Megadeth Lyrics

Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! :: Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? :: So Far, So Good... So What! :: Rust in Peace :: Countdown to Extinction :: Youthanasia :: Hidden Treasures :: Cryptic Writings :: Risk :: Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years :: The World Needs a Hero :: Rude Awakening :: Still Alive... And Well? :: Other Songs



Vic Rattlehead


Reckoning Day :: Train of Consequences :: Addicted to Chaos :: A Tout Le Monde :: Elysian Fields :: The Killing Road :: Blood of Heroes :: Family Tree :: Youthanasia :: I Thought I Knew It All :: Black Curtains :: Victory :: Crown of Worms

Reckoning Day

(Music: Mustaine, Friedman; lyrics: Mustaine, Ellefson)

I like the way that I make you itch
And all the reasons I give you to bitch
And how I make you wanna scream in pain
And feel your life is just a losing game

I like the way that you let me in
The way you look when the walls cave it
I like the way that your stomach knots
And how you cry for it all to stop

I like the way that you fool yourself
And make believe there's nobody else
I like the way that you stand in line
And beg salvation from the empty skies

Don't want no revenge
Ain't no pay back time
It ain't called getting even
Here comes the reckoning day

I like the things that you try to fake
And your face when I see you break
And that you say you will pray for me
You realize you are prey for me

I like the way you stay on attack
No matter what, I keep coming back
And how you try to hold me down
But you end up driven to the ground

"'Reckoning Day' shows off the talents of Megadeth's rhythm section. Nick Menza's drums coupled with David Ellefson's bass lines are so powerful, they are almost unbearable." (1994)

"I liked the unorthodox structure of this one because it wasn't your typical 'verse, bridge, chorus x2, solo' structure that we had done so much of. The middle of this is very melodic and I like that." (Friedman, 2002)

"I had just watched Tombstone with Val Kilmer and Kurt Russell. I loved that movie. It is too bad that Hollywood thinks that Val Kilmer is such an asshole. I guess we have a lot in common. I really like him. There was a line in the movie that says this is a reckoning or something like that." (Mustaine, 2001)

This song is about retribution, about being paid back for the evil deeds that you have done in your life. A day of reckoning is a day of settlement and resolution. It's that day when you're going to have to live up to what you have done, to pay back the debt that you owe. You can try to put it off or to avoid it, but the more you try, the more it haunts you.

Train of Consequences

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

I'm doing you a favor
As I'm taking all your money
I guess I should feel sorry
But I don't even trust me
There's bad news creeping up
And you feel a sudden chill
How do you do? My name is trouble
I'm coming in for the kill...
And you know I will

Set the ball a-rollin'
I'll be clicking off the miles
On the train of consequences
My boxcar life of style
My thinking is derailed
I'm tied up to the tracks
The crain of consequences
There ain't no turning back

No horse ever ran as fast
As the money that you bet
I'm blowing on my cards
And I play them to my chest
Life's fabric is corrupt
Shot through with corroded thread
As for me I hocked my brains
Packed my bags and headed West

Train of Consequences

"The first single off the record, we played it live on TV a lot. The lead solo was done in one take, the first take, with a $400 Japanese strat. I would have chosen almost any other song to be the lead-off single, but there were so many factors in making that decision at the time." (Friedman, 2002)

I believe this song is about being on a losing streak while gambling. Once you get in far enough and have enough money on the table, you have to keep playing no matter what; there's no turning back. If you keep on losing money, you have to keep playing in hopes of getting your money back, even if it is false hope. And once you're addicted, you're trapped, you're tied up to the tracks, and you end up losing all of your money and counting down the days until you die, clicking off the miles so to speak. I've heard Nick Menza had a gambling problem.

Train of Consequences

Addicted to Chaos

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

Only yesterday they told me you were gone
All these normal people, will I find another one?
Monkey on my back, aching in my bones
I forgot you said "One day you'll walk alone"
I said I need you, does that make me wrong?
Am I a weak man, are you feeling strong?
My heart was blackened, it's bloody red
A hole in my heart, a hole in my head!

Who will help me up?
Where's the helping hand?
Will you turn on me?
Is this my final stand?

In a dream I cannot see
Tangled abstract fallacy
Random turmoil builds in me
I'm addicted to chaos

Light shined on my path
Turn bad days into good
Turn breakdowns into blocks,
I smashed 'em 'cause I could
My brain was labored, my head would spin
Don't let me down, don't give up, don't give in
The rain comes down, cold wind blows
The plans we made are back up on the road
Turn up my collar, welcome the unknown
Remember that you said
"One day you'll walk alone"

"Cool vocal production by Max Norman. The complex vocal arrangement probably was what prevented us from ever playing this live. I borrowed David Ellefson's Les Paul for the creamy solo on this one." (Friedman, 2002)

In this song, the speaker loses someone very close to him, a dear friend who helped him through some very difficult times and was pretty much the only constant thing in his life. The speaker has been warned of this day, but he is still unprepared for it. He wonders about his chances of every finding anyone else like that in the world, and even contemplates suicide. In the final verse of the song, he becomes enlightened and realizes that this is simply another challenge in a life full of challenges. He gets his head together and goes out to face the world alone, once again.

A Tout Le Monde

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

Don't remember where I was
I realized life was a game
The more seriously I took things
The harder the rules became
I had no idea what it'd cost
My life passed before my eyes
I found out how little I accomplished
All my plans denied

So as you read this know my friends
I'd love to stay with you all
Please smile when you think of me
My body's gone that's all

A Tout Le Monde
A tout mes amis
Je vous aime
Je dois partir
These are the last words
I'll ever speak
And they'll set me free

If my heart was still alive
I know it would surely break
And my memories left with you
There's nothing more to say

Moving on is a simple thing
What it leaves behind is hard
You know the sleeping feel no more pain
And the living are scarred

A Tout Le Monde

"'A Tout Le Monde'... is unlike anything Megadeth has done before. It is written by Dave Mustaine about a previous suicide attempt and is definitely a, if not the, highlight of the album." (1994)

"There were a lot of times when I was lost. In February '93 there was no solution to a temporary problem because I just lost focus. I ate a handful of valiums, and I overdosed... Why I would want to voluntarily kill myself through the use of stuff that's not supposed to do any good for me just makes me rethink my whole way of life right now." (Mustaine)

"We don't write music that has any kind of suggestion about taking one's life. It is more like, 'Hey, we have a problem, let's be part of the solution'." (Mustaine)

"Playing this song in France was the greatest!! It is an amazing feeling to hear tens of thousands of people singing your song in a foreign language! Believe it or not, I sort of fashioned the intro of the guitar solo after Larry Carlton's solo in Lionel Richie's 'Hello'. If you're gonna copy something, you might as well copy something that was a hit..." (Friedman, 2002)

"A Tout Le Monde
A tout mes amis
Je vous aime
Je dois partir"

The song's French refrain, roughly translates to:

"To all the world (to everyone)
To all my friends
I love you (all)
I must leave."

A Tout Le Monde

Elysian Fields

(Music: Mustaine; lyrics: Mustaine, Ellefson)

Uneasy feeling, burning out my eyes
I hope the end is less painful than my life
I stand on trial before the gods
On Judgment Day
A blink of an eye between
The cradle and the grave

One last look at visions of flesh
The last best hope of man on earth
Pontius Pilate still washing his hands
The world don't want to be saved
Only left alone

Elysian Fields...
We are storming the heavens
To raise our swords and shields
We ascend to our destiny
To the Elysian Fields

Soaring to the sun
With blood upon their wings
Superstitious dust left twisting in the wind
Man still has one belief,
One decree that stands alone
The laying down of arms
Is like cancer to their bones

"I have no idea what this song is about, but I like the 70's rock vibe about it. This also has kind of an untraditional structure and it shows growth in the band, coming from thrashy roots and trying to be real rock stars. Cool tune." (Friedman, 2002)

This song is about God and man, heaven and earth, life and death. The main point of the song is that it is man's nature to fight. In the song, Dave says that mankind rejected Jesus Christ, our Savior, and therefore does not want to be saved. According to the song, we are so warlike that we will not only fight in life, but in the afterlife, and that even if God condemns us to Hell, we will fight and conquer, or at least try to conquer Heaven, our destiny.


"In Greek mythology the Elysian Fields, also known as Elysium or the Isles of the Blessed, were the dwelling place after death of virtuous mortals or those given immortality by divine favor." (Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia)

The Killing Road

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

Again we stalk the stage
At mach speed we engage
Feeding people's rage
The big cat's left its cage
Back in the bus again
To catch another plane
This behavior's quite insane
But we do it for the fame, yeah

I lost my mind, I lost all my money
I lost my life to the killing road

The road will never end
It always starts again
Another show's around the best
Another long lost friend
Faceless as the snow
There's nothing special about the road
It's just another haul
It's just too damn long that's all, yeah

This song is a very pessimistic commentary about what life is like on tour.

"Sometimes touring can be a drag. I'll tell ya, it gets hard if I have a cold or something. If I am not feeling well, that is when the moral level goes down. But, for the most part, this is really what I live for - to be out here on the road and have the opportunity to play in front of people. In every city that we go to, the hour and a half that I spend up on the stage pretty much outweighs all the crap that I have to deal with through the course of the day, in terms of traveling, hotels, and bad food. There are so many negatives that play in and out through the day that the positive of being on stage and seeing the enjoyment of the fans really just outweighs everything completely and you forget about all that stuff." (Menza, 1995)

"Touring can be really hard if you don't realize the benefits that you give other people. One show can please so many people. If we have a good show, or if we have a great show, we do it so often that it's not really as life or as mood altering or as important because it is our job. For me then reward of watching the happiness that we bring others when we play live is pretty much irreplaceable." (Mustaine, 1995)

"It would be nice to never have to tour again, but I don't think the fans would let us live if we did that." (Mustaine, 1996)

"We did this tune live quite a bit. The solo in it is kind of a demented 'Tornado of Souls' solo, I guess that's why it seems to be popular with guitar players." (Friedman, 2002)

Blood of Heroes

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

Walking stiff let me tall ya'
Better left for dead
And now we are on a mission
Well it's full speed ahead
My legion's when we do the crime
Let's get one thing straight
To get there early is on time
And showing up on time is late

Ladies and gents, we're still alive
By the skin of our teeth, now it's killing time
Angel in our pocket, devil by our side
We ain't going nowhere, 'cuz heroes never die

Still alive
Blood of heroes
Never die
They never die

We've been run down every hill
Chased up all the dead end streets
But if you try to cut us out
You'll get a kick in the teeth

Ladies and Gents, we're still alive
By the skin of our teeth, now it's killing time
Fasten up you head belts,
Time to ride the skies
It's time to be immortal, 'cuz heroes never die

"This tune rocks! I orchestrated the intro, and it was opening new doors for us as far as adding string arrangements to our music. Also this tune has me playing the solo with a wah pedal, something I very rarely use. Cool lyrics in this one." (Friedman, 2002)

This song sounds like it might be influenced by a book or movie. It's about a group of soldiers or mercenaries who were abandoned by their country during a war, and are now going to get their revenge and make a living through crime.

Family Tree

(Music: Mustaine, Ellefson, Menza; lyrics: Mustaine)

Forgotten things remembered
The tigers eat their young
The body stayed but inside the head
The mind was on the run
Conspiracy of silence
The only way out of pain
Is turn around and run through it man
Too wet to come in from the rain,
Tell them...

I know they were doing it to you
But don't try doing it to me

Let me show you, how I love you
It's our secret, you and me
Let me show you how I love you
But keep it in the family tree...
The secret of the family tree

When you hear them saying "Trust me"
Don't wait to see what's next
Thrown to the wolves
Forever trusting
Raised in a form of living Hell
Sing a one note song of rage
Live and die within your heart
So beware in the shadows

Your family tree waits in the dark
I say...

"Well, 'Family Tree' is just about the subject of incest. A lot of people automatically assume that, because we wrote that, it's like a real personal experience. Well it's not." (Ellefson, 1998)

"We did this live quite a bit. It was never my favorite song, maybe the theme of it was too depressing, or the music was a bit 'middle of the road', I don't know. That said, it probably would have made a good lead-off single with one of the catchiest choruses on the album." (Friedman, 2002)

This song is about sexual abuse within many families. It refers to the fact that many victims of abuse end up sexually abusing their own children, thus keeping the problem in the family tree.

Family Tree


(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

Who'd believe with the way
Things are here
We'd be going anywhere
Telling people how to live?
Who's believe we'd spend more
Shippin' drugs and guns
Than to educate our sons?
Sorry but that's what they did

I can't help but think,
Someone's forsaken you and me

Luck deserted me
And the truth beat out my brains
Men rise on stepping stones
Of their selves to higher things
I've stepped over many bodies on my way
Thanks for the information
Don't need no more anything

We are the damned of all the world
With sadness in our hearts
The wounded of the wars,
We've been hung out to dry
You didn't want us anyway
And now we're making up our minds
You tell us how to run our lives,
We run for Youthanasia

"Kids have been hung out to dry in this society. It's a fact. As soon as kids show autonomy, some parents are right there to clip it off." (Mustaine)

"'We've been hung out to dry.' That line is probably the strongest representation of how we feel about the young people who listen to our music and what their future holds for them. You have a choice - you can be pro-active, or you can choose youthanasia." (Mustaine)

"Way heavy!! As you can see on the Evolver video, we did the basic tracks of this whole album live as a band in the studio. To listen to the playback of this tune on the huge studio monitors was absolutely like partaking in the nectar of the gods. Thick, saturated, heavy guitars never sounded or felt so good. My solo reminds me of an Irish jig (?!) but it's the rhythm guitars that rule this tune." (Friedman, 2002)


The word "youthanasia" is obviously a variation of the word "euthanasia," which is the act of inducing a gentle, painless death. This can be passive, as in discontinuing an individual's life-sustaining treatment, or active, as in mercy killing - putting to death a person who, due to disease or extreme age, can no longer lead a meaningful life.

I Thought I Knew It All

(Music: Mustaine, Ellefson, Menza, Friedman; lyrics: Mustaine)

Somewhere there's a reason
Why things go like they do
Somewhere there's a reason
Why some things just fall through
We don't always see them
For what they really are
But I know there's a reason
Just can't see it from this far

Maybe I don't like it,
But I have no choice
I know that somewhere,
Someone hears my voice

I thought I knew it all
I thought I had it made
How could it end this way?
I thought I knew

Somewhere there's a reason
Why things don't go my way
Somewhere there's a reason
That I cannot explain
Just like the change of season,
Just may not be my turn
But I know there's a reason,
The lesson's mine to learn

"My fave tune on the album. This is also nectar of the gods at high volume. Nick and I wrote the music for the chorus at his house in North Hollywood. He suggested that I listen to this Gipsy Kings song and we both kind of got inspired from that. This kind of tune is what I love about Megadeth!" (Friedman, 2002)

This song hinges on the religious thought that everything happens for a reason - that nothing is just random. Dave says that even when bad things happen, there's a reason for it, something good that comes out of the bad. The song says that when something bad happens to you, remember that it has happened for a reason, even if you can't see it.

Black Curtains

(Music: Mustaine, Friedman; lyrics: Mustaine)

Hey... look around you
Everything's helter-skelter
Listen up... I warn you
Run for cover, run
Bang... it happened
Time's up, Armageddon
Fire... meltdown
The sky is crumbling in

Black curtains... never ending

Escape... you're joking
Can't find no place to run
Hair... is burning
My flesh is bubbling up
Blood... is boiling
Taste copper on my tongue
Fate... is coming
Welcome it with a smile

Black curtains... never ending, fall

Something's under my skin
Something's very strange
Playing with my mind
Tempting me to do you in

Am I dreaming? My heart pounds my chest
Held for ransom in a spider's web
Suffocating, no one hears my calls
Never ending, till the black curtain falls

Snakes... surround me
Offering their death kiss to me
Down... I'm drowning
How long, I hold my breath
Dogs... are chasing
My legs are paralyzed
Pray... don't find me
My life is fading fast

This song is clearly about nuclear holocaust... at least a part of it. The first two verses describe a nuclear attack, with all the descriptions of a person being incinerated. However, the last verse, which is my favorite, talks about a bunch of things that a person might encounter in a nightmare - being surrounded by snakes, drowning, trying to run from wild dogs but not being able to move your legs, ect.

Another interpretation is, that these are methaphorical descriptions of the DTs. Addicts who try to purge the poison from their bodies (like once Dave Mustaine did) can encounter all these hallucinations and terrors.

"Had we simplified this one a bit, maybe we could have tapped into some of Metallica's magic, but I guess it was just done our way. We never played this one live." (Friedman, 2002)


(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

Now, one day I started telling everyone
That "Killing Is My Business..."
And I was hung like a martyr
For "Looking Down the Cross"
My "Skull Beneath the Skin"
Prophesied "Last Rites/Loved to Death" my friends
Then I started seeing
"Bad Omens" in my head
"Good Mourning/Black Friday,"
Will I "Wake Up Dead"?
If "I Ain't Superstitious"
Then this won't mean a thing
But some crazy shit has happened
Since "The Conjuring"

Not even close... To overdose!

Had fingers in my eyes,
Had needles in my veins
A knife right through my heart,
I am a victory

Came "Anarchy" to "Set the World Afire"
Pain of "Hook in Mouth," "In My Darkest Hour"
Corruption of the world,
"Peace Sells... But Nobody's Buying"
Ignorant religion, "Holy Wars" and the dying
"Tornado" nearly got me by the "Skin O'My Teeth"
"This Was My Life," "Foreclosure of My Dreams"
May the past "Rust in Peace" in "Hangar 18"
And "Countdown to Extinction" just be a bad dream
"Lucretia" said...

This song is nostalgic summary of what Megadeth has done up to this point and a promise that the band will continue well into the future.

Mustaine has cited "Not even close to overdose" as his favorite Megadeth lyric.

"'Victory' was written in a couple of hours." (Mustaine)

"As if to reassure fans that Megadeth can still burn rubber when they choose, the foursome go out with a bang on 'Victory,' lyrically cataloguing everything they have done. Victory indeed." (1994)

"Literally written and recorded in the studio in 20 minutes with tape rolling. We weren't planning to write a song or anything, it just came out. It's amazing how inspired you get when you are in a world-class studio with world class gear and world class people around you. Everything that you play just sounds so good that the music just flows." (Friedman, 2002)

Crown of Worms

(Music: Mustaine; lyrics: Mustaine, Sean Harris)

I am the author, dream up your pain
Drink as did Bacchus, rebel just like Cain
Lord of the city, I shall remain
All pandemonium I shall reign

Set in my fortress up on my hill
Drinking the wine till I've had my fill
Building up high, my castle walls
Oh, to veil my splendid fall

I present you this crown of worms

Surrounding myself with misery
Drawn curtains heavy of my history
Exquisite I am, perfect unity
On my left hand is false majesty

I feign affection, refute the true story
Dispute with creation, the lie is my glory
I care for no one, my gospel is death
For me the light's gone, only darkness is left

I present you this crown of worms

As black in deed, as cold as stone
A commandment of one, as proud as gold
As neglected in spirit, as time is old
As legion is numbers, as legend is told

I am alone with agony of truth
My power of will
My judgment and chain
My end is knowledge and conscience of guilt
My final confusion hidden from me till I'm done

This song is available only on the Japanese release of the album.

Crown of Worms

This song is very mysterious, to say the least. Although it's controversial illustration with Jesus Christ wearing a crown of worms appears in the Youthanasia CD case, the song is nowhere to be found on the album. Only in the Japanese release does the song come directly after "Victory."

Both "New World Order" and "Crown of Worms" are leftovers from the Countdown to Extinction recording sessions. They never made it past the demo stage but when Megadeth, Arizona was up, the band decided to put those songs on the web site and make them available to the public for the first time. The response was so good, they decided to put them on the CD singles for "A Toute Le Monde" and "Train of Consequences."

Written by Dave Mustaine and Sean Harris of Diamond Head, two devoted Christians, "Crown of Worms" is loaded with Biblical references and religious imagery. Lyrically ambiguous and never talked about in interviews by either of the two writers, I can only guess what it's message is.

I believe that the song is saying that the Bible is so often misinterpreted and bastardized that anyone can completely change its intended message to fit in with their own perverted beliefs. Dave and Sean use the example of Cain to illustrate their message. Cain was a murderer and a liar, traditionally thought of as a negative character in the Bible. However, there are people who say that Cain was a rebel and someone who stood up for what he believed in, therefore making him a role model and a positive character. The song is saying that if you're going to alter the Bible like this, you might as well make Jesus a prophet of evil instead of good, and give him a crown of worms instead of a crown of thorns.


"In Roman mythology, Bacchus was the god of wine and revelry. The son of Semele and Jupiter, Bacchus was known to the Greeks as Dionysus. His wife was Ariadne." (Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia)

Cain, in the book of Genesis, was the first son of Adam and Eve. His brother, Abel, was a shepherd who honored God with a sacrifice of the best lamb in his flock. Cain, however, was a farmer and made an offering of his first fruits. Abel's sacrifice was accepted, Cain's was rejected. Cain then murdered his brother and lied to God when questioned about it.

Reckoning Day :: Train of Consequences :: Addicted to Chaos :: A Tout Le Monde :: Elysian Fields :: The Killing Road :: Blood of Heroes :: Family Tree :: Youthanasia :: I Thought I Knew It All :: Black Curtains :: Victory :: Crown of Worms
Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! :: Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? :: So Far, So Good... So What! :: Rust in Peace :: Countdown to Extinction :: Youthanasia :: Hidden Treasures :: Cryptic Writings :: Risk :: Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years :: The World Needs a Hero :: Rude Awakening :: Still Alive... And Well? :: Other Songs

The Realms of Deth
Lyrics | Home | Back to the Top | E-mail