate on so many levels and reach and touch such a large audience base. With this understanding I find personal meaning in all their songs which touch mainly on battling yourself between "Innocence and Instinct". The idea that we have to battle with our most basic instincts of depravity versus the the altruistic self we want. Of these chains to me talks about addiction. The chains of addiction hold me down and when I am freed I want to take these chains with me because they are comforting. I know this illogical to most but being completely free was always a deep fear.
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  • u
    I lost my wife Brittany, and this song was most played on her itunes. She was 5 months pregnant with our 2nd child, who did not live. I imagine Brit's ghost singing "Of These Chains" to me, in the company of that remaining chain she took when she went, our would-be bundle of joy.
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  • u
    The song could be about drugs or fighting sin and temptation, but this song sounds a lot more like dealing with the loss of a loved one.

    Grief will hold you like a prisoner, and those lost cannot release you, you must be the one to let them go. The other mask referring to truly knowing the lost, moreso than anyone else. The chains are referring to memories and the narrator's want to hold on to them. Likewise the memories are stopping this persin from letting their loved one go. He feels that if he can just hold on to he can "open up the door to who he was before". The song is an amazing example of dealing with the first stages of grief, our loved ones are gone, and we feel like we cannot continue without them, but "of these chains [memories] let this one [happiest memory/remembrance] remain".
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