i've got a gun in my hand but that gun won't cock
my finger's on the trigger but that trigger seems locked
and i can't stop staring at the tick tock clock
and even if i could i would never give up
with a vest on my chest and a bullet in my lung
i can't believe i'm dying with my song unsung
so if and when i die won't you bury me alone?
because i'll never get to heaven if i'm singing this song:

if there was something wrong would you be oh so strong?
would you do what it takes to move this hollow life along?
i'd like to think i would, you know i'd like to think i would
but i guarantee that what you see is not reality
and every time i make a point she makes a counterpoint
she said it's easy but in the end you'll have no choice
and you know that's only just the way it goes
(you said it right man, that is just the way it goes)
and the days, and the days they seem like forever
and the days, and the days they seem like forever
but forever isn't ever enough
i'd like to sing a song (please swear you won't be long)
i'll try not to be long but i don't want to get this story wrong
there was a kid who never cared about the little things
don't even bother because i'm tired and i'm sick of it
and every time she makes a point i'll make a counterpoint
she said it's easy but in the end you'll have no choice
and you know that's only just the way it goes
(you said it right man, that is just the way it goes)

i've got a gun in my hand but that gun won't cock
my finger's on the trigger but that trigger seems locked
and i can't stop staring at the tick tock clock
and even if i could i would never give up
with a vest on my chest and a bullet in my lung
i can't believe i'm dying with my song unsung
so if and when i die won't you bury me alone?
because i'll never get to heaven if i'm singing this song:

oh, you don't know where i've been
oh, you don't know what i've seen

if i did something right
would you give up this fight?
would you say you were wrong and maybe someone else was kind of right
i'd like to think you would
you know i'd like to think you would
but i can't guarantee that what you get is an apology
jump back to the day we met
i never thought that it would end this way
if ever i let you down i want to ask of you
to take it down a notch and we can talk it on through

and the days, and the days they seem like forever
and the days, and the days they seem like forever
but forever isn't ever enough
i'd like to sing a song (please swear you won't be long)
i'll try not to be long but i don't want to get this story wrong
there was a kid who never cared about the little things
don't even bother because i'm tired and i'm sick of it
and every time she makes a point i'll make a counterpoint
she said it's easy but in the end you'll have no choice
and you know that's only just the way it goes
(you said it right man, that is just the way it goes)

i've got a gun in my hand but that gun won't cock
my finger's on the trigger but that trigger seems locked
and i can't stop staring at the tick tock clock
and even if i could i would never give up
with a vest on my chest and a bullet in my lung
i can't believe i'm dying with my song unsung
so if and when i die won't you bury me alone?
because i'll never get to heaven if i'm singing this song:

oh, you don't know where i've been
oh, you don't know what i've seen

so tell me friend: how's it going to end?
when the shit goes down and there's no one left around to get your back
you'll crack
you'll smile and agree with everything they say
they'll try to tell you that it's all okay
but it's not and you're shot and you're bleeding pretty bad
and you can't stop thinking about the things you never had
like a wife and a kid and the things you never did
you're running around
you're living a life that's empty in the end, my friend
oh, you'll take back all you've said
oh, when the regrets fill your head
trust me i've been there before
i would not wish it upon my greatest enemy
what irony
once friends, but i find: you'll have to learn this lesson on your own

so i waited by the phone but that phone never rang
and i sang so loud so i wouldn't hear the bang
when the bang never came and i never got the call: fuck it! thank you! i love you all!
some are going to say that we're doomed to repeat
all our past mistakes
great
but that's not me
and even if it was i would always disagree
because in the end i always get the better of me

i've got a gun in my hand but that gun won't cock
my finger's on the trigger but that trigger seems locked
and i can't stop staring at the tick tock clock
and even if i could i would never give up
with a vest on my chest and a bullet in my lung
i can't believe i'm dying with my song unsung
so if and when i die won't you bury me alone?
because i'll never get to heaven if i'm singing this song:

Oh, I'll take you where I've been
Oh, I'll show you what I've seen


Lyrics submitted by SlapsterMcFlash

Point/Counterpoint song meanings
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43 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationHere's what I think the lyrics mean:
    In the beginning, you are swayed to think that he is the one wanting to commit suicide, but is having trouble doing so, as the gun won't move or fire in his hand. He talks about how his female friend is trying to talk him out of it, but he can always argue a counter-argument (she makes a point, I make a counterpoint). He finds life hollow and unforgiving. But as you progress in the song, the subject is changed from "I" to "you" as if he is talking to someone. In the second chorus verse, he says "there was a CHICK" instead of "there was a KID". As "kid", he was speaking of himself, but using "chick" he is talking to his friend. She must have been thinking of committing suicide, which changes almost all of the song lyrics to a whole new meaning (WOAH, MY MIND=BLOWN). When he says, she makes a point, I make a counterpoint the next time, it means she is trying to point out how life sucks, but he counterpoint the opposite. He says that he's been there before, which means he was TELLING her the story of how he was going to commit suicide, not telling us at the beginning of the song. About the phone never ringing, that's the end of his story, saying how he never did kill himself in the end. And at the VERY end, where he changes and says. "I'll take you where I've been, I'll show you what I've seen", he's talking about showing her all the places he wants her to see if she decides not to kill herself.

    WOAH, that was a lot of typing!
    iloveawesoon August 28, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWHY DIDNT THEY PLAY THIS LIVE WHEN I DROVE 11 HOURS TO SEE THEM
    cincy_punkon April 22, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI reckon this song's intended to be like keasbey nights, cuz it's continuing the story from keasbey nights -when they call for me ill be sittin at my desk etc etc......so i waited by the phone but that phone never rang
    and i sang so loud so i wouldn't hear the bang
    when the bang never came and i never got the call: fuck it! thank you! i love you all!

    most of the song is about what's going through his mind before hand, and how he's never going to have a family and is going to die alone, but eventually he realises his 'killers' arent actually going to come and he's ecstatic he gets another chance at life and show others what he's done wrong
    JayC1on June 26, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentStreetlight Manifesto is my fav band ever and this song is great..
    THC Havocon June 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationWhew. This is gonna be a long one, but I think P/CP needs it. Taking this line by line.

    To summarize in one sentence, this song is a guy who once thought life was worthless, but changed his mind after a gang-related near death experience and is now trying to convince a girl (his girlfriend?) not to commit suicide.

    ==Refrain: A flashback to the gang warfare incident changing his perspective on life.==

    >>i've got a gun in my hand but that gun won't cock
    my finger's on the trigger but that trigger seems locked
    and i can't stop staring at the tick tock clock
    and even if i could i would never give up

    The narrator has been wounded in an incident of gang violence, and was left for dead. He's still alive, but contemplating suicide to end it all - and yet finding himself unable to do it. He will never give up.

    >>with a vest on my chest and a bullet in my lung
    i can't believe i'm dying with my song unsung

    Seeing as the narrator is very likely in his late teens or early twenties, he probably has the typical feeling of invincibility, hammering home his surprise that he was shot through his vest - teaching the narrator the surprisingly fragile nature of life.

    >>so if and when i die won't you bury me alone?
    because i'll never get to heaven if i'm singing this song:

    These lines are a bit odd, and I'm not sure of any one interpretation. I think the soundest way to interpret it is that he feels compelled to stop anyone from taking their life, and this is more important than heaven itself to him.

    ==Verse: the narrator trying to talk the girl out of suicide. The liner notes for one of the CD's (lost my hard copies atm) said something about this being planned as a boy/girl duet, and I'll interpret it at such.==

    >>if there was something wrong would you be oh so strong?
    would you do what it takes to move this hollow life along?

    The narrator starts by asking, point blank: Do you agree life is worth living, even if it is 'hollow'?

    >>i'd like to think i would, you know i'd like to think i would
    but i guarantee that what you see is not reality

    The girl responds that she'd like to think that, but her life has unknowable (to the narrator) depths of anguish that make it not-so-straightforward.

    >>and every time i make a point she makes a counterpoint

    Self-explanatory - this is a full out argument they are having.

    >>she said it's easy but in the end you'll have no choice

    Girl's line. 'It' is staying alive but it's ultimately impossible to continue living her life.

    >>and you know that's only just the way it goes

    Narrator. He's saying that life is sometimes hard and it's something you have to accept.

    >>(you said it right man, that is just the way it goes)

    They both agree, at least, that life can be difficult - they disagree only on the right response to a difficult life.

    >>and the days, and the days they seem like forever
    and the days, and the days they seem like forever

    The girl. Already, it is a long, suffering slog to go through every day.

    >>but forever isn't ever enough

    Narrator responding that every second of life is precious, and that there's so much to do that there's no such thing as a too-long lived life.

    >>i'd like to sing a song (please swear you won't be long)

    Narrator asking for a chance to convince her, with the girl agreeing on condition that it doesn't prolong her suffering.

    >>i'll try not to be long but i don't want to get this story wrong

    Self explanatory.

    >>there was a kid who never cared about the little things

    Narrator beginning to share his story.

    >>don't even bother because i'm tired and i'm sick of it

    The girl is already dismissive - clearly she is fairly set on the idea of suicide.

    [Refrain]

    >>oh, you don't know where i've been
    oh, you don't know what i've seen

    Narrator. The girl is lamenting her hardships, but as he's been shot before and she hasn't, he feels she would similarly change from such an experience.

    >>if i did something right
    would you give up this fight?
    would you say you were wrong and maybe someone else was kind of right?

    This line tripped me up for a while. I think the best way to look at it is the girl speaking, "You're trying to run my life. But what if I really am making the right decision?"

    >>i'd like to think you would
    you know i'd like to think you would
    but i can't guarantee that what you get is an apology

    The narrator responds that, while he'd like to let her trust herself, he can't accept that he was wrong that she should keep living (and so would not apologize for saying suicide is the wrong idea.)

    >>jump back to the day we met
    i never thought that it would end this way
    if ever i let you down i want to ask of you
    to take it down a notch and we can talk it on through

    Apparently, the girl was much different when the narrator met her. He's pleading that, while he may not be the best friend (I also think this strongly supports the idea they are boyfriend/girlfriend) that suicide is not the answer, and she should 'take it down a notch.'
    [Refrain]

    ==Verse: This verse is much, much different, and threw me off from this songs meaning for quite a while. This verse is the narrator convincing someone else out of suicide - not the girl, but a member of the gang he was once a part of. The narrator is, in essence, describing the time that convinced him life was worth living by phrasing it as a possibility for the gang member.==

    >>so tell me friend: how's it going to end?
    when the shit goes down and there's no one left around to get your back

    Narrator asking the gang member, "you feel invincible now with your bulletproof vest, but what happens when it's shot through and you're left alone?"

    >>you'll crack
    you'll smile and agree with everything they say
    they'll try to tell you that it's all okay

    'They' refers to paramedics here. While gang members are generally expected to keep a tough front, you can't keep that up in the face of true death.

    >>but it's not and you're shot and you're bleeding pretty bad
    and you can't stop thinking about the things you never had
    like a wife and a kid and the things you never did
    you're running around
    you're living a life that's empty in the end, my friend

    This is the turning point, in a nutshell. When you realize you might be about to lose your life from gang violence, you realize that your life was a wasted one that's 'empty in the end'.

    >>oh, you'll take back all you've said
    oh, when the regrets fill your head

    For all of the bluster of brotherhood and gang pride, that's not a fulfilling life to lead.

    >>trust me i've been there before

    Support that the 'advice' is in fact the narrator relating his life story.

    >>i would not wish it upon my greatest enemy
    what irony

    I'm not totally sure this is irony, but it makes enough sense as a line. Even after being shot by the other gang members, he would not wish the same upon them.

    >>once friends, but i find: you'll have to learn this lesson on your own

    This is another epiphany on the narrators part. Imagine the arguments happening in chronological order. While these gang members were once friends, he realizes that it's up to them to realize life is worth living. And, furthermore, as much as it pains him to admit, it will be up the girl and no one else to decide if she should keep on living.

    ==Verse: The narrative now cuts back to the narrator and the girl.==

    >>so i waited by the phone but that phone never rang
    The narrator has resigned himself to the fact of his girlfriend committing suicide, and while he won't follow her himself (I guarantee that what you'll get is not an apology), he is simply waiting to hear the news she has shot herself.

    >>and i sang so loud so i wouldn't hear the bang

    Obviously, he's not referring to physically hearing the actual gunshot. Instead, he's trying to sing his song (which has been referenced numerous times as his message of life's value) to drown out the sorrow of the girl not following it, because that's the only way he can dull the pain and ensure he doesn't think about following her.

    >>when the bang never came and i never got the call: fuck it! thank you! i love you all!

    After finally understanding the song the whole way through, I think is is the most beautiful line in the song. She doesn't kill herself, and he's overcome with relief.

    >>some are going to say that we're doomed to repeat
    all our past mistakes
    great
    but that's not me
    and even if it was i would always disagree
    because in the end i always get the better of me

    This final segment can be imagined as in tandem between the boy and the girl. Both of them thought life was relatively worthless and considered suicide - but both of them learned from their mistakes and are alive, together. <3
    flaminghitoon June 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is almost like Keaseby Nights 2, and it becomes quite appparent if you listen to the two back to back. It makes sense, too, since Streetlight Manifesto has more original Catch 22 members than Catch 22 does now, including the singer/songwriter of Keaseby Nights itself. Point / Counterpoint is one of the greatest ska songs ever recorded, in my opinion.
    mouse_clickeron April 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am glad I am not the only one who noticed this is a lot like Keasbey Nights...both are great songs though
    rockorageron April 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthey everyone...i recently heard that streetlight is coming out with a new album, and guess what its called...if you havent guessed yet its Keasby Nights 2. now i dont know if this is concrete but thast what i heard... and yeah i noticed that too.
    tomscahillIVon October 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, they are coming out with a Keasbly Nights 2. It should be out January 2005.
    poiboyon October 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSigh... it's not called Keasbey Nights 2. Stop relying on rumors, people.
    streetlightmanifesto.com
    stevenlelandon November 30, 2004   Link

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