"Progress" as written by and Greg Graffin....
And progress is not intelligently planned
It's the facade of our heritage
The odor of our land
They speak of progress
In red, white and blue
It's the structure of the future
As demise comes seething through
It's progress 'til there's nothing left to gain
As the dearth of new ideas
Makes us wallow in our shame
So before you go to contribute more
To the destruction of this world you adore
Remember life on earth is but a flash of dawn
And we're all part of it as the day rolls on

And progress is a message that we send
One step closer to the future
One inch closer to the end
I say progress is a synonym of time
We are all aware of it but it's nothing we refine
And progress is a debt we all must pay
It's convenience we all cherish
It's pollution we disdain
And the cutting edge is dulling
Too many folks to plow through
Just keep your fuckin' distance
And it can't include you!

Lyrics submitted by oofus, edited by Adoniran

"Progress" as written by Greg Graffin

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Progress song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentWell many BR, songs have a pretty clear theme, and this is obviously one of them.

    The starts out making the good point that despite the "advance" and "growth" in our material and social well being in modern society (which is very real), our culture is still NOT systematically thought out or optimized (not that it necessarily could be). Yet THERE ARE clearly simple things which could be changed for the better which are justignored under the aegis of "progress".

    The second line is obviously a reference to our modern growth economy being such an edemic part of our society, and an artifact from the more primitive outlook of the past when the world was less full.

    Then of course the tie in with patriotism, which is brilliant, as socialliogically speaking one fo the main thigns driving the global obsession with growth and progress is the little nations the elites grouped themselves into. Their power is threaten unless their little feifdom progresses.

    Then the song traistions to talking about the future, and how "progress" is not necessarily leading to human flourishing, and how in fact it may be detrimental in some ways. The dearth of new ideas refers to our sad lack of imagination when it comes to thinking of an alernate scheme to run the world economy with.

    Then a little warning about reflecting on the metaphysical tenuousness/irrelevence of life on earth, before you get so wrapped up in these ideas about progress.

    Finally, the end is just stresing how progress has two aspects, positive and negative, and how there are so many people now that we are of necessity leaving many behind.

    I also love the way the instrumentation starts out mellow.
    Becephaluson May 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is saying that people strive so hard for progress, when they really aren't improving the world at all, but making it worse.
    Madcappunkon March 28, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought the song was saying progress doesn't nessesarily mean you tried and succeeded, things just progressed with time. That doesn't make sense with "And progress is a debt we all must pay." It's kind of general so I'm not sure... sounds good though.
    DJgifon March 16, 2009   Link

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