What does The Pretender mean?

Search Login

Foo Fighters: The Pretender Meaning


No tags, suggest one.

Song Released: 2007

The Pretender Lyrics

Keep you in the dark
You know they all, pretend
Keep you in the dark
And so it all, began

Send in your skeletons
Sing as their bones come marching in, again
They need you buried deep
The secrets that you keep
Are ever ready, are you...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Nov 2nd 2008 report

    This video and song is about a government which controls their nation by tyranny, not letting others fight back and all-in-all controlling their people. Finally a group of people decide to take a stand and fight back against the leaders who have lied to them for countless years. These rebels refer to the liars as the "Pretenders."


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jun 3rd 2017 report

    I understand it's written from the goverment, but it has more personal meaning to me. I see it as a victim of a narcissist person has finally woken up from the abuse and cannot take it anymore.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Nov 18th 2009 report

    The person who said it was about Obama is a retard. The song came out in 2007, When Obama wasn't even president!

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 27th 2020 report

    The song is about all of us. Looking at all these interpretations it signifies how all of us are the same. Kinda fake in everyday life with mere acquaintances and if we wanna get to know someone intimately we claim we aren’t like others but deep down we all have many things in common. The deciding factor is if we choose to suppress that commonality or not. For those that do, you’re just shallow and like everyone who wants to be spontaneous yet you’re predictable. For those that don’t, you’re in tune with others struggles and needs, yet you all have your own issues and responsibilities to deal with. You want to balance it, but in reality you have to take care of yourself. Life is complicated yet simple. Don’t confuse yourself trying to confuse others about who you are.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 6th 2020 report

    In the video , he starts off the song wearing a shirt that says Berlin on it. This is pointing out the cutting off of different ideological views and or separating those with different views "Keep you in the dark, you know they all pretend" "Keep you in the dark and so it all began" The tactic on social media to degrade and "Smear off different views, thoughts, not part of the brainwashed so called collective. In other words, if your just being yourself and not going with the thoughts views as programmed, The brainwashed people will take it personally. How or why? You would have to ask them how they took this or that from a post or statement posted
    Send in your skeletons, Sing as their bones come marching in, again. This is the degrade part of the brainwashed people sending in anything they can find out about the person who don't give in to the views of the collective. they will do it again and again. Sing as there bones come marching in, is him pointing out, all kinds of songs are pointing this out, put them out there, if you decided to take a stand on people being absurd.
    In doing so they put the target in fight or flight mode. If the target fights, they will send in their own skeletons to try to peg you as what ever they come up with, in a way, they will emulate the target and degrade what they can. To the collective it don't matter what is true or not. They can get others on board by manipulation.
    They need you buried deep, the secrets that you keep are ever ready, are you ready? I'm finished making sense, done bleeding ignorance, that whole defense.
    Again if you stood your ground your defending and fighting back with truth. *Making sense*
    *Done Bleeding ignorance*
    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” He is saying those who feel the need to stand and fight some brutal stuff mind you, They are DONE not thinking for them self's, Awake in a way , not brainwashed into thinking this way or else aka Bleeding ignorance. So the tactic the collective uses is to bury you deep so when you fight back you look bad, at the same time as a group who are doing worse things, they tell them self's they are protecting "something" who knows. That is the point, even if you were to ask, you would not get a straight answer yet somehow that is ok for everyone part of the brainwashed collective?
    Spinning infinity boy. It's a term used by DJ's which basically means a band of one, or one person who plays more than one thing or style.
    The wheel is spinning me. refers to being a small part of a whole, a cog in a machine for example. Caught up in it.
    It's never ending , never ending , same old story. Close minded, same views no matter what is presented.
    What if I say i'm not like the others? what if I say i'm not just another one of your plays? When your in a play, you are not being yourself , you are playing the part of another.
    Your the Pretender. one who makes a false or hypocritical show.
    What if I say i'll never surrender?
    In time or so i'm told. i'm just another soul for sell , oh well. either way, all the data or information about you will be bought by others "Your being sold" Oh well nothing you can do about it. This awareness is what started the entire thing.
    The page is out of print
    This is saying you have voiced everything to the point your spent, your views, what to say , been bleed dry, Nothing really to say anymore for yourself?
    We are not permanent, We're Temporary
    A human cannot keep this bleeding of oneself for long before you have no thoughts of your own, therefore solution , share meme's, more ignorance , hate or throw in a nice thing to make ya feel better , where did it come from? Cause that page is out of print, your not writing your views on things anymore, if you need to know or be reminded that you don't live forever, you have WAY more problems than I could address. Again your in the loop of
    The same old story. Your page (I'll use FB as an example) is out of print, literally.
    I'm the voice in inside your head, you refuse to hear - your subconscious saying somethings not right.
    I'm the face that you'll have to face mirrored in your stare. Simple. when looking into your phone it reflects. That thing you stare at.
    I'm what's left, I'm what's right, I'm the enemy. A husk of what you were before.
    I'm the hand that will take you down , bring you to your knees. Losing who you are where, feeling safe, worry , a lot of things could even be a simple thumbs down, point the song is trying to make is the next phrase.
    So who are you? Yeah? Who are you?! x 3
    The rest of the song answers itself, over and over in the repeating loop. Thanks for reading
    As all things. These are my opinions, and those are not the same as facts ;-)

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 13th 2019 report

    In a 2007 interview with XFM, frontman Dave Grohl stopped short of explaining the meaning behind "The Pretender", but alluded its roots go to current political unrest.


    For the recent post, you are really serious and talking about the mortality of men.

    There is nothing permanent except change - Heraclitus

    Also, everyone is immortal because even if one leaves this earthly life, their spirit lives eternally.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 12th 2019 report

    To me, in my mind, there is no question what it’s about. And I can see why Dave doesn’t say it. It’s about mortality, the fact that we are gonna die. I know it’s poetry, and can mean something else. But I really think it doesn’t. We are temporary, temporary, are you ready, to die? And I gotta admit, I'm not.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 27th 2018 report

    This song seems to me to be about dogma. And the struggle to overcome it.

  9. steven
    click a star to vote
    Aug 13th 2017 report

    This song is so clearly about opportunistic groupies its crazy. Honestly... These are the Foo Fighters not Pearl Jam. I have no idea how no one sees that. Rock stars defending themselves against false or true allegations and done pleading ignorance (geez, she said she was 18)... Send in your skeletons, sing as their bones come marching in AGAIN. The secrets that you keep are at the ready (huh)... I''m the hand that took you down and took you to your knees.

    A rock star taking the offensive against some single or a bunch of missteps on the tour bus or at the Sunset Marquis.

    I could dissect the whole song, but seriously this political angle is crazy. Listen to it again and think the rock band and not the political activists (come on) and see if it makes more sense

    Come on.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 30th 2016 report

    This song is probaly about the goverment, But it means something different to me. Now a days it seems like everyone is faking everything, they try to be someone they aren't, and it is annoying. They are all into the trends even though they don't like them. But to me this song is about the few of us saying that we are different. We aren't like the others. An we will never give into the world. We will stand up for what we believe. They will try to tear us down but we will never surrender.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 10th 2014 report

    To me it's a song about one persons viewpoint
    About a tyrannical government and the choice
    To not abide by the rules, see through the lies
    And oppose that which the person feels is an autonomous
    Society and break free from that quelling government

  12. Shimwayout
    click a star to vote
    Aug 13th 2014 report

    This song speaks to me as through someone struggling with sin.
    “Keep you in the dark; you know they all pretend”, a reference to our modern culture’s abandonment of morality; Satan attempts to hide the fact that allegiance to the world and its moral standards is allegiance to him.
    Grohl speaks to me as a sinner who refuses to give up, someone who will never surrender, and is no longer going to make excuses for his lifestyle and poor choices (“done pleading ignorance, that whole defense”). “The secrets that you keep are ever ready”; the Lord that knows you and loves you knows your struggle with a sinful nature; Satan is the Pretender, and Grohl will never give in to him..
    Whether he intended this or not, this song lifts me up and encourages me to live for my Savior, Jesus Christ; Satan wants to reap a harvest of those who are dead in their sin (send in your skeletons, sing as their bones come marching in…).
    Those who follow Satan have sold their souls….”In time or so I'm told, I'm just another soul for sale, oh well…..The page is out of print, we are not permanent, We're temporary, temporary, Same old story”. The page is out of print…. God’s word is no longer being followed, and our lives here are fleeting (temporary).
    He challenges us “WHO ARE YOU???!!!” Will you be a skeleton, marching into Hell, or will you, through Christ’s love and strength, defy The Pretender? What if you say you will Never Surrender???

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 18th 2013 report

    I agree it's about a government ruling by tyranny, and this song is someone lashing out at them and saying "Im not just another one of your plays . . . I will never surrender!"

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 7th 2013 report

    Interesting that the crucifix Grohl wears is referred to. He wears it all the time, so not specially for this song. Interesting piece, because it resembles the "trademark" of the 19th century magical society "Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn", which is the father of many modern Magickal societies. And enlisted Magisters like Aleister Crowley, who taught stuff that inspired illustrous Rock bands like Led Zeppelin.......

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 6th 2013 report

    To me the very words ( especially when the band is in a virtual face-off with the Riot control police :....
    I'm what's left,( refers to after thinning out the crowd - I'm left standing and ready )

    I'm what's right ( refers to right to fight back - for the sake of myself, friends, and humanity )
    I'm the enemy Refers to because I WONT bow down and WONT "comply" or submit to Tyranny any longer makes me the enemy

    I'm the hand that will take you down
    Bring you to your knees " to me is a warning to the Illuminati - After the public have been beaten down after protests and riots and now are afraid, - if they think there is not chance that "people" have ALSO been preparing for this for years and are ready to defend humanity against them - they are in for one, serious pounding.

    I say this because those oppressed have ALWAYS had the advantage - psychological advantage - to anybody being oppressed, any heavily armed and organized soldiers are an invading force - and the locals are fighting for FREEDOM!- as humanity will fight for freedom ALSO!

  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 7th 2012 report

    "the page is out of print" could possibly be referring to how in todays media we believe everything we see on the news or in a newspaper (print). "in time, or so im told. im just another soul for sale" kind of sarcastically building up to the page is out of print. meaning he doesn't believe the print. we are not permanent we're temporary. mean to me simply that we aren't going to live forever so live life your way not brainwashed like the "same old story"

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 31st 2012 report

    For what it's worth....great song with obviolusily floydian dacor. Like it!

  18. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 28th 2012 report

    Hmmmmmmm, this song is obviously anti-Illuminati. Dave Grohl wears a crucifix chain, and he looks so much like Jesus... Ok, I'm freaked out

‹ prev 12

More Foo Fighters song meanings »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Blog posts mentioning Foo Fighters

Just Posted

In My Head anonymous
Faded anonymous
Faded anonymous
Faded anonymous
Faded anonymous
I Wanna Get Better anonymous
Paradise anonymous
Way Down We Go anonymous
Black Cow anonymous
Come to Me anonymous
Welcome To My House anonymous
Perfect Now anonymous
So What'cha Want anonymous
This Time Imperfect JackG
Isolation Jennie

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

For What It's Worth
Angel Band
Tyler Childers
How It Oughta Be
Shane Profitt
Longneck Way To Go
Cigarettes After Sex
After Dark
The Ride
Bryan Andrew Wilson
One Time