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Ride the Lightning (album).jpg

Escape is the sixth track from Metallica's second album Ride the Lightning. It was written by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett.


The song is about escaping from reality, and living the way you want to (hence the lines, "life's for my own to live my own way"). It is about an escaped prisoner on the run, which can also be interpreted as an escape from everything which is preventing you from doing what you want to or even from being as you want to be. Another interpretation possibility is to live your life the way you want to live it, not the way anybody wants you to. Near the end of the song you can hear prison sirens in the background to emphasize the escape.


Screen shot from a video of the performance

  • "Escape" was premiered live on June 23rd, 2012 at the first ever Orion Music + More festival. This was the first time the Ride The Lightning album was played in its entirety.
  • "Escape" currently holds the record for going the longest without being played in its entirety live, within all songs written by Metallica, with 27 years, 10 months and 28 days. Or 10,194 days.
  • It's worth noting that, before playing this song, James mentioned that they never wanted to play it live.



Metallica themselves have a strong dislike for the song, as do some of their die hard fans. One reason may be the fact that its structure and sound isn't very typical of a thrash metal song, nor are the catchy chorus and simple guitar hooks. "Escape" has a mainstream sound more reminiscent of Metallica's post ...And Justice For All era. As the black album has become more accepted by Metallica's original fanbase, this song has garnered a little extra respect from some. It was also noted by James Hetfield himself that playing “Escape” live was one of his worst nightmares.


    Feel no pain, but my life ain't easy
    I know I'm my best friend
    No one cares, but I'm so much stronger
    I'll fight until the end
    To escape from the true false world
    Undamaged destiny
    Can't get caught in the endless circle
    Ring of stupidity
         Out for my own, out to be free
         One with my mind, they just can't see
         No need to hear things that they say
         Life's for my own, to live my own way
    Rape my mind and destroy my feelings
    Don't tell me what to do
    I don't care now 'cause I'm on my side
    And I can see through you
    Feed my brain with your so-called standards
    Who says that I ain't right?
    Break away from your common fashion
    See through your blurry sight
         Out for my own, out to be free
         One with my mind, they just can't see
         No need to hear things that they say
         Life's for my own, to live my own way
    See them try to bring the hammer down
    No damn chains can hold me to the ground
    Life's for my own, to live my own way


Ride the Lightning.jpg
Ride the Lightning
Songs Fight Fire with FireRide the LightningFor Whom the Bell TollsFade to BlackTrapped Under IceEscapeCreeping DeathThe Call of Ktulu
Members James HetfieldLars UlrichKirk HammettCliff Burton