Rise Against: Audience of One Meaning
Song Released: 2008
Audience of One Lyrics
The words and what they meant
As we etched them with our fingers
In years of wet cement
The days blurred into each other
Though everything seemed clear
We cruised along at half speed
But then we shifted gears
I think that when watching the music video, it'll give you the best interpretation, but even when you look at the lyrics you can tell what the song means.
The music video first shows a little boy playing with figurines. This will be more important later on. He then gets a present which is a figurine oil driller, which moves on to the next scene where he plays with the prices of gas. The prices of gas are like in real life, they were low, then went up, and switched back to low again.
Most importantly however, in the chorus, they say, we ran away. What did we run away from? The bridge of the song somewhat tells us that it was when we were running away from what wasn't right, and when we weren't okay. Going back to the chorus(es), this song and many others, talk about power. What I think the chorus really means in this song is when we run away from the truth, and let modern day American government somewhat brainwash us in order for us to not see, or run away, from the truth.
Part of the song says "I brought down the sky for you but all you did was shrug. You gave my emptiness away." This can also show what people do to help the environment and what the try to help the world, but all the government, and all the rest of the people did was shrug. They didn't really care, and what Rise Against truly stands for is animal, child, and rights overall, being anti-government for their corruption, and to preserve the world.
Going back to the bridge of the song again, it says "We slammed the brakes, but the wheels went on. " I think this is referring to us trying to stop what would happen, but our wheels, or the people/government, kept on going. It's like saying we were driving recklessly, but when we slammed the brakes, we kept on going and crashed. Using this representation, we can say, we were cutting down trees, using the worlds resources recklessly, and when we tried to stop it, many didn't care and "shrugged" and we kept on going until we "crashed" or we have set the world to be a resourceless planet and a worse planet for generations to come.
The music video, however, is more about power in the government rather than the environment showing the war in Iraq, the pointless deaths that the government is creating with its corruption. It also shows the boy playing with more figurines which look like government soldiers and possibly POW's and how the soldiers are abusing and basically torturing the POW's, abusing their own power and not bringing justice. The video also shows a health clinic being closed showing that the government don't really care for young or old. The music video also shows the boy cutting down fake trees in the figurines to represent us and deforestation, wrecking the environment. At the end, it also shows that the boy crushes the stage on which Rise against was preforming on for the music video. Rise Against, is an anti-government band, and it kind of represents that the fist or hand of the government will smash down those who won't obey the government and know the truth, in order to keep what they want the people to believe, and not the truth.
Please tell me if I'm wrong though.
anonymous Mar 19th, 2011 3:03pm report
I think this song is about a guy who ran away with a girl and regret it
“I can still remember the words and what they meant”it was a warning to the guy to not go.
“as we etched them with our fingers to years of wet cement”they ignored the warning, always thinking they wanted something new.
“the days blurred into each other, through everything seemed clear”the days were the same so they really wanted to run away.
“we cruised along in half-speed but them we shift the gears”after time of thinking they finally decided to go.
“we ran like vampires from a thousend burning suns”they ran as fast as they could.
“but even then we should have stayed”the guy knew he had to stay.
“but we ran away, now all my friends are gone”even if he go back he already lost his friends by running away.
“maybe we've outgrown all the things that we once loved”to confort himself he say not to need friends anymore.
“run away, but what are we running from”he realize that running is stupid”
“a show of hands from those in this audience of one”all the things she tell to him was a show of hands, and she is the audience of one.
“were have they gone”he is refering to the people who warned him and want to see again.
“identities asume us, as 9 and 5 add up” their starting to REALLY know each other.
“synchronizing watches to the seconds that we lost”now they realize the lost their time running
“and I looked up and saw you, I know that you saw me, we froze but for a moment in empathy”it talks by itself
“I brought down the sky for you but all you did was shrug”he did everything for her just to be now ignored.
“you give my emptiness a name”she just called him like idiot or something like that but he took it as if she was referring to his emptiness.
“and YOU ran away, now all my friends are gone”the only difference is the YOU which mean she left him the rest is the same.
the rest of the chorus is still the same.
“we're all ok until the day we're not”their were ok until today
anonymous Mar 2nd, 2012 3:19am report
I heard this song and it really hits close to home for me, so Ill dive in. For me this song is about growing up, from elementary all the way to my graduation in a few months. Everyone I know has changed and most of all myself… a lot. It's been a great journey but I also had to give up commitments, friends, and a girlfriend along the way… No matter how hard I tried to prevent that from happening. For a while I got so stretched out with my old ideas about my life and my new ones that I became so worn down and my life was starting to lose its sparkle (no not depression, just was a lot more tired). this song for me is about a guy that was like me, and he had to start making choices about who he wanted to become, but fought it, and stretched himself, only to lose everything. It's a sad song and hits close to home because that was almost me. Crazy good song and so truthful about coming of age and making choices. Not gonna comment about GW Bush... I'm Canadian.
anonymous Nov 30th, 2011 11:11pm report
If you'll notice the bodyguards around the boy it's obvious the song is about George Bush. He's depicted as a child carelessly messing up the whole country like it's his playground.
anonymous Nov 22nd, 2011 11:14pm report
Not conforming and hating people without a reason.
anonymous Aug 30th, 2011 8:06am report
I think it is saying george bush is a meanie..
anonymous Aug 29th, 2011 8:25am report
I'll keep it short. In the video, you see that the boy is playing on his little figurine model, now I have seen people refer to him as G.B. And that is not wrong, but, in the video, he is cutting trees, cutting off freedom, destroying hope(music), and how? with power. The people won't do anything, and just "shrug" because the person in lead thinks he has all the power in the world. Without the power, he is nothing more then a kid.
anonymous Aug 12th, 2011 8:49pm report
@the person who was asking why everyone hated bush for going out to war. He did more harm than good. If you went out there you would understand...most of the time your just killing innocent citizens...I wish you could understand.
anonymous Aug 12th, 2011 8:46am report
Okay, I'll try to keep this 'shortish' so I'll only focous and the key lines here.
I think it's about all the nations in the world, at first he says "I can still remember The words and what they meant As we etched them with our fingers In years of wet cement"
This means that we knew about climate change way before it becaume a real issue, the line in years of wet cement means that we could have done something about it while thers was still a chance, because when the cement dries. That's it...
"We cruised along at half speed, but then we shifted gears. We ran like vampires from a thousand burning suns" the cruising bit is quite straight forward, how we shifted gears to go faster, like we were running from something. Perhaps the arms race between America and Russia scared us, and havn't been able to slow down ever since.
"A show of hands from those in this Audience of One". This line probably means that there are a few who do try their hardest to get things back to the good days, the following line is very supportive of this: "I brought down the sky for you and all you did was shrug", this states that some poeple have tried their hardest to change this for the better and all everyone else did was shrug.
"We're all okay, until the day we're not". This line states that, sure we'll be fine for a while with the way we're going, but sooner or later things will get bad.
So yeah that's why I think it's about the worlds climate/life style.
anonymous Jun 25th, 2011 6:52am report
the video shows how bush was like a little kid playing. he makes decisions but in the end he sleeps without regret while the world suffers. its all about events that happened while bush was president. From fighting against gay marriage like when the boy changes the second guy to a girl in a wedding dress to show how he put up fences to stop people from fleeing south into america. Its showing how he screwed us up and so many suffered yet we ran from the truth. Like we no one stopped him from what he did
anonymous Jun 24th, 2011 6:38pm report
Great the first one ther, watched the video and at the end you can see the boy going to sleep like nothing ever happen. Just like the government that rules with an ice cold hand and have no respect for the people (enviorment) affected.
anonymous Jun 2nd, 2011 6:02pm report
As with many of Rise Againsts songs i find this could have different meanings, until i saw the video, i believed it had something to do with friends or a person running away and getting to another place, and that the pertson had tried to make things work there. But after the video it seems to be much about poilitics and how the country is run. I saw an interpretation that said something about how people would hate Bush no matter what he did about going to Iraq, which is true. Someone is going to be unhappy no matter what anyone does, its about majority, and what he thought was right. I personally don't agree, and think it was more about resources than anything else, but thats just an opinion.
anonymous May 23rd, 2011 5:58pm report
I would have to say for me this song represents to me the 2 terms of office of George Bush, But only the music video can show us this but I believe it shows the government controlling major factors in our lives (Gas prices switched, Same sex marriage altered and Hospital closed) but it also shows the governments disregards for its own problems (Deforestation, Closing Borders to refugee's *exactly whats happening in Libya* and Failing Health Care) It shows how they can put a terribly insensitive person into a such a powerful place in our hierarchy and yet still toy with the minds of the general public to make them believe its their fault. Finally I would say it is a very apt summary of American history in the noughties... quite sad really. But yeah Rise Against your amazing and I am soooo buying your album if I can find one in Wales -__-
anonymous May 23rd, 2011 5:12am report
This song will likely have different meanings to different people. For me, a strong indication that the boy in the video represents George Bush is that he resides in the white house. When he goes to sleep and the lights go off in the model of the white house is indicative of this. Also the men dressed in black suits who present him with the toys I think represent government workers, such as the ones from intelligence agencies, whose image as man in black is ubiquitous in media representation of them. The fact that they are depicted as giving him toys and putting him to sleep would indicate that they answer to him. So what ruler of govt. officials do you know that resides in the white house? Lastly, I think that the child doesn't represent Bush as much as it does his attitudes towards critical global issues. As in he took a childish approach, one without thought.
anonymous May 14th, 2011 5:14pm report
Just like any song, it's open to interpretation. Both the interpretations make perfect sense, and there ar double meanings in many songs. As far as it goes for Rise Against and what they stand for, the song could easily be about the enviornment and the war, since they do usually write about things to that nature, but thats no reason to call Joe Green stupid. The interpretation he said has meaning, and makes sense. Its just like writing a thesis in a class, just beacuse it makes sense one way doesn't mean you can't make a totally different point, as long as you can back it up with factual information, or in this case, lines from the song.
So why call him stupid? He has a good point. Maybe you should mull over how the ideas and culture of America is formed before you bash other people. The nation is formed by ideals and interpretations, and different views are what keep us from doing much worse than torturing POWs and bombing places(Which by the way, isn't just an American thing, everyone does it, war is just ingraved into the human psyche).
anonymous Mar 19th, 2011 3:19pm report
(hi i'm the same dude with the regrated guy interpretation. i'll just end my interpretation)
“the surface shines but the inside rots”he act like nothing happened but he is hurt inside.
“we raced the sunset and we almost won”they faced fate and lost
“we slamed the breaks but the weels were on” they tried to stop but they can't go back
the chorus is the same
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
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