Bad Religion: Sorrow Meaning
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Song Released: 2001
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How have I let you down?
I curse the day that I was born
and all the sorrow in this world
Let me take you to the herding ground
where all good men are trampled down
Just to settle a bet that could not be...
johnnyarson Apr 1st, 2009 4:51pm report
Bad Religion has a habit of taking some songs directly from the bible (perhaps not word for word as in this case, but more or less). "Skyscraper" was taken out of the story of the tower of babel and this song, "Sorrow", was taken almost directly from the book of Job. God and the devil make a bet regarding Job, a devoutly religious man. The devil suspects that Job is only an upright and moral man because he lives a good life with a great family and lots of possessions and that, in essence, there are material rewards linked with living out one's life in accordance with the word of God. To prove his point God strips Job of all his possessions, kills his entire family and his servants just to show that Job will continue to live according to God's word. Job Chapter 3, Verse 1: After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2 And Job said: 3 "Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night which said, 'A man-child is conceived.'
That said, I think this is another Bad Religion song that, like "Suffer", states sorrow (or, to put it differently, suffering) is an unavoidable part of life.
anonymous Oct 31st, 2007 10:37am report
"Kings and Queens relinquish their crowns" isn't just referring to authority. It's referring to every individual person and suggesting that individual pride and arrogance are the cause of all the world's sorrow thereby suggesting that change must start at a personal, individual level. Only when we let go of our egos and let go of our pride can we begin working towards a better future. It also relates back to We're Only Gonna Die From Our Own Arrogance.
anonymous Jan 4th, 2011 1:57pm report
I believe that this song is certainly anti-authority, but in the sense that the authority inherent in society is often derived from Scripture. To understand Graffin takes some time, and I am certainly not an expert (only he is), but being a BR fan for many years, and following his interviews, books, et al, this song strikes me as a sarcastic model created around the idea that authority figures use religion to prop up their own place in such a paradigm, and therefore when they cease this practice, "there will be sorrow ... no more."
When such figures no longer use such clauses as "The Divine Right of Kings," or the concept that the Pope is the spokesman for God, then the yoke is thrown off, everyone is left to a meritocracy, and individuals are reliant upon their own deeds and words, without consideration that such may come from a "greater Being."
It may be easy to assume that this is a father-to-son song about disappointment within the first line, but if one considers "father" to be God, and "son" to be "the flock" then there is a new dimension involved. But the great thing about Graffin is that he constructs his words to allow one to question and form their own interpretation, just as he advocates for so many other aspects of life.
anonymous Mar 25th, 2008 3:38am report
Well, that's a wonderful idea. Except for the fact that the song was released in 2002, and we didn't invade Iraq until 2003.
anonymous Mar 16th, 2008 3:02pm report
I think the "prideful father and his son" is an allusion to George Bush Sr. and his son, the president, and the song is an attack on the Iraq War and corrupt politics. The current Iraq war is a follow up to the Gulf War initiated by President Bush's father, George Bush Sr.
anonymous Jan 25th, 2008 1:10pm report
I consider myself an Atheist, so my personal leanings are not really influencing my opinion here.
The line in question is:
"when the only true messiah rescues us
from ourselves it's easy to imagine... There will be sorrow no more"
Its clear they are not arguing the abolition of religion, but rather false or corrupted understanding religion. The use of "us" is inclusive, both inclusive and individualistic . In the context of the verse its calling for a civil society.
everybodyisjesus Jan 3rd, 2007 1:05am report
This song is about a cure to "all the sorrow in the world." He begins off by saying "let me take you to the herding ground/where all good men are trampled down/to settle a bet that cannot be won/between a prideful father and his son," suggesting that competition between men is the root cause of all conflicts. He later states the symptomatic causes. "when all soldiers lay their weapons down/or when all kings and all queens relinquish their crowns/or when the only true messiah saves us from ourselves/it's easy to imagine there will be sorrow...no more." In the first part he is attacking war, in the next he isn't just saying that kings and queens shouldn't exist, but all unfair authority, in the next he says that religion shouldn't exist, and in the final section he is saying that if all these things were true, then there would be no sorrow.
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