What does Survivor Guilt mean?

Rise Against: Survivor Guilt Meaning

Tagged: War [suggest]
Album cover for Survivor Guilt album cover

Survivor Guilt Lyrics

(What are you talking about? America is not going to be destroyed.

Never? Rome was destroyed. Greece was destroyed. Persia was destroyed. Spain was destroyed. All great countries are destroyed. Why not yours? How much longer do you...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Mar 11th 2011 !⃝

    The end of America is nearing, such as all other world powers have already experienced. Examples: Roman Empire, the ancient Greeks, the Spanish colonial system etc. The song represents all of those who have fought for this great country (U.S.A.) and lost their lives doing so. T

    he American politicians of today use statistics to determine their success rate (x Amount of Americans died while x Amount of Terrorists/(innocent civilians)died. The song expresses the difference between the mindset of the politicians who are fine with death rates as long as support is still present vs. the mind of a soldier who had fought and died for the liberties of America. Soldiers once made this country great but do to the greedy politicians it serves no purpose and slowly the richer grow richer and the poorer grow poorer.

    This will be the eventual lead to the demise of America. No longer will the American dollar be the currency of the world, therefore placing the country into severe bankruptcy and ending the republican experiment of the late 18th century. Something must be done and we must get off our knees as American citizens in order to save America from killing ourselves with our own greed.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Mar 30th 2011 !⃝

    This song is basically saying that we, as people, are being fooled by our own politicians who appear to have no survivor guilt despite the clear effects of sending soldiers to war. And, for some reason, we seem blind to what is going on: "an artificial enemy; are we so easily deceived?"
    As said before, it is also predicting America will not be the "greatest country" where as english will no longer be the main international language and the U.S dollar will lack even more value.
    (also, at the end of the song, it's "Go carry on" instead of "don't carry on" )

  3. anonymous
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    Jul 8th 2017 !⃝

    This song is about how the fall of America is coming, and how politicians/the government (the weak) is making money off of the deaths of soldiers.

    This song is form the perspective of a fallen American Soldier who is wondering if everything he did was in vain, and if he died for nothing.

    The soldier says "carry on, don't mind me. All I gave was everything" As to say that the people don't care about him, even though he tried to hard to fight for this country and ended up losing his life.

    The soldier is taking about the destruction of America, and how the politicians are cashing in on all of these soldiers dying for their country, and how it will end up being the downfall of the country.

  4. anonymous
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    Jun 21st 2014 !⃝

    What's ironic here is that they are trying to use the quotes from Catch 22 as a hard hitting reality, when in the book the old man who says that runs a whore house which the soldiers frequent, and Heller goes out of his way to emphasize that the man is illogical and flaky. I think its use in this song, while an attempt to be serious, is undermined by any understanding of the actual book.

  5. anonymous
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    Dec 19th 2012 !⃝

    I guess what really hit me most about this song is the "artificial enemy". That really hit home. If you've learnt your history you would know how messed up the war in the middle-east is.

    First Afghanistan, Iraq (and many others) and now Palestine... It's really sick. Most of the attention given are to the US soldiers, but try to keep a broader mind and think about the soldiers and civilians of the "artificial enemy"...

    They got it WAY worse. Dirty politics at it's best, I hope the US congressmen burn.

  6. anonymous
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    Jan 17th 2012 !⃝

    I believe this song is about how the Government is trying to make themselves rich, because as long as we believe there is war, they get money from all of us to "fight" the war, but they keep most of it.

    In the beginning, it clues in also how the country will collapse and be destroyed from inside.

    Several lines from the song show this, "All give some, Some give all..." shows how everyone is paying, "giving some", but the soldiers who fight the war are giving everything, or their lives.

    In the second verse, it mentions about how the person in the song is trying to preserve someone else's way of life, or the governments, but giving up his way of life as his family is now falling apart from grief over his death or severe injuries.

    In the chorus when it says that "All I gave was everything, and yet you ask me for more...", its showing that the government is asking the soldier's family for money despite the soldier having died in the war.

    If nothing else says it, the bridge says it when it says "The cowards preach from pedestals, with word of Courage and resolve...". To me, that line right there shows its the government, making speeches from podiums and pedestals, while feeling safe under their personal guard, and speaking of how we have to be courageous and work towards peace, while the soldiers are out fighting, putting their lives in danger for the government and their country.

    In the chorus 2, it asks a direct question, "How many more sent to their graves?". Then, it says "I fought your fight, bought your lie, and in return, I lost my life.", showing that the soldiers are following the government because they are loyal, but realizing too late that the government is leading them through lies and to their graves.

    That is my personal interpretation.

  7. anonymous
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    Dec 11th 2011 !⃝

    This song is against the war on terror which is a fake war created by the "few" that control the country in secrecy in order to fill their own pockets, because as long as we think there is a war we will believe them and follow them as if they are the good guys, in reality they are getting ALL of the money while the middle class crashes and burns. The beginning saying "Block the entrances close the doors, seal the exits because this is war", is not talking about the him in the war on terror but the war brewing of the citizens versus the oppressive government rising... then it goes on to the real war and how it all ridiculous and MUST be stopped.

  8. beowulf
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    Nov 15th 2011 !⃝

    this song really touched me at my heart because i realize that this song is so true. i have and always will say thank you to the men and women of our armed forces for fighting for their country and dying for the us of a. i have even had them burst out crying. all u who see this please do the same. ty and i agree with all of u guys definitions of survivor guilt

  9. anonymous
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    Oct 11th 2011 !⃝

    Isn‘t it like provocate those wars and fighting them for benefits? i don ‘t really think that those countrys would have get that dangerous if we wouldnt have provcated them. its just their way of protect their families?

  10. anonymous
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    Oct 7th 2011 !⃝

    who ever said that the solder is fight ing for there families, the song is about them thinking that, but its just a pointless war they are fighting.(im talking about wars between other countyies that the us has been in. ) (but terrorists are a different story. We NEED to fight them. or else they will hurt us more

  11. anonymous
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    Oct 7th 2011 !⃝

    Just to the soldiers above in the comments, thankyou for everything you do on a daily basis, regardless of your nationality. We're all human, no matter which flag we call our own. Everyone seems to have the sane idea, of the song being from the point of view of a fallen soldier. I think in honor of the song, and all united nations soldiers and or NATO personel, for gods sake bring the boys back home

  12. Spc_NoName
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    Jun 14th 2011 !⃝

    I'm part of this war, and while I love my country, and believe in its people...I don't believe in this war. This is my 3rd trip here (1 Iraq, 2 Afghanistan). Seen far to many friends, brothers...not make it home.

    I agree, if this country keeps on the path its on, it will fall. If we were to fight the struggles in our country, and let the other countries fight theirs, we would rise again.

    The politics in this country are so beyond corrupt, its inconceivable. Sad thing is, that's something that will never change. Our brave men and women will continue to give their lives for futile efforts, for one reason, and only one reason.

    Some of us...the lower class, the ones who are generally just blown off...believe that this country is great, or at least could be again...and that's something to fight for.

  13. anonymous
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    Jun 11th 2011 !⃝

    what you are say is good, but coming from a soldier who is fighting right now in the middle east, who are you all to say America will fall? We as soldiers understand what we are fighting for. It isn't congress...its for our families! We have not been attacked in how many years? The reason we fight here in there back yard, we die not for them but for the man by my side so he may go home to his wife and children. We are signed up and decided that maybe there was something greater than us to fight for. And i can tell you there is. As long as people fight for what they believe in America will not fall, America can't. We fall then so does the western world.

  14. anonymous
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    Jun 2nd 2011 !⃝

    I think this is about any wars fought where politicians were the those taking credit for those who are dying, and how even though people realize that politicians are NOT the ones fighting, no one says anything. "Fought your fight, Bought your lie, and in return I lost mylife" The soldiers go to war, because they believe that it is for the greater good, they believe this because of the politicians, or they 'boought the lie' and in return they die or lose people close to them or become crippled permanently.

  15. anonymous
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    May 28th 2011 !⃝

    This song is about the mistakes america has made. they've screwed over so many people and started pointless fights. They send their people off to war when the war is not theirs to fight and the only purpose they are to serve is to kill people. There is no purpose in that. This song questions why they are sent off to war, to die most likely, if there is no reward or redemption for them, that all they'll get out of anything is death. Old ways are changing and ameria is stuck in the rast along with other once great civilizations that have since been destroyed. This song forewarns that if america doesn't change it's ways, it too will be destroyed and become a forgoten memory of a once great, now-fallen nation of the past and that the worl will move on without it.

  16. Civil
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    May 2nd 2011 !⃝

    support the troops never the war. It took us ten years to kill one guy and we lost ten time more in troops as the rich get richer. Rich man's war poor man's fight. The place I call home is not there anymore.

  17. anonymous
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    Apr 26th 2011 !⃝

    The struggle to make this country great is a daily conflict.

    From the minutemen at Concord Bridge to the modern soldier in Afghanistan, they died (and still die every day) for America, yet their sacrifices goes unrecognized and underapreciated by the American public and the politicians. "What purpose did I serve?" The meaning behind this song is that great people have died and still die to preverve this country, but people don't care. Essentially, none of their sacrifices mean anything anymore to the general public.

    People, especially politicians, don't understand. Politicians treat soldiers like toys, simply throwing them to the wolves to die, like a game. "In this lesson ignored?" The quote from 'Catch 22' is meant to emphasize the fact that some day, America will fall as all nations do, borders don't last forever, and that the sacrifice of the patriot will never have meant a thing.

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