4 Non Blondes: What's Up Meaning
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Song Released: 1993
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What's Up Lyrics
25 years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination.
I realised quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made for this
Brotherhood of man
For whatever that means
And so I cry...
anonymous Aug 29th, 2016 8:30pm report
The song simply and clearly expresses the frustration of a young woman trying to get on in life.,. unsuccessfully.. due to the patriarchal nature of society.
Aged 25, still trying to get up the ladder of hope, for some kind of destination... realising that it's a patriarchal world.. (Whatever this "brotherhood of man" means).. Crying sometimes at night just to get this stuff out.. And stepping outside in the morning and screaming "What's going on"?! ...at the ludicrous and endlessly frustrating patriarchal and misogynistic order of things!
She tries... Oh my god yes she tries.. But is up against a patriarchal world.. in which we could take the "institution" to refer to society as a whole, or the ever male-dominated music industry in which these female musicians were striving to get ahead..
And she prays.. Oh my god yes she prays.. For revolution.. For gender equality.. For revolutionising the sexist nature of society..
HEY, WHAT'S GOING ON???
HEY, WHAT'S GOING ON???
The sexist nature of society and its constituent institutions need questioning!!!
What the hell is going on with the prevailing sexist music industry and much of the world at large???
Thanks to 4 Non Blondes for posing the question in such a classic song!
anonymous Apr 15th, 4:42am report
This song is about all you morons and the ridiculous thoughts you all have of what you think this song is about. What it’s really about is some lady that wants to go outside In the fresh air and get high. Losers
anonymous May 15th, 2019 5:20am report
I believe that the variety of responses proves this can pertain to so many; so many men, women, gay, straight, you, old, pre-, or present millenials. And effing ETCETERA!!
Patriarch is relevant but not even close to the entire point. Spreading the divide for gender equality, perhaps! I didnt catch that one because it doesn't relate (per say). To me it is frustration. End of the line, frustration. Go outside and scream at the freaking sky frustration even though you're normally 'sunshine'!
anonymous Feb 6th, 2019 2:32am report
It's about being gay in part for sure. She tries to be "straight" and struggles with the dilemma inside that she actually likes women but it's "not acceptable" and it confuses her. The other lyrics are referring to society and the way it views things like this..she just wants to be free to feel the way she wants to
anonymous Feb 6th, 2019 2:31am report
It's about being gay in part for sure. She tries to be "straight" and struggles with the dilemma inside that she actually likes women. The other lyrics are referring to society and the way it views things like this..she just wants to be free to feel the way she wants to
anonymous Dec 9th, 2018 12:44am report
I think that she is a woman with a hope to change the world.
At this time in the world, there was TONS of sexism and discrimination towards LGBTQA+ people. That explains the lyric " I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
For whatever that means "
When the lyric " I try all the time, in this institution" comes on, the institution is the world and she tries very hard to make a difference in this world.
In this song, the 4 Non Blondes are trying questioning the world and what's going on?
They are an openly lesbian and queer band.
Thanks for reading! Vote about how well you think I did!
anonymous Apr 21st, 2018 4:41am report
To me ,it means for any choas that is going on in our lives or the world at the moment....we live in a f-upped country,we hate each other,were selfish ,we are so offended at everything ,we just suck as human beings...yes I lay in bed and cry (for my grandchildrens future)and everyday I scream whats going on.......Love God/do good...love to all
anonymous Feb 23rd, 2018 2:15pm report
25 year prison sentence and just trying to make it through. And you just want to scream. What's going on?
anonymous Jul 6th, 2014 7:06am report
This song is about carrying on at all times, even when bad things happen. Saying 'hey' represents carrying on with your life.
anonymous Jul 15th, 2012 7:52pm report
The song is a representation of non binary gender teens realizing that something is very wrong as they get older.
anonymous May 10th, 2012 5:00pm report
The transition into adult hood from teens into young adult of 25. He is trying to become an adult but it isn't working. The institution is referring to society. He hides his feeling that it sucks to grow up.
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