The Tragically Hip: Scared Meaning
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I'm not prepared, but if I have to
He said I can make you scared
It's kinda what I do
If you are prepared to
Here is what I propose to do
Your in Russia
And more than a million works of art
Are wisked out to...
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:
It's about how fear is used as a commodity to intimidate and gain. It's a tool used by governments and corporations to influence our decisions. People are actually employed to scare people. It's about how dishonest things are done as if God isn't watching. R.I.P. GORD DOWNIE
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:
I have recently learned this song on my guitar and getting a bit older I have gone over the lyrics many times so I can remember them without looking at the text! Before reading anyone else's interpretation, I came to the conclusion that this song is about the Devil in conversation with Hitler. It starts out with the Devil offering his help to Hitler: "I can make you scared, if you want me to, its kinda what I do, etc". He also said to hitler: "If you pay me to" inferring that he sell his soul to the devil. Ultimately after Hitler executes his philosophy/atrocities on the Jewish people (tests have shown, etc.), the Devil in turn becomes scared of Hitler: You make ME scared", "you did what he set out to do", "didn't know if I was getting through", etc. And ultimately at the end of the song he thanks Hitler: "Its been a pleasure doing business with you". There are many more parallels and references to the second world war, and they all seem to make sense when considering this scenario. My 2 cents!
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous Aug 25th 2016 report
It's a song about vulnerability. A poet or writer will often use allusion as a way to convey meaning. In this case he uses WW2 as a way to give the listener an image of vulnerability. Gord often references a salesman when he introduces this song and that is another way to think about the conversation in the lyrics. Salespeople always make people feel defensive and vulnerable. It could just as easily be a guy trying to get a girl in the sack or a married couple beyond the point of being able to say how they feel. It all comes back to vulnerability though.
anonymous Apr 12th report
I see two lovers, both warning the other about how they have mishandled relationships in the past. The I still fear in one another as a means of self defence. They don’t want the other to hurt them so they warn the other of how badly it might go to avoid going there. Eventually they pull one another into this abyss they cannot pull one another out of and the only thing that can save their peace of mind is to part ways.
anonymous Feb 28th report
I always thought it was about the relationship between the Quebec separatists and the rest of Canada
anonymous Oct 23rd 2020 report
It's about being an artist, and your art being commodified. Art is supposed to scare you, make you confront your shadow self. He's talking about the deal made between the artist and the consumer of the art.
anonymous Aug 28th 2020 report
I believe the whole reason we like a song most of the time because we can relate the wording. Something in our own lives. Music is medicine for the soul but can also be poison if u listen to the wrong type of music when u r clinically depressed or a violent angry. A person can hear a song they maybe shouldn't be listening to at the time they hear it. Due to the reason it pumps them up even more so and could lead to acting out on both depression or violent thoughts. Most of us however listen to the words of a song when we r searching to relate the song to something close to home in our own lives. At least for me anyway. Personally I believe the song scared has a deeper meaning for Gord. He may be speaking of himself or a very close family member or close friend who struggles with mental health illness. Most of us when we hear the word scizophenic we feel fear. Like the lyrics say. I can make u scared if u want me to. It's I believe someone who suffers deep emotional and mental health problems and what they have to deal with from our society, friends, co workers, family, thier doctors, strangers. It's what they feel like saying and doing when the person finds out they r bipolar or personality disorder even depression. They are treated like a outcast or like they have 20 different personalities and might come at them with a large butcher knife or something ridiculous and so very far from the reality of the mental ilness. They have tested and made alot of mistakes and ruined tons of lives with the drug trials performed on young adults who were believed to show signs of early onset scizopheniaThey created an injectable medication for them not even knowing for sure if the person had the mental disease for sure. These poor teenagers were given a medication the government soon realized had destroyed their mental health to the point of no return back to who they once we're. That was in the 1970's. Late 70's I should say because I know people who received those injections and they r forever ruined from that. First off a person in their teenage years very rarely is diagnosed yet. Men usually between ages 23 - 30 yrs of age. Women usually 30 - 39, 40 yrs of age before they can conclude for sure someone is in fact bipolar or szciphenic. I think perhaps being a star singer and his lifestyle with fans and travelling and constantly being in the spot light for someone with mental disorders must be very hard at times. But I suffer from some mental health issues and what I do at times if they act a certain way towards me is make them scared by telling exageratted stories about something I have done and I make them scared. It's kinda what I do. If I have to. I can make my doctor more money by saying off the wall things and then this way he gets paid by the government larger one slots for that patient so i can make him scared if he pays me too. If he doesn't pay me I can throw his freedom away with snap of his fingers and place anyone suffering mental illnes into MH without their clothing on their backs without any street clothes for as long as the doctor feels they should be there. So the fear works both ways with doctor/patient aspect of song. But I speak from experience and believe maybe Gord suffered a serious mental illness as well and his words r speaking about society and how they have dealt with it and how they fear it. There is however a small few who believe it's nothing but cold calculations and a guessing game because they still and probably never will fully understand the way our minds work. People fear what thy don't understand.
anonymous Aug 6th 2020 report
Not sure why I checked this site but was listening to scared for the first time in a while and kinda got lost in the words. Always thought I knew what it was about (not sure why) but now I'm not so sure. You're never sure with Gord, a real poet who always seemed happy dropping ideas into songs out of context and order. Part Mischief maker part truth teller. Anyway here's what I used to think.... It's Satan making a deal with mankind, as he sees the results come in Satan admits that he wasn't sure that his message was getting across but mankind actually scares him now with all the egregious assholes who populate the planet and on that note his work is done so he's leaving but its been a pleasure. Interesting play with the change between I and you the you and me etc... as the conversation go back and forth. Also I think "Tickled to death by their own importance" is tied with "There's a hole in Daddy's arm where all the money goes" as 2 of the greatest lyrics ever written. RIP Gord (and John)
anonymous Mar 14th 2020 report
Down at the beach, is drawing quite a crowd. The D-day invasion is underway.
anonymous Apr 9th 2018 report
One of my interpretations of this song is someone battling with depression. At first you don't realize how scary it can be but in the end it is terrifying. If this is the true meaning then the end "it was pleasure doing business with you" could mean that the person has overcome it and learned something from being in such a dark scary place. None the less this is a beautiful song that can be interpreted in so many ways. That just shows how masterful Gord Downie was at his craft. May he walk amongst the stars forever. Rest in Peace.
It's about how fear is used as a commodity to intimidate and gain. It's a tool used by governments,corporations and people in general in relationships to influence our decisions and manipulate. People are actually employed to scare people. R.I.P. GORD DOWNIE
It's about how fear is used as a commodity to intimidate and gain. It's a tool used by governments and corporations to influence our decisions. People are actually employed to scare people. It's about how dishonest things are done as if God isn't watching.
anonymous May 22nd 2017 report
Hitler vs devil.
anonymous May 12th 2017 report
Song is about stolen art back in WW2 and the dealing of the art stolen during and after the war.
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