Meaning of the Cemetery Gates song by Pantera

Cowboys from Hell, the fifth studio album by heavy metal band Pantera, was the band’s first commercial success.

One of the brightest tracks included in it was the rock ballad Cemetery Gates (“Cemetery Gates”).

The history and meaning of the Cemetery Gates song

The words of the composition Cemetery Gates suggest that we are talking about the death of a beloved, who is mourned by the performer. But, as Phil Anselmo claimed back in the early nineties, the composition is dedicated to his friends who committed suicide.

Later in an interview, answering a question about the meaning of the Cemetery Gates song, he explained:

I had a friend who died in New Orleans and it was a really big shock to my circle of friends. When I wrote the lyrics, I didn’t want it to be too personal, as it might sound cheeky. I also had to make sure the lyrics didn’t ruin the song because it’s one of our best songs.

Release and achievements

Cemetery Gates was released as the second single from the album Cowboys from Hell. Thanks to the active rotation on music radio stations, she soon became very popular.

The guitar solo from Cemetery Gates was ranked #35 in Guitar World’s Top 100. Dimebag Darrell said that one night he recorded three improvisations in a row. When he listened to them in the morning, he realized that with the first solo he hit the mark.

Clip Cemetery Gates

The original version of the song is over seven minutes long. Pantera’s Cemetery Gates video was shortened with an acoustic intro. Let’s watch online music video.

After the death of Dimebag Darrell, who was killed at a concert, Dream Theater performed the song Cemetery Gates in memory of him at the Gigantour festival.

A good cover of the song was also recorded by Evile.

Interesting Facts

  • This is the longest song Pantera has ever recorded.

Cemetery Gates Lyrics

Reverend, Reverend is this some conspiracy?
Crucified for no sins
An image beneath me
What’s within our plans for life
It all seems so unreal
I’m a man couldn’t half feel this world
left in my misery

The Reverend he turned to me
Without a tear in his eyes
It’s nothing new for him to see
I didn’t ask him why
I will remember
The love our souls had
Sworn to make
Now I watch the falling rain
All my mind can see
Now is your (face)

Well I guess
You took my youth
I gave it all away
Like the birth of a
New-found joy
This love would end in rage
And when she died
I couldn’t cry
The pride within my soul
You left me incomplete
All alone as the memories now unfold

believe the word
I will unlock my door
And pass the
Cemetery gates

Sometimes when I’m alone
I wonder aloud
If you’re watching over me
Some place far around
I must reverse my life
I can’t live in the past
Then set my soul free
Belong to me at last

Through all those
Complex years
I thought I was alone
I didn’t care to look around
And make this world my own
And when she died
I should’ve cried and spared myself some pain
You left me incomplete
All alone as the memories still remain

The way we were
The chance to save my soul
And my concern is now in vain
believe the word
I will unlock my door
And pass the cemetery gates

Cemetery Gates Lyrics

Your reverend, your reverence, is this some kind of conspiracy?
Crucified without sin
Some image below me
What about our plans for life?
Everything seems so unreal
I am a man who has not even half felt this world,
Abandoned in misery

His reverend turned to me
Without a single tear in the eye
He didn’t see anything new.
I didn’t ask him why
I’ll remember
The love our souls
swore to save
Now I watch the rain pour down
And all that my mind can see
This is your (face)

Well I guess
You took my youth
I gave it all
Like a birth
Newfound joy
This love will end in anger
And when she died
I couldn’t cry
Pride in my soul
You made me vulnerable
All alone
Before flashing memories

Believe me
I will unlock the door
And I will pass through
cemetery gate

Sometimes when I’m alone
I’m thinking out loud
Are you watching me
From somewhere far away
I have to change my life
I can’t live in the past
So you gotta free your soul
To finally belong to me

During all those
Difficult years
I thought that I was lonely
I didn’t want to look around
And make this world yours
And when she died
I should have cried and spared myself the pain
You made me vulnerable
Completely alone
‘Cause the memories still remain

What We Were
There is hope to save my soul
And I worry in vain
Believe me
I will unlock the door
And I will pass through
cemetery gate

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