"5-3-10-4" as written by and Daniel Michael Andriano Mathew Thomas Skiba....
Schoolyard freaks are freezing, down getting teased again
I'm looking back and down and watching it go by
Down at the stockyards cattle screaming, the trains squeak by again
I can see my breath and I'm so thankful I'm not one of them

The sound of the ground freezing is pounding once again
It comes with the wind that once wiped off our smiles
Alarm clock bells are screaming out the same routine again
Scrape open your eyes, rise and fucking shine, 7 am

Sit down, dead weight, and wonder
Unsure, unslept, uncovered
The new light of dawn discovered by ungrateful eyes,
Through 5-3 eyes

Schoolyard freaks are freezing, pushed to the ground again
I'm looking up and west for black to fill the sky
The sound of bottles breaking still breaking in my ears
They opened just in time to empty out and gouge away the years

Sit down, dead weight, and wonder
Unsure, unslept, uncovered
The new light of dawn discovered by ungrateful eyes,
Through 5-3 eyes

Schoolyard freaks are bleeding, down getting kicked again
I can taste the earth and feel it in my eyes
The sound of cattle screaming, still screaming in my ears
They came in metal coffins
chained me up and hacked me off my years

Sit down, dead weight, and wonder
Unsure, unslept, uncovered
The new light of dawn discovered by ungrateful eyes,
Through 5-3 eyes


Lyrics submitted by oofus

"5-3-10-4" as written by Derek R. Grant Daniel Michael Andriano

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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5-3-10-4 song meanings
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55 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI interviewed Matt Skiba yesterday and asked him what this song title meant and he said years ago he was a bike messenger and he had a friend named Virgil who was also a messenger. But over their radios they didn't call eachother by name. So Virgil's call name was 53... and they would go out and have lunch, smoke pot, hang out, or whatever so Matt would call him up and refer to him as "5-3"... and when Virgil called him, Matt would respond with "5-3-10-4" and go meet up with him wherever he was.
    RockNRozeon March 28, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSchoolyard freaks are freezing, down getting teased again
    (obviously the "freaks," him included, would get beat up on the way to or from school)
    I'm looking back and down and watching it go by
    (he's looking over his shoulder for anyone behind him and looking down because he's depressed)
    Down at the stockyards cattle screaming, the trains squeak by again
    (everyone else assumed he was on a train which he wasn't, the "metal coffins" in the songs are the train cars used to transpot the cows which are to be slaughtered for beef, leather, etc)
    I can feel my breath and I'm so thankful I'm not one of them
    (it's freezing and he's glad he's not one of the cows taken to be butchered )
    The sound of the ground freezing is pounding once again
    It comes with the wind that once wiped off our smiles
    (it's freezing, still)
    Alarm clock bells are screaming out the same routine again
    Scrape open your eyes, rise and fucking shine, 7 am
    (school is the same routine everyday, have to get up at 7)
    Sit down, dead weight, and wonder
    Unsure, unslept, uncovered
    (sit down at school til it's over)
    The new light of dawn discovered by ungrateful eyes,
    Through 5-3 eyes
    (a new day begins again, presumably his eyes and he's 5 foot 3 inches tall)
    Schoolyard freaks are freezing, pushed to the ground again
    (the "freaks" are being beaten by bullies, pushed to the cold ground )
    I'm looking up and west for black to fill the sky
    (he's waititng for the day to be over, darkness to come from the west ie the night sky)
    The sound of bottles breaking still breaking in my ears
    They opened just in time to empty out and gouge away the years
    (the first line could go 2 ways because of it's vagueness, i think anyway, him and a friend could be out drinking somewhere "they opened just in time to gouge away the years" in other words they opened and were drunk just in time to numb the repetitve pain since he was obviously underaged he was probably drinking behind a friends house or in a secluded place and throwing the bottles after they're done )

    Schoolyard freaks are bleeding, down getting kicked again
    I can taste the earth and feel it in my eyes
    The sound of cattle screaming, still screaming in my ears
    They came in metal coffins -
    (the cows came in on trains again, you'd be noisy if you were a large animal crammed into a train car with so many other cows)
    chained me up and hacked me off my years
    (the bullies took my childhood away)

    i found oralstd's entry interesting but the darkness from the west was obviously just the night simply because his explanation was overcomplicated, why would they reverse 4-10 to be 10-4 just because it sounded better. as for the particular verses, i don't know which version of the bible he was referring to but i know that ephesians 5-3 doesn't match the verse that oral gave.
    i don't know about rocknroze's entry but i personally wouldn't believe it because everyone seems to "know" a band when they're entering a comment here and the only person that confirmed there entry was the sweaterkid who became a member 3 days after rocknroze so that could be a second name or a friend confirming it. ~DS
    Dante Sinton June 22, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentgreat song. among my favourites. i really like all of these interpretations.. though the name still interests me.
    madamxmeon September 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOral STD could be right. He also could be wrong. I read in an interview that Matt Skiba "Researched the shit out of Christianity." But it didn't work for him. The interview also featured Danny and Glenn. Glenn Porter left the band after Maybe I'll Catch Fire. The album in which this song is off of. So who knows. I also think the whole "Going to school, being bored, doing the same routine, and being bullied" thing, could be right as well.
    philippin6on December 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentany idea what the title to this song means?
    lichenon June 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti have no idea.. the title surely perplexes me.
    KAT1Eon June 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about this guy either walking riding on a train, he looks out the window or he looks over and sees this "Freak" getting beat up on a school yard by some bullies. This opens his memories of getting beat up when he went to school.
    AlternateLaurenon July 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe he's looking back on his childhood, and by 5-3 eyes, he's referring to his height at the time. So he means from his adolescent eyes. Maybe?.... Just takin shots in the dark. Plus that wouldn't explain where 10-4 comes in.....whooo knows?
    mattmc387on July 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah im fairly confident its about remembering being bullied. 10-4 though, im not sure of.
    thissitesucksbuttoxon August 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti Love Alkaline Trio they are my favorite band along with HWM, i understand pritty mutch every sentence in every song.....exsept this one. i have listend to it over and over and the fact that i dont understand some parts never fails to frustrait me....i understand the fact that he is looking back at his past...but the 5-3-10-4 if he was 5'3 then what would 10'4 mean? the bully was 10'4? no way... no one is 10'4.. i dont know...
    PunkRockKidHWM421on September 17, 2002   Link

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