Meaning of “What I’ve Done” by Linkin Park

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

If you’ve ever wondered about the deep, hidden meanings behind Linkin Park’s hit song “What I’ve Done,” you’re in for a treat. This song is a powerful exploration of regret, redemption, and self-forgiveness. It’s a musical journey that invites us to reflect on our own past actions and the desire for a fresh start.

Before you hit the pause button on this article, let me tease you with this – “What I’ve Done” by Linkin Park isn’t just another rock anthem. It’s a lyrical masterpiece that delves into the complexities of human emotions. Stay tuned, and we’ll uncover the layers of meaning behind this iconic song.

“What I’ve Done” Lyrics Meaning

In this farewell:

The song begins with a sense of finality, as if the narrator is bidding farewell to something significant in their life. This could be a relationship, a phase of life, or even a past version of themselves. The farewell is marked by a lack of blood and an alibi, suggesting a clean break from the past.

‘Cause I’ve drawn regret:

Regret, a universal emotion, is a central theme here. The singer acknowledges that they’ve made mistakes and drawn regret from the truth of a thousand lies. This line implies that their actions were based on falsehoods, leading to profound remorse.

So let mercy come and wash away:

The mention of mercy suggests a plea for forgiveness and redemption. The singer desires to be cleansed of their past actions, symbolizing a longing for a fresh start.

What I’ve done:

The repetition of this phrase emphasizes the focus of the song—coming to terms with one’s past and taking responsibility for it. It’s about acknowledging the consequences of your actions.

I’ll face myself:

This line signifies a willingness to confront one’s own mistakes and flaws, an essential step in the process of self-forgiveness.

Put to rest what you thought of me:

The singer aims to let go of others’ judgments and opinions. They want to clear the slate and move forward without the weight of external expectations.

Why Was “What I’ve Done” Written?

Linkin Park wrote “What I’ve Done” during a time of reflection. The band was evolving, and this song marked a departure from their earlier nu-metal sound towards a more mature and introspective style. It was also featured in the soundtrack of the film “Transformers,” which added to its mainstream success.

The lyrics reflect a personal journey of self-examination and growth. At its core, “What I’ve Done” is about acknowledging past mistakes, seeking redemption, and starting anew. It’s a reminder that no matter how tangled our lives may become, there’s always a chance for a fresh start.