"Combat Baby" as written by and Emily Haines James Shaw....
We used to leave the blue lights on
And there was a beat
Ever since you have been gone it's all caffeine-free
Faux punk fatigues
Said it all before
They try to kick it, their feet fall asleep
Get no harm done no
None of them want to fight me

Combat baby come back baby
Fight off the lethargy
Don't go quietly
Combat baby
Said you would never give up easy
Combat baby come back

Get back in town I want to paint it black
Want to get around
Easy living crowd so flat
Said it all before
They try to kick it, their feet fall asleep
I want to be wrong but
No one here wants to fight me like you do

Combat baby come back baby
Fight off the lethargy
Don't go quietly
Combat baby
Said you would never give up easy
Combat baby come back

I try to be so nice
Compromise
Who gets it good?
Every mighty mild seventies child
Every mighty mild seventies child
Beats me

Do doo doo doo

Combat baby come back baby
Combat baby come back
Bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye baby
Combat baby come back

How I miss your ranting
Do you miss my all time lows


Lyrics submitted by tine17

"Combat Baby" as written by James Shaw Emily Haines

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Combat Baby song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentWell, yeah, I do believe it is about missing someone.

    The song gives off an impression of two people who knew each other very well. I don’t think they engaged in fights like the ones we normally depict in our minds, but rather they challenged each other (not necessarily to prove superiority, but to introduce a new way to look at something). They were both individuals unlike everyone who were alike in that manner, but they constantly challenged each other because well, each had a creative way of thinking.

    She misses being subjected to a new idea or being proved wrong. “I want to be wrong but
    No one here wants to fight me like you do”.


    They were rebellious. And when I say rebellious, I don’t mean like the “let’s do drugs-let’s be anarchists-let’s blow shit up” type thing. They did things together that others wouldn’t normally take pleasure out of.

    Hence the line:

    “Get back in town, I wanna paint it black…”

    I’m not suggesting that she wants to literally paint the town black. But the speaker in the song wants that person back in order to have fun again and do something crazy. Everyone around is probably dull and lacks vitality and they’re “faux punk fatigues”. If the other person was around they could “fight off the lethargy”.

    I mean, I don’t know…maybe I’ve just been listening to it too much lately. Or it could be that’s nearly 2 in the morning and I lack caffeine.
    youmakemenervouson September 28, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI love Metric and the new sound they bring to the music scene. The lyrics suit the song very well and I think this song is about a lost lover, who's still around and won't come back due to insecurity. I don't know, I just like this song very much.
    mrs_chainsawon June 09, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think this song is about these faux punk groups/singers out there who claim to be punk (Sum41, Avril Lavigne, etc.) who are really just pop fakers. She is singing to the real punk, underground community, asking them not to fade away and let these idiots take over and ruin the name of punk. I think this theme is pretty clear from the lyrics, and just have to say "AMEN!"
    RachWho?on May 26, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentum jeffreys,
    i don't understand how when listening to the song you heard effigy

    first off it doesn't make sense

    why would she need someone's help fighting of the sculpture of a person?... that's retarded

    and second the video doesn't have any effigies in it; being that for a sculpture of a person to be an effigy, you'd have to destroy it in protest of the person it's modeled after, and people don't tend to take stand against themselves in their own music videos.

    so who's the real moron in this instance?

    use a dictionary next time maybe.
    razehateon March 21, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHmm, seems like a lot of people just used this page to express how much they dig the song... Although I do agree, I am going to address the actual prompt...

    "We used to leave the blue lights on and there was a beat"
    Describing a dark room with a television set flickering with the each changing scene. Basically a TV set used to occupy their recreational time.

    "Ever since you have been gone it's all caffeine-free faux punk fatigue."
    Ever since her partner left all the people they know have lost their energy and drive. All that's left of these ostensibly rebellious people are their Punk clothes that imply they were once rebels/social deviants and have now retired.

    "Said it all before they try to kick it their feet fall asleep."
    These old "friends" have the look and attitude of a nonconformist but in reality when they are confronted with a cause they grow weary and bored and are too lazy to exert the required effort needed to battle for change. (Imagine punks kicking with actual combat boots kicking and destroying problems instead of solving them).

    "Get no harm done, no, none of them want to fight me."
    These people are unable to change anything and aren't passionate enough to put up a good fight and struggle even with Emily.

    "Combat baby, come back baby. Fight off the lethargy"
    Her former partner whom she believed was a genuine fighter at heart, has also grown weary of the battle for social change even though he/she admitted to "never give up easy" or go quietly he/she has resigned and gotten over-it.

    "Get back in town, I wanna paint it black."
    Emily longs to take action and transform her environment, even her own town.

    "Wanna get around, easy living crowd so flat."
    The apathetic masses-so easily entertained & distracted- completely bore her. (A caffeine-free crowd, gone flat like a soft drink).

    "I want to be wrong but no one here wants to fight me like you do."
    Emily wants to be proven wrong. She dares everyone to do so. To react, to challenge her points of view but nobody even cares enough to respond.

    "I try to be so nice, compromise. Who gets it good?"
    Ever since Emily's formidable partner left, she's tried to acquiesce and be submissive to compromise herself and her beliefs in order to get along or at least incite some change. But in the end if both sides are compromising both lose out and are inevitably unsatisfied. Hence the: "who gets it good?" Her reply: "No one!"

    "Every mighty mild seventies child...beats me."
    Most of the hippies in the 60's & 70's were "mild" and never really part of a cohesive movement for reform or for any specific cause, but were merely following the rebel trend of the times. (Hello future tight-ass Baby-Boomers). Other hippies really were "mighty" activists who renounced consumerism, war, and fought against the injustices of the status quo. Emily points out her flawed attempts at compromising with those in power by comparing her failures with the "success" of those Flower Children.

    "How I miss your ranting"
    She misses the arguments, debates, and the fiery-rants of frustration/uncompromising opposition from the only person she knew who expressed genuine concern and passion for the issues and problems of society.

    "Do you miss my all time lows?"
    Does Emily's former Combat Baby miss her helpless cynicism and pessimism?

    This song has a whole lot of meaning for me. And whether or not my comments say more about me than it does about Emily Haines (although Emily is pretty overtly against contemporary society), I invested a lot of thought and compassion into my interpretation of this song and I hope that you'll agree it did justice...
    -Jaci
    Nuanceoftoaston March 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhere are my thinkers!!!????? Anyone who knows anything about metric knows that they can't get enough of their political and societal lapses in movement and subtle issues.

    This song is about someone or several people, even, maybe the whole society, that used to fight for the betterment of the world. Fight the lethargy in the world, that lack of caring. Those mild 70s kids were all about that. She wishes that we cared about our world enough to stick our heads in it and THINK. That's exactly what you're not doing now. Now no one could even add to a conversation about these things....she's tried to just live with it and fit in with the flatness. She misses her all time lows like I miss mine....those bouts of sadness that ensue when you're plagued with knowledge and compassion for the world's issues and defects. I'm sad to see fans so blind.
    chika9040on September 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti don't get the 60's child part :S
    dustybreezeon April 26, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Old World Underground Where Are You Now" is the title of the album, and this song is lamenting the disappearance of rebel anger from the music scene. The "mighty mild 70s child" are the Gen X hipsters who are too lame and PC to fight for real change. They might dress like punks, but they have none of the early punk scene's righteous indignation. The guy who took off on Emily represents one of the few who aren't apathetic and who still want to kick ass. Emily tries to compromise and fit in, but it just wears her out and she can't understand why all the spineless hipsters around her have it so good.
    Scrawleron November 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song can be taken two ways. The first way is that someone who intellectually challenges the narrator by debating left and the narrator wants that person back because everyone else has no passion, no energy, no desire to fight her. The second interpretation is a shout-out to rebellious music of the past especially that of punk rock.

    We used to leave the blue lights on and there was a beat - I’m not sure if the blue lights are the lights they might have during a concert or party, or what exactly that means.

    Ever since you have been gone it’s all caffeine-free - Ever since the major wave of punk rock faded out, so-called punk rock music has been lacking in energy.

    Faux punk fatigues (or fatigue) - If it’s fatigue it means the fatigue/weariness/exhaustion/lack of energy of people who pretend to be punk. It’s the lack of energy that is characteristic of fake punks. If it’s ‘fatigues’ it means fake punk uniforms — uniforms are contradictory to the individualistic value of punks. A lot of fake punks wear what they think people with punk values are supposed to wear, but they fail miserably.

    Said it all before - The lyrics in the so-called punk rock songs have already been said before. The new bands aren’t coming up with any original ideas.

    They try to kick it, their feet fall asleep - This could mean two things. One, it could mean that they try to fight against their lack of energy and that they try to fight against their lack of originality. Two, it could mean that they try to fight against the powers that be and/or society in general. Either way their feet fall asleep — for the first interpretation, they continue to lack energy and they don’t have the energy to come up with new ideas. For the second interpretation, they lack the energy to get anything done, to really fight against society/government/etc., to passionately voice their opinions.

    Get no harm done no - As I said, the faux punks don’t have the energy and passion in their music.

    None of them want to fight me - I think that the point of view of the song is from the point of view of punk rock fans. They see the faux punk rockers as not wanting to debate and not having the passion/energy to disagree on the fine points of their opinions. For example, many of the original punk rockers agreed that the government sucks, but they don’t all agree on the same ways to fix that problem.

    Combat baby come back baby - “Combat baby” is punk rock music and the artists that make up the genre. Also, it can be rebellious underground music in general and those artists. Metric wants punk rock and rebellious underground music to come back. One other thing — The Clash had an album called Combat Rock.

    Fight off the lethargy - Metric thinks that punk rockers feel lethargic either from trying to change things or from trying to change things but feeling as if they got nowhere which left them feeling hopeless, and they’re telling them to fight off their lethargy. -OR- They’re saying to come back and help them fight off other people’s lethargy, possibly the lethargy in fake punk music.

    Don’t go quietly - Metric doesn’t want rebellious music to give up and fade out.

    Said you would never give up easy - Punk rockers weren’t willing to give up without a fight.

    Get back in town I wanna paint it black - I know The Rolling Stones have a song “paint it black” but what does it mean? Maybe it means that she wants to show the darkness and evil in the world that other people aren’t pointing out because they don’t care, because they like it that way, because they’re trying to be inoffensive, etc. It could also mean that she just wants to have a good time with underground music - creating it and listening to the stuff others create.

    Wanna get around - She wants to have fun. (?)

    Easy living crowd so flat - People who take the easy way out and live life the easy way, the way of just going about their business and accepting whatever they’re told or whatever society wants them to think — they’re “flat” which is another way of saying boring, dull, or lifeless.

    Said it all before - The things that they say, other people have said it all before.

    They try to kick it, their feet fall asleep
    I want to be wrong but
    No one here wants to fight me like you do - This could mean two things. One, it could mean that the narrator of the song thinks that there’s no good rebellious music now, and she wants to be wrong about that because she wants there to be rebellious music. Two, it could mean that she wants the punk rockers (and other underground music) to challenge her opinions as being wrong.

    I try to be so nice
    Compromise
    Who gets it good?
    Every mighty mild seventies child
    Every mighty mild seventies child
    Beats me - I think that “beats me” is answering the question “Who gets it good?” meaning that she doesn’t know who gets it good when she compromises. She doesn’t feel as if she gets it good. What does she mean by “compromise”? She could mean that she tries to listen to non-controversial music. She was born in the 1970s, and the first punk rock bands emerged in the ‘70s. They’re mighty because they’re strong (strong-willed, strongly opinionated), yet they’re mild because they’re non-violent. -OR- “I try to be so nice/Compromise/Who gets it good?” could be one idea and “Every mighty mild seventies child/Every mighty mild seventies child/Beats me” could be another idea. If it’s that, it could mean that she tries to settle to listening to boring music, and she wants to know who’s happy. Then she could be saying that every seventies child who’s nonviolent (mild) and strong-willed (mighty) is happier than her (“beats me”). They’ve stayed true to themselves — they’re still “mighty” enough to resist listening to boring music, and they’re still “mild.”

    How I miss your ranting - She misses the ranting of the punk rockers.
    Do you miss my all time lows? - She’s asking from the point of view of punk rock fans: do the punk rockers miss the all-time lows of their fans? Some fans of punk rock most likely had depressed feelings from time to time because of their frustration about the way that society/the government is.

    I think that the album gets its name (Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?) from the concept of this song.
    dodgethebulleton September 27, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis was the first song that really got me listening to music in general, back in the day. Metric always has been my favorite band, and Emily Haines my favorite singer...
    ANYWAYS, I feel the meaning of the song is rather simple.

    The singer yearns for their lover/other half to come back into their life, so they can "tear up the town" and feel alive again.
    HarlequinChaoson February 01, 2011   Link

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