Here at GoROCKYourself, we are beginning a new article series entitled, song of the week, where we take songs given to us by our readers, and compare it to society today. As many know, Donald Trump will be our next president, so this week we will be talking about the protests that have erupted because of that decision.
To help talk about it, we will be analyzing the song, “Social Suicide” By Bad Religion. Before we dive in, I want to add that protests in themselves are not a bad thing, in fact they are a great thing. However, when 46 percent of the registered voters in America did not vote and are now causing havoc because their person did not win, does not make any sense to me. To me it is social suicide. Why protest when you did not even make your voice heard at the polls?
Here is a link so you can hear the song if you are unfamiliar:
Let’s talk about our song of the week now that we know the context of why it was chosen. This song was released in 2004 on Bad Religions album that was entitled, “The Empire Strikes First.” It is the third track on what was the band’s thirteenth studio album.
Although the song itself is only a minute and thirty five seconds long, the hard hitting lyrics with the revolutionary guitar make it an anthem for those that are upset at the current establishment.
The lyrics to the first verse are as follows:
Well it’s finally time to face my fears
Gonna get the hell out of here
And create a fresher atmosphere
But the consequence is clear
To me, the first verse is someone that is coming to realization that something they did not want to happen, happened. When the band talks about getting creating a fresher atmosphere, they are mentioning something that a lot of society is way too afraid to do now a days until it is too late. Even though the consequence is clear, that is no reason to hold back about what you believe and stop pussy footing around. You will offend people, there is no doubt about it, but you will also gain respect if you are out front and open with your beliefs.
Moving on to the chours:
There’s a furnace set on high
And a yearning undefined
But it’s time to turn the tide
It’s social suicide
At first glance the chorus (that repeats several times), is clearly about challenging the social norms of society. Yearning for something that you are completely unsure of, but yet, you know there must be a change in society. As far as the song title and last section of the bridge, the social suicide comes in when you realize that you may lose your status in the greater society, because you are willing to stand up for what you believe. Sometimes putting your beliefs out in the open puts someone on the metaphorical chopping block. However, guess what, THAT IS OK. Why? It is ok because as long as you have concrete evidence and reasons, there is no one that can stop you.
The second verse is as follows:
Perserverence is a useless tool
Just a patron on a ship of fools
Feigning interest in the cast and crew
Why you’ve broken every single rule
The second verse is hitting on those who join a cause just because it is something they somewhat agree with, rather than something they are truly passionate about. Which would make that person a useless tool as the lyric state. When you are not passionate about something but you are protesting anyway, you are just along for the ride, which is what the last three lines of the verse is saying.
The final actual verse of the song goes like this:
Shadows entertain the unwashed masses
Scholars explain their numb reactions
I don’t even know if I can ever find truth
but I’m sure it won’t come from following you
The first line in the verse really stands out, shadows are entertaining the unwashed masses. If you have not heard the song, this is the hardest hitting verse because of how he sings it. The shadows he mentions to me is about the way that any sort of cause is twisted because of the ones who are not in the middle of it. So they keep the unwashed masses believing their own bias rather than showing the other side of the story. As far as the scholars, the social movement that is brought about is something that may have been in the far reaches of their mind but they did not give it much thought . Now they are numb because they see the havoc in the streets. The last two verses are about a conflict within oneself from a person who is just following along with the movement because “everyone else is doing it” because they are unsure what they really believe and have just been spoon fed one side of the story.
Well that is the end, next week there will be another song of the week here at Go ROCK Yourself.
*Please note this is just one persons analysis*