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Song Released: 2012


One Foot Lyrics

"One Foot"

I'm standing in Brooklyn just waiting for something to happen.
I can’t help but love thinking that everyone doesn’t get it.
To my left there’s a window.
Where did I go?
My reflection just blends in to rows of clothes and bad...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    #1 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 10th 2015 report

    Personally, I love this song and the lyric content is well thought out and I agree with everything Nate says. Many people think the second verse is about homosexual rights and whatnot. Literally, this is true. If you look into the lyrics putting aside gay rights, religion is the main topic.
    So what I am trying to say is that you can look at the lyrics from a broader perspective other than gay rights. So this is my interpretation putting aside the obvious gay rights:

    "I can't help but back up when I think of what happens inside"
    -Nate is disgusted by the fact that the church is... for lack of better words ... brainwashing the poor people who follow that religion, particularly Christianity. People should be independent and formalized religion is a negative aspect of human nature.

    "I've got friends locked in boxes"
    - These 'friends' are religious extremists who take their religion too seriously. For example, someone who strictly listens to the rules of being a Roman Catholic. The 'boxes' is talking about the tiny imagination religious people have. They are limited in the questions they ask about the universe and should think outside of the box. They are afraid to say "I don't know." Instead of saying this, the answer is always God. People like this are ignorant and are locked in boxes.

    "That's no way to live"
    - This is the background part right after "I've got friends locked in boxes." This line is saying that the stubborn religious people should get out of the habit of limited thinking.

    "What you call a sin isn't up to them"
    -Again, putting aside gay rights, this can be interpreted for any sin. One should not have to listen to the stupid sins and rules just because the church or bible said so. It isn't up to society to formalize these sins and rules.

    "After all, I thought we were all your children"
    -If God made up these specific rules and sins, then why does he say that he loves us all for who we are. So what if I eat meat on Good Friday, or whatever it is? God won't love me? No, even though I sinned, I'm fine. So what's the point of sins and religious rules. Apparently, we are God's children.

    "But I will die from my own sins, thanks a lot"
    -This is saying that the church's sins should be disregarded and we will "die" from our own mistakes and wrongdoings. The wrongdoings that matter, like running a red light and shooting a person, not masturbating or loving the one you love.

    "We will rise up ourselves, thanks for nothing at all"
    - It's saying that we didn't need Jesus to die for humanity. Whether or not he died, humans would still have risen in industry, technology, etc. Religion did not do any of this. Thanks for nothing at all.

    "So up off the ground. Out forefathers are nothing but dust now."
    - This states that we should get up and start progressing in humanity. There is nothing that's holding us back except for the dust of the past. So don't let religion get in your way.

    "CHORUS"
    -Before Nate dies, he wants a world where there is equality, peace, and nothing holding humanity back.


    So, it haven't already figured out yet that I'm anti-religion, get a job. Some would call me an atheist, others call me Satan. But I don't like categorization in naming people. I am an independent thinker and I hope I educated you. Thank you.

    P.S. Can't wait for Grand Romantic!

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 4th 2014 report

    Again, I don't think this is right but it is like the young King of All Cosmos in the cutscenes from We Love Katamari. It starts off with him being very small, getting pushed around by his father to go furthe, then getting second place in a boxing tournament, which got his trophy chucked into the water. Later, he ran away, which resulted in getting into a fight that caused his pompadour to get chopped off. After thaf, he met his future Queen by bumpinv into her when he was carrying his hair and she was carrying half a losf of bread. This formed a hearf, and they looked up and instantly fell in love. They meton another day and were dancing in a fkld but them the king returned home and his father got mad at him  a dicfernent cutscne shows that the Kings father met the queen and tbe old king fell ill wd thehbwwnt to the pala e and the kingwas called into his fathrs room his father tossed his crown onto his sons head and fell asleep, wbich then declared a new king. The last chapter shows the king in a waitinv room and turns around when he heard a baby crying whicb meant that the Prince was born.

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 17th 2013 report

    The song starts out with him on a ledge contemplating suicide, then he says he doesnt need some new love or a new life just a better place to die, he is referring to making a change, speaking out for gay rights, living and dying in a better world. The interesting part is that i believe he is really sad about the inequalities gay people have inside the church, but he sort of points out he is an atheist, in one part he says "our fathers who are nothing but dust", this is his way of neglecting heaven and thus religion itself. His speaking out becomes clear when he goes into the 3rd verse and says "maybe i should learn to keep my mouth shut" and then he refers to his father who worked all his life, this part is him recognizing that if he learned something from his father was how to fight, and thats why his soul lives forever in the song, because it will always fight for equality. "I put one foot in front of the other one, I don’t need a new love or a new life just a better place to die" Fighting day to day to make this a place where humanity is all treated as equals.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 12th 2012 report

    This song is pretty literal exept for the second verse where it seems to go into more of a Catholic/Christian bashing feel. The line "I got freinds locked in boxes. and no way to live" is possibly refering to closet gays (who because they think that if people know they gay that they'll reject them) won't tell anyone that they are gay, so they suffer under stress.

    Now the line "but you call it a sin. isn't up to them" is once again refering to gays, now a common misconception is that being gay is a sin this is incorrect. Now acording to the Roman Catholic Church it is the homosexual acts such as having homosexual intercourse, and kissing that are a sin, not just being homosexual or having a gay partner for companionship.


    Now the next line"I thought we were all your children" is again refering to gays, this is saying that they think that God doesn't love them beause they're gay, this is once again untrue, acording to the Roman Catholic Church God loves everyone even if they are gay.


    This next line "But I will die for my own sins thanks a lot" is saying that he doesn't need Christ's sacrifice on the cross for his sins. The succeding line "We'll raise up ourselves thanks for nothing at all" is saying that he doesn't want or need God for anything.


    In a short summery most of the song is pretty literal exept were a few misconceptions about homosexuality and Catholic teachings and some agnostic feelings slip in the second verse.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 10th 2012 report

    The lyric should like the singer is confused about God and the stereotypical do's and don'ts. He needs to trust his own relationship with God and not worry about what others say/do/act. He souldn’t let others' judgmental opinions hinder his own/personal faith. Here is what I think about some lyrics/lines: "I don’t need a new love or a new life just a better place to die"
    New Love = Christ (being saved)
    New Life = being reborn once you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.
    A better place to die= assumed you will go to hell if you are not saved.
    "Friends locked in boxes" sounds like gays friend who are still in the closet and scared to come out.
    "But you call it a sin. Isn’t up to them" =EXACTLY! Thou shall not judge. Only God will judge us on Judgment day.
    People can say what they want, feel what they want and speak what they want, but in the end, its between you and God and your personal relationship with him. God loves is Unconditional.

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 15th 2012 report

    I believe that throughout the album, he is telling the story of his life. Saying how he used to believ in God, but now he realizes that he does not and this song is telling the story why.

  7. georgiad
    click a star to vote
    Apr 9th 2012 report

    I think that the whole song is all about pushing forward no matter what happens. You only have one life, and to a lot of people, wasting that on working on relationships that will end up being broken isn't worth it. You have to live for the moments, and move over once they're over.

    The first verse is about how you have to go out and get what you want. Waiting around won't get you anywhere. Nobody seems to get it though - they spend all this time in jobs that they hate to go home to families they're struggling to support. It doesn't make sense because they're all struggling to survive and accomplish what they think will make them happy, when it's making them miserable. The "my reflection just planted two rows of coal" is probably saying that the part of himself that he can't control is off chasing dreams that aren't his - coal is perfectly good energy that under extreme amounts of pressure turns to diamonds. he wasted time and energy planting something that will never turn into what he expects.

    The next verse has a lot to do with the band's fight for the lgbt community. We all know someone who's struggling with their sexuality, and in some way, being persecuted for it. It's becoming more enslaving than liberating to come out, and it's no way to live. "what you're calling a sin isn't up to them" means that they can't choose their orientation, so it's stupid to persecute them for something over which they have no control. I'm not positive, but i think "i will die for my own sins" refers to his somewhat homosexual songs he wrote when he was in the Format. It's never been publicly announced, but he seems to be gay in some of the albums, or at least bisexual. so if that's a "sin", he will die for it. But he's saying that clearly if that's a sin, then God didn't help them out, so they've gotten no help from God their whole lives, and everything they've done, they did on their own. Therefore, they can rise up on their own, too. "so up off the ground" i think refers yet again to how you have to go out and get what you want out of life. Our forefathers are nothing but dust - yeah, they've done great things, but they're dead, and soon you will be too. make the most of what you've got, and keep moving forward.

    I think the verse about his age and father is pretty self-explanatory. Nathaniel Ruess has accomplished amazing things. but he's still a mere mortal, and he ages everyday. He can learn from his father, who's been fighting his whole life for that "happiness" that is only a figment of society's imagination, and Nate hated watching him struggle for something that wasn't there. He hopes maybe his own son one day will be able to listen to this song and learn from generations past, and will find what he's looking for in life.

    He closes out with the refrain, but now that we know he's explaining this for his son, it has much more meaning. It's more like advice now: he's telling his son to always keep moving forward, and never stop striving for what you want and what you believe in. With each step he and his son will grow more joyous, and eventually they will both die happy. That's what Nate wants for himself, and that's what he'll want for those he cares about.

    I just saw fun. live this past Saturday, the seventh, and without a doubt, it was the most incredible experience of my life. Unlike most artists, Nate's even better live. Me and my friend might even travel all the way out to Oklahoma just to see them again, that's how good it was. If there's one thing you do before you die, go see fun. It'll make your final resting place "a better place to die".

  8. georgiad
    click a star to vote
    Apr 9th 2012 report

    I think that the whole song is all about pushing forward no matter what happens. You only have one life, and to a lot of people, wasting that on working on relationships that will end up being broken isn't worth it. You have to live for the moments, and move over once they're over.

    The first verse is about how you have to go out and get what you want. Waiting around won't get you anywhere. Nobody seems to get it though - they spend all this time in jobs that they hate to go home to families they're struggling to support. It doesn't make sense because they're all struggling to survive and accomplish what they think will make them happy, when it's making them miserable. The "my reflection just planted two rows of coal" is probably saying that the part of himself that he can't control is off chasing dreams that aren't his - coal is perfectly good energy that under extreme amounts of pressure turns to diamonds. he wasted time and energy planting something that will never turn into what he expects.

    The next verse has a lot to do with the band's fight for the lgbt community. We all know someone who's struggling with their sexuality, and in some way, being persecuted for it. It's becoming more enslaving than liberating to come out, and it's no way to live. "what you're calling a sin isn't up to them" means that they can't choose their orientation, so it's stupid to persecute them for something over which they have no control. I'm not positive, but i think "i will die for my own sins" refers to his somewhat homosexual songs he wrote when he was in the Format. It's never been publicly announced, but he seems to be gay in some of the albums, or at least bisexual. so if that's a "sin", he will die for it. But he's saying that clearly if that's a sin, then God didn't help them out, so they've gotten no help from God their whole lives, and everything they've done, they did on their own. Therefore, they can rise up on their own, too. "so up off the ground" i think refers yet again to how you have to go out and get what you want out of life. Our forefathers are nothing but dust - yeah, they've done great things, but they're dead, and soon you will be too. make the most of what you've got, and keep moving forward.

    I think the verse about his age and father is pretty self-explanatory. Nathaniel Ruess has accomplished amazing things. but he's still a mere mortal, and he ages everyday. He can learn from his father, who's been fighting his whole life for that "happiness" that is only a figment of society's imagination, and Nate hated watching him struggle for something that wasn't there. He hopes maybe his own son one day will be able to listen to this song and learn from generations past, and will find what he's looking for in life.

    He closes out with the refrain, but now that we know he's explaining this for his son, it has much more meaning. It's more like advice now: he's telling his son to always keep moving forward, and never stop striving for what you want and what you believe in. With each step he and his son will grow more joyous, and eventually they will both die happy. That's what Nate wants for himself, and that's what he'll want for those he cares about.

    I just saw fun. live this past Saturday, the seventh, and without a doubt, it was the most incredible experience of my life. Unlike most artists, Nate's even better live. Me and my friend might even travel all the way out to Oklahoma just to see them again, that's how good it was. If there's one thing you do before you die, go see fun. It'll make your final resting place "a better place to die".

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 8th 2012 report

    I agree with the idea he is referring to religion and religious people. I feel like the album is a walk through realizing god doesn't exist and the ostracism that comes from that, the one friend who sticks it out and learns "it gets better, there's nothing left inside of my chest, but its all alright" then one foot, which is the marching beat to help persevere the atheist stigma.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 21st 2012 report

    Obviously Nate Ruess is just discussing another chapter of his life. After all One Foot is on the CD "Some Nights," which is basically Nate's autobiography.

    I think it's easy to tell that the over all theme of the song is reject religion. This is displayed in the lyric, "I will die for my own sins, thanks a lot, We will rise up ourselves, thanks for nothing at all." He also seems to express that things are changing in the world when he says, "our forefathers are nothing but dust now." This most likely means that he believes many people cannot adapt to change but they should if they want to advance themselves.

    The song seems to be written about a very hard time of his life in which his father is in bad condition, and he is trying to be successful. He doesn't want himself, or others for that matter, to give credit to a divine power. He believes that we all make our own way in life and god has nothing to do with it.

    Nate Ruess, to me, is a very good lyricist and I agree with a lot of stuff he writes, because i can relate. He is open about everything that goes on in his life which is very respectable even if you don't agree with him.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 27th 2012 report

    I think the "living life in boxes" could be talking about religious people that feel limited by their belief set.

    "I don't need a new love, or a new life" could be a frustration of those trying to preach/convert.

    I don't know about you guys, but it seems like there are a lot of religious discussions in this song.

    Maybe even some reactions to the way some religions treat homosexuals (instead of people struggling with a challenge, some churches look at homosexuals as evil and worthy of shunning). I know not everyone sees homosexuality as a struggle, that's just how I see it.


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