"What It's Like" as written by and Erik Schrody....
We've all seen a man at the liquor store beggin' for your change
The hair on his face is dirty, dread-locked, and full of mange
He asks a man for what he could spare, with shame in his eyes
"Get a job you fucking slob," is all he replies
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues

Then you really might know what it's like
Then you really might know what it's like
Then you really might know what it's like
Then you really might know what it's like

Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom that said he was in love
He said, "don't worry about a thing, baby doll I'm the man you've been dreaming of."
But three months later he say he won't date her or return her calls
And she swear, "god damn, if I find that man I'm cuttin' off his balls"
And then she heads for the clinic and she gets some static walking through the door
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner and they call her a whore
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to choose

Then you really might know what it's like
Then you really might know what it's like
Then you really might know what it's like
Then you really might know what it's like

I've seen a rich man beg I've seen a good man sin
I've seen a tough man cry
I've seen a loser win and a sad man grin
I heard an honest man lie
I've seen the good side of bad and the downside of up
And everything between
I licked the silver spoon drank from the golden cup
And smoked the finest green
I stroked the fattest dimes at least a couple of times
Before I broke their heart
You know where it ends, yo, it usually depends on where you start

I knew this kid named Max who used to get fat stacks out on the corner with drugs
He liked to hang out late he liked to get shit-faced and keep the pace with thugs
Until late one night there was a big gun fight and max lost his head
He pulled out his chrome .45, talked some shit, and wound up dead
Now his wife and his kids are caught in the midst of all of this pain
You know it comes that way at least that's what they say when you play the game
God forbid you ever had to wake up to hear the news
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to lose

Then you really might know what it's like
Then you really might know what it's like
Then you really might know what it's like to have to lose


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"What It's Like" as written by Erik Schrody

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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What It's Like song meanings
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94 Comments

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  • +11
    General CommentSimply put, Never judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Who are we to say that the decisions a person makes are right or wrong, for we have not lived their life, been in their situation nor dealt with the circumstances of their life.
    TheThinkeron June 30, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI love this song. I have loved it since I was like 9. Its a great song. Its about how you don't know what you have untill its gone. Its also about how you don't have it the worst in the world. So true, such a powerful song.
    Danielle1987on March 31, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI LOVE this song soooooo much. Not only is a great song, but the lyrics speak so much truth. It's got so much feeling in the way it's sung, he's got such a wonderful voice, and it neither censors not sugarcoats anything.

    Don't judge, unless you know what you're judging, unless you've been there. All actions have consequences. Be caring, and sympathise. Think before you act.

    I especially like the abortion message on here. That's something I have really strong opinions about, and so many people are like 'abortion is wrong'. They just need to shut up. 'God forbid you ever have to walk a mile in her shoes, coz then you really might know what it's like to have to choose'
    ambient_sunrayson July 30, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJust an FYI for those that don't get it right off the bat, "Dimes" is a reference to women - "Perfect tens."

    "Tens" - thus, "Dimes."
    Alastoron October 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song's too real for the F***ing censors to edit it as badly as they have!
    bobgoblinon January 10, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBasically this song means "You don't know how good you've got it, quot whining and take a look at real pain and misery!! Simple yet beautifilly illustrated!
    CaNiS mAjOron April 18, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIts hard to believe noone has commented on this song yet. Its obvious what this song is about, though. Stop criticizing, harrassing, and abusing the people you obviously know nothing about. Think about what it's like to be them before you say something. A wonderful, beautifully written song.
    Evisceratoron June 04, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah. This song really forces you to stop and think, "How bad do I really have it?" Musically, it is good. For it's message, it is great.
    catherinekson July 10, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe Homeless and the arrogant:

    "We've all seen the man at the liquor store
    Beggin' for your change
    The hair on his face is dirty, dreadlocked
    And full of mange
    He ask the man for what he could spare
    With shame in his eyes
    "Get a job, you fuckin' slob"'s all he replied"

    - It's a homeless man with a skin disease who is shameful of the situation he is in. The man who walked by was representing an arrogant man who didn't consider anything of the homeless man. Maybe he was homeless because he couldnt afford the treatment to his disease?

    "God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
    'Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues
    Then you really might know what it's like"

    -Don't degrate a man because of his position. Anyone could wind up like him. i.e Rags to riches to rags

    "Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom
    Who said he was in love
    He said "Don't worry about a thing, baby doll
    I'm the man you've been dreamin' of,"
    But three months later
    He said he won't date her or return her call
    And she sweared "God damn, if I find that man
    I'm cuttin' off his balls,"
    And then she heads for the clinic
    And she gets some static walkin' through the doors
    They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner
    And they call her a whore"

    - Mary fell in love with a man who lied to her about his committments. He betrayed her and broke her heart. She went and got an abortion, while people considered her a murderer. Maybe she pictured a life with the man of her dreams to raise her kid?. Maybe she couldn't see it without him?. Nor did she get any advice or guidence?. Money Problems?, maybe.

    "God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
    'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to choose
    Then you really might know what it's like"

    - You have to expierence the situation to make a choice for something like that. Giving up a beautiful gift means there was an ugly problem. You can consider a difference, but be greatful you don't have to make a choice like that.

    "I've seen a rich man beg
    I've seen a good man sin
    I've seen a tough man cry
    I've seen a loser win
    And a sad man grin
    I heard an honest man lie
    I've seen the good side of bad
    And the down side of up
    And everything between
    I licked the silver spoon
    Drank from the golden cup
    Smoked the finest green
    I stroked the baddest dimes at least a couple of times
    Before I broke their heart
    You know where it ends
    Yo, it usually depends on where you start"

    - Ironies. The circumstances could be the same for anyone.

    "I knew this kid named Max
    He used to get fat stacks out on the corner with drugs
    He liked to hang out late at night
    Liked to get shit faced
    And keep pace with thugs
    Until late one night there was a big gun fight
    Max lost his head
    He pulled out his chrome .45
    Talked some shit
    And wound up dead
    Now his wife and his kids
    Are caught in the midst of all of his pain
    You know it crumbles that way
    At least that's what they say
    When you play the game"

    - Max didn't consider how far his situation could go, nor did he consider the pain he would leave behind to the people who loved him. Pain.

    "God forbid you ever had to wake up to hear the news
    'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to lose
    Then you really might know what it's like
    To have to lose..."

    - Be greatful to not wake up to find out someone you love is on the news... You don't deserve that pain.

    All in all it's about accepting life for what it is. Yes it could be better, but it could also be worse.


    NativePrydeon July 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationYou must first see how it it to live in somebody other than yourself,.... to pass judgement.
    CloserGuy74on December 16, 2011   Link

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