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Rise Against: Satellite Meaning


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Song Released: 2011

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Satellite Lyrics

[Verse 1]
You can't feel the heat, until you hold your hand over the flame
You have to cross the line just to remember where it lays
You won't know your worth now son until you take a hit
And you won't find the beat until you lose yourself in...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Aug 7th 2011 report

    This song is about two letters: D. O. You have to get out and do something. Hence the two verses saying that you cant feel the flame until you're willing to risk the burn over the flame or knowing your worth once you take a hit. You can't really find love until you've given up on it before, because you truly can't appreciate real love unless you know what it feels like to lose it.

    Basically, it's all about taking risks, giving everything you have (100%) in your actions, and rising as high as you can, no matter where you are in life. If you get burnt, lose your love, take a hit, or fall, you rely on your family, friends, and loved ones to catch you. The 'orphans of the American dream, conspiring by candlelight' references that this song is primarily for those who haven't had the white picket fenced-home and easy ride; those who have gotten lost in the cracks.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 7th 2011 report

    The song I believe is more about Figuring out who you are and being able to stand up for yourself, but you gotta first remember where you stand in the world and if your willing to break the rules and morals you and the people around you have set and that you follow. "you cant fill your cup till you empty all it has" meaning that stereotypes and all you know leaves you not open to the new ideas of other people that seem weird and strange, but its only because you wont "cross the line" or "hold your hand over the flame" and the part about him and the girl. Could be her trying to get something through to people, but no one will understand, so he makes her feel like they will never understand and they must leave to somewhere else where they just might have a chance in this world...


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Mar 28th 2011 report

    "orphans of the american dream" possibly references to anyone born after Reagan was in office, since that was when it was really decided that our generation would foot the bill so the baby-boomers could live beyond their means, borrow everything on credit, live like kings before they die. Apparently this guy has been kicked around by the man a bit, and generates great opposition, which he "wont back down, wont run and hide. then a girl enters the picture...shes afraid and confused. so his plan is to start a new life elsewhere. An American Refugee.

  4. wolftalksaboutstuff
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    May 22nd 2013 report

    This song is actually very personal to me. (Tattooed on my leg, words wrapped around the Image of a coiled rattlesnake and an AK-47)

    I see this song almost in the way I see the world now as a Veteran of war, wealth and poverty all in the span of 26+ years of my life.

    In a way, it is initially quite didactic in nature. Almost as if a father figure is telling the rookie or young man about how to truly get the most out of life; to live boldly. In our society, everyone dies. Fairly few truly live and experience reality. Our society is quite the bubble-world with endless distractions to keep us in the dark.

    I will agree with a lot of people in the theory of How the younger generation will foot the debt (Pre or Post-Reagan, the seeds had been sown far before him, mainly in the Carter era) and that we are often divisive and forced into a Left or Right wing extremist frenzy. More and more, people are becoming sick of this and as we teeter the fine line between peaceful and armed discourse, we do conspire by candlelight. We talk about the storm brewing.
    Why? Because we are the orphans of the Amerikan dream. (This I believe is a deliberate nod to the Socialist nature that has slowly seeped into the American fabric, pre or post Obama. I know someone is going to blame him on default, but remember RA is a very liberal group by nature, being from Chicago and all).

    This song, in my opinion, is about a small segment of the well-sedated new generation coming to their senses, waking up and potentially taking action, being fight (conspiring by candle light) or flee (sailing away), whatever floats their boat.

    Honestly, this song is a Libertarian's Cadence.

  5. anonymous
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    Jan 4th 2013 report

    I think this has a lot to do with the great divide politically the United States is in right now. That people feel if you're not a Republican you're a Democrat... If you're pro choice you're pro abortion... If you're anti gay marriage you hate gay people... so on and so forth. It's about how ridiculous that really is. It's about how we have to wake up and see that there's really no difference between Democrats and Republicans. It's about how people go along with the process and continually vote for the same idiots eventhough they fundamentally disagree with every single position that person takes. I think he's saying it's time to just get away from the 2 party process and all become "orphans of the American dream". We have to stop continually electing the same people over and over who are doing nothing for the people. It's about how easy that really would be and how it can be started with just a very small portion of people waking up and realizing they're supposed to work for us not against us. How the government has made us all orphans by saying this is the "American dream".

  6. anonymous
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    Dec 7th 2012 report

    Maybe it's about theta theory about metropolis and satellite countries? and how that made the american dream move forward but now it might require some re-thinking. how the welfare of others can't be on the cost of people in the satellite countries. and everyone in the west living in the over consumers society needs to wake up and stop running away? "he" and "she" needs to wake up, see what they really have and need before this world is crushed by it's own ignorance. shine some light over the true situation? not until it's almost to late (the present day) we'll realize what needs to be done, and start over? if the present fall, the future generation has to catch it?

    maybe it's to jumbled up...

  7. anonymous
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    Aug 3rd 2012 report

    This song is about the running of the USA. The current leaders are stuck in their "party lines" and should just use their brains. Not conform to what their party is about, most people inside have views that reflect both the rep and dem party.

    Its time to wake up and do whats best for the country. If this country isnt fixed maybe its time to sneek out while they sleep and start over in a new place. Its not too late to fix this country.

    IMO - Its time to get rid of the socalist in charge and move back toward Reagan-omics.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. anonymous
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    Jun 12th 2012 report

    I think it could be talking about almost any situation.
    Saying that if you screw up, and your life sucks, you have plenty of time to change it.
    "We have the rest of our lives."

    I think it could apply to how the world perceives how we are suppose to live but we can be better than that messed up world.
    "That's why we stick to your game plans and party lines, but at night we're (aspiring/conspiring) by candle light."

    You can always change for the better.

  9. anonymous
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    Jun 12th 2012 report

    I think the specifics of what this song means are debatable, but I think that the general meaning of this song is about defiance and not accepting being forced into doing things that you don't want to do.

  10. anonymous
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    Apr 28th 2012 report

    this song is about the soviet union and the satellite states it controlled. most people wanted out of a communist regime and wanted to be part of the american dream. but everyone beyond the iron curtain was an orphan to the american dream. when they say at night we're cosnpiring by candle light it means they are planning to escape. they coudln't deny the west they knew it was there and it was a life they could no long be denied

  11. anonymous
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    Apr 21st 2012 report

    Songs all mean different things to different people. To me this song is about a tragedy in life and about dealing with that tragedy.

    In the first two verses he talks about how you don't know how something feels or how to deal with it until it actually happen to you.

    The choruses are about how you can't deny the bad things that happen and about how a picture perfect life isn't real.

    The last part is about his how he and his girlfriend/wife just want run away and restart their lives.

    I have been listening to this song over and over since my friend committed suicide and every line hit home for me. Thank you Rise Against for making such amazing song. I have to start over and live the rest of my life without him. I love you travis robert lockie. I will never forget you.

  12. anonymous
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    Mar 25th 2012 report

    One of the great things about music is it can mean whatever you need it to mean so that you can relate to it, for me it's about my opiate addiction, and the events that have transpired in my life since my addiction began, "

  13. anonymous
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    Mar 13th 2012 report

    To me its a political song. It's all about the frustrations with the current government. It is is fairly vague though. I would like to commend the people throwing ideas out there about the song being a complicated love story. Great job thinking outside the box. I like the 2nd top rated post from Apr 4th 2011, 12:15...awesome interpretation!

  14. anonymous
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    Mar 12th 2012 report

    I love this song so much. I think it's about how the country is so in debt that when our generation, the kids, won't be able to have the same luxuries that generations before had. It's talking about how the government is making drastic changes to what we've always known and that we're going to be the ones affected by that AND we're going to be the ones who have to fix it for ourselves. It's about the older people (to us) screwing up our futures and leaving it to us to fix. I think that the one line that describes this song the most is "orphans of the American dream-" in the past America has been viewed as a great country where people could go to be free and live a great life, while our generation might not have that opportunity, all because of the adults of the generation before.

  15. anonymous
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    Jan 30th 2012 report

    This is probably wrong, but I believe that the "Orphans of the American dream", as stated in number one and three, refers to the loss of Reagan putting the American society in chaos. The chorus itself, as a whole, I say means that things are worse that they used to be, and the "That's why we stick to your game plans and party lights, but at night we're conspiring by candlelight." means that they humor those who favor modern times, based on the first part of the line, but it isn't really who they are or want to be, based on the second part.
    I believe that the "It's not too late, we have the rest of our lives" part means that even though things are bad, they can still get better.
    The entire first verse, I think, means that you have to go to extremes before you can truly say what normal is, based mostly on the first line that says "You can't feel the heat, until you hold your hand above the flame"
    I believe the whole second verse says how you can't truly progress until you know what used to be and are able to leave it behind. This is mostly based on the lines "You can't understand what lays ahead if you don't understand the past" and "You can't truly love, until you've given up on it"

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

    "You can't feel the heat until you hold your hand over the flames
    You have to cross the line just to remember where it lays
    You won't know your worth now son until you take a hit
    You won't find the beat until you lose yourself in it"

    This is about government telling us that we have to give up liberties in order to be free. That we need to completely trust and give into them in order for freedom to work properly.

    "We won't back down we won't run and hide
    Because these are the things that we can't deny
    I'm passing over you like a satellite
    So catch me if I fall
    We stick to you game plans and party lines
    But at night we're conspiring by candlelight
    We are the orphans of the Amerikan dream
    So shine your light on me"

    They're saying that they will fight to get back our liberties that have been taken away. That they will smile and pretend to go along but conspire to get back the liberties promised by the American dream (america spelled wrong in the lyrics above because that's how it's spelled in the CD book)

    "You can't fill your cup until you empty all it has
    You can't understand what lays ahead if
    You don't understand the past
    You'll never learn to fly until you're
    Standing at the cliff
    And you can't truly love until you've given up on it"

    More of government saying that we have to fully trust and give into them.

    "We won't back down we won't run and hide
    Because these are the things that we can't deny
    I'm passing over you like a satellite
    So catch me if I fall
    We stick to you game plans and party lines
    But at night we're conspiring by candlelight
    We are the orphans of the Amerikan dream
    So shine your light on me"

    Same as before.

    "She told me that she never
    Could face the world again
    So I offered up a plan:

    We'll sneak out
    While they sleep
    And sail off in the night
    We'll come clean
    And start over
    The rest of our lives
    When we're gone
    We'll stay gone
    Out of sight
    Out of mind
    It's not too late
    We have the rest of our lives"

    The music changes here and I think it's to signify that this is from another point of view. The government slowly taking away our liberties while people look the other way or "sleep" and don't seem to notice and once they are gone and out of site people just forget that they were ever there.

    "We won't back down we won't run and hide
    Because these are the things that we can't deny
    I'm passing over you like a satellite
    So catch me if I fall
    We stick to you game plans and party lines
    But at night we're conspiring by candlelight
    We are the orphans of the Amerikan dream
    So shine your light on me
    Because these are the things that we can't deny now
    This is a life that you can't deny us now"

    Again saying that they are going to fight to get back the liberties promised because they belong to us and can't be denied from us.

    I'm not anti-government just my interpretation.

  17. anonymous
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    Jan 22nd 2012 report

    He says that we are the orphans of the American Dream, he says that because we missed out on the American Dream, so why don't we make our own.

  18. foofer0013
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    Jan 9th 2012 report

    As the song opens, I listen to the intro with such focus! This song has several metaphors throughout the entire process. What is brilliant about it; is we’re (US Taxpayers) told not to “rise against” to our government, period. What each band member brings to the table, including all the meaning in their albums, touch on so many issues that I have (personally), along with many others, with our government. Come to think of it, we can’t even talk about this because of the recent bill passed and signed just last week.
    Now for my interpretation, per paragraph, for the song Satellite:
    Intro: A family man talking to his son tells him that rules are meant to be broken, tactfully. By getting hurt (emotionally) you will learn where you stand. As you take that new job for a fraction of what you previously got paid; you will then know the meaning of what it is like to be humble and reflect on what is REALLY important in this life…..
    1st Verse: Keeping your spirit up and facing your demons; facing your troubles, dealing with the family feuds and the society corruption, which can’t go ignored. We are the eyes and ears of the majority. We “pass over you like a satellite” to watch each other’s backs. They (government) go about their day like we are all zombies, when in reality we are working our asses off for a better life; a life which we (the taxpayers) can be” adopted” into the American dream, on our terms and during the moonlight hours because we can’t let them know we are educated. “Shine your light on me,” refers to the rest of us; meaning if each one of us (20 million citizens) put one candle together we can light the way for our future.
    2nd Verse: As we live in our underwater mortgages (foreclosures and squatting in YOUR own F’n home), we “can’t fill our cups” until we leave it. Stop paying on our homes so we have money for food and water. “Understand the past,” because we the people didn’t vote for the bailout (taxpayer’s) money to the banks. Hurry before they consume our lives, whether it is too late (dead at the pearly gates) or at a gated prison. Just when you think all hope is lost “given up on it,” the love of others, can and will conquer all the evil in the world.
    3rd (A) Verse: “She never would face the world again,” explains the frustration with our consciences. Guilt is our leading cause of failure because we the GOOD people actually give a shit about one another. He offers a solution to her….
    3rd (B) Verse: Leave it all behind; hit that reset button that all of us wish we had. Stay under the radar and no more will we be the “Honest John” so we continuously get screwed over by the government. This is the solution to seeing the candle light mentioned in the Intro.
    3rd (C) Verse: Same as 3rd (B) Verse, except repeats “We have the rest of our lives.” This means, it is not too late. It is never too late to be spontaneous and suppress that guilt. The guilt that has NOTHING to do with us!
    Final Verse: The guilt is gone. We the people get to live free and we won’t be denied that right; even if it is 1,000 miles away from our home. “We pass over your like a satellite,” indicates we will no longer close our eyes and hears and will be there for each other.

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