What does Fame < Infamy mean?

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Fall Out Boy: Fame < Infamy Meaning

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Fame < Infamy Lyrics

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I’m a preacher sweating in the pews
For the salvation I’m bringing you
I’m a salesman, I’m selling you hooks and plans
And myself making demands

When I’m home alone I just dance by myself
And you pull my head so close volume goes with the...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Jan 31st, 2009 1:17pm report


    "I am preacher gift, sweating in the pews
    For the salvation, I'm bringing you."

    [It's interesting that he used "preacher" here. He could've used anything else, but instead he uses "preacher". To me, this says that he's working for some greater cause; to save our souls. He's working hard for us, and yet, how do we repay him? With saying "you're not hardcore enough" etc. etc.]

    "I'm a salesman
    I'm selling you hooks and plans
    and myself, making demands"

    [Now, a salesman is usually pretty crooked. At least, that's what I think when I think of a salesman. He's trying to get us hooked, trying to give us these dreams, and then then he's turning around and "making demands". This, to me, says that he's not just trying to "save our souls" and be a holy preacher, he's also trying to make some money. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it's life. You have to make money to live.]

    "When I'm home alone
    I just dance by myself
    And you pull my head so close
    Volume goes with the truth
    signing off, I'm alright in bed,
    but I'm better with a pen
    The kid was alright,
    but it went to his head."

    [Ok, this one is a little more difficult. When he's home by himself (alone) without her around, he can just dance all alone. This suggests happiness in being lonely- not needing someone [her] to dance with. However, when she's there, and "pulling his head close" I guess you could say, he needs her more than anything. He doesn't want to be alone. "Volume goes with the truth"... I'm not really sure about this line,but maybe it means something about the truth always making itself heard eventually?

    Then next lines, I love. It's saying that he can't really be a super hot porn star between the sheets, but he likes to think he is. However, he admits to himself that he's better with a pen, and the "signing off" part suggests some sort of cybersex, and that he can write all this stuff down, but when it comes down to the real deal, he can't live up to it.]

    "I am God's gift
    Why would he bless me with such wit
    Without a conscience equipped
    I'm addicted to the way I feel when I think of you
    'There's too much green
    To feel blue'
    When I'm home alone
    I just can't stop myself"

    [Now, the thing that I really find interesting about this album is the use of twisted colloquialisms. Here, he uses the old colloquialism "God's greatest gift to _____" and twists it to his meaning. I think it's interesting that he uses so many of them in this album, and I ask myself why he would do it?

    Anyhow, getting back on track...

    So here he's feeling like he's all that and a bag of chips, and he thinks he's especially witty. I think this is quite true, although some may argue that case. However, he feels like he doesn't have a conscience... Like he does all these horrible things. I think this is a very common theme throughout this album- the feeling of doing something wrong, and never being perfect enough, no matter how great you think you are.

    He can't stop thinking of this girl, but he realizes that it's not the GIRL herself that he's addicted to, but the way he FEELS when he THINKS about her. It's the thought and memories of her, not her herself. I think that this is a very tragic realization. Sort of an admittance that real life is not as great as you wish it would be, and the feeling that real life really doesn't have all that much to offer you anymore. You're tired of it. He feels guilty about this, because he thinks she deserves more than just being his means to get this feeling out of a relationship [?]...

    The color green, here means life. Trees, plants- basically when you see a lot of green you don't think "dead". Now, this is also another colloquialism that he twists. The whole thing about "feeling blue". He feels depressed, and yet he sees all the life around him. However, he's in a deep depression, and can't seem to snap out of it, even though he knows there's no logical reason for him to be in it.

    The last line it very... confusing. He can't stop himself from what? From calling [her]? From self medicating, perhaps? I think that he can't stop himself from either doing something to perpetuate this depression, or that he can't stop himself from doing something harmful in an attempt to cope with his depression.]

    *Now let's look at the title...*

    "Fame < Infamy"

    [Read out loud it read "Fame is less than Infamy". Infamy, of course, is a sort of fame that is gained from doing something bad, not good. Take Britney Spears for example. She is on the covers of all the tabloids now, but not for good reasons, or because her album is doing well. That is infamy.

    So here he's saying that fame [doing good things and getting recognized for them] is not as powerful, or as great, as infamy [doing bad things and getting recognized for them]. I think it's a pretty true fact. People that are in the midst of huge scandals are usually more famous than those who just put out a great record.

    And the way he says it, in the form of a mathematical equation, makes you think that it's not just an opinion, but it is a FACT. That this will ALWAYS be less than this, and this will ALWAYS be greater than this. That's just the way it is, just as 1+1 will always =2.]



  2.  

    LadySpite
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    Mar 31st, 2015 3:48pm report


    From what I see most people are missing this:
    "The kid was alright but it went to his head"
    This is absolutely essential to the meaning!
    It changes the song entirely.

    "I'm a preacher, sweating in the pews for the salvation I'm bringing you"
    He/the preacher doesn't practice what he preaches.

    "I'm a salesman, I'm selling you hooks and pens"
    Like in This Ain't A Scene It's An Arms Race, he doesn't care which side he sells it to as long as the war keeps raging.

    "I am God's gift but why would he bless me with such wit without a conscience equipped?"
    He's not sorry for everything he does/sings.

    "I'm addicted to the way I feel when I think of you"
    He's addicted to someone's presence but he "just can't stop himself" although it is understood to not be very good for him.

    "Signing off, I'm alright in bed but I'm better with a pen"
    This may mean that he's socially acceptable, but his words manipulate people for better or worse.

    "The kid was alright but it went to his head"
    He has been corrupted by his excellence.

    {I would call this my theme song by this interpretation}

    Fame < Infamy means that fame is less than infamy, and doesn't this fit my interpretation perfectly?~



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 8th, 2013 2:00pm report


    The part about 'too much green to feel blue' is about money, he has so much money he doesn't know why he's depressed



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 1st, 2012 2:09am report


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  5.  

    Consciousness
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    Jun 17th, 2011 6:36pm report


    [Actually, the song seems to be from the point of view of the "blogger" or the tabloid writers (or even celeb publicists). Those are the people that can make people famous, infamous, or defame them with the click of a button or simple usage of a pen. That taken into consideration, the meaning of the lyrics seem to be the following:]

    "I’m a preacher sweating in the pews
    For the salvation I’m bringing you"
    [Salvation - the people writing stories about celebs (or people in general) can both ruin their name or provide "salvation" by releasing stories about the person that either saves their reputation or mitigates the negative info already attached to it]

    "I’m a salesman, I’m selling you hooks and plans
    And myself making demands"
    [If you pay me, I'll sell you hooks (what to say in interviews, lyrics to songs, etc). "I make demands" - you do as I say and I'll do what's needed to get your name out there (plans)]

    "When I’m home alone I just dance by myself"
    [Maybe they actually like the singer's music and they dance to it home alone. Similarly, the line after this could be a figurative "you," meaning that the singer's music pulls them close, and hte higher the song's volume goes, the less anything else (truth = "reality") matters]

    "And you pull my head so close volume goes with the truth"
    [Alternate interpretation (probably the one used below for this line's repeat) - Sexually - very often, there's a sexual relationship that goes on. Perhaps people are so desperate for fame that they sleep their way to the top. Physical touching = pulling my head close. When the noises made during sex rise (volume goes up), the truth goes down (scruples disappear within the pleasure).]

    "Signing off "I’m alright in bed but I’m better with a pen"
    The kid was alright but it went to his head"
    [Signing off is what the writer's doing online. They're just telling you they're signing off, but the statement they're signing off isn't "I'm alright in bed but I'm better with a pen." Instead this is either what the writer's saying to them self or to the person whose name they're getting out there. "The kid was alright but it went to his head" - writer reflecting on the person's performance (perhaps in bed, or concerning their actual talent) whom slept with them/paid them for the publicity.]

    "I am God’s gift but why would he bless me with
    Such wit without a conscience equipped"
    ["If I'm such a talent writer, why was I given talent without the desire to report the truth?"]

    "I’m addicted to the way I feel when I think of you, woah
    "There's too much green to feel blue""
    [Another comment about the conscience - there's too much "green" (money involved) to feel sad about what was done. The writer's addicted to the way the soon-to-be celeb makes them feel, maybe because if this first plug at publicity works, the celeb will return for more "business" transactions.]

    "When I’m home alone I just can’t stop myself"
    [Can't stop themselves from writing about the person (without payment = "Home alone) - blog?]

    "And you pull my head so close volume goes with the truth
    Signing off "I’m alright in bed but I’m better with a pen"
    The kid was alright but it went to his head"
    [Repeat meaning from above]

    "When I’m home alone I just can’t stop myself
    And you pull my head so close volume goes with the truth
    Signing off "I’m alright in bed but I’m better with a pen"
    I’m alright in bed but I’m better with a pen
    I’m alright in bed but I’m better with a pen
    The kid was alright but it went to his head"
    [Repeat meaning from above xD]

    [It's basically showing how powerful the media is and can be. How far sex and money can get you when you're willing to carryout transactions, using either as payment.

    There's no such thing as a free lunch - celebs do something to be portrayed as they are. As for the title, it could even be a reflection of this business deal = even if it's not a public sexual relationship, it's still a shameful, unscrupulous act (infamy) - the writer/publicist can release all the positive info about the celeb that they want but if the sexual relationship or money deal ever gets out to others, they'll still become infamous for their actions - hence "The kid was alright but it went to his head" -> maybe that's what it's talking about.

    There's a thin line between famous and infamous nowadays. Sometimes when aiming for the first you end up stuck with the second, which is a far greater consequence, be it positive or negative.]



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 9th, 2011 4:07pm report


    I’m a preacher sweating in the pews
    For the salvation I’m bringing you
    I’m a salesman, I’m selling you hooks and plans
    And myself making demands

    Just talking about whats hes trying to do:Give us good music. He compares himself to a preacher (saveing us) but also a salesman (making money off of us)

    When I’m home alone I just dance by myself
    He likes to be alone sometimes so he can fell like himself and be able to dance without people judging him.

    And you pull my head so close volume goes with the truth

    We're pulling his head too close...examining his music and trying to uncover it when he doesn't even know a thing about us. Volume goes away because it means less when we do that;its less of a mystery. Truth goes away because we are sometimes wrong.

    Signing off "I’m alright in bed but I’m better with a pen"

    Better with a pen implys making stuff up... Like making up scandals to get more famous (although its not fame its infamy which I'll talk about soon)

    The kid was alright but it went to his head

    Fame changes people;you could be a good person, but it gets to your head and you wanna be more famous so you start getting involved in more scandals and such.

    I am God’s gift but why would he bless me with
    Such wit without a conscience equipped
    I’m addicted to the way I feel when I think of you, woah

    He feels like he doesn't have a coiscience..hell do anything to get famous

    There's too much green to feel blue

    Ever have so much flosting in your head at once you don't know how to feel? He's saying there's just too much "green", or other stuff going on in his mind to feel sad.

    When I’m home alone I just can’t stop myself

    A reference to when he says he "Dances" when home alone. He can't stop himself from forgetting about his public image and relaxing.

    After that it just repeats trhe chorus again.

    Now the tital Fame



  7.  

    LissyGranger
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    Aug 12th, 2010 8:57am report


    for me this song has a strong sexual meaning. i think the first verse talk about his fantasies.


    When I'm home alone I just dance by myself
    And you pull my head so close
    volume goes with the truth



    this part explain that when he is at home alone he thinks all the time in the girl that's why he can "dance" by himself. and his thoughts are so real, are so strong that he feels she is there with him. i love the next line :"Signing off, I'm alright in bed
    But I'm better with a pen" is him saying he is not the best in bed but he will express all his feelings the way he does better: writting. the words "signing off" suggest he is writing a letter or a song



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 8th, 2008 7:16pm report


    Mikhail, infamy is not just being a normal guy in society. It's being famous for doing bad things.

    Fall Out Boy songs tend to have strange and amusing titles that have little or nothing to do with the actual lyrics. This may be the case here.



  9.  

    randomperson
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    Nov 9th, 2007 11:03pm report


    I think that the title, basically describes the meaning of the song- fame < infamy -saying that fame is less than infamy (being famous or well none for bad reasons) and so people nowadays are more commonly famous for the bad things they do than the good. Like how the most popular headlines are that some famous person drove drunk or something, well everyone will remember them for that, but maybe no that first movie they made...



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 5th, 2007 11:39am report


    My interpretation is that the song is about pedophilia; namely, a old priest/preacher/religious type person ("I'm a preacher, sweating in the pews,"/"I am God's gift,") who begins this weird pedophillic affair with this young boy who becomes conceited over the fact this guy is willing to risk his reputation over this. The priest can tell it's wrong but can't help himself, the boy doesn't really care about it being wrong.



  11.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 31st, 2007 10:10pm report


    First of all, infamy doesn't mean that you're not famous. It means that you're well known, but not liked or even hated. Like Hitler or president Bush. I think it's about the fact that FOB has so many people that don't like them.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  12.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 28th, 2007 7:04pm report


    I think it's about the writer becoming famous and rather big-headed about it and his struggle to stay grounded and not get carried away with all the fame. -
    "I am God's gift but why would he bless me with
    Such wit whithout a consious equipped"



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 27th, 2007 7:50am report


    The song is about the title. They are saying that Fame is less than Infamy. The line "The kid was alright but it went to his head" is saying that the kid became famous but he became full of himself, so the songwriter is saying the being famous is less than being powerful. That's my opinion and I hope it helps.



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 17th, 2007 6:16pm report


    The meaning of the song is pretty obvious.
    it's talking about how their music helps all the fans.
    hence, "for the salvation I'm bringing you."
    the whole message of the album is pretty much "we help you but we can't help ourselves.."



  15.  

    mikhail
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    May 30th, 2007 5:42pm report


    Well, I have no time to say what all the lines mean, so I will make my opinion brief
    wow even the name is confusing fame < infamy
    fame < infamy what does that mean in whole for all who don't know maths
    this simply mean Fame is less than infamy.... but in a strange way, it also means better for people to understand- fame is greater than infamy.
    meaning it is better to be a normal guy in society than fame(sometimes)
    but those the name have anything to do with the song.
    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    firstly this song reminds me of this aint no scene its a arms race.......
    in the sense it talks alttle about the fame life and musician and how the fame life can crumble down on a person
    the song are similar because of the fact that they compare religous and social aspect of life to music , I am preacher was a line used in both songs

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  16.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 24th, 2007 4:28pm report


    So I noticed that this song didn't have anything posted. I guess I'll take a shot at it. I read somewhere that Pete Wentz wrote this because of how FOB has so many people that love them and so many haters. "Fame
    Someone add more! that's all I've got!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway



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