A Streetkid Named Desire
"This song, I feel, discusses the difficulties of growing up a misunderstood, misinterpreted, young punk. 'As the gawps and stares bombarded me..... no one gave a damn if I was there or away, if I died and went to Hell they'd throw a party on my grave'. Graffin also tells us how he knew that 'Paradise was some other place' and he'd 'get there another day, I'll find it before I expire 'coz I've got the desire'. I can really relate to this song."
-Mike The Punk
"I read in an interview that in this song, Greg is actually describing his life growing up."
"One of my favorite songs on the album... Anyway, it's autobiographical I think, but even if not it's a tale of a kid who never fit in, but knew that there was more to life and cared little for their acceptance anyway. He knew that he had good things to work for in the future (paradise). Ahh.. the story of my life..."
"Well, I've also read the interview where he stated that it was an autobiographical song. So, here's my interpretation :) First verse: At school Greg was always different, he didn’t fit into the pot-culture cliché of the 1980’s. He didn’t really fit in with all of the ‘carefree’ drug addicts who were so abundant in numbers. The lines ‘no one gave a damn..’ and ‘they’d throw a party on my grave’ could be related to the carefree attitude and partying nature of those on drugs. The line: ‘this kid was just a fool, he’ll never be cool’ could have been related to his individuality and the way he didn’t fit in with the masses and was therefore not classed as being ‘cool’. ‘they might as well just ship him off to some other school’ could be related to his frequent changing of schools, or that fact that since he wasn't 'cool', him leaving would probably go unnoticed. Chorus: ‘that day was just like any other day…’ could be related to the line ‘plain destitute’ as his mother lacked money and he was earning his own money and making his own way. ‘I saw my boots and my hair..’ because he was part of the 1980 Los Angeles’ punk movement (a large movement for American punk, many good bands came from it) and the ‘punk’ look was the spiked hair, the boots, etc.. and although not homeless, he calls himself a ‘streetkid’ as he was working things for himself. ‘I didn’t give a damn, I was just dying to be’ – He didn’t really care what people thought of him and his band, he just wanted to do what he wanted, and be himself. ‘hollywood street scene’ – he was part of the Hollywood punk scene from the age of 15 and he grew up into a ‘man’ with it ‘when the walls surround in deeper shades of blue’ could be related to the drug addicts and their lives being insignificant and meaningless. He wished that he chose was not a part of this, and probably wished he was elsewhere. They are notes I wrote for a year 11 English poetry tutorial (last year), and parts are missing because most of it is in my head and I didn't really need to write it down. :)"
"I believe that this is based on the theme of the 1951 movie 'A Streetcar named desire'. Greg Graffin is relating his childhood to the film because everyone turned against him for being himself. The line 'I knew that paradise was some other place, and I'd get there another day' is saying that he doesn't have to put up with it forever, but he really shouldn't have to put up with it at all. I can relate to this, because there's many times that I want to be out of school for reasons other than boredom or lack of motivation. In the line about searching for meaning on an empty shelf, he is talking about how he can't understand why they did it at all."
"This is a
brilliant song and, in my opinion, one of the strongest on the 'New America'
album. It has a lot of personal reflection for me in that I (and I'm sure
others) can relate to Graffin's words of being an isolated Punk kid, almost an
outcast. It speaks of the repetitive and predictable everyday occurrences and
'no work, no pay, I knew that Paradise was some other place and I'd get get
there another day.' It's sickening to think that people were (and still are)
socially rejected just because of the music they like or the opinions they
carry. (continuing) "...I will find it before I expire, 'coz I've got the