What does Belief mean?

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John Mayer: Belief Meaning


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Song Released: 2007

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Is there anyone who
Ever remembers changing there mind from the
Paint on a sign?
Is there anyone who really recalls
Ever breaking rank at all
For something someone yelled real loud one time

Everyone believes
In how they think it ought to...


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    Apr 9th, 2007 4:09pm report

    I think Mr. Mayer is commenting on what he believes to be a major source of animosity and separation of human cultures.

    Belief (be it religion, patriotism, pride, etc.) can provide mental and physical security for those who participate in it. "belief is a beautiful armor". It can unite many people for a cause and allow great things to happen.

    the line "but makes for the heaviest sword" means that the
    Belief can be double sided... although belief can unite many, it can be used to draw a clear line of separation between cultures, social groups, even when separation is not beneficial to either. with the line of separation drawn, the negative actions of a few can be associated with an entire demographic, blame can be more easily placed, anger and fear are given a focal point and "enemies" can be identified. Misused, belief can be blindly destructive to our society

    "what puts a hundred thoudand children in the sand" obviously refers to the Iraq war, but the songs meaning reaches much farther than that.

    He wants us to see that when try to force our ideas and beliefs on others, the result will be conflict. Moreover, when you convey your ideas though force, can you really expect a positive reception? as identified in the first stanza

    Is there anyone who
    Ever remembers changing there mind from
    The paint on a sign?
    Is there anyone who really recalls
    Ever breaking rank at all
    For something someone yelled real loud one time

    I think he is also questioning support of military action, on both sides of the war... both sides are victims of lies about the other, lies used to build cases for war, reasons for hatred.

    neither side is right or wrong, we are just fighting for our beliefs


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    Jul 26th, 2013 7:14am report

    Great song!!!
    In a few words, there's enough religion in this world to bring us up war, and not enough to bring us peace.
    Belief is our way to heaven or hell, like the same ladder can bring you through different places.
    Meditation song;)


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    Dec 11th, 2010 12:03am report

    I was looking for songs that have transcendentalist views in them, and i think that this song, especially "Is there anyone who ever remembers changing their mind from the paint on a sign? Is there anyone who really recalls ever breaking rank at all for something someone yelled real loud one time?" fits perfectly with the transcendentalist idea of not doing what everyone else is doing, but rather standing up for what's right in your opinon.


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    Feb 2nd, 2010 2:06pm report

    cmonster is right on the money i think. I just wanted to add that the line "What puts the folded flag inside his mother's hands? Belief can. Belief can." is SOOOO powerful! I litterally got chills when i first REALLY listened to it. Like I jammed to it and sang along but when I really stopped to listen to the words, that line just struck me.


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    Jul 6th, 2009 7:59pm report

    I agree with the person before me, but I think the part about the "paint on a sign... Something someone yelled real loud one time" is referring to anti-war protests/rallies.


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    Feb 26th, 2007 2:01pm report

    I believe this song is about how different people have different beliefs and that you can't try to change peoples' minds no matter what you do you can't change the world it will always have wars and problems...

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway

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