Fun.: Some Nights Meaning
Song Released: 2012
Some Nights Lyrics
Some nights, I call it a draw
Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights, I wish they'd just fall off
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I'm still not...
anonymous Jul 6th 2012, 12:24 report
This song is like a modern-day "Star Spangled Banner". Not only is it an anthem but it tells a story of two wars. There are two characters: Nate and his potentially dead brother-in-law.
Nate is currently fighting the same battle that every musician faces: leaving loved ones behind and compromising one's artistic integrity in order to pursue a career and profit. Lines like "here they come again to jack my style" could be a reference to the relationship between big record producers and their artists. He didn't "believe the hype" of what big music business does to the artist. The line "Ten years of this" could easily be connected to the career of Nate Ruess considering he first gained mainstream success in 2002 and signed with Elektra Records. Coincidence? Unlikely.
Here is a giant leap: did Nate Ruess's sister's husband die in a desert war? Did he claim that he loved her and their son but still chose to go overseas to war? If this is true, wouldn't he wake up every morning seeing the ghost of his wife and wonder what he stands for if he was willing to leave them all behind? The image of dying "alone all dried up in the desert sun" could easily be related to Iraq or Afghanistan. Not to mention this song is about war and these are the wars our country is currently fighting.
The ideas of missing "mom and dad for this", selling "my soul for this", can be interpreted in either war. In true war the soul is sold because the need for violence detracts from the human understanding of another soul. Any soldier overseas is also likely to miss his family and loved ones. In Nate's war he sold his soul to the record company and feels the artistic burden of pleasing his bosses and audience which will always compromise the integrity of one's art, one's soul.
Nate is also likely to have some girl that he really cared about but had to leave behind to fight this war. He also sees her ghost every morning and at the end of the song he dreams about her. He also asks "what do I stand for" if I'm willing to leave love to fight a war? Most artists need to leave home for NYC or LA to pursue the dream and it's hard to bring loved ones along for the ride.
This song begs the question of what any of us stand for if we are willing to compromise loving relationships for our selfish intents. What is this life worth if our actions towards our loved ones don't meet our words?
This is simply my interpretation of the song. I am not Nate, his sister, nephew or any member of his family.
anonymous May 19th 2012, 21:29 report
Just a guess: The song is an anthem. But it's not written and performed for the traditional purpose, which is inspiring individuals to work and sacrifice for a higher purpose. Often that higher purpose is the successful completion of a military campaign. Here, however, the soldier singing this 'anthem' is questioning why he is fighting.
The song starts out with him excited to be at war and striving for what he believes is a noble cause. Yet he is haunted by the memory of the one he loves, left at home. As the song progresses, he begins to question how noble his quest truly is and all he is left with is all the bitterness that being at war has brought to the surface.
The "con man" towards the end is his sister's husband who probably believes that war is always noble, no matter what. He's a con man because he's preaching about war, but has never actually been to war himself. His nephew, the con man's son, is starting to believe his father's "lies."
anonymous Jun 17th 2012, 19:28 report
I think that he is talking about love. He starts out by talking about his lips. These remind us of speech, or kissing. Perhaps this is reference to a date or a girl. He always has bad luck, and he "cashes" it in - or he takes another attempt. Sometimes it goes well, and he wants to "build a castle" and sometimes he wishes they would fall off. Without lips, he cannot speak or kiss, and he cannot be in a relationship.
When he talks about the ghost, this is a ghost of his past, perhaps a girl that hurt him or the one that got away. When he asks himself what he stands for, he is asking himself what he looks for in a girl.
In the next stanza, he states his confusion for the whole tradition. Its like a war to him because he wants to battle the norms, and when he tries this, he is less liked.
The "martyr" is a girl that he has feelings for, and for once the feeling of love makes him stop wondering about everything. It gives him a sense of calm and right. But since he limits it to "tonight," the idea is given that this feeling is only temporary, and so is the girl. This implies that he struggles with short term relationships.
This idea continues because he describes his desire for friends. Friends symbolize stability and longevity, versus the aforementioned shortness. When he says he is afraid to be forgotten, it shows that what he has is meaningless and the girls don't stay around long enough to be remembered. It could also be fear that the girl that hurt him or that he lost will forget about him. He hopes that they both miss each other. This ties into the human behavior of misery likes company.
When he describes that he sold his soul for this, it could have to do with his virginity, and regret that something as temporary as a relationship stole something as permanent as his first time. This would also explain as to why he is afraid that she will forget - since it was such a big thing for him. He regrets giving up something for a love, that it washes him clean of who he is, in order for him (at least in his own mind) to find out who he is. Lastly, he misses his mom and dad who have a strong love. Its almost as though he is missing what he doesn't have.
Then, he relates it to seeing stars. For him, love is a star. It is so pretty and it is all around yet it is unattainable. He thinks he knows what it sounds like, as a person would recognize a song on the radio, and he encourages it to work out - "come on!"
Next, he talks about being bored. Often times we get bored with repetition. He says he has been doing it for ten years. But he admits that although it sucks, it is better than the alternative of being alone. He apologizes to his mom for leaving her, but he wants her to know that he had to in order to succeed. This is the first time that he really becomes outraged, and this gives us insight into the fact that a lot of the drive behind his search is fear of being alone.
He then talks about his sister. From the sound of it, she was hurt even more by love - he feels sorry for her, as though he is above her and has not been hurt as badly. It sounds like she was either abused, left, or divorced; yet while all those things are bad, he recognizes the beauty that can come out of all of it. If he can find the good (his nephew) out of her misery, he hopes that maybe he or others can gain from his experiences.
Lastly, he says that he has tried calling up this girl from his past. She is not good for him, and so they keep their distance. This song is about finding what is right from you and staying strong and growing along the way.
anonymous May 15th, 18:59 report
Oh wow, I thought it was refering to Uncle Sam or Big Brother relative the "sister" and "nephew." So, terrible nights would be something like Big Brother spying on you while you conceive your son during a war that happened 10 years ago?
anonymous Apr 4th, 13:37 report
You guys are all oblivious dumbasses. This song is OBVIOUSLY about him selling his soul. "Some Nights I wish my lips could build a castle, some nights I wish they'd just fall off" Meaning, sometimes the fame which came from singing is great.. and he wants it.. other times he regrets it and wishes it would all just go away. He says he still sees the holy ghost yet he doesnt know for sure what he stands for, good or bad... much more shows this in what he says. Especially, "I sold my soul for this, I missed my mom and dad for this." OBVIOUS DUMBASSES!!!!!!!
megdipaolo Mar 27th, 00:25 report
The song is about the loneliness, uncertainty, and self-doubt that often comes with the painful progress of self-actualization, or fulfilling one's potential. The protagonist is Nate Ruess himself, as is often the case with his songs. They are all deeply personal.
Though everyone may interpret poetry however they like, to find their own meaning in whatever way relates most to them, the writer's true intentions are important. The top 3 interpretations of this song each have glaring inaccuracies that are inconsistent with the actual meaning of the lyrics. #3 is the most outrageous, I hope it's a joke. (Lips = kissing = it's about a girl?!) #1 is closest to the mark, but misses wide on the "war with potential dead brother-in-law" theory and interpretation of the significance of the desert. I think the song is much, much simpler, yet also more powerful, than most interpretations I've read.
I'm not saying I'm 100% right, but I strive to be more accurate than the current accepted submissions. My interpretation is based on knowledge of the songwriter's personal history and his other work. (I am not his sister, personal umbrella-holder, hamster, or left sock.)
It's actually pretty straightforward. "Some Nights" is a personal reflection of Nate's life, family, career, the sacrifices he made to achieve success, the sometimes disappointing emptiness of that success (how prophetic now that he's a mega-star), struggles with the choices he made, loss, guilt, even simply the pain of growing up, and hope. The same themes are woven throughout the entire album, some even begun in Aim & Ignite.
I won't go through every single line, but will focus on the ones that are most representative of the overall meaning.
"Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights I call it a draw
Some nights I wish that my lips would build a castle
Some nights I wish they'd just fall off"
Some nights he's performing in concerts, singing the songs he wrote, many of which deal with aforementioned themes. He vacillates between dreams of achieving superstar success in his career, and occasionally wishing he didn't have the burden of such a dream and the responsibilities and problems that can come with it.
Elsewhere on the album (in "Stars") he says "Some nights I rule the world/With Barlights and Pretty Girls/But most nights I stay straight and think about my mom/Oh God I miss her so much" which is an even more explicit reference to the lure of his career as an artist and performer and, of course, the quiet moments in between shows when he's alone with his emotions, particularly grieving the death of his mother. "Barlights" and "Pretty Girls" refer to songs from the band's previous album (two of the most popular, too!)
"But I still wake up, I still see your ghost..."
Said "ghost" appears several times, and could be his late mother, or his old self.
"Well that is it guys, that is all
5 minutes in and I'm bored again
Ten years of this
I'm not sure if anybody understands
This one is not for the folks at home
Sorry to leave, Mom, I had to go
Who the f** wants to die alone
All dried up in the desert sun?"
This line tricks people up, in conjunction with the war-themed video and the ongoing political and military conflicts in desert regions. It's got nothing to do with that.
Nate's been writing and performing for a long time - literally a decade at the time this song was written. He had to leave home, in Arizona, to focus on his career, leaving behind his family, which is a very close-knit one. His mother has since passed away, and he feels a lot of guilt and loss.
It was a difficult choice, wether to leave or stay. Many of us must make the choice at some point, maybe more than once. Simply put, this song is about leaving home, striking out on your own, and learning about who you are.
"So this is it?
I sold my soul for this?
Washed my hands of that for this?
I miss my mom and dad for this?"
He left home and everyone he loved, and isn't sure it was worth it. The success he's achieved isn't as fulfilling as he expected. At the time, it wasn't even the phenomenal success he'd go on to, but still impressive and life-altering. (Also, incidentally, his struggles with faith and religion are a common theme in his work.)
"When I see stars that's all they are, etc."
Stars are another recurrent theme, representing fate as well as fame. Here it means he no longer believes in fate, and possibly also that fame is not as glittering as we all dream. One could even maaaybe stretch it to believe that celebrities are just people, and stars are just stars.
"My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she called "love"
But when I look into my nephew's eyes
Man you wouldn't believe
The most amazing things
That can come from some terrible nights"
(That "nights" has been confirmed by the band, not the oft-misquoted "lies".)
His elder sister, with whom he is close, has had to face her own unique challenges and personal loss. She's had responsibility of the greatest kind bestowed upon her. The love in her now-over relationship, which she either convinced herself of, shared, or was manipulated into believing, was false. But the love that was then *born of it* is precious and true. Even the most terrible nights can be worthwhile, literally, by resulting in a beloved child, or figuratively, resulting in personal growth, maturity, and wisdom.
Nate loves his nephew very much, and has previously sung to him on "Aim & Ignite". He has a strong sense of family. He also repeatedly refers to his mother, father, and sister, who are all vitally important to him.They represent stability, home, true love, loyalty, and forgiveness. They're the ones he can depend on and trust, who will love him no matter what he does, whatever "big mistakes" he makes.
The question of "What do I stand for?" is literal, also meaning "What inspires me?", "What motivates me?", "What do I really want from life?", "What makes me happy?","What defines me?", and other questions we all must ponder. What defines us is constantly changing, but it's up to us to decide how we define ourselves. (I don't believe it's at all political.)
"Most nights, I don't know anymore."
On the nights when he's doing what he loves, performing, "ruling the world", he feels secure. But most nights he's left struggling with the uncertainty that naturally bubbles up in everyone as we get older, lose friends, lose loved ones, start to drift a bit, start to move forward in our careers, our lives, essentially start realizing we're adults. (Making his "We Are Young" so much more bittersweet and powerful.) The trials of growing up and changing what you are, how you are, why you are, are universal. The one constant is who you are.
Additionally he has the more personal complications of fame, the loss of his mother and his former band, all exacerbated by his own heightened sensitivity and emotional perspicacity. Without his mother, who was such an important part of his life, he might be feeling like he's lost some of his ballast, setting him off balance. When the person who knows you best is gone, your very understanding of yourself, your own relationship with yourself, is shaken. You relied on that person to know you better than you know yourself, to give you guidance and insight into your own soul. It's a life-changing loss that forces you to wobble for quite some time.
Ironically, as Nate becomes more and more well-known, the very question of "What *do* you stand for?" will be asked of him almost relentlessly. We're doing it right now by attempting to extract as much meaning as we can from his lyrics, often assigning intentions that aren't even there. In doing so, we're revealing more of what we ourselves "stand for" even if we're not conscious of it.
Nate's very hard on himself in his songs. He's also incredibly honest, and lays bare a lot of his greatest fears and struggles. At its most basic, "Some Nights" is about those fears, doubts, regrets, and struggles, as well as hope.
anonymous Mar 12th, 23:45 report
Am I the only person who thought it was about the Iraq war?
anonymous Mar 5th, 23:31 report
I think he´s just talking about personal life experiences, maybe related to someone going to war, but in any case, he´s from Arizona, so when he says "Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert" he´s talking about stayin with his parents until he becomes old.
anonymous Mar 5th, 16:47 report
I think this means that Nate is at war with himself. The song is saying that he feels that he is at war with himself in the past. This being the ghost. When he says 'Try twice as hard and I'm half as liked' i think he is saying that he feels precisely and quite obviously that he tries too hard and isnt liked. The sister and con could be that alongside all his problems, he recognises other people do too. But he sees is nephew as the silver lining.
anonymous Mar 2nd, 06:52 report
this song could be interpreted a thousand times over but I'm sure none of us would truly be able to crack what the writer was thinking. The video helps us interpret what they want us to think the song was written about but songs can have multiple meanings.
"Some nights I stay up, cashing in my bad luck", Obviously with this line he's trying to state that he's got a lot of bad luck and is trying to get rid of it but obviously this doesn't always work, "Sometimes I call it a draw."
He doesn't specifically say in the song where this bad luck comes from, maybe what he considers badluck others might not, if it is about his career then he might see the press as bad luck but we cannot be sure what this bad luck is or where it came from.
When he talks about his lips building a castle, he could be referring to speech, singing or kissing.
So maybe he is trying to say something big to tell someone, maybe he wants to sing to someone or maybe he really wants to kiss someone and at times maybe he feels that it is pointless and he wishes he would stop trying so is wanting them to fall off.
When he says "I still wake up, I still see your ghost, Oh lord I'm still not sure what I stand for", When he mentions ghost maybe it's a memory of a loved one or maybe he is referring to the Holy Ghost as he goes on to mention "Oh lord", Possibly referring to a belief but only possibly. He isn't sure what he stands for, what is the point in fighting against society?Maybe that's what the war is, the war against morals, because in all honesty what do we stand for? Do we stand for the right or the wrong? How do we justify what is right or wrong? The only way we can determine this is if a) there is a higher power (such as a God) that has already set the rules B) we make up the rules of what is right and wrong but we all have a sense of morale obligations, how could we possibly decide that shooting someone is right so it is obvious there must be a higher power. The song is asking do we stand for good or bad? Maybe referring to the fact that without a God we don't really stand for anything, I still wake up I still see your Ghost oh lord I'm still not sure what I stand for. He's asking God if he stands for good or evil, maybe on a higher level talking about the common battles of society of what is wrong and what isn't. You see what I mean when I say that this song could be interpreted a thousand times over?
anonymous Feb 17th, 22:05 report
Many people can hear this song many different ways. I, personally, think this song is about him fighting his own "war". This "war" would be his music career.
"This is it, boys, this is war-what are we waiting for? Why dont we break the rules already?" I think this is Nate talking to Jack and Andrew saying that the the music industry is a "war" and that if they want to become succussful, they need to be different and "break the rules".
"I try twice as hard and I'm half as liked, but here they come again to jack my style" This could mean that they have tried harder and longer than most people to become famous and still so many people are very critical and dont like their music, but still take their style of performing and singing.
"Well, some nights I wish that this all would end, 'cause I could use some friends for a change." Since they all had to leave their friends, families, and homes for this lifestyle, they might regret it some nights and want to quit and have their lifes go back to the way they were before they became musicains.
"And some nights I'm scared you'll forget me again, Some nights I always win." They might be talking about how their previous bands never became very popular and maybe even how their first album, Aim and Ignite, never became very well known. But also how some nights everyone knows who they are and how everyone knows all of their songs.
"But I still wake up, I still see your ghost, oh, Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for." He still wakes up every morning even if the night before was really bad, and he sees his past life, and doesn't know who he is.
"So this is it. I sold my soul for this? Washed my hands of that for this? I miss my mom and dad for this?" People sometimes refer to joining the music industry as "selling your soul to the devil," so that might be what he means. He also had to leave his mom and dad in Arizona to become a singer.
"No. When I see stars, when I see, when I see stars, that's all they are. When I hear songs, they sound like this one, so come on." He could be saying how being in this lifestyle has made him to where he can't notice the difference/beauty in some things anymore. He could also be saying that he performs the same songs, every night, and that they are starting to sound the same to him.
"Well that is it guys, that is all - five minutes in and I'm bored again. Ten years of this, I'm not sure if anybody understands." Their songs tend to adverage out to about 5 minutes long, so he might get bored after the first song and not want to keep singing them night after night. He has been in the music industry for about 10 years professionally, and over thoes ten years, he has been dropped by different recording agencies, his previous band has broken up, and he thinks that no one can really understand what that has done to him mentally.
"This one is not for the folks at home; Sorry to leave, mom, I had to go" He knew that he couldn't really get famous if he stayed in Arizona, and he feels bad for leaving his mom.
"Who the ____ wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun." Nate has refered to Arizona as a desert in other songs, and he might be afraid of dying without finding the love of his life, or having a song hit #1 on the charts.
"My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she called "love". When I look into my nephew's eyes... Man, you wouldn't believe the most amazing things that can come from... Some terrible nights..." Nate's sister might have been in a bad/abusive relationship with some guy. But that relationship also gave her a wonderful son, and he(Nate) sees that something great can come out of some thing horrible.
"The other night you wouldn't believe the dream I just had about you and me, I called you up but we both agreed. It's for the best you didn't listen, It's for the best we get our distance." He may still miss a girl from Arizona and had a dream about her and wanted to tell her about it but they decided it would be best if he didn't. OR he might have had a dream about his old life, and how it would be now if he wasn't famous, but decided that it was for the best that he left, and that he is where he is now.
Like I said, this song can be interprited many differet ways. This is just how I understand it.
This song is a testimony of past and present, presented with the use of "a war" as a metaphor for the artiste's life - a battle with his personal life and his career.
[Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck /Some nights I call it a draw / Some nights I wish that my lips could build a castle/ Some nights I wish they'd just fall off]
Here the artiste is thinking about everything that went wrong in his life which he considers to be "bad luck" but seeing that he has progressed in life to some extent he'll "call it a draw". He wishes
that the things he says/sings could guarantee him security or wealth, but sometimes he wishes not to be able to say anything at all, maybe because he does not believe in what he's saying.
[But I still wake up, I still see your ghost/ Oh, Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for oh/ What do I stand for? What do I stand for?/ Most nights I don't know anymore...]
However through it all he manages to come out of it, though he is constantly envisioning someone, probably a loved one who he lost as he referred to them as a "ghost", and maybe the relationship they had, how things were in the past with them...with him, is causing him to question what he stands for ..."What do I stand for?" because he really doesn't know anymore, is this the life that he really wants?
[This is it, boys, this is war - what are we waiting for?/ Why don't we break the rules already?/ I was never one to believe the hype/ Save that for the black and white/ I try twice as hard and I'm half as liked,
But here they come again to jack my style]
This verse is potent with battle imagery, "this is it, this is war..." I believe the artiste is talking about the music industry here, where he believes this is his time to make a change... "why don't we break the rules already?" he never believed what was said about the industry "i was never one to believe the hype", he was leaving such predudices for "...the black and white", those people willing to choose sides, he was not about that, he doubles his efforts to produce his kind of music and get across his message, but people still don't like it "...try twice as hard and I'm half as liked" this is in comparison to other music artistes, and [they] in "...here they come again to jack my style" probably meaning the music producers, how they treat him and put him down try to take away his integrity and instill what they want in him.
[That's alright;/ I found a martyr in my bed tonight/ She stops my bones from wondering just who I am, who I am, who I am/ Oh, who am I? Mmm... Mmm...]
Through all of this, there is a woman who he seems to love so much, she distracts him from questioning his life, his purpose, his beliefs... (this is a stretch) but it seems that she's not a constant aspect of his life, as he just happened to have found her in his bed on that night, and maybe she is the ghost that was mentioned before. The word "martyr" is someone who "sacrifices something of great value and especially life itself for the sake of principle" (this is another stretch) maybe this woman "the ghost" ended their relationship because she did not believe in the life he was about to go into(the music industry) which would also tie into him not believing the hype, and this is why she constantly haunts him because she might have warned him against it before.
[Well, some nights I wish that this all would end/ 'Cause I could use some friends for a change./ And some nights I'm scared you'll forget me again/ Some nights I always win, I always win...]
He has his doubts, and sometimes he realizes it isn't worth it and would like to leave it, because he misses having genuine people in his life who actually cares, and sometimes he is scared that "the woman" will forget him, and the person that she knew him to be, and sometimes life seems to be just great, as he "...always wins" (it is possible this could be references awards of some kind)
[So this is it. I sold my soul for this?/ Washed my hands of that for this?/ I miss my mom and dad for this?]
This again is laden with war imagery, it appears the artiste has given up his whole life for something that is pointless, he "sold his soul" (putting aside his beliefs, his character - as expected when going into battle) to go into this war, washed his hands "of that" maybe this is refering to the relationship he had to go into this war, also leaving his mom and dad to go to this war... this "war" is a metaphor for his pursuit to be a successful musician. It is evident that he wishes to go back to his life before.
[Well, that is it guys, that is all - five minutes in and I'm bored again/ Ten years of this, I'm not sure if anybody understands/ This one is not for the folks at home;/Sorry to leave, mom, I had to go
Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?]
He's tired of doing the same thing he's "bored again", after doing it for ten years, nobody would understand because they would think "that's the life!", he isn't talking about those he left behind, because they would understand that they're more important things in life, he's apologising to his mom for having to leave but after all of this still thinks he had to go, because no one "...wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun." This may not necessarily mean literally dying alone - having no one around him, but dying without being famous, not accomplishing anything - in his homeland (which is Arizona).
[My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she call "love"/When I look into my nephew's eyes.../ Man, you wouldn't believe the most amazing things that can come from.../Some terrible nights...]
This could be taking in two ways, he feels for his sister because she really believes in love and he himself would state that love does not get you far... or he feels for his sister because she has been hurt by love...she may have been in a relationship, where she has born a son but the father has left her, and it gives the impression that her relationship was not a pleasant one, maybe she was abused or cheated on, but through out all of it one good thing has come from it, the nephew... which he considers "the most amazing thing". The last line could serve dual meanings, that though the sister has been abused some nights, or cheated on some nights, her nights of pain seems worth it because she has a beautiful son, or... his pain (the artiste), being away from home, missing his mom and dad, having to leave the one he loved, struggling with the music industry, in the end he is able to produce an amazing song like this.
anonymous Feb 11th, 19:13 report
when you have been to war any thing is belivable been there done that.
The song is about ptsd
Its obviously a soldier out in the war, the guy says that its war and "why dont we break the rules already?" Implying they are going to have to act violently and kill people to survive, which is a crime in a civilized society
He says "i sold my soul for this" which means he gave up his innocence to go fight
When he asks "who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun" he is referring to afghanistan and how men r fighting and dying there everyday
Lastly, he says "when i see stars thats all they are" implying he isnt able to enjoy life anymore because hes depressed from his war experiences
anonymous Feb 4th, 15:56 report
"I'm sorry mom but I had to go. Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun."
He's apologizing to his mom because he left his home in Arizona to go chase his music career.
anonymous Jan 28th, 00:45 report
What term will we use to describe the process of humanity evolving from faith-based societies toward reason-based societies? The Great Awakening? The Glorious Enlightenment? The Triumph of Love?
Anyway, I don't think Fun. intended this at all, but the song totally works as an Atheist Anthem. Dig it.
anonymous Jan 19th, 20:11 report
Some nights is about a lot of different things. 1. He sometimes wonders "what do I Stand for" meaning he wonders why he is doing this and what he means to other people. " but I still wake up an i still see your ghost", ghost referring to what he used to be and who he was before the fame and fans and money.
2. About war " die alone all dried up in the desert sun." Meaning getting shot or stabbed then just getting left their in the desert sun. Also, his sisters husband must have died in the war going on at that time referring to " my heart is breaking for my sister"
anonymous Jan 16th, 00:13 report
I check back here once in awhile to see if anyone has gotten it right. The song is about Fame - for a song writer or musician some nights are bad luck and some nights we build castles. Also, I think that he is singing about leaving his family for "this" meaning fame...and was it/is it worth it? Like "sold my soul for this...miss my mom and dad for this" - clearly the wrestling with the long years toward fame. Also the song mentions "when I see stars that's all they are...when I hear a song it sounds like a swan(song sic)" - I also think that when he says he says he isn't going to dry up in the desert sun I think he is referencing Arizona, where is from. And the whole thing about something wonderful coming from a terrible lie....that is a metaphor of fame, coming from lips that sometimes could simply fall off. The song is about fame. Not war or ill reputed love. I know because I am fun.
anonymous Jan 15th, 13:15 report
Well what I thought the song meant was that: He sold his soul to a demon and now regrets this. I thought that once he got what he wanted his parents totally disagreed with him and he left disappointing the both them. When he "sold his soul for this" (for this as in music industry) "washed his hands of God for this" again he is regretting the fact he turned away from God. "10 more years of this" Maybe his deal is up in 10 more years... And then lastly "wants to die alone in the dessert sun" I took it as who wants to die alone in hell. But also everything with the war in iraq and what not is very valid as well. I'm not saying this is what it means but thats how I interpreted it.
anonymous Jan 9th, 21:00 report
I like the part "I try twice as hard but I'm half as liked...here they come again to jack my style."
Obviously, this probably means that he's kissing ass but it could also be from the perspective of someone who doesn't really care if he's liked or not by anyone, though those who watch him have no idea what he goes through yet they observe his trials and tribulations and use it for profitable gain. Like a movie.
Personally, the bit about the war and the 10yrs makes perfect sense. Thanks.
anonymous Jan 9th, 19:28 report
You are all wrong. I know this because I am God. The song has no meaning; it's just a really, really bad song.
anonymous Jan 8th, 01:28 report
I think the words/song itself is about the war in Iraq. I think if the video showed it being the Iraq war, it would be too heavy/political, so showing the civil war allows it to distract enough from this, but still get the idea across. It affords the audience to be wider and more open to seeing it often, where as if they show soldiers in Iraq instead, it might receive backlash.
I'm sure it hit's home for those who have fought over in Iraq. Glad they did this song for them.
anonymous Jan 6th, 22:28 report
A song written from the point of view of a soldier of the Iraq war specifically. At night his conscience bothers him as to why he's really fighting there. He knows he (and America) were conned via lies about the threat of weapons of mass destruction. It was the honor of fighting to protect his beloved country and the values he believed America stood for and now that that is all put into question, he doesn't know what it is he's truly fighting for. He had thought the war was 'good vs. evil', but he realizes it's not as black and white as that and questions then who he is and what it is he's sacrificing so much for. Facing the lord in his quiet moments, he worries if he is right in taking part in it, and what that might mean.
As his nephew is a beautiful positive that came from a terrible lie of love that she had committed to, he hopes that there could be something amazing that will come out of the lie that was given to him that led him to commit to the war efforts. He had believed he would be a hero defending honorable values, but once he realized that he was conned, he fears what his involvement in the war means he is.
"Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck"(Bad luck in that he feels his luck in life has been bad...that has led him to be where he is)
"Some nights, I call it a draw" (going back and forth whether he's done the right or wrong things in life. Is it chance, luck, or fate that has gotten him there. He sometimes is able to put his worries aside for the night.)
"Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle"(Castle: protection, power, strength, and achievement, and that just words (and dogma?) and belief could create this goal for him. In the next line, his talking and convincing himself that these things are possible, just reminds him how far he is from achieving this and he wants to give up trying to talk himself up and doesn't want to keep lying to himself. In his quiet moments the dogma he finds even himself speaking, sickens him.)
"Some nights, I wish they'd just fall off"
"But I still wake up, I still see your ghost"(Despite the dogma he tries to convince himself is true, his conscience is causing him to question if fighting in the war is right or wrong for him to be doing)
"Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for oh "(Asking God what does this war really stand for, do I now believe in it, and what is it "I'm" risking my life for? His asking the Lord means he's turning to the higher power and his inner-voice/beliefs /conscience despite the army discouraging the questioning by soldiers of individual questioning of missions etc to avoid mutany. When soldiers question their Army and Government, there is usually a sense of a large gap between conscience and what is the right thing for humanity, with the mission.)
"What do I stand for? What do I stand for?"(what are the human values that are worth killing others and risking ones own life? If there is a loss of knowing what they are fighting for, there would be great psychological distress and personal reassessing.
"Most nights, I don't know anymore..." (doubting the mission and his being there to fight. Scary to face doubt when in the midst of fighting a war...even civilians back here find it hard to question why we are truly there for.) We committed with such a loud angry voice, it's painful to face the possibility of being wrong and regretting when we sacrificed our global monatary power, and of course so many valuble lives)
"Oh woah, oh woah, oh woah oh oh
Oh woah, oh woah, oh woah oh oh"
"This is it, boys, this is war - what are we waiting for? " America was livid at the middle east about 9/11 and wanted to fight to 'do something' about it...revenge)
"Why don't we break the rules already?" ( As we now know, lies were made about this 'proof' of there being weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The UN did not agree that there was enough proof of reason (weapons of mass destruction) to attack Iraq. Also, torture is against the international agreement of the rules of war, and we know these rules were broken consciously by the Gov. People were emotional about it all and torture was sold as being alright to do as the enemy was hated so much. Other countries did not condone the war in Iraq, which were then hated by America - i.e.:France)
"I was never one to believe the hype - save that for the black and white" (Didn't believe in the hype that surrounded the need for the war. Black and white meaning: the press, and/or Bush speaking in black and white terms to push ahead with the war saying that "you are either with us or against us". Countries were hated for not joining the war.)
"I try twice as hard and I'm half as liked, but here they come again to jack my style" (America believed the war to be just and has put more than blood sweat and tears into it, and despite this, America is liked much less by the world from it's hasty vengeance and the "with us or against us" philosophy that was vocalized in the early days of the war...until weapons were not found of course. As much as America isn't liked in the world, American culture (style etc) is so much enjoyed and used by the world. It's a love/hate relationship that is confusing to navigate outside of the country)
"And that's alright; I found a martyr in my bed tonight" (America martyred itself going to war, financially, with lives etc. Soldiers especially grapple with it all, as it convinces oneself that they are sacrificing themselves for the greater good and glory. He found himself believing he was a martyr.)
"She stops my bones from wondering just who I am, who I am, who I am" ("she" is Martyrdom. Believing one is a martyr for a cause, protects one from doubting oneself. He is a soldier in the Iraq war, which was sold to be 'good against evil', hence soldiers being martyrs for the cause. The war though is not as black and white as it was sold to be, so if he is not a martyr as he wants to believe, he would question who he is instead).
"Oh, who am I? Oh, who am I? mmm... mmm..."
"Well, Some nights, I wish that this all would end" (the war)
"Cause I could use some friends for a change" (could be both the individual having friends (that aren't soldiers) and normalcy, and/or Americans having good relations with the other nations and being being better received in the world in other countries as they used to be.)
"And some nights, I'm scared you'll forget me again" (feeling separated from God and lonely and/or he'll be forgotten by his country and loved ones- as many who return feel)
"Some nights, I always win, I always win..." (sometimes feel good about being there and being a soldier)
"But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for, oh"(still wakes up with conscience bothering him about what he's really there for, and therefore who he is, if not a soldier who is in the right)
"What do I stand for? What do I stand for?" (what does a soldier in the Iraq war stand for?)
"Most nights, I don't know..."(Doubt in the mission and why he's willing to die for it.)
"So this is it? I sold my soul for this?" (Not the righteous mission that he thought he was dedicating/risking his life to)
Washed my hands of that for this? (left a good life to fight for the life of a soldier in Iraq)
"I miss my mom and dad for this?" (leaving love for something he doesn't know if he belives in anymore)
"No. When I see stars, when I see stars, that's all they are"("star-spangled banner"/flag does not have the glorious meaning that it used to. Beauty and idealism have lost their shine to cold reality.)
"When I hear songs, they sound like a swan, so come on"(Swans are beautiful and glorious looking, but sound surprisingly horrible. Songs are supposed to inspire and uplift, but they fall flat for him now.)
"Oh, come on. Oh, come on, OH COME ON!"
"That is it, guys, that is all - five minutes in and I'm bored again" (Everyone was eager for the war to start - couldn't start soon enough - but it quickly turned out to be very tedious, and little to do generally.)
"Ten years of this, I'm not sure if anybody understands" (Over a decade now of the war, and it's such a complex problem that it's not clear what has been going on or what to do to fix it all....from Governments to the Army. Civilians also couldn't understand how it has been over there for soldiers)
This is not one for the folks at home; I'm sorry to leave, mom, I had to go (War is a horrific experience. Family and American civilians would be shaken up to know what really goes on over there and what it is like. So many joined the army believing it was the right thing to do and they "had to go" to be involved in something that was believed to be for the greater good. Of course they then must follow commands to keep going back, or risk being a deserter.)
Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun? (self-explanatory! Sadly the fate of so many young soldiers)
"My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she called "love" "(An analogy in his life, that shows how she was deceived as he was. They were both conned into committing to something life changing. Hers was to commit to a man via marriage and/or pregnancy convinced it was mutual love, and he committed to the war, believing it was just and to honestly protect his beloved country.)
"But when I look into my nephew's eyes..." (birth of a new generation and the possibility of the amazing and goodness that lies with next generation's future)
"Man, you wouldn't believe the most amazing things that can come from...
Some terrible lies"(some sites say it's "nights" and others say 'lies', but either way it points to there being much good that can come out of terrible things, be it the lies and being conned about the war, or the pain of a night that his sister was conned into thinking that she was loved by a man (sex that impregnated her). He is hoping that something good can come out of the horrible situation that he got into after he was lied to about why he had to go into Iraq, as his sister now has a lovely boy as a result of her being used and lied to. Night bring our regrets to light...or the nights that we regret. Even if it doesn't correct the negative, humans thankfully find a way to make good happen from negative in the long run. This line is one of the most profound in the song for sure.)
"Oh woah, oh woah, oh woah, oh oh
Oh woah, oh woah, oh woah, oh oh
The other night, you wouldn't believe the dream I just had about you and me
I called you up, but we'd both agree
It's for the best you didn't listen" (best we (as civilians and citizens of the USA) that we don't know the truth of the war and it's realities - for our own sense of self/love of country and sanity)
"It's for the best we get our distance... oh... "(best we as individuals and for society that don't actually get involved, both geographically and that we separate ourselves from the reality of the mission not being just or in our best interest)
It's for the best you didn't listen (if we all knew the truth of the reality of what is going on there, we would be quite upset and doubt what we stand for too.)
"It's for the best we get our distance... oh..."(We committed to the war with such a loud angry voice, it's painful to face the possibility of being wrong and regretting it, when we sacrificed our global monetary power, and of course so many valuable lives. It's humbling....and I know we don't do 'humble' all that well. It's a thought provoking song no matter how one interprets it though. Thanks for listening to my interpretation.)
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