The song is about a singer who is becoming increasingly paranoid and therefore on the brink of losing his mind. The songs intro includes a sound sample of the Winkie chant from the movie The Wizard of Oz. At 7:44 it is the 3rd longest track on ...And Justice For All. “The Frayed Ends of Sanity” is renowned to be a fan favorite and in the past many petitions were raised among Metallica fans to get the song played live.
It was debuted live in its entirety on May the 28th, 2014, in Helsinki, Finland during the 'Metallica by Request' tour. In the last decade, James used to play the intro of the song before the first song of the encore or the band would jam the first riff at the end of “Seek & Destroy”, to close the show.
Never hunger, never prosper I have fallen prey to failure Struggle within, triggered again Now the candle burns on both ends Twisting under Schizophrenia Falling deep into dementia Old habits reappear Fighting the fear of fear Growing conspiracy Everyone's after me Frayed ends of sanity Hear them calling Hear them calling me Birth of terror, death of much more I'm the slave of fear, my captor Never warnings, spreading its wings As I wait for the horror she brings Loss of interest, question, wonder Waves of fear, they pull me under Old habits reappear Fighting the fear of fear Growing conspiracy Everyone's after me Frayed ends of sanity Hear them calling Hear them calling me Into ruin, I am sinking Hostage of this nameless feeling Hell is set free, flooded I'll be Feel the undertow inside me Height, Hell, time, haste, terror, tension Life, death,want, waste, mass depression Old habits reappear Fighting the fear of fear Growing conspiracy Myself is after me Frayed ends of sanity Hear them calling Frayed ends of sanity Hear them calling Hear them calling me
- In the 1990 tour, Metallica went under the stage name "The Frayed Ends" during a private gig at the Marquee. It's actually something Metallica sometimes does. Promotional material shows a Metallica cover band for a smaller venue like a bar, then Metallica itself surprises the fans when they are the ones playing.