"Okay this is a little strange but I am really sure I know what this tune is about... It's about Survivor, the Reality TV show. The second line 'contestants in disguise' implies a contest of some kind. The line about castaways in the chorus implies the whole concept of survivor. The second verse makes direct reference to all this being on TV and this verse is also full of all the crap that is shown on survivor. That's my theory hope you enjoy it."
"It's just a thought on my part, but I don't think Survivor was actually out until after The New America was released. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. It sounds to me as though Greg is commenting more on the misinformation part of it, and how life is popularly depicted one way, but in fact it's nothing like that ('with such a wealth of information, why are you so poor?') 'You've got a chance to be relevant today' sounds like a pro-voting statement - leading to the assertion I made long ago that despite the fact that 'the wise men' (the 'experts' and the people who 'know better than you') say that your vote makes a difference, it really doesn't change anything (echoing the sentiments of the lyric, 'the faces always different, the rhetoric the same' from another song)."
"In reply to Adam's thoughts... seems logical enough :) but honestly, I think this song was written a little bit before the show was around. In relativity with the rest of Graffin's songs. I think that he is just trying to tell us that we have a chance to confront the world, meaning that we have a chance to be heard, that if we try, demand, fight, plead, or any other way, that we will one day, be heard by the upper authorities. We just need that little optimistic push forward by Graffin himself. And what better way to do it than by his songs?"
"You've Got A Chance is basically a wake up call to the youth of America. The lyrics face the fact that most of the kids today in into punk rock have their lives wrapped around simple suburbian life problems (girls, popularity, and all the things that the new wave of pop-punk and so called emo that has rushed in the past decade). 'Desperate romance is the curse of castaways' and 'I'm tired of all this Shakespearean misinformation' - What Greg is saying is wake up! Quit wasting all your time on all this high school drama and why she won't go out with you. All this is so little and pointless compared to the real problems outside your bubble, so take a good look and do something. I love how the lyrics shift in between the two worlds of the real world and it's issues, then our own little problems and how we turn our backs on the outside with excuses ('You've got the right intentions, but who's got time to think? You've got a noon appointment, you've got to hit the links'). One thing that still escapes me is the line 'But who will win the prize?' This 'prize' seems to be a re-curring theme in The New America appearing in more than a couple songs. Does anyone have any clue to what exactly this is?"
"I've never had a wonderful life living in a religious community in the Okanogan Valley, Canada. It hasn't gotten easier as I approached my fourteenth birthday earlier this summer it became harder. People would hurt me, beat on me every day, push me down, call me meaningless and I was pushed away. I grew into states of depression and loneliness. However when I heard this song last summer for some reason I listened very hard to the lyrics. It hit me hard. I realized that I had skills that I ruined on sulking over what was going on in my life, especially through the lines "What good is skill If you don't make it to the dance?" So I wrote the lyrics of this song on my binder when I went back to school. Every time I have a problem, every time I am insulted, every time I fail at something I read at the very top of my binder "YOU'VE GOT A CHANCE". I once again carry on, which has easily helped put me in the place I am in right now. I have been able to now ignore the comments placed upon me, the labels, the ignorance, I even make it through threats of beatings. It has pulled me through depression and all I can say that if anyone ever reads this Greg Graffin knew what he was saying when he wrote this and I would have to say thank you to him if I ever got the chance."
"This is just in response to 'The Mike's' nice interpretation of the song. I think the prize that is referred to in that song is whatever success or goal you're going for in life. The line 'but who will win the prize?' is kind of like asking 'who's going to find what they're looking for in life?'"
"I recall something Greg said in an interview about how the New America album was supposed to be more "positive" than other BR works. A song called "You've got a chance" seems to reflect this impulse, however misguided I may think it was and however forced the end product sounds. The theme would appear to be "No, it's not hopeless. Things can be better." You know, like the song every other band writes when they decide they have to "make a positive contribution" with their music. (Then they end up with a singer running laps around a heart-shaped stage at halftime of the Super Bowl.)"