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Against Me!

I Was A Teenage Anarchist lyrics

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Against Me! – I Was A Teenage Anarchist lyrics

I was a teenage anarchist, looking for a revolution.
I had the style, I had the ambition.
I read all the authors, I knew the right slogans.
There was no war but the class war.
I was ready to set the world on fire.
I was a teenage anarchist, looking for a revolution.

Do you remember when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire?

I was a teenage anarchist, but the politics were too convenient.
In the depths of their humanity all I saw was bloodless ideology.
And with freedom as the doctrine, guess who was the new authority?
I was a teenage anarchist, but the politics were too convenient.

Do you remember when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire?

I was a teenage anarchist, but then the scene got too rigid.
It was a mob mentality, they set their rifle sights on me.
Narrow visions of autonomy, you want me to surrender my identity.
I was a teenage anarchist, the revolution was a lie.

Do you remember when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire?

I was a teenage anarchist.

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songmeaningsPost my meaning

  • f
    Don't you think it's possible that "when you were you and you wanted to set the world on fire" could mean a lot of different things to different people? It's very possible that the entire song could be a metaphor. Tom Gabel writes the most beautiful lyrics which are such a contrast to his rugged and almost violent singing voice that instead of complaining about what you might think is an uneducated take on "anarchy" you should listen again and again and try to think about what those words might mean to him, or other listeners. I get chills when he cries out "do you remember" because I surely remember what it felt like to be young.
  • c
    As I see it, it doesn't have to be about anarchy specifically. You can apply this to all those things you believed when you were young. You used to think you could achieve anything, even "set the world on fire" because of your beliefs or discontents and change the system. As we grow up we get used to the things that used to bother us and wanted to change. So "don't you remember..." is a way of calling that young you and try to revive those feelings of unsettled, anxious, revolutionary teenager that wanted to change the world.
    Sorry for the bad English.
  • u
    Anarchism is so broad, I consider myself an anarchist thinker yet I'm not really involved in any forms of activism nor do I live autonomously. I'm sure the singer still believes in the books he used to read, I'm sure from a thinking perspective he probably still is an anarchist, the problems arise from some of the anarchist scenes that are hypocritical in their nature and turn people into something that their not, the real challenge is having beliefs that go against the system but finding the balance inside your self to live a happy life.
  • u
    Even though I have many idealistic views about how great anarchism could be, I really identify with this song. I often feel as though the system's on autopilot, and that we'll never really be able to change it. Too few in america really care for or know the deep flaws and injustices in the system even as they experience the injustice themselves.
    The minority of people who are willing to do something drastic to change the system would be branded terrorists and their dissent would be crushed, I feel as though there is no way to make enough of the populous aware of the widespread injustice for our numbers to ever be a true threat to the status quo, and so I refuse to call myself an anarchist outright. I wish the world could be that way, but I have no hope and no reality-based reason to believe that it really could be that way in my lifetime, or possibly ever.
  • u
    No anarchists follow the real meaning of anarchy. It's a bogus ideology if it can even be called that, and the occupy movement is a perfect example. As things progressed, leaders emerged, even if they refused to be called leaders. Order and structure emerged, because without it, it's impossible to get anything done. The song is about a man growing up who realizes that anarchy is bullshit, and that those who 'lead' such movements are no better than anyone else who demands conformity or obedience. The revolution was a lie because even those who proclaim themselves to be anarchists are not. They're just more egomaniacs and control freaks who use so-called 'anarchy' as their method of control.
    If tom was able to grab his piece of the pie by 'selling out' to warner, good for him.

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