The Killing Lights
AFI Lyrics


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Five a.M. On the bathroom floor
From the night before
Do you find me dreadful?
What a shame, such a sad disgrace
Such a pretty face
But she's not regretful

Am I beautiful?
Am I usable?

It's killing time again
Put on your face and let's pretend
These killing lights won't kill us all again

Three a.M. On the city street
When the air is sweet
I've had my mouthful
But it seems that I'm tired of screams
Such a pretty face
Up in will look dreadful, oh

Am I beautiful?
Am I usable?

It's killing time again
Put on your face and let's pretend
These killing lights won't kill us all again
It's killing time again
Cover your face and we'll pretend
These killing lights can't kill us all again

You seem to always remember
We never forget a face
When we cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut you up
Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut they remember
Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut you up
Cut you up

It's killing time again
Put on your face and let's pretend
These killing lights won't kill us all again
It's killing time again
Cover your face and we'll pretend
These killing lights can't kill us all again
All again
All again




It's time again
It's killing time

Overall Meaning

The chorus of "The Killing Lights" by AFI sets the scene for the entire song, with the lyrics "it's killing time again, put on your face and let's pretend, these killing lights won't kill us all again." The verses explore the darker side of fame, suggesting that being in the public eye can be damaging to one's mental health. The opening lines see the singer on the bathroom floor at 5 a.m. after a night of partying. Despite her pretty face, she feels like a "sad disgrace" and wonders if she's "beautiful" and "usable." Later in the song, the singer is on a city street at 3 a.m. where "the air is sweet," but her screams are met with tiredness. The chorus repeats twice, suggesting that the singer is caught in a cycle of pretending to be okay in front of the "killing lights" (a metaphor for the bright lights of fame).


Overall, "The Killing Lights" is a commentary on the toll that fame can take on a person. The lyrics suggest that underneath the surface of glitz and glamour lies a darker reality, one that can drive a person to exhaustion and even self-destruction. By drawing from personal experiences, AFI delivers a powerful message about the dangers of living in the public eye.


Line by Line Meaning

Five a.M. On the bathroom floor From the night before Do you find me dreadful?
The singer is on the bathroom floor at 5 a.m. after a rough night, wondering if others see them as a failure or a disappointment.


What a shame, such a sad disgrace Such a pretty face But she's not regretful
The singer expresses disappointment in themselves despite their physical beauty, but they refuse to feel regret for their actions.


Am I beautiful? Am I usable?
The singer questions their own worth and whether they are valued for their physical appearance or usefulness.


It's killing time again Put on your face and let's pretend These killing lights won't kill us all again
The artist is preparing to face the day, donning a figurative mask to hide their true feelings in the harsh world they live in.


Three a.M. On the city street When the air is sweet I've had my mouthful
The artist is out at 3 a.m. in the city, enjoying the quiet of the night and possibly indulging in some pleasure or vice.


But it seems that I'm tired of screams Such a pretty face Up in will look dreadful, oh
Despite their beauty, the singer is weary from the chaos and negativity of the world around them, which can make anyone look unattractive.


You seem to always remember We never forget a face When we cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut you up Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut they remember Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut you up Cut you up
The singer refers to the cruel nature of society, which remembers and celebrates those they have figuratively or literally cut down.


It's killing time again Put on your face and let's pretend These killing lights won't kill us all again It's killing time again Cover your face and we'll pretend These killing lights can't kill us all again
The artist is once again facing the harsh world, wearing their mask and pretending to be unaffected by the negative influences around them.


All again All again It's time again It's killing time
The repetition of these lines highlights the cyclical nature of the song and the constant battle the artist faces against the harshness of the world.




Lyrics © Wixen Music Publishing
Written by: Adam A Carson, David Paden Marchand, Hunter Lawrence Burgan, Jade Errol Puget

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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