"Hell, I might be on crack, or have no ability to interpret poetry...but from a upper-middle class, university science education, I think that this song is about the lack of equality in our society. Only when we are equal will there be no more sorrow. Wars are fought over greed, and the desire to be 'better' than your enemy. People work for Bill Gates, and have silicon chips manufactured in Mexico, for the sole reason of being richer than the Mexican making the chip (no offense to Mexicans). It's kind of a communist viewpoint, the whole equality thing, especially living in a democratic society where our individualist attitudes and lifestyles promote nothing more than inequality. That's all I got. feel free to rip me apart."
"This song is, in my interpretation, saying Hey!!!! God, if you're there DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!"
"I think that rpm's right, but still the meaning of the song can be expanded to a more general idea. No matter how good your life is, there will always be a reason for sorrow. There's always gonna be something you regret, or something you don't agree or feel bad about. In the movie 'The Matrix' there's a part where an Agent is talking to Morpheus, while he's arrested. The Agent says that in their first attempt to make a world for the humans, they made it in a way they thought it would be perfect for the humans. That there'd be equality and peace for everyone. However that didn't work. I think there'll always be sorrow, because, as was already said in the first interpretation, there will be no more sorrow only with total equality. That's impossible. There'll never be total equality, and there will be sorrow. Because the kings and the queens won't relinquish their crowns, and the soldiers won't lay their weapons down."
"Supposedly the song is about Greg and his father, but, I think if you read just slightly between the lines it has a duel meaning. A little spite for god, the idea of god, whatever. 'Just to settle a bet that could not be won, between a prideful father and his son.' That bet being gods authority, and Satan challenging it. If you remember from your Sunday schools, Satan was an angel (a son of god, kind of like we all allegedly are) and he defied gods authority. Thus came about mans age and hence all this suffering. The song would seem to challenge the idea of a god, being perfect, because he allows all this sorrow. He asks 'Father can you hear me?' meaning if god is here, where is he? 'or when the only true messiah rescues us from ourselves, its easy to imagine. There will be sorrow.'"
"I think parts of this song are about religion and war (quite appropriate). The 'father' in the song is a representation of god or a divine being, 'let me take you to the hurting ground where all good men are trampled down just to settle a bet that could not be won between a prideful father and his son' i think this bit is about which religion is 'right' when in actual fact there is no right answer. I'm not sure on the rest of this song, haven't had it for that long and still formulating my views on it, that bit just struck me straight away."
"Well, after listening to the song over 50 times and trying to get the lyrics down, I think I finally have an interpretation. When it says 'Let me take you to the hurting ground, Where all good men are trampled down, Just to settle a bet that could not be won' I think it means that War is no solution for any problem. And also I think it states that war is the cause of sorrow and if there were a God, he would put a stop to this instead of having his imperfect creation destroy themselves in the name of himself."
"I think this song is about our rightful questioning of and indignance with, God. I find it very similar to Don't Pray on Me because they both seem to be asking and saying the same things: If God is up there watching all of this war and animosity that's been existing for the past 2000 years, why doesn't he do something?, and if he could turn several loaves and fish into several thousand for one congregation of people, why doesn't he do it for the millions of suffering people below the poverty line? When Graffin says 'between a prideful father and his son,' he also reminds us that the cause of these battles and wars lies in the greed, arrogance, and egoism of a few people, not the majority, however, the battles are still fought because those few are the ones who have the power."
"The song states that sorrow will be no more when every living soul can be upright and strong; when all soldiers lay their weapons down; when all kings and all queens relinquish their crowns; when the only true messiah rescues us from ourselves. In other words, there will always be sorrow. These things will never happen. The rest of the song is summed up in what Freek and EvilClone said."
-Amish Rake Fighter
"This song is about the fact that the 'rat race' and the desire of men to be better than other men is what is generally ruining the world. As for who the father and the son are, another interpretation popped into my head as soon as a first heard the song. The sound of bombs dropping in the background of the song also lead me to this interpretation. I think the father and son are the Bush family. 'A war that can't be won' could be way that the Bushes have been trying to control the middle-east through military terror. It all clicked when I saw a poll asking which should be the next target in 'The War on Terror' on CNN the other day...sick, waging war against a country for the act of one man. As for the bomb sound, the Bushes were the first to really use bombs much more than ground forces as a war tactic, which is why American losses are so low."
"I think the song is about 9/11 and how tragedies happen and you suffer for a while but than things get better 'then there will be sorrow, no more'"
"I think that there are a few listeners who are still Christians, and this song may be an attempt to persuade these to re-examine their beliefs. The music itself is strongly reminiscent of American church/gospel acappella music (except with the the instrumentation added). It almost begs those who still cling to Christian faith to develop a deeper respect for life, and the quality of the short life we have here. The text seems almost satirical, for example, 'I curse the day that I was born'. Many Christians don't realize the extent to which Christianity teaches people to hate themselves and others as 'sinners'."
"Just to clarify this song was not written about the events last September, the album was finished and being mixed at that time and the song had been written for many months. It was kroq that turned this song into a post 9/11 anthem. In 'Metal Hammer' a uk punk and metal magazine (yes the uk music press is finally paying some attention to BR!!!) they had an interview with Greg and Mr. Brett and Mr. Brett said that this song was about the biblical story of 'Job', in this story Satan bet god that there was no man who wouldn't surrender his faith ('Just to settle a bet that could not be won, between a prideful father and his son' from what I understand of Christianity Satan was created by god then cast out of heaven into hell i.e. god is Satan's 'father') but after huge suffering Job still refused to betray his faith and was rewarded by god. To quote Brett: 'The easiest way to summarize 'Sorrow' is that it is very difficult to account for suffering in the world from a theological perspective...My interpretation of the story of Job is that it doesn't matter how good you are , the universe doesn't run on the merit system. In other words its impossible to justify the suffering in the world with the existence of a god. The story of Job is the archetypal sad story. It's the saddest story ever told, it deals with the biggest question: why is there so much sorrow? Why is there so much pain in the world? I wanted to tackle the subject without trivializing it' I hope this is of some help, Barney."
"I think the song is coming straight from the heart as if everything has been said and done and there is no where else to turn or run. Imagining a life without sorrow."
"Triple J, this song was written way before the 9/11 attacks, BUT it does fit that theme really well. How about an unintentional punk anthem for the loss felt by those affected by the 9/11 attacks."
"God will take your sorrow away if you let Him. He already died for us on the cross all that you have to do is let Him into your heart. He loves you, Jesus Loves You!"
"While Mr. Brett makes it clear that this song is a reference to the book of Job (and the beginning lyrics make this quite obvious: 'I curse the day that I was born,' [Job 3:1-3]; 'Just to settle a bet that could not be won between a prideful Father and His son,' [i.e., God and Satan/Lucifer), it really transcends the poetry of Job to mankind's plight as a whole. 'Let me take you to the hurting ground where all good men are trampled down,' the verse preceding the betting allegory, implies that all suffering is the extenuation of the pride of God in relation to his creation. The song rhetorically anticipates a time of bliss, equated with world peace, cessation of nationalistic tendencies, and/or the coming of the expected Messiah, who was seen as a chosen one coming to restore peace on earth in Judaic thought. It is this Messiah that Christianity claims in Jesus. The song makes the plea of man for a world without sorrow, the book of Job being the impetus for the plea, and the answer lying in an idealistic notion of the conquest of the human nature and it's will to power (Nietzsche)."
"There are many reasons and causes for people's sorrows, and unfortunately most people tend to blame someone else for their pitiful situations. We all have choices to make, good or bad, which will generate a good/bad consequence. God isn't going to step in and stop us or fix our problems when we make the wrong choice. God allows us to make those choices. Why do people wonder about God when tragedy strikes or problems arise? Our own prideful and sinful natures are the causes to the world's problems in some way or another."
"Being a Christian and listening to Bad Religion, I find myself not abandoning my religion but acting with reform within myself. The song "Sorrow" for me, portrays a world of injustice and inequality of capitalist greed. War, pride, and imperialism are all methods of extending sorrow to the world. 'When the only true messiah comes to rescue us from ourselves,' I think conveys a sense of hope from this misery and misfortunate life. The only way in which 'all soldiers will throw down their arms, and all kings and all queens relinquish their crowns' will be when that greater being, whether it be the Christian God or not, comes and rescue us, there will always be sorrow in the world. I too find myself cursing the sorrow in this world and at times I feel hopelessly condemned but I continue onwards knowing that someday there will be no more sorrow. Overall the song has a great theme to it and whether you view it as anti- or pro-God it raises the question, what does it take to stop the sorrow in this world?"
"In my opinion Barney tells all the truth. Sometimes it's hard to be a Bad Religion fan AND being Christian, as i am. But I think BR has a deeper meaning than just talking sarcastic of Christianity, because they DO criticize Christian false values BUT they also ask YOU to change your selfish life! Only if we change we can make it better and NOT only with talking bad about god and all."
"At first glance, this song appears to be about the relationship between a father and his son. "Between a prideful father and his son." Yet I think we have to look more deeply into this. I feel that "father" is a metaphor for god, and "son" is man. The song is about how good people struggle with their beliefs, often causing strife and bitterness between different cultures. It is about racism, stereotypes, and all the terrible things that occur when fanatics carry their beliefs too far. "When the only true messiah rescues us from ourselves.." That line means that when man finally realizes that the only true messiah is him/herself, and that all the wars and struggles fought in the name of god have been in vain, since there isnt one, then truly, their will be sorrow no more."
"I would have to agree with RPM that this song seems to have to have a theme of equality of communism. "What if every soul could be upright and strong?" Sounds to me like he's saying if everyone worked hard we could have a functional communist government. Also "When all kings/queens relinquish their crowns" saying that we must all be equals. If everyone treats everyone else with equality and fairness, there will be sorrow no more. But what about the reference to father? God? I thought BR didn't believe in God. Please feel free to correct me."
"I have noticed that this song could easily go with the Adam & Eve story. "Let me take you to the hurting ground"refers to earth and the world we live in, the hurting being all the sadness and pain."Where all good men are trampled down" means when we grow old and die. the "Bet that could not be won between a prideful father and his son" refers to when adam and eve ate the forbidden fruit and were expelled from eden. God was prideful because he didnt forgive his children (who according to the bible werent any smarter than animals when they were in the garden of eden). "I cant see a reason for this suffering and long misery" and "How have i let you down?" is saying Why are we being punished when it could all be prevented. I also think this song has some sarcasm in it. "When all soldiers lay their weapons down and all kings and all queens relinquish their crowns... if every living soul was upright and strong... there would be sorrow no more" is saying that there ! will always be sorrow because those things will never happen according to human nature."
"I think the Father in the song is definantly some sort of divine figure. And the I believe the sone represents the human race as a whole. "How have I let you down"-What have we done to deserve this? "I curse the day that I was born and all the sorrow in this world"-Cursing the day where man was created and all the bad things that have happened since. "To settle a bet that could not be won between a prideful father and his son"-In the Christian Religion it is believed that God created man to live in harmony on Earth. And there still are people who think harmony can exist so God hasn't lost the bet. But there is still bad people in the world who can't live in harmony so God can't win the bet. So in the end there can be no winner to this bet. "Will you guide me now for I can't see a reason for the suffering and this long misery"-Trying to figure out why life goes on and all this happens because nobody can understand the meaning of life or why anybody exists or why the world goes on. "If every living soul could be upright and Strong" "All soldiers lay there weapons down" "All kings and all queens relinquish there crowns" -These three lines show what the world was supposed to be. God didn't create kings or queens or weapons or social classes. These developed in the world. It shows that for the sorrow in the world to end there can be no leaders. No fighting. And no one being better than others. There must be complete equality among classes, people living without a governing power. And everyone in the world living peacefully for the sorrow to end."
"While Mr. Brett makes it clear that this song is a reference to the book of Job (and the beginning lyrics make this quite obvious: "I curse the day that I was born," [Job 3:1-3]; "Just to settle a bet that could not be won between a prideful Father and His son," [i.e., God and Satan/Lucifer), it really transcends the poetry of Job to mankind's plight as a whole. In short, it is the problem of theodicy. "Let me take you to the hurting ground where all good men are trampled down," the verse preceeding the betting allegory, implies that all suffering is the extenuation of the pride of God in relation to his creation, at least from a Judeo-Christian premise. The rhetoric is clearly a play of sarcasm more than an actual apology. The song rhetorically anticipates a time of bliss, equated with world peace, cessation of nationalistic tendencies, and/or the coming of the expected Messiah, who was seen as the chosen one coming to restore peace on earth in Judaic thought. It is this Messiah that Christianity claims in Jesus. The song makes the plea of man for a world without sorrow, the book of Job being the impetus for the plea, and the answer lying in an idealistic notion of the conquest of the human nature and it's will to power (Nietzsche). While the plea is genuine, the prospect appears grim."
"to whoever said that christians hate themselves and other "sinners" christians dont they hate the sin not the sinner dude"
-Guitar Dude 69
"i heard this song was about the book of job, in the bible"
"This song has nothing to do with God coming down and desturbing the human race. Bad Religion is trying to send a message that if everyone would come together in unity and peace most of the worlds sorrow will end. But thats never going to happen because there is just to much hate in this world. They are also saying if all military forces around the world will just give up and stop the fighting sorrow will come to an end. But none of these things will never come true, the reason is pain, all humans have to live with pain. us humans are uncontrollible, people are going to do what they want to do. The only way you can change a humans opinion is to touch their hearts not there mind."