For the music video for this song, see: Going Under (music video)

"Going Under"
Evanescence - Going Under.jpg
Released September 9, 2003
Length 3:35
Producers Dave Fortman
Label Wind-up Records
"Going Under" "Bring Me to Life"

"Going Under" is the first track from Fallen. It serves as the second single for the album.

Background and Development[edit | edit source]

"Going Under" was written by Amy LeeDavid Hodges and Ben Moody, while production for the song was handled by Dave Fortman. It was the last song written for Fallen although a demo version was recorded before the release of Fallen, and it featured a slightly different sound in the music and Lee's vocals.[1][2] An acoustic version was recorded shortly after the release of Fallen, along with several other songs. According to Amy Lee, "Going Under" is about recovering from an abusive relationship, which she has stated in a number of interviews. In an interview with MTV News, Lee further explained the meaning and the inspiration behind the song,

"And when you're at the end of your rope, when you're at the point where you realize something has to change, that you can't go on living in the situation that you're in. It's cool. It's a very strong song."[3]

In another interview, she noted that this is the only song on Fallen in which she's not asking for help, but actually saving herself:

“I was just getting to that point where I was starting to change when I wrote that,” she says, “and I remember loving that line. From then on, for months, that was my favorite song. It’s the one song that isn’t desperate and asking for help from somebody else. I hear the rest of those songs now, and I almost get angry. I’m like, I don’t want to be saved. I want to save myself.”[2]

The UK single of "Going Under" contains the album version of the song and a live version recorded at WNOR in Norfolk, Virginia. An acoustic radio version of "Going Under" and an acoustic version of Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box," recorded at WXDX-FM in Pittsburgh are placed on the single as well. The fourth track is the music video for the song.

In December 2020, Amy shared on her Instagram stories a snippet of a demo tape containing a different demo of "Going Under."[4]

Composition[edit | edit source]

According to the sheet music published by Alfred Music Publishing on the website, "Going Under" is set in common time and performed in slow and free tempo of 84 beats per minute. It is written in the key of B minor and Lee's vocal range for the song runs from the musical note of E3 to D♯5. Associated with the nu metal genre, the song features several guitars and drum machine as Lee sings the lines "fifty thousand tears I’ve cried". A writer for The Boston Globe said that the song is "a mix of Lee's ethereal soprano, piano interludes, and layers of serrated guitar crunch that conjure visions of Sarah McLachlan fronting Godsmack."

Mikel Toombs of Seattle Post-Intelligencer found a Wagnerian arrangement and metal and classic rock influences in the song. Joe D'Angelo from MTV News wrote that the "toothy riffs" of songs like "Going Under" and "Bring Me to Life" might suggest that "Nobody's Home" (2005) from Avril Lavigne's second studio album Under My Skin will sound like "an Evanescence song with Avril, not Amy Lee, on vocals." It was also described as a "goth-meets pop" song by Michael D. Clark of The Houston Chronicle. Tim Sendra of Allmusic said that the "tinkling pianos and hip-hop-inspired backing vocals, [are] making the song perfect for those who find the male histrionics of Limp Bizkit and their ilk too oppressive." Vik Bansal of MusicOMH compared the song with Evanescence's previous single, "Bring Me to Life" saying that it contained "Amy Lee's temptress vocals, pseudo-electronic beats à la Linkin Park, understated but menacing metallic riffs in the background, and a ripping, radio-friendly rock chorus."

Music video[edit | edit source]

Amy in the "Going Under" music video.

A music video for "Going Under" was directed by Philip Stolzl and filmed in Berlin, Germany. The video follows the band at what is assumed to be a concert where they made it into the headlines. Amy is shown to be swimming underwater which coincides the lyrics of the song, "I'm diving again ... drowning in you" (although the correct lyric is "I'm dying again"), and transitions into her coming out of the crowd after a stage dive. Ben Moody is shown being questioned relentlessly by the media (The questions they kept receiving about the band's religious affiliation inspired this part of the video), while the rest of the band is playing on stage. The audience, hairdressers and journalists are portrayed as zombies. Ben's love for the movie Evil Dead was said to be the inspiration for this.

Single releases[edit | edit source]

UK- CD single[edit | edit source]

GU UK.jpg Label: Wind-up
Released: April 14, 2003
Barcode: 6743522
  1. "Going Under" (3:34)
  2. "Going Under" [Live acoustic (recorded live at FM99 WNOR in Norfolk, Virginia, April 14, 2003)] (3:12)
  3. "Heart Shaped Box" [Live acoustic] (Nirvana Cover) (2:47)
  4. "Going Under" [Video] (4:00)

UK- DVD single[edit | edit source]

GU DVD.jpg Label: Wind-up, Epic
Released: April 14, 2003
Barcode: 6743529
  1. "Going Under" [Video] 4:00
  2. "Going Under" (3:34)
  3. "Going Under" [Instrumental version (the commercial video with lyric subtitles)] (3:34)
  4. The Making of the Video [With some interview footage of Amy]

Australia/US- CD single[edit | edit source]

GU Australia.jpg Label: Wind-up
Released: April 14, 2003
Barcode: 6740862
  1. "Going Under" (3:34)
  2. "Going Under" [Live acoustic (recorded live at FM99 WNOR in Norfolk, Virginia, April 14, 2003)] (3:12)
  3. "Heart Shaped Box" [Live acoustic] (Nirvana cover) (2:47)
  4. Enhanced MPEG version of the music video (4:00)

Europe- CD single[edit | edit source]

GU Europe.jpg Label: Wind-up
Released: April 14, 2003
Barcode: WIN 6740862
  1. "Going Under" (3:34)
  2. "Going Under" [Live acoustic (recorded live at FM99 WNOR in Norfolk, Virginia, April 14, 2003)] (3:12)
  3. "Heart Shaped Box" [Live acoustic] (Nirvana Cover) (2:47)
  4. Enhanced Quicktime (or MPEG) video version (4:00)

Spain- CD single[edit | edit source]

GU Spain.jpg Label: Wind-up
Released: April 4, 2003
Barcode: WIN 6740869
  1. "Going Under" (3:34)
  2. "Going Under" [Live acoustic (Courtesy of 40 Principales Radio, Spain)] (3:13)

Reception[edit | edit source]

Tim Sendra of Allmusic called the song "one of the harder tracks" on Fallen. Sendra also praised the acoustic version of the song placed on UK single saying that Lee's vocals are "free rein to soar." He wasn't satisfied with the cover of Nirvana which appeared on the single, saying that Lee's vocals are on the "overly dramatic side here and serve to make the song into a bad joke.". Johnny Loftus of the same publication wrote that the song "surges nicely into its anthemic chorus, and when the guitars do show up (like on 'Everybody's Fool'), Lee matches their power easily." While reviewing Evanescence's second studio album, The Open Door, Brendan Butler of Cinema Blend compared the song with "Sweet Sacrifice" (2007) calling it the most "radio-friendly" song. Joe D'Angelo of MTV News wrote that the song "should be as omnipresent as 'Bring Me to Life". Vik Bansal of MusicOMH praised the song stating that the band "have poured bits of metal and goth into the cauldron, and by using a smattering of pop, produced a mix that makes those two musical genres more palatable to the general public." It was nominated for the Kerrang! Award for Best Single.

Although "Going Under" failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at number 4 and 5 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles and on the Alternative Songs chart respectively. The song achieved its highest chart position in New Zealand where it peaked at number 4. It debuted at number 14 on the Australian Singles Chart on August 31, 2003 which later became the song's peak position on that chart. It was certified Gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) in 2003. In Italy, "Going Under" debuted at number 16 on October 16, 2003 and it later peaked at number 9 on January 1, 2004. On the year-end chart in the same country, "Going Under" was placed at number 56. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number 8 on October 4, 2011 which later became its peak position. On November 8, the song charted at number 53 and it fell out of the chart the next week.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

[edit | edit source]

Now I will tell you what I've done for you
Fifty thousand tears I've cried
Screaming deceiving and bleeding for you
And you still won't hear me
[going under]

Don't want your hand this time, I'll save myself
Maybe I'll wake up for once [wake up for once]
Not tormented daily defeated by you
Just when I thought I'd reached the bottom

I'm dying again

I'm going under [going under]
Drowning in you [drowning in you]
I'm falling forever [falling forever]
I've got to break through
I'm going under

Blurring and stirring the truth and the lies[So I don't know what's real and what's not]
[So I don't know what's real and what's not]
[So I don't know what's real and what's not]
Always confusing the thoughts in my head
So I can't trust myself anymore

I'm dying again

I'm going under [going under]
Drowning in you [drowning in you]
I'm falling forever [falling forever]
I've got to break throughI'm [I'm]

So go on and scream
Scream at me, I'm so far away [so far away]
I won't be broken again [again]
I've got to breathe, I can't keep going under

I'm dying again

I'm going under [going under]
Drowning in you [drowning in you]
I'm falling forever [falling forever]
I've got to break through
I'm going under [going under]

Going under [drowning in you]
I'm going under

In other media[edit | edit source]

  • The music of "Going Under" can be heard in the end credits of the video game Enter the Matrix.
  • It is also featured at the end of the trailer of the 2006 film Tristan & Isolde.
  • "Going Under" was also released as downloadable content for Rock Band Network.

References[edit | edit source]

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