You told me that your 20 years have gone by much too fast
And you’ve been hoping this year will be better than the last
You said you’ve been waging a war against the loneliest of nights
With the strongest drinks and longest lines
It’s not that big a surprise
That you’re feeling more dead than alive
You’re feeling more dead than alive

So I’ll let you know
If you need, somewhere to go
I’ll be listening when you call
And I’ll be there if you fall off
If you need someone to believe in you,
I’ll let you know I will

You said the hole in your head
Has gotten bigger than the hole in your chest
And you’re stuck between the past and present tense
You said you’ve been waging a war against so many years of lies
With stronger drinks and longer lines
It’s not that big a surprise
That you’re feeling more dead than alive
You’re feeling more dead than alive

So I’ll let you know
If you need, somewhere to go
I’ll be listening when you call
And I’ll be there if you fall off
If you need someone to believe in you,
I’ll let you know I will


Lyrics submitted by almostmanda

The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commenti think its about fat mike from NOFX. "the longest line" is a direct reference to a NOFX song. NOFX has been around for 20 years (gone by much to fast). and fatty's been known to hit the drugs and alcohol quite a bit. also, the "you said youve been waging a way against so many years of lies" is about how mike writes his songs about the government and all that nice stuff. he's waging his war against the governments lies.
    so they're saying they're looking out for fatty and they'll be there for him cause nofx rules.

    thats just my view on it, its probably wrong but whatever.
    tbushmoneyon February 17, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation-You told me that your 20 years have gone by much to fast
    He's been engaging in activities that do not gain him any sense of progress as time flashes by.

    -And you've been hoping this year will be better than the last
    Although he enjoys engaging in immediately gratifying activities, he sees that they do not sustain any real sense of accomplishment. Subsequently he hopes a new time period (could be a new year, new school year, new job, anything) will yield better results. But because he doesn't actively change anything about his lifestyle, he does not improve.

    -You said you've been waging a war against the loneliest of nights
    The activities he pursues on a daily basis are so vapid that at the end of the day he feels he has gotten nothing done and fruitlessly hopes he will complete the tasks tomorrow.

    -With the strongest drinks and longest lines, it's not that big of a surprise that you're feeling more dead than alive.
    Any self-gratifying binge that he engages in always yields him feeling unaccomplished and worthless.

    -You're feeling more dead than alive.
    Emphasizes the worthless that he is feeling and how it's the only thing that seems real to him.

    -So I'll let you know if you need somewhere to go
    It is the man's minuscule quantity of motivation that is looking upon his past mistakes and internally voicing to him that he can always depend on the better part of himself whenever he needs.

    -I'll be listening when you call
    If the man calls upon his internal goodness it will be there for him and guide him through any situation in which he faces doubt, insecurity, or intimidation.

    -And I'll be there if you fall off
    The man's motivation will pick him back up if he deviates into a fruitless binge instead of pursuing his real goals.

    -If you need someone to believe in you I'll let you know I will
    The man's last bit of motivation is reassuring him that "this too will pass" and that he can depend on the best qualities of himself to pick him back up so that he can continue down the road to making a positive difference.

    -You said the hold in your head has gotten bigger than the hole that's in your chest
    He feels his intelligence has taken even more a toll on him than his goals. Which is really not true; he's just reflecting on all of the negative things about him that he wants to change.

    -And you're stuck between the past and present tense
    He is intent on actually starting to make a positive difference but he wastes time dwelling on his fruitless and unfortunate past.

    -Said you've been waging a war against so many years of lies
    The lies pertain to specifically ones that would guide his past lifestyle. He relied solely on these lies and now has to make up for it by becoming emotionally independent.

    -With stronger drinks and longer lines, it's not that big of a surprise that you're feeling more dead than alive.
    He continues to binge and binge and binge but this he has had enough.

    -You're feeling more dead than alive.
    A wave of realization sweeps over him and he finally understands what he must do to change his ways. He will not feel "more dead than alive" once more.

    -But sometimes you've gotta let it go
    He has to let go of his past; fruitless habits yielding lonely nights, frequent binges, letting his urges get the better of his intelligence and block his goals

    -So this pen is starting to become a pipe bomb
    Whenever he writes down his feelings in a prosy style his habits implode and he can clearly see his faults. Although writing down his feelings helps him feel better, he does it so frequently that he begins to feel that although they are inspirational, they are also getting in the way of his goals and he should start pursuing his goals now that he's figured them out.

    -And these songs have turned to anthems again to everything that's changed and to everything that's gone away
    He sees now that his songs are odes to the fruitless practices that he doesn't want to engage in anymore.

    -Here are my condolences to the future I never met
    ~The climax in the song~ He is making an official goodbye to a future he could have continued pursuing without purpose, but he is glad to say he is making his future and reality, and is working on his goals now.

    -It's gone and never coming back
    His past persons are not what defines him today and so he won't look to them anymore because he has his goals to focus on.

    -It's never coming back
    His past self will not reoccur in his future endeavors because he is purposely doing everything in his power to avoid it.

    -So don't hold onto your past
    There is no point in holding on to a past that doesn't define you in reality.

    -You've gotta let it go
    Your past is not a part of you anymore so let it fly into the wind and behind you.

    -Cause friends leave as times fades away
    Do not look to people for dependance because they won't always be there for you, literally!

    -The people and the places along the way
    Talk to people only for experiences and fun; not for improving yourself.

    -Without a doubt
    His internal voice is reassuring him of the possibilities his pursuit of his goals yields if he follows his own path and not anyone else's.

    -Screws fall in and screws they fall out
    Screws can be both screwed in and screwed out; nothing about your personality is absolutely perfect if you can learn how to unscrew it from yourself and keep the screws that are important to who you are and the goals you want to achieve in.

    -Tomorrow's gone up in smoke
    He used to feel that there is absolutely no way to know what can occur tomorrow (but now he understands that tomorrow can be planned).

    -And I wonder when I'm alone
    he would wallow around in his misery which would obviously be rather fruitless and not contributing to his pursuits.

    -Where did my convictions go?
    He feels that he used to have a purpose but that purpose came from people telling him what to do. All of his screws have fallen out and he is desperate to find new one's to put in. This is the step of admittance.

    -So to everyone that's gone away or fades away or stays the same
    Anyone who has left him purposefully, got lost in their own lives, or continued being involved in his personal matters he is officially unscrewing from his woodpile (brain_) and getting rid of his memories with them.

    -Here are my apologies to the person that I used to be
    He is contritely apologizing for exploiting (to the point of self-destruction_ his capacity for enjoyment, his loss of time, and his lack of positive results.

    -Before I burned down every bridge and every inch of everything I used to know
    He desperately burned down and disconnected himself from every last inch of his previous life-style because he knew that they wouldn't contribute to a sense of fulfillment.

    -I gotta let it go
    Because his previous lifestyle was so empty and vapid, he is (in a simple irony) letting go of it because there is nothing actually there for him.

    -Friends leave as time fades away
    He understands that natural course of friendships and how it isn't good to be dependent on one because it is prone to not working out.

    -The people and the places along the way
    He now looks forward to people and places as simply experiences to supplement his ultimate goal.

    -So don't hold onto your past
    From now on he won't dwell on his past experiences that just happened because now he has to make sure he fulfills his priorities on purpose.

    -No, it's never coming back
    He really sees no reason to look to his past again because there is nothing there for him.

    -You've gotta let it go
    He's let go of his past and won't rely on it ever again.
    litesheildon August 16, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about a guy that is offering his advice to a person who he thinks needs it. A great song.
    griswaldon June 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is on the Rock Against Bush vol. 1 soundtrack and is performed with Billy Bragg. It was recorded in 2003. Its a great soundtrack for those of you willing to listen to anything anti-bush.
    Redskins285624on November 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthe is tlaking bush . the line ' you said you’ve been waging a war against so many years of lies ' is ded give away. its a soft hating song bush and i love it, bill bragg goes perfectiy on it and im sorry to sound like a wining liberal bitch. but fuck bush and fuck his whole team and fuck this war that he got us in!
    LessThanJake4Lifeon December 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou don't sound like a whiny liberal bitch. You sound like an angry liberal teenager who hates Bush. Hey, aren't we all?
    This song isn't specifically anti-Bush though because it's also on Anthem so nya nya nya I win.
    And now I'm the whiny bitch...
    ArianeTheFoolon December 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti like this song. i don't think it has anything to do with king george, but i like it, especially with billy bragg.
    BlackLungFeveron January 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat's a really cool meaning actually. Brownie points to you!
    ArianeTheFoolon February 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti know this song was on the "rock against bush" cd, but i don't think it's about bush.

    first off, if it was on the rock against bush cd, it shows that less than jake don't really like the president all too much. so if they don't like the president why do they think he's "waging a war against so many years of lies" ? bush is the liar. he's the one telling the lies, and less than jake obviously wouldn't think bush was trying to fix all these past president liars or whatever.

    also "The brightest bulb has burnt out" is the name of the song. bush has always been a dumbass. he's never been a "bright bulb" to begin with.


    that's why i think it's about mr. fat mike himself. he was the "brightest bulb" in the political punk scene for a while. "burnt out" is referring to the drugs/partying that fatty used to do. mike's even written songs about it "whoops i o'd" and "wore out the soles of my party boots"



    even if its not about fat mike from nofx, its definetly about some person who was politcally charged and wanted a change, but got stuck in drugs and what not, but the 20years thing and the "longest line" both reference nofx so thats why i gotta go with fat mike.
    tbushmoneyon March 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentok I agree with you that it's not against bush although he is an idiot. it just happens to fit with the rock against bush CD notion. I know their is a cocaine reference in "With the strongest drinks and longest lines" I also love the line "You said the hole in your head
    Has gotten bigger than the hole in your chest
    And you're stuck between the past and present tense" it could mean (if the NOFX notion is right) that the world and gov. has changed but their beliefs and what they have been fighting for haven't. like the whole in your head is the loss of information and the whole in your hart is the sprit that used to be their. it's just a spar of the moment guess so correct me if I am wrong.
    rapunzelEEDon June 17, 2005   Link

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