11 Linkin Park Songs That Take On A Whole New Meaning After Chester Bennington's Suicide

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10 Best Linkin Park Chester Bennington Suicide
Buzz, Heartbreak

He shared so much raw beauty with those of us who needed it most.

The loss of Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington to suicide is being felt strongly by so many of us this week, not simply because he is "yet another" famous rock star in the long list of famous rock stars who died young, but because his music spoke to us in such uniquely direct terms about the pain he struggled with throughout his far too brief life.

Bennington, like his music, was real and raw — about life, about addiction, about his craft, and yes, about the crippling hold of depression.

I don't know if it's a Gen X thing, a Xennial thing, or just an adult human trying to make it through this life thing, but as magnificent as Bennington was as an artist, the lyrics he composed have a magical quality to them by virtue of just how brutally real they are.

In a 2009 interview with Spin, he said:

"This is just who I am, this is what I write about, what I do, and most of my work has been a reflection of what I’ve been going through in one way or another.”

I'd be willing to bet that at times more numerous than we can imagine over the past several decades, far more than one person found themselves saved in a moment of soul-crushing desperation when they played their favorite Linkin Park songs and took in the strength and security of Bennington's literal and lyrical voice.

The depth of meaning in his words is all the more obvious now, of course.

Take a moment to look for yourself and find the messages within these excerpts from 11 of the best Linkin Park songs about depression, suicidal thoughts, addiction and even sexual abuse. 

1. "Heavy" from One More Light (2017)

According to the lyrics page on Genius, this song "centers around the emotional weight of fixating on oneself... Chester Bennington said in an interview with 102.7 KIIS FM that 'Heavy' is a song of enlightenment, where a person takes a step back and realizes that a great deal of emotional strain is self-inflicted."

The band shared that the lyrics were written based on their discussions amongst themselves about the troubles they each faced in their lives, and in one interview, Bennington "stated that personally, he has a hard time with life, even on a good day."

I don’t like my mind right now
Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary
Wish that I could slow things down
I wanna let go but there’s comfort in the panic
And I drive myself crazy
Thinking everything's about me
Yeah, I drive myself crazy
'Cause I can’t escape the gravity

I'm holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on
So much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what's bringing me down
If I just let go, I'd be set free
Holding on
Why is everything so heavy?

 

2. "Somewhere I Belong" from Meteora (2003)

(When this began)
I had nothing to say
And I get lost in the nothingness inside of me
(I was confused)
And I let it all out to find
That I’m not the only person with these things in mind

(Inside of me)
But all the vacancy the words revealed
Is the only real thing that I’ve got left to feel
(Nothing to lose)
Just stuck, hollow and alone
And the fault is my own, and the fault is my own

I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real
I wanna let go of the pain I’ve felt so long
(Erase all the pain till it’s gone)
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along
Somewhere I belong

 

3. "Breaking The Habit" from Meteora (2003)

According to Wikipedia, "A common misconception about the song is that it was written by lead singer Chester Bennington due to his struggles with substance abuse. In fact, band member Mike Shinoda began writing the song before he met Bennington based on another close friend's drug addiction."

Clutching my cure
I tightly lock the door
I try to catch my breath again
I hurt much more than any time before
I have no options left again
I don't want to be the one the battles always choose
'cause inside I realize that I'm the one confused

 

4. "Numb" from Meteora (2003)

I'm tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless, lost under the surface
Don't know what you're expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes

(Caught in the undertow
Just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow
Just caught in the undertow)

I've become so numb, I can't feel you there
Become so tired, so much more aware
I'm becoming this, all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

 

5. "Leave Out All The Rest" from Minutes To Midnight (2008)

In a now archived interview about the song, Bennington said, "We knew this was going to be a single from the very beginning, so we worked really hard on making sure it had great lyrics. I'm singing 'Pretending someone else can save me from myself' during it because it's supposed to feel like an apology letter, as though i'm moving on but i want people to remember the good things and not the bad things. A lot of the song is about humility."

I dreamed I was missing, you were so scared
But no-one would listen, 'cause no-one else cared
After my dreaming, I woke with this fear
What am I leaving, when I'm done here?

So, if you're asking me, I want you to know

When my time comes, forget the wrong that I've done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
Don't resent me and, when you're feeling empty
Keep me in your memory, leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

 

6. "Easier To Run" from Meteora (2003)

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

Something has been taken from deep inside of me
A secret I've kept locked away
No one can ever see
Wounds so deep they never show
They never go away
Like moving pictures in my head
For years and years, they've played...

Sometimes I remember
The darkness of my past
Bringing back these memories
I wish I didn't have
Sometimes I think of letting go
And never looking back
And never moving forward so
There'd never be a past

 

7. "In The End" from Meteroa (2003)

According to Genius, "The verse lyrics emerged from a free-writing exercise performed by Chester Bennington: he wrote them to no music, no beat. Mike Shinoda and Don Gilmore liked them a lot, and the guys decided this was the song to work them into."

Something has been taken from deep inside of me
A secret I've kept locked away no one can ever see
Wounds so deep they never show, they never go away
Like moving pictures in my head, for years and years they've played

If I could change, I would, take back the pain, I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made, I would
If I could stand up and take the blame, I would
If I could take all the shame to the grave, I would
If I could change, I would, take back the pain, I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made, I would
If I could stand up and take the blame, I would
If I would take all the shame to the grave

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

 

8. "Waiting For The End" from A Thousand Suns (2010)

Waiting for the end to come
Wishing I had strength to stand
This is not what I had planned
It's out of my control
Flying at the speed of light
Thoughts were spinning in my head
So many things were left unsaid
It's hard to let you go

(Oh) I know what it takes to move on
(Oh) I know how it feels to lie
(Oh) All I want to do
Is trade this life for something new
Holding on to what I haven't got

 

9. "By Myself" from Hybrid Theory (2000)

According to Genius, this song "started out under the demo name Sad in 1999 and was also titled SuperXero in the time leading up to the signing of the band and the release of their debut. This song describes a person with no self-confidence as well as a drug problem. Both of these were issues that Chester Bennington faced throughout his lifetime."

What do I do to ignore them behind me?
Do I follow my instincts blindly?
Do I hide my pride from these bad dreams
And give in to sad thoughts that are maddening?
Do I sit here and try to stand it?
Or do I try to catch them red-handed?
Do I trust some and get fooled by phoniness
Or do I trust nobody and live in loneliness?
Because I can't hold on when I'm stretched so thin
I make the right moves but I'm lost within
I put on my daily façade but then
I just end up getting hurt again

By myself (myself)
I ask why, but in my mind
I find I can’t rely on myself (myself)
I ask why, but in my mind
I find I can’t rely on myself

I can’t hold on (To what I want when I’m stretched so thin)
It’s all too much to take in
I can’t hold on (To anything watching everything spin)
With thoughts of failure sinking in

 

10. "Crawling" from Hybrid Theory (2000)

Bennington was known to say that this was the most difficult song for him perform live. In the above-mentioned interview with Spin, he also shared that, "My life was falling apart in many ways that I was writing about on this record in terms of getting divorced, in terms of diving very hard into alcohol and drugs throughout this process."

He continued to say that this song "is about feeling like I had no control over myself in terms of drugs and alcohol. That feeling, being able to write about it, sing about it, that song, those words sold millions of records, I won a Grammy, I made a lot of money.” But, he added, "It’s not cool to be an alcoholic — it’s not cool to go drink and be a dumbass... It’s cool to be a part of recovery."

There's something inside me that pulls beneath the surface
Consuming, confusing
This lack of self-control I fear is never ending
Controlling, I can't seem

To find myself again
My walls are closing in
Without a sense of confidence
I'm convinced that there's just too much pressure to take
I've felt this way before
So insecure

Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real

 

11. "Final Masquerade" from The Hunting Party (2014)

And one final song as a bonus...

"Hunger Strike" from Temple of the Dog (1991)

Unlike the songs above, "Hunger Strike" was written by Bennington's close friend and lead singer of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, who also tragically died by suicide earlier this year, and who would have turned 53 on July 20, 2017, the day Bennington passed away.

According to an article in Rolling Stone, "In the summer of 2008, Chris Cornell and Linkin Park toured together as part of the Projekt Revolution tour."

This video of two of them singing "Hunger Strike" together at Atlanta's Lakewood Amphitheatre is the very definition of tragic beauty.

Please remember that there are several options if or someone you know needs help to deal with an immediate crisis. Call 911 if you think a family member may harm themselves or others.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

 

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