Good arms versus bad arms will win hands down down
They are built to hold and fit, look how far they go around
You don't need these now that you've found another pair
And the difference is astounding, i should expect

Except leave the rest at arm's length
Keep your naked flesh under your favorite dress
And leave the rest at arm's length
When they reach out, don't touch them, don't touch them

I decided this decision some six months ago
So i'll stick to my guns, but from now on it's war
I am armed with the past and the will and a brick
I might not want you back, but i want to kill him

And leave the rest at arm's length
Keep your naked flesh under your favorite dress
And leave the rest at arm's length
When they reach out, don't touch them, don't touch them

And leave the rest at arm's length
Don't brush with him, he might have diseases
And leave the rest at arm's length
Steer clear of the grasp, girl -- run, run, away

And leave the rest at arm's length
Just roll over boy and don't make me do this
And leave the rest at arm's length
I am armed to the teeth and i'm heavy set
And leave the rest at arm's length
I'm not ready to see you this happy
And leave the rest at arm's length
I'm still in love with you, can't admit it yet


Lyrics submitted by calvins_hobbies, edited by smallwonderrobot, brisingr47

Good Arms vs. Bad Arms song meanings
Add your thoughts

39 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    General Commentfound out his ex has a new bf
    still has feelings for her
    imagines her in other dudes arms
    imagines smashing dude and taking girl back
    Dnogson March 20, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI agree with what everyone else has said. Maybe it's just me but I LOVE how he uses the word arms in three different contexts:

    "you don't need these now that you've found another pair"- his physical arms, she doesn't need to be held by him anymore because she has someone new


    "leave the rest at arm's length"- distance

    "I am armed with the past, and the will, and a brick"- these are his weapons


    This is one of my favorite songs ever! Amazing band!
    strangersatelliteon May 18, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is a great song and there are some great comments already, but I thought I'd toss in my two cents. I think Good Arms vs. Bad Arms refers in part to his two natures, the side of him that wants his ex-love back (back in his arms' embrace), and the side that wants to grab the guy she's with and beat him senseless. And so the song is about wrestling with those two opposite emotions, the little good angel on one shoulder and the little devil on the other. These hands can give love or they can give pain, and he don't know which one he wants more.

    The repeating "arms" motif recurs again when he expresses the need to keep both of them "at arm's length," or far enough way that something becomes not immediately reachable. He doesn't want to get to close. For his ex, it's because he remembers her flesh too clearly, because seeing her brings up too many painful memories. He still wants her and he can't have her. He wants to touch her but he cannot. And the reason he has to keep her man away is because he's afraid he might "kill" the guy, or at least beat him senseless.

    The middle of the song swells with rage. The arms are now munitions. War is declared. The path of anger seems the clearer one. He doesn't know if he wants her back, but he does know that he hates him. Is that the solution then?

    The final act is the confrontation. The first time he actually has to walk up to the two of them and smile. Can he keep his cool or is something going to give? It's a flash of images. Him beating the guy, telling him to roll over and not fight back. Him looking at his ex, seeing her happy and hating it. Realizing that he still loves her. All the while still keeping everything at arms length. He hasn't given in yet. He's still keeping his cool. But he's right there on the edge, about to snap.

    And then the song ends, and we still don't know which half of his nature won out. Did he confess his love? Start a brawl? Just turn and walk away? That's the mystery.
    kosk11348on March 19, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI'd also like to add my thoughts on this one. It's obviously about a guy who is still recovering from a breakup, but I interpret the lyrics to mean that while he still loves her and wants nobody else to have her, he has decided not to be with her anymore because he is too proud to do so after whatever happened to cause them to break up.

    Maybe she cheated, or mistreated him in other ways and his sense of self esteem will not let that person back into his life - no matter how strong his feelings are, I would say that the trust is gone - he hates it, but he can't change it.

    He's stuck between a rock and a hard place. He doesn't want her back for what she's done but he also wishes that things were different and they were still together. Maybe he can forgive but can't forget. He still sees her as his girlfriend, and the new man in her life is stepping on his 'territory.'

    He can't win, and the only way he can get over it is to keep everything at arms length. He still wants to kill him though, right in front of his ex - but I don't think he intends to go through with it - I take the song as one of those letters that are never sent. He wants her to know his thoughts, he wants HIM to know too, but instead he's keeping his distance and living in silent anguish, the only comfort being his fantasy about beating her boyfriend to death with a brick.
    regperrinon August 26, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think it's about a guy and girl that have broken up and he's not ready for her to have someone else or for her to be happy at all without him because he's not over her and still wants to be with her.
    delec_tea_bleon June 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation"Keep your naked flesh under your favourite dress."

    - He's not ready for her to be intimate with another man yet. He wants her to wait, or to not do it at all.
    Flamingo*on November 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"standing" = "astounding" i think, but otherwise looks good :)
    Geckson May 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure its "keep your naked flesh", awesome song anyways.
    tozzyon May 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalso, its "dont brush him", theres no "with" in it.
    tozzyon May 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalso, its "dont brush him", theres no "with" in it.
    tozzyon May 07, 2008   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain