What does Badfish mean?

Search Login

Sublime: Badfish Meaning

Tagged:

No tags, suggest one.

Badfish Lyrics

when you grab a hold of me.
tell me that i never be set free.
but im a parasite.
creep and crawl i step in to he light.
2 pints of booze.
tell me are you a badfish too.
aint got no money to spend.
i hope the night will never end.
lord...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    #1 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 14th 2014 report

    When you grab a hold of me
    Tell me that Ill never be set free
    (How Heroin addiction grabs you and never lets go)
    But Im a parasite, creep and crawl
    I step into the night.
    (Heroin addicts are called "parasites" because they steal and take)
    Two pints of booze
    Tell me are you a badfish too? are you a badfish too?
    (Badfish is slang for needle junkie)
    Aint got no money to spend
    And I hope this night will never end
    (the high only lasts the night, addicts are broke)
    Lord knows Im weak
    Wont somebody get me off of this reef
    (God knows his pain)

    And baby your a big blue whale
    I'll grab the reef when all duck diving fails
    (Blue whale is heroin that swallows swimmers whole; he'll use again when everything falls again)
    And I can swim but I wish I had never learned
    (swimming is slang for shooting; He shoots and he regrets doing it)
    Cuz the waters too polluted with germs
    (shot has heroin in it "dirty")
    Dive deep when its ten feet overhead
    And grab the reef, that's underneath my bed
    (he shoots it when he can't take it anymore)
    Aint got no quarrels with God, aint got no time to grow old
    (he has made peace with god; he's ready to die)
    Lord knows that Im weak
    Wont somebody get me off of this reef
    (someone get him away from this place)

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 8th report

    He is literally talking about being an alcoholic…I say this cause I’m literally going through it. I’ll go line by line.

    “ When you grab a hold of me
    You tell me that I'll never be set free
    But I'm a parasite
    Creep and crawl, I step into the night”

    -Alcohol grabs you and it’s hard to let go,
    It’s a parasite and usually crawls in at night (wake up from a hang over and say you’ll never drink again then you drink the next night)

    Two pints of booze
    Tell me, are you a badfish too?
    (Are you a badfish too?)
    Ain't got no money to spend
    I hope the night would never end

    -obviously “booze” but then you find others to drink with (bad fish too {drink like a fish btw}) drinking is expensive but makes you feel like the night would never end. (Easy to understand)

    Lord knows I'm weak
    Won't somebody get me off of this reef?

    -alcoholics are weak, it’s hard to fight. The “reef” is the alcohol addiction or drinking.

    Baby you're a big blue whale
    Grab the reef when all duck divin' fails
    I swim, but I wish I'd never learned
    The water's too polluted with germs

    -his girl is heavy, like the largest mammal (hard to be with) and he turns to drinking (“grab the reef”) when he can’t fix, get away, even though he tried to “duck dive” (surfer term to get below a wave essentially, avoids the problem). He learned to Get them (girls) but it’s too polluted with the wrong ones (hard to find the right girl).

    I dive deep when it's ten feet overhead
    Grab the reef underneath my bed

    -this is big, ten foot wave is scary (fear) and he “dives deep” to “grab the reef under his bed” (deep into drinking or goes hard).

    Ain't got no quarrels with God
    Ain't got no time to get old

    -basically saying he knows it’ll kill him.


  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 30th 2019 report

    I am a Substance Abuse Counselor in a school and while in classroom I use this song as a reference to a personal struggle of someone addicted to drugs. I don't know whether the song is really about heroin but it could be. Either way I consider up for interpretation. Disagree or not. I won't be offended but it's good for a lesson with high school students.

    Badfish – by Sublime with Brad Nowell


    When you grab a hold of me
    You tell me that I'll never be set free
    • Probably talking about his girl embracing him

    But I'm a parasite
    Creep and crawl I step into the night
    • Considers himself a lowly, leechy, person on the hunt for heroin or to steal money for it

    Two pints of booze
    Tell me are you a badfish, too?
    • A badfish is someone who exposes someone to heroin for the first time

    Ain't got no money to spend
    I hope the night will never end
    • Spent all of his money on drugs and doesn’t want the high to end

    Lord knows I’m weak
    Won’t somebody get me off of this reef?
    • He knows he needs help with his addiction and wishes someone will help him

    Baby, you're a big blue whale
    Grab the reef when all duck diving fails
    • Is he referring to his girl or the heroin with a “big blue whale?” (rare and powerful creature) Maybe he’s trying to navigate his life and get clean at the same time but when the going gets tough he succumbs and uses once more

    I swim but I wish I never learned
    Water’s too polluted with germs
    • He regrets ever starting to use heroin and recognizes how toxic and poisonous it is to his body, mind, and soul

    I dive deep when it’s ten feet overhead
    Grab the reef underneath my bed
    • Another reference to being weak and addicted

    Ain't got no quarrels with god
    Ain't got no time to grow old
    • Maybe he isn’t putting blame on a higher power for his weakness. Maybe he is starting to embrace his perceived truth that he is on his way to fast grave.

    Lord knows I’m weak
    Won’t somebody get me off of this reef?
    Admitting again that he is weak and is in need of help

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 19th 2017 report

    Badfish means something like a drug addict.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 14th 2015 report

    Seeing as this song was supposedly written prior to his heroin addiction. I believe 'reef' to be weed. And maybe he may have been depressed and/or suicidal. Being someone feeling that way, I can relate to these lyrics although it may just be me trying to relate idk. I honestly think he could have been depressed and had suicidal thoughts or maybe even just the feeling of accepting death without any plans for suicide

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 22nd 2014 report

    Big blue whales refer to Vicodin. brad was most likely using pills at this point and was referring to that. Eventual oral dose opiates aren't enough and the addict turns to IV.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 23rd 2014 report

    Soooo, are you saying that using this song as a first dance for my wedding might be a bad idea?

    I've always wanted to believe this is a love song.

    (Sad Trombone)

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 5th 2013 report

    what in still don't quite understand is brad had yet to be an addict of heroin when this song was recorded... And even when it was released in the summer of '92 yet it's indicated that he hadn't started using heroin till around fall or winter of '92... Could it be that he had been beginning to get into it and wrote the song knowing what he was in for? Or are all of our assumptions in the wrong direction

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 9th 2012 report

    as a herion addictt myself , hes sayin this shit grabs u and pulls u under !!!!!!!! point blank !!!!!!

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 26th 2012 report

    I think most have hit this one on the head. It's quite obviously about Brad's heroin addiction which was relatively new when Sublime recorded this song. Some things I think have been missed:

    - "Reef" is a direct moniker for heroin in this song.

    - Being underwater is a euphemism for being strung out or being on heroin.

    - Most opiate addicts know that you hide your gear in places that can't easily be found. The line "I dive deep when it's 10 feet overhead -- Grab the reef underneath my bed" refers to Brad going back to heroin when the world above (a world above water being without heroin) is hectic, chaotic, and too hard to handle. He the grabs his gear underneath his bed (where many people hide their shit).

    - He "swims but [he] wish[es] [he] never learn[ed]" meaning he wishes he never touched the drug in the first place, but still uses. Most opiate addicts think this way.

    - Many above have got it right. The song is about the struggles of an opiate addict. Not too hard to dissect, especially if you know from experience.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 30th 2012 report

    This song was written before he started using. On there first ever tape....jah wont pay the bills,,,just thought i should throw that out there

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 5th 2012 report

    Okay, I've thought that reef could have many meanings. Yes, short for reefer which is another word for weed.

    But I also thought reef meant a literal reef in the ocean. I thought a guy got drunk, blacked out, found himself in the water hanging onto a reef, and is feeling too overwhelmed (w/panic) or is maybe injured to make his way back to shore.

    Then I've thought "Won't somebody get me off this reef!" was just a whimsical way of saying that he needed help with his problems.

    Songs don't always make sense, but I thought he said "Grab a reef when all duck diving fails!" meant that in his part of the world sometimes you have to grab onto something like a reef before being overtaken by a wave or the ocean. Then metaphorically speaking, I thought it was his way of saying sometimes all you've got or can grab is temporary solutions to overwhelming problems that try to sweep you away.

    I'm really sad that this song is about heroine addiction. I'm going to ignore it, and just like what I thought I liked about the song.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 5th 2012 report

    I thought "Lord knows I'm weak!" has multiple meanings. It's an acknowledgement that God is stronger than all of us. God knows are shortcomings. God is the one who would know our feelings of powerlessness even if other people don't.

    I thought "I ain't got no quarrels with God" meant that he's acknowledged that it's useless to fight or blame God. Or it's another way of saying "God's Will be done."

    I didn't see the morbid side of "I ain't got no time to grow old." I thought it meant that he's having fun in life or enjoying his youth. I thought it was his way of saying, "you're as young as you feel." I thought this song was infused with same kind of spirituality found in reggae.

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 5th 2012 report

    I thought, "I got no money to spend" meant he either spent all his money or doesn't have to pay for things or is just done buying things or that he's poor

    I thought, "I hope this night will never end" meant that he was having a good time or a night that he wished could last forever.

    Then because I didn't know that this song was about heroine, I thought "Won't somebody get me off of this reef" meant that he blacked out after drinking and literally woke up to find himself on a reef. I thought this was a humorous song; I didn't know it was a cry for help from a heroine addiction.

    I thought, "Baby, you're a big blue whale," meant that
    this woman he loves has a "big heart" because the blue whale is the mammal with the largest heart on earth or in the ocean. Then, blue whales are kind of mysterious because they are a rare species. So I thought blue whale meant something mysterious, rare, & very special. I also thought blue whale meant something/someone strong enough to navigate the depths of the ocean. Also since whales "sing" I thought it meant this love interest is also into music too.

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 5th 2012 report

    When he calls himself a parasite, I thought it was a way of expressing doubt in himself, of maybe not being good enough, and self-reliant

    Then when he creeps and crawls and steps out, I thought he was feeling faded/intoxicated and went for a walk towards the beach before ending up in the water literally/figuratively.

    I had no idea that "bad fish" meant heroine pusher. I thought bad meant cool or adventuresome like "one bad ass." And fish was just another idiomatic word for person like in "big fish in a small pond" or "fish out of water" etc. Or someone who likes to drink &/or spend a lot of time in the water (i.e. drinks like a fish/swims like a fish, etc.)

    I thought 2 pints of booze meant 2 servings of beer that they serve in pint glasses at pubs. So, I thought it meant that him and a girl may have met over a couple of drinks. Or, I also thought it could mean that the night started off with 2 drinks which you could be enough for you if you didn't have a drinking problem or a high tolerance for alcohol. Then when he asks, "Tell me are you a bad fish. Are you a bad fish too?" (And I didn't know it meant heroine pusher) I thought he was just seeing if he and this girl both had a love for the ocean, drinking, and all the things that can be enjoyed in the South Bay.

  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 4th 2012 report

    I thought "When you grab a hold of me, tell me that I'll never be set free," meant how he felt for a girl, that he wanted to spend forever with her, maybe even tie the knot.

‹ prev 12



More Sublime song meanings »


 


Latest Articles

 


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]





Just Posted

Judas anonymous
Traitor anonymous
Heal the World anonymous
Et je t'aime encore anonymous
To Live is to Die anonymous
Sleeping Powder anonymous
This is Home anonymous
The Temple of the King anonymous
Ride anonymous
Wonderin' Bout The Wind anonymous
All Through The Night anonymous
Wasted Time anonymous
In a Darkened Room anonymous
Nervous anonymous
Both Sides Now anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Black Ball
YoungBoy Never Broke Again
Peace In The Pines
Kolton Moore
Hell Of A Year
Parker McCollum
Circles Around This Town
Maren Morris
Zombified
Falling in Reverse
Brighter
DOE
Fingers Crossed
Lauren Spencer Smith
Dancing On The Waves
We The Kingdom