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When I was young and knew everything
And she a punk who rarely ever took advice
Now I'm guilt stricken,
Sobbing with my head on the floor
Stop a baby's breath and a shoe full of rice

I can't be held responsible
Cause she was touching her face
I won't be held responsible
She fell in love in the first place

For the life of me I cannot remember
What made us think that we were wise and
We'd never compromise
For the life of me I cannot believe
We'd ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen

My best friend took a week's
Vacation to forget her
His girl took a week's worth of
Valium and slept
Now he's guilt stricken sobbing with his
Head on the floor
Thinks about her now and how he never really
Wept he says

I can't be held responsible
Cause she was touching her face
I won't be held responsible
She fell in love in the first place

For the life of me I cannot remember
What made us think that we were wise and
We'd never compromise
For the life of me I cannot believe
We'd ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen

We've tried to wash our hands of all of this
We never talk of our lacking relationships
And how we're guilt stricken sobbing with our
Heads on the floor
We fell through the ice when we tried not to
Slip, we'd say

I can't be held responsible
Cause she was touching her face
I won't be held responsible
She fell in love in the first place

For the life of me I cannot remember
What made us think that we were wise and
We'd never compromise
For the life of me I cannot believe
We'd ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen

For the life of me I cannot remember
What made us think that we were wise and
We'd never compromise
For the life of me I cannot believe
We'd ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen

We were merely freshmen
We were only freshmen



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/v/verve_pipe/the_freshman.html

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    -0
    TequilaDreamsNov 13, 2010 at 3:43 pm
    IN 2001, Brian Vander Ark explained what the song means to him on Verve Pipe's bulletin boards:
    "When I was young I knew everything" - We all think we know everything at a young age. I thought I did. I realize I didn't know sh*t until I was 36.
    "And she, a Punk who rarely took advice" - How many people do we know like that?
    "Now I'm guilt-stricken, sobbing, with my head on the floor" - Something happened that caused this reaction, but I wouldn't want to give that away this early in the song, so let's throw in an some ambiguity:
    "Stop a baby's breath, and a shoe full of rice, no" - First of all, forget the NO. Stop a baby's breath is just that. Abort the baby. A shoe full of rice is a result of a wedding. So - stop a baby's breath AND then you stop a wedding. She's pregnant, get her to abort, and then there's no wedding. And you know what?
    "I can't be held responsible, cause she was touching her face" - When I wrote this song, The Divinyls had a song out called 'I Touch Myself.' The TV was on, she was touching her face in the video. Very sexy. So, I can't be held responsible because she was trying to be sexy, trying to seduce me, etc.
    "I won't be held responsible, she fell in love in the first place" - I didn't tell her to fall in love.
    "For the life of me, I cannot remember what made us think that we were wise, and we'd never compromise" - What was I thinking back then? Who am I to put a girl though that? Why was I unable to compromise? Guilty feelings.
    "For the life of me, I cannot believe we'd ever die for these sins, we were merely freshmen" - We were just kids, let it go, we all make mistakes, etc.
    "My best friend took a week's vacation to forget her" - He needed to get away because of what happened.
    "His girl took a week's worth of Valium and slept" - This is why this song is not that strong literally - it's confusing. HIS girl is MY girl. the same girl that had the abortion has now killed herself.
    "Now he's guilt-stricken, sobbing with his head on the floor, thinks about her now and how he never really wept he says" - He has the same guilty feelings that I do about the abortion and death.
    "We tried to wash our hands of all of this, we never talk of our lacking relationships" - We rarely spoke after the incident - we just tried to forget it. We never spoke of her or the fact that we can't have a decent relationship with anyone since then.
    "We fell through the ice when we tried not to slip" - No matter how careful you might be, there are other perils out there.
    The girl is real, the abortion is real. the death is not. it's poetic license to make the story more interesting.
  • m
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    McHobbitNov 12, 2009 at 12:32 am
    I'm pretty sure that this song is about abortion. I didn't just get that from the 'Stop a baby's breath' line, I heard it somewhere.
  • c
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    colorfulNov 12, 2008 at 12:55 am
    It's a very complicated song. They were in a relationship in their first year of collage so they were young, right? Yeah.
    I think that he might have done something wrong or not have noticed if she was depressed. I think he broke up with her. thinking he knew he was right. Then she killed herself. He thinks it's his fault. It's a beautiful song showing how people when they are young make bad choices, and so do older people. That's my guess.
  • m
    -0
    mckulit_raichuSep 8, 2008 at 8:37 pm
    this song is actually about a boy and a girl who made a huge mistake in their relationship... they thought that it's ok to do that (whatever that sin is... i assume the girl had unwanted pregnancy) and they did that without thinking about the consequences. (when the girl got pregnant i suppose), the guy doesn't want to be held responsible because he wants the girl to be the one who's to blame because the girl agreed to do it anyway. the girl and the guy got separated to take a break from the pressure, but the girl can't bare the pain of feeling guilty for what had happened so she committed suicide. when the girl died, her boyfriend still denies being held responsible because he didn't expect that their action caused the girl's death... they never thought it could happen... well it did... oh he's so irresponsible... he never realized that both of them are responsible for any actions that they committed since they are in a relationship (well, are they? hmmm i dunno) i guess the girl was left hanging... it's always like that... a lot of guys are like that... (gosh my brain is going here and there already hehehe)

    anyway i feel bad whenever i hear this song... but i like the song...
    i remember my sister's ex...
    he sang this song when we had our acoustic jamming somewhere...
  • t
    -3
    tash_vs_worldMay 6, 2008 at 7:11 pm
    I always thought this song was about a guy (friend of the singer presumably) who called off a wedding and his ex-fiance and she ended up committing suicide because of it. The reference to baby's breath and rice elluded to a wedding...so it made me think they were getting married. "My best friend took a weeks vacation to forget her. His girl took a weeks worth of valium and slept." meaning the suicide of the woman. And the rest of the song is just about how guilty they felt for not seeing it coming, not being there for her...whatever. Now they are trying to convince themselves that none of this was their fault. She fell in love in the first place, they were young, they couldn't possibly see this coming. But of course they will take it with them for the rest of their lives...even into their next relationships. Hence their lacking relationships.

    Or maybe i'm reading too much into this.

    By the way the song is sung by The Verve. I'm not sure how to amend that though.

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