"It seemed to me at first listen (excluding when the little break in the middle really messed with my head) that this was another ho-hum school shooting song. But after repeated (I'm not done with it yet) listening, I found it to be a very thoughtful, if not full on sensitive, first person narrative of the tortured anti-social reject who very foolishly decides to take out his/her frustrations on people with deadly force. 'yeah sure I might do harm, and bear my right to arm' And the added hypothesis that all of this violence does in fact stem from isolation, 'if only someone would listen to me.' I haven't even scratched the surface on this one, so feel free to add or subtract."
"I like the first explanation. I think that the nearly manic music, pause in the middle, and subsequent manic music is perfect for demonstrating the mood swings that these types can feel. If you'll notice that when the phone rings the music begins again, almost furiously. Maybe you could picture a potentially violent isolated adolescent who inside is almost literally dying to be listened to by someone. The narrator here knows that there are problems (a book on mental health, I look for inner wealth), but feels too isolated."
"This song has interesting point of view with how bored most people are with their lives and that people are ignored by each other. That this causes people to take extreme action to get attention and have the attention of the masses."
"I think this song is about school shootings, or more generally, teenagers lashing out violently for the sole reason because they have nothing better to do. The right to bear arms is obviously referring to having a gun, which would imply shooting and killing people. 'If only someone would listen to me,' refers to how many kids were begging for help and weren't getting it because nobody paid attention or took them seriously. The long break in the middle, in my opinion interrupts the flow of the song, but I think the sound effects do have some meaning. My guess is they represent video games, and then you can hear frequency noise which might represent the media, two of the major things people blame school shootings on. The ringing phones represent all the calls to the parents of the victims."
"My roommate has recently become a BR fan, so we were listening to this song and when the pause came, my roommate exclaimed, 'he gets bored with the song! He gets in a state of daydreaming and snaps out of it when the phone rings. The character is probably ADHD.' I wouldn't mind reading Brett's comments..."
"Hmmmm. It almost sounds like the telephones in the break are overlaid with a school bell.... Nice touch."
"I noticed in an above explanation that he interpreted the ringing in the middle of the song as a phone. I thought of it more as an alarm clock, as to represent something to wake the person up from the subliminal trance they had fallen into when the song has moved on into the mellow, strange, and ultimately awkward quiet part. Maybe that represents something of a break in whatever the persons tribulations, like summer break or something, but when he returned to the school (workplace?) (postal office?) the reason he did the shooting resumed. oh no, I've begun rambling again. Never mix marijuana with Bad Religion."
-Theordore Nolan Berg-Rooper
"This song I think that's is about a lonely and solitaire person who don't have friends lovers or partners always alone without somebody to talk express his feelings and thoughts."
"After reading a lot of the posts, I agree with pretty much all of them, so I decided to add in my p.o.v. ...hearing the first couple of lines, I get the impression that yes it could be about teenagers, teen violence and all, but can also be interpreted as adults as well.. "with no one to come home to" Its just an example of how isolated everyone has become and the socialization process has changed drastically over the years. Its harder and harder to find that 'special someone' or even to make friends. You just end up in certain groups and everyone is separated from each other. What also gives me the impression that this song can be (but doesn't have to be) about adult isolation is the line "I find inner wealth by punishing myself" .. the way a lot of adults buy self-help and diet books, hoping to change their lives, where the problem lies with their attitude and outlook on life, rather than external forces. The break adds more of that mental image of someone sit! ting alone in a room by themselves and the phone ringing is sometimes the only thing than can break that silence... just my interpretation.."
"I think the pause represents having nothing or no one. Being lonely and separated. The music suddenly starting again shows how quickly someone depressed and lonely that feels left out and rejected can snap into action and become violent. The theme of violence is very strong with the line "Bear my right to arm." "No one to come home to. I woefully conclude to take it out on you"-The main charecter of this song is a loner, a reject. Never sees his/her family. Doesn't have any friends. And it has made them depressed and lonely and they are going to take it out on the people that rejected them and wouldn't listen to him. "If only someone would listen to me"-They wouldn't realize how much being rejected really hurts and what it can do to someone. And when he/she became depressed and lonely they simply continued to lash out at him. "Bored to the Extreme. This world of foolish dreams"-After being rejected keeps going and it adds up he/she has nothing to live for since they are depressed and becomes bored with life. They think all the dreams of the happy people are foolish and can't be since the world has thrown him/her away. "Retribution"-The main charecter is going to get back at the world. --The break-- -The world of the reject. No one to talk to. No one listening. "Look for inner wealth by punishing myself"-Tries to find a life to live by going into the darkness even further. Causing more harm. BIG PICTURE: The key in this song is "If only someone would listen" people won't take the time to understand the rejects or the freaks or the goths. They just continue rejecting them. This leads to depression and sometimes violence. On a personal note: I take this sone very seriously because I did go into a depression for a while. I lived with the silence of the pause only broken by sounds of the tv and the phone. I was bored with life and saw no meaning. But luckily after almost four years I found things I loved and things that were worth living for. That's what "Someone would listen to me" is all about. Understanding what people like and being yourself without being hated for it."
"I think this song is very straight forward, with no hidden metaphors or classic BR political rumblings. This song is basically about someone who just needs a companion. Someone to talk to. Everybody needs a person who they can relate to, someone they can open up to. That's all this person in this song wants. If someone would listen to him, then he could vent his feelings in a constructive way, instead of using violence, whether it be towards others or towards himself, as sadly, it often comes to."
"Music affects on multiple levels so interpretation is of course relative to our own experiences, also providing a medium for others to understand. I've rewrote this post a million times to attempt to summarize this but it is hard. So I will tell it from just my view: This song explains depression and the things it brings with it that affect every part of your life. I deal with depression daily and I know there are a lot out there just like me, even if they don't know it. I'm not going to quote anything, but rather explain a typical train of thought this song may portray (you make the connections with the lyrics). Depression brings boredom to a new level, due to both inability to focus and side effects of medications. It also brings about feelings of lost individuality. We don't even know who we are anymore. Boredom and negative thoughts can ravage a person. The current methods of treatment only make this worse by "categorizing" us. Medical books have now put ! us in a category as healthy or unhealthy, rather than a human, unique to this world. As far as family/friends go, every action is from this point on characterized as a sign of our health improving or deteriorating. Everyone stops listening to us and most don't even realize it. Now we have lost ourselves completely. It would be impossible to be happy now, so of course we must find happiness in personal misery. Violence to the self or others stems from this state of mind. I do not intent to make myself or others look pathetic on this or be embarrased. The key to it is understanding by everyone. I only hope I could explain in some way the thought process we have rationalized to be true and how the current society only makes this worse, not better."
"i just like to add that i think the bells come from pink floyds time..kinda like a tribute....both songs have similar themes ...but i might be wrong after reading other theorys on this song"
-The Delivery Man