Chris Cornell + Acid + 4th of July

What did you think the song acually meant? Find out.

Category: Article

Long live Chris Cornell, Rock God.

Chris Cornell passed away back in May of 2017 due to an apparent suicide, which I still find truly hard to believe until today. He not only fronted Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog but made those bands household names by sharing his unique voice and writing amazing songs that will stand the test of time. Chris was truly beloved in the rock community and the news of his passing came as a massive shock in the music industry. I myself, felt like I lost a friend. I listened to Chris’ voice profusely and even more when he passed.

I recently read an excerpt from an old interview Chris did with RIP Magazine regarding the real meaning behind Soundgarden’s song off of their breakthrough record ‘Superunknown’ entitled “4th of July.”

It’s truly insane to know the meaning behind the song is not what we’d all thought it out to be. Check it:

“I always try really hard with lyrics. Sometimes it’s a struggle, sometimes it isn’t. Like “Superunknown” and “4th of July,” I wrote lyrics for both those songs on different days. It took me a whole day to write lyrics to “4th of July,” then it took another whole day to write lyrics to “Superunknown,” I hated the lyrics, so I rewrote the whole thing in like 20 minutes with a completely different idea and different vocals and everything, and I liked that. Then I went to do “4th of July,” and I hated what I’d done on it, so I also rewrote that in 20 minutes.”

A few more lines through the interview and then this comes on:

“One time I was on acid, and there were voices ten feet behind my head. The whole time I’d be walking, they’d be talking behind me. It actually made me feel good, because I felt like I was with some people. At one point I was looking back, and I saw that one person was wearing a black shirt and jeans, and the other person was wearing a red shirt. They were always there. It was kinda like a dream, though, where I’d wake up and look and focus once in a while and realize there was no one there. I’d go, “Oh, fuck, I’m hearing voices.”

RIP: Do you write a lot of songs on acid?

Chris: No, but “4th of July” is pretty much about that day. You wouldn’t get that if you read it. It doesn’t read like, “Woke up, dropped some acid, got into the car and went to the Indian reservation.”

Mind blown.

Spoiler alert: Anytime I was on acid, weird shit like this occured all the freakin’ time to me.

The voices, the weird good feeling and the you getting followed by something/someone in color. It’s fuckin’ weird, I get it. But that’s what it is to be on acid. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it changes every single you drop acid as well. It’s never the same trip even though there’s similarities and same type of colors and elements involved. Weird as fuck.

So I totally understand Chris and the lyrics to 4th of July. I actually, truly see that song in a different light now and man does it hold a different true meaning. The overall vibe of the song feels all changed as well.

It’s a totally new song to me!

Here’s the lyrics:

Shower in the dark day Clean sparks diving down Cool in the waterway Where the baptized drown Naked in the cold sun Breathing life like fire Thought I was the only one But that was just a lie

‘Cause I heard it in the wind And I saw it in the sky And I thought it was the end And I thought it was the fourth of July

Pale in the flare light The scared light cracks and disappears And leads the scorched ones here And everywhere no one cares The fire is spreading And no one wants to speak about it Down in the hole Jesus tries to crack a smile Beneath another shovel load

‘Cause I heard it in the wind And I saw it in the sky And I thought it was the end And I thought it was the fourth of July

Heard it in the wind And I saw it in the sky And I thought it was the end And I thought it was the fourth of July

Fourth of July, July

Now I’m in control Now I’m in the fall out Once asleep but now I stand And I still remember your sweet everything Light a roman candle And hold it in your hand

Heard it in the wind And I saw it in the sky And I thought it was the end And I thought it was the fourth of July Heard it in the wind And I saw it in the sky And I thought it was the end And I thought it was the fourth of July, yeah

Wow, crazy shit right?

It’s totally weird and totally out of whack, which is exactly what happens when you take acid. You are out of whack, for real. Everything doesn’t feel real, vision is warped, body is high, hallucinations are abound. I mean, it’s a good time like a mother effer, just don’t get a bad trip.

Chris captured the weirdness, amazing.

Now go pump the song through your speakers and try to escape your own reality for a minute.