What does Hum Hallelujah mean?

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Fall Out Boy: Hum Hallelujah Meaning

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Hum Hallelujah Lyrics

It's all a game of this or that
Now versus then
Better off
Against worse for wear
And you're someone
Who knows someone who knows someone
I once knew
And I just want to be a part of this

The road outside my house
Is paved with good...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Oct 16th, 2007 10:01am report


    It’s obviously about how Pete tried to commit suicide, he’s even admitted it, but the real thing is about WHY he tried to commit suicide. The lyrics seem to be about how he felt too much pressure from being a celebrity and being worshipped by the fans all the time.

    “It's all a game of this or that
    Now verses then”

    This opening line is obviously about how he wishes he could go back to a simpler time before he was famous. But why?

    “The road outside my house
    Is paved with good intentions”

    There is a famous line (from the bible or something, I can’t remember) that says “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. This lyric is obviously a twist on that phrase. Whatever it was that led him to wanting to kill himself, Pete is saying that he meant well, even if he feels that he did wrong now.

    “You are the dreamer
    And we are the dream”

    It is here that we first start to get the meaning behind the song. The whole thing is directed at the fans – the fans are the “you” in the lyric – and Pete is referring to Fall Out Boy themselves as “the dream”. He knows that there are millions of people out there who look up to the band and idolize them, want to be them. Referring to the position he is in now as “a dream” is clearly an ironic line, because as we know, Pete is preparing to commit suicide. Some dream.

    “I could write better than you ever felt it”

    This is one of the best lines that Pete has ever written, and is completely tongue-in-cheek and sarcastic. He is saying, with a hint of irony, that he can write lyrics that explains the fans feelings more than the fans can articulate their feelings themselves. Pete doesn’t really think this, clearly, but you hear it all the time, fans in interviews or on message boards saying that “Fall Out Boy explain how I feel better than I ever could myself.” This is a lot of pressure to put a band under, to put them in charge of explaining how you feel. And it is one of the reasons that has driven Pete to where he is now – in a car, in a parking lot, wanting to kill himself.

    “So hum hallelujah
    Just off the key of reason”

    Pete has already stated that when he was about to do the deed, he was listening to “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley.

    “I thought I loved you
    It's just how you looked in the light”

    This is where Pete’s misdirected anger at the fans really comes out. At this particular moment, when he’s at his lowest, in a car ready to kill himself, he hates the fans for putting him in this position. He thought he loved them, since they love him back, but really, he only loved “how they looked in the light” – i.e. as a crowd from a stage, as a faceless, mass collective who stroked his ego, not as individual people with problems who are expect him to solve them with song lyrics.

    “I sing the blues
    And swallow them too”

    Pete is telling the fans that he doesn’t write lyrics for them, to try and articulate their feelings, he writes lyrics based on his own feelings. He may “sing the blues”, but he “swallows them too”. Everything that he writes about, he feels as well.

    “My words are my faith
    To hell with our good name”

    He doesn’t care if this song and it’s blame of the fans is going to ruin his career or make everyone turn on him, he no longer cares about his “good name”, he has to let everyone knows how he feels, regardless of the consequences.

    “A remix up your guts
    Your insides x-rayed”

    This is obviously a reference to having his stomach pumped at the hospital later on that night, but also harks back to the main theme of the song – that being the idea that the fans seem to think Pete can somehow “see inside their souls” as he writes his lyrics. Again, it’s a sarcastic lyric.

    “We're a bull
    Your ears are just a china shop”

    If a bull was inside a china shop, it would destroy everything inside, smash it all to pieces. Pete is saying that Fall Out Boy are a bull, and the fans ears (i.e. Them listening to the music) are a china shop. Pete thinks that Fall Out Boy will really end up destroying the fans, especially if they keep reading too deep into the lyrics and thinking that every song is “for them”. To completely worship a band to that level, as many of Fall Out Boys fans do, is a dangerous thing.

    The rest of the lyrics are either pretty self-explanatory or they just repeat lines that I have already analyzed.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 25th, 2007 7:03pm report


    I have to say, most of you guys are stupid.
    no its not about a love story.
    at the concert pete did say it was about his overdose.

    SO THIS IS WHAT I THINK IT TRANSLATES TO.

    The road outside my house
    Is paved with good intentions
    Hired a construction crew
    Cause it's hell on the engine
    You are the dreamer
    And we are the dream

    ( he has good things planned out to do in his life, its just hard. )

    So hum hallelujah
    Just off the key of reason
    It's just how you looked in the light
    A teenage vow in a parking lot
    Til tonight do us part
    I sing the blues
    And swallow them too

    (hallelujah was playing in the car when he tried to commit suicide. How the pills looked in the light, he thought he wanted to take them but no. Teenage vow= they do stupid things. Til tonight do us part = til tonight do I die. Swallow them = swallowing the pills.)


    My words are my faith
    To hell with our good name
    A remix up your guts
    Your insides x-rayed
    And one day we'll get nostalgic for disaster
    We're a bull
    Your ears are just a china shop

    ( words are my faith = praying he lives now he realize it was stupid. Hell with good name = doesn't really care about his rep now. and remix of your guts & insides x-rayed = welll ever gotten your stomach pumped? nostalgic = means happiness sooooooo idk. )

    I love you in the same way
    There's a chapel in a hospital


    ( chapel= thinks he's dying, he's getting his stomach pumped in a hospital, chapel connects to god and death, I suppose)


    Sometimes we take chances
    Sometimes we take pills

    I could write it better than you ever felt it

    ( instead of taking a chance he overdosed. and he could write about the experience better than we ever would have felt/lived though it.)

    ehhh I suck at explaining things but yea, whatever.



  3. 3TOP RATED

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 1st, 2007 8:57am report


    I believe that the song is about Pete Wentz (bassist, lyricist, frontman) overdosed a while ago.

    And your someone who knows someone who knows someone I once knew, I just want to be a part of this.

    --- refers to everybody wanting the lime light and trying to be part of something they are not.

    The road outside my house is payed with good intensions

    ----- is a play on the saying 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions.'

    you are the dreamer and we are the dream I could write this better than you ever felt it

    ---- Is him playing on the fact that everybody expects greatness from them.

    I thought I loved you but it's just how you looked in the light

    ----- Is him saying that even though in the moment he thought it was the way out.

    A teenage vow in the parking lot till tonight do us part, I sing the blues and swallow them too.

    ----- means that he couldn't handle life so he overdosed on pills.

    I could go on forever but I'll stop here.



  4.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 8th, 2019 6:44pm report


    I sing the blues and swallow them too is about pete's overdose of ativan because ativan is mainly blue.



  5.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 10th, 2012 4:25pm report


    I don't have an interpretation, I just wanted to say that I LOVE Fall Out Boy!!! I need to see if my cousins have the CD that this is on so that I can put it on my iPod, either that or I need some iTunes money.

    Oh and I heard someone else say that Pete OD it and I felt so sad. I even had teary eyes.



  6.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 19th, 2011 2:42am report


    "One day we'll get nostalgic for disaster."
    Nostalgic means happy, so i think Pete's trying to convey the point that 'One day, we'll be happy. Times are getting worse and worse, and someday, Disaster will be all we have left.'

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  7.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 10th, 2011 2:44am report


    I think this song can be both: a love story and about Pete's overdose. Can be a combination of both.



  8.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 16th, 2010 10:22pm report


    At first, I thought this song was about some heartbreak, but then I listened to the lyrics and dissected its meaning.
    Here's how it is: this song is about suicide. There are many lines in the song as to how it connects to suicide. The title of the song even wires back to the subject matter; "Hum Hallelujah." Instead of singing the lyrics to the song "Hallelujah," they were depressingly hummed. Lines in the song that relate to this particular topic include, but are not limited to, "I sing the blues and swallow them too," (aka: blues = sad music; swallow them too = swallowing the pills.) "My words are my faith / To hell with our good name," (aka: my words are my faith = trying to change/live up to be something more than previous actions; To hell with our good name = don't care about reputation/don't listen to what others have to judge or say.) "There's a chapel in a hospital / One foot in your bedroom / And one foot out the door / Sometimes we take chances / Sometimes we take pills / I could write it better than you ever felt it," (aka: There's a chapel in a hospital = this connects to God and death to some degree; one foot in your bedroom / and one foot out the door = one stupid or careless action (the foot in the bedroom) leading to a tragic, gothic, or life-threatening consequence (the foot out the door); Sometimes we take chances / Sometimes we take pills = sometimes we do stupid or reckless things, or just risk it all because you just don't care anymore and you're at your absolute breaking point; I could write it better than you ever felt it = the way this suicidal attempt is described better than if someone was going through or living through this time.)
    There are obviously more lyrics that can be connected to the song. Although this tune is clearly not on the subject of heartbreak, I can see how it sounds like song about heartbreak. I choose to not insert my interpretation for how it connects to a broken heart because that's not what the song is about.



  9.  

    smartypants
    click a star to vote
    Jun 2nd, 2010 6:22pm report


    Pete overdosed in a parking lot one night early in his career. He called his manager and said I took them all, and I'm tired. I'm going to sleep now. He was almost dead when they got there.



  10.  

    uiwuiw
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    Apr 18th, 2010 4:45pm report


    Pete has explained this on halfofus.com..he clarified that it was not a suicide attempt for him but he just like to turn off his head..(weird)and then he took a bunch of ativan...he got depressed when his parents broke up on his sixth birthday..i repeat..BIRTHDAY..and it left him scarred that he didn't cried about it until he was 22..he's been on medication since he is 18..



  11.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 17th, 2009 12:04am report


    The person who is top rated sounds spot on. Just to add, when it says "a teenage vow in a parking lot. 'till tonight do us part. i sing the blues and swallow them to'. This, to me, refers to swallowing the 'blue' pill, meaning birth control, which she obviously didn't.



  12.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 23rd, 2009 11:55pm report


    Some think that this song is about teenagers who had sex, and then the girl got pregnant. I believe the song is actually about an attempted suicide in his car, and how when he hears Jeff Buckly's Hallelujah on the radio, he thinks about his life(mainly his teenage years).

    "I sing the blues and swallow them,too" refers to how he sings blues music, but "swallowing them too" means he's overdosing.

    "Sometimes we take chances, sometimes we take pills" refers to going on with life(taking chances) or taking drugs to kill yourself(taking pills).

    The "Teenage vow in a parking lot; 'Til tonight do us part" refers to inconsistency of his life.

    The entire 4th verse refers to his flashback about how he still loves the girl even though she's a wreck.

    "I thought I loved you, but it was just how you looked in the light" also talks about his flashback to his teenage years, where a girl betrayed him.

    "You're just someone who knows someone who knows someone I once knew" represents how he thinks he knows what's going on but he really doesn't.

    "Hum Hallelujah" refers to how he thinks killing himself and going to heaven will be better than coping with his life.

    Fall Out Boy uses a lot of metaphors and figurative language, so that's what lead me to believe what this interpretation says. I could see why somebody could think this song was about teenagers having sex if they didn't listen carefully and really think about it. However, I may not be correct. But I put a lot of thought into this, and think I'm probably right.



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 24th, 2009 7:52pm report


    First Verse -- I think this first verse is about a guy remembering how it was when him and a girl were younger, thinking about how they were best friends, but he really liked her and never got a chance to tell her. Soon she's with another guy when they get older, and he just wants to be a part of her life.
    Second Verse -- He never meant any harm in telling her later on in life, but now she isnt speaking to him. He can see she feels the same way, Being the Dreamer, and Him the Dream. She is torn between her Childhood love (Him) And her current "someone". He feels that he expresses his love better then she does
    Chorus -- She blows him off after telling him she loved him too. He is left broken, seeing her walk away with no reason.
    Third Verse -- He changed. He doesnt care about anyone or anything after he had lost his true love. He is becoming suicidal, feeling sick about what happened. He was the good boy, but everything has changed
    Fourth Verse -- He mentions to her he still loves her, and that she should pray that he will be ok, after Over doseing. She is getting worried about him, and trys to stop him from doing it. He then says that she doesnt love him, and leaves her.
    In the end, They meet up to that empty parking lot that they once told each other that they loved one another. They end up together.



  14.  

    0mah
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    Mar 31st, 2009 3:04am report







    This is only a theory by me I don't actually know but any way.

    Maybe it's about Pete's overdose which is pretty much proven by you guys. And maybe the ohter lines such as "I thought I loved you It's just how you looked in the light" are about the fans. Well if they say that they wouldn't really be fans.
    The road outside my house
    Is paved with good intentions
    Hired a construction crew
    Cause it's hell on the engine
    You are the dreamer
    And we are the dream
    I could write it better than you ever felt it"
    Maybe talking about him being a "role model" so to speak and allways doing what is right. Shown by the line "The road outside my house
    Is paved with good intentions" Another reference to fans saying about them dreaming about being FOB and saying pete could write better than they felt it.
    "A teenage vow in a parking lot
    Til tonight do us part
    I sing the blues
    And swallow them too"
    That may be about taking the drugs but the drugs that Pete took are not blue so I don't know about that.
    But this is all based on if his overdose was caused by the pressure of fans which in 2005 before From under the cork tree. they may not have had a mainstream fanbase so thats what makes me unsure.



  15.  

    mrscoldh2o
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    Feb 19th, 2009 2:32pm report


    The song that Pete Wentz wrote for when he was trying to commit suicide is "7 minutes in Heaven (Atavan Halen)" He was in Best Buy parking lot. Atavan is a plug at the depression meds he was on at the time.



  16.  

    bonesintherubble
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    Dec 6th, 2008 12:27pm report


    I agree with the interpretation that the song is about Wentz's overdose. It wouldn't be the only song he's written about it (7 Minutes in Heaven), so that makes sense.

    However, I'd like to point out that Hum Hallelujah was written by both Patrick AND Pete. Not just in the sense that Pete gave him snippets and Patrick arranged it so it makes sense, I mean they actually sat down together and wrote it, just like they wrote Saturday together. Which actually makes sense when you consider that Pete actually already wrote a song about his OD by himself. I'm not really sure if this is relevant to the interpretation of the song or not, but I do think it's something interesting to ponder.



  17.  

    FakeitlikeyouMatter
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    Aug 13th, 2008 8:26am report


    Well I think this song is about Pete's suicide attempt, but I can also see why people would think it's about teen pregnancy.

    Just to clarify, I think this line hasn't really been explained as well as the rest of lines and it's a major hint to the song concept.

    I sing the blues and swallow them too,
    Ativan (The medication Pete OD'd on) is often in the form of blue pills!



  18.  

    robeeto21
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    May 2nd, 2008 5:12pm report


    Ok I agree with the kid who has to tell everyone that he is 14 so he can make himself think that he is so smart for his age. You make really good points with the chapel, the pills, and the whole one night stand thing, but seriously no one cares how old you are so don't play that card.

    The song is about a couple that don't know each other very well and they have a one night stand and she gets pregnant. You can't argue that because of the line "a remix of your guts, you're insides x-rayed". That is the literal sense of the song to get across a deeper and more profound meaning of just a struggle for commitment. He uses this as an example because its a situation that pertains in a larger sense to people's entire lives. The idea that you don't want to be responsible for all of your mistakes.

    "The road outside my house is paved with good intentions, hired a construction crew cause its hell on the engine" - he is saying that he has every intention of being there and taking care of her and the kid but he needs help on the inside because that's not really how he feels. He doesn't want to commit to this mistake.

    "One foot in your bedroom and one foot out the door" - he is once again saying he wanted to have sex with the girl but he wants to keep one foot out the door and not have to deal with the consequences.

    "I sing the blues and swallow them too" -he is saying that the situation is different when you're not an outsider looking in. By saying he sings the blues he is claiming that he would tell someone else its there kid and they need to be there for them, but now that he is on the inside he wants to swallow his own words cause he feels different about the situation. It's all in perspective.

    The biggest clue to this is clearly the title of the song "Hum Hallelujah" -When something great happens in your life what do you say, Hallelujah. This baby and what has happened should be the best thing in the world but its not. Thats why he says to hum hallelujah. Think about it this way, you have to sing for some dumb choir and you hate the song and your heart really isn't in it so what do you do. You hum the damn thing cause its not what you really wanna do. Humming hallelujah is halfway showing your dedication to something that could be great but you don't want to commit to it completely.

    It is easy to understand the difficulty of commitment especially if you're in college or if you have had a kid, or even just a scary time where the chick thought she was pregnant. The lyrics run deep and I understand everyone is open to their own interpretation, but look beyond something literal and to something a little more existential cause that's the kind of songs they write.



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