Meaning of My Immortal by Evanescence

My Immortal


My Immortal: The Story Behind Evanescence’s Heartbreaking Ballad

Evanescence is a rock band that rose to fame in the early 2000s, and their song “My Immortal” is one of their most popular and emotional songs. Released in December 2003 as the third single from their debut album Fallen, the song reached No. 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 10 on the UK Charts. It also won in 2004 a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. But what is the meaning behind this song, and how did it come to be? In this blog post, we will explore the artist’s perspective, listeners’ interpretations, and any historical or societal context that influenced the song.

The Artist’s Perspective

The song was written by lead singer Amy Lee and former guitarist Ben Moody when they were 15 (!) years old. They wrote the song based on fiction, not personal experience, and used a lingering spirit as a metaphor for someone who has hurt them in the past3. Lee said, “It’s about a loss, not necessarily romantic. It’s about losing somebody who is important to you. It’s a sad song, but it’s also empowering. It’s saying, ‘I’m going to remember you and carry you with me always’”.

The song went through several versions before it was released on Fallen. The original version featured only Lee’s vocals and piano, and had slightly different lyrics. It was intended to be included on their 1998 Evanescence EP but was cut before the EP’s release. In 2000, it was included on Origin, a collection of songs the band put together as a demo. This version had background vocals by band member David Hodges. The version that was used on Fallen was taken from the 2000 demo CD Origin, which featured Lee’s demo vocals, guitar and a MIDI keyboard with strings from Daredevil composer Graeme Revell being added during the production of Fallen when it was included in Daredevil. The single version, dubbed “band version”, is the re-recording Lee and Moody made for Fallen, featuring guitar, drums and bass after the bridge and a string arrangement by David Campbell.

The Listeners’ Interpretations

The song resonated with millions of listeners around the world, who found their own meanings and connections to it. Some people interpreted the song as a reflection on their own breakups or failed relationships. Others related the song to their personal struggles or challenges in life. Some even saw the song as a spiritual or philosophical statement, expressing a desire to find meaning and purpose in a chaotic world.

The Historical and Societal Context

The song was released at a time when rock music was undergoing a major transformation, with new genres and styles emerging such as indie rock, alternative rock, and post-rock. Evanescence was one of the pioneers of this change, having started as an indie band in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995. They gradually built their reputation and fan base with their distinctive sound and style, blending rock, metal, gothic, and classical influences. They also experimented with different themes and concepts, such as spirituality, death, love, and pain.

By 2003, Evanescence had achieved commercial success and critical acclaim with their debut album Fallen, which sold over 17 million copies worldwide. However, they also faced internal conflicts and creative differences among their members. The album was their last to feature all four original members: Lee, Moody, Hodges (keyboards), and Rocky Gray (drums)2. Moody left the band in October 2003 during their first tour due to personal issues. Hodges left in December 2003 due to musical differences. Lee remained as the only constant member of the band.

“My Immortal” was one of the most acclaimed songs on the album, as it showcased Evanescence’s artistic vision and musical talent, as well as their ability to connect with their audience and the world. The song also benefited from its music video, which was directed by David Mould and filmed in black-and-white in Gothic Quarter, Barcelona. The video showed Lee walking on the edge of a fountain, but never touching the ground, implying that she was a spirit of some kind. 

“My Immortal” is a song that has transcended its original context and meaning, and has become a timeless and universal anthem for anyone who has ever felt lost, lonely, or misunderstood. It is a song that showcases Evanescence’s artistic vision and musical talent, as well as their ability to connect with their audience and the world. It is a song that deserves to be celebrated and appreciated for its beauty, depth, and impact.

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