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The Meaning of blink-182’s “Down”

blink-182’s “Down” is a fan-favorite off their 2003 self-titled album that chronicles the thoughts and feelings of a young and lonely guy trying to make a move on a girl he really likes.

“Down” was released as the third single from blink-182, following “Feeling This” and “I Miss You”. While the track wasn’t as big of a hit as its predecessors, it still reached number 10 on the Billboard Alternative Rock charts and received significant radio airplay.

While the songwriting credit goes to the full trio of Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker, it was Tom who wrote most of the lyrics.

He explains his inspiration behind the song in the liner notes for the album:

The lyrics I wrote in “Down” are about a picture I had in my head of a boy and girl inside of a car while it’s raining outside. So I pictured over and over rain falling on the windshield while this guy is saying and thinking these things about wanting to kiss her and make her stay.

Tom DeLonge on the meaning of “Down” by blink-182.

“Down” Lyrics Meaning

Now let’s take a look at the lyrics and the story being told, starting with the first verse:

The drops of rain, they fall all over
This awkward silence makes me crazy
The glow inside burns light upon her
I’ll try to kiss you if you let me (This can’t be the end)

First verse to “Down” by blink-182, sung by Tom.

The scene is set with this verse, and we picture the pair in a car during a rainstorm. It’s quiet and the guy is losing his mind.

All he can think about in the glow of the 12 volt lighting is how much he wants to kiss her, so she won’t leave. This can either be taken as a first date or a breakup, but regardless, this young man is having a rough time.

In the chorus, we can see how he is overwhelmed with anxiety and self-doubt:

Tidal waves, they rip right through me
Tears from eyes worn cold and sad
Pick me up now, I need you so bad

Chorus to “Down” by blink-182, sung by Tom.

Tidal waves are huge and known to cause destruction and devastation. These waves are crashing inside of his mind, causing chaos.

He’s been crying, and you can tell by the look in his eyes that he’s been at it for a while. He needs this girl to pick him up from his depressed state.

We hear from Mark in the post chorus:

Down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down (it gets me so)
Down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down (it gets me so)

Post-chorus to “Down” by blink-182, sung by Mark.

The post-chorus has a double meaning, as the lyrics refer both to the rain pouring down and the way that the boy in the car is feeling about the relationship.

Tom’s voice returns again for the second verse:

Your vows of silence fall all over
The look in your eyes makes me crazy
I feel the darkness break upon her
I’ll take you over if you let me (You did this)

Second verse to “Down” by blink-182, sung by Tom.

She hasn’t said a word, and the silence is as thick as the rain falling over the car. She looks him directly in the eyes and he can hardly take it.

His mind is consumed by wanting to make a move, but he isn’t sure if she would be open to it.

We can tell that the pair are involved in a make or break moment here, and it’s leaning towards the break side of things.

The song closes with another chorus and post-chorus combo, followed by an instrumental break into “The Fallen Interlude”.

Watch the video for “Down” by blink-182 below.