Interpretations:CATENAS MEAS AMISI

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Death of a Slave[edit]

I think the word "chains" implies that the narrator is a Roman slave. As he dies, life and nature go on without a break. He is 'free' now, but he notes how thoroughly his death is ignored - no one turns a head to notice, and no trumpets are blown. But there are honors for Caesar's armies, home from defeating the Gauls. --Nehushtan (talk) 11:20, 23 July 2021 (EDT)

This mortal coil[edit]

I agree with the interpretation that says the narrator is singing about being dead and no one caring. Just thought I'd mention that I personally figured this out because the metaphor of one's life as a chain that binds a person is also seen elsewhere, like in Hamlet, in that famous monologue where he talks about killing himself, aka "shuffling off this mortal coil". Just a connection I saw. There you go.


I very much agree with the above "Death of a Slave" interpretation. Then I saw the lyric video, which depicts a prisoner escaping, and it occurred to me that the narrator may also be a prisoner who dies while incarcerated. Considering both the slave and prisoner interpretations, maybe we can say that "chains" symbolize any social force that keeps a certain person or class of people from being visible so that when they die, no one notices.


I'm reminded of Phaedo of Plato's Five Dialogues, in which Socrates argues for the immortality of the soul. He describes the body as a burden on the soul, and frames it as a hindrance separating the soul from Truth. With that in mind, I don't think this song is necessarily about a literal prisoner or slave. The chains may not be literal, they could be referencing the body itself. 00:45, 5 December 2022 (EST)

Escaped convict[edit]

From the music video, and the lyrics, I think the song is about a prisoner escaping and and dying in the tunnel he dug to escape. The "No heads are turned, no announcements are made" part could mean the prison guards not noticing his escape. The "unrelenting flow of the Tiber" and the children yelling could be the things that the prisoner hears above ground while crawling through the tunnel. UnrealCritter (talk) 23:45, 31 March 2024 (EDT)