"What a Shame" as written by Brent Smith and Dave Bassett....
Two packs of cigarettes a day
The strongest whiskey
Kentucky can make
That's a recipe to put a vagabond
On his hands and knees
I watched it all up close
I knew him more than most
I saw a side of him, he never showed
Full of sympathy for a world that
Wouldn't let him be

That's the man he was
Have you heard enough?

What a shame, what a shame
To judge a life that you can't change
The choir sings, the church bells ring
So, won't you give this man his wings?
What a shame, to have to beg you to
See we're not all the same
What a shame

There's a hard life for every silver spoon
There's a touch of grey for every shade
Of blue
That's the way that I see life
If there was nothing wrong
Then there'd be nothing right
And for this working man they say could
Barely stand
There's gotta be a better place to land
Some kind of remedy for a world that
Wouldn't let him be

That's the man he was,
Have you heard enough?

What a shame, what a shame
To judge a life that you can't change
The choir sings, the church bells ring
So, won't you give this man his wings?
What a shame, to have to beg you to
See we're not all the same
What a shame

God forgive the hands that laid you down
They never knew how, but your broken
Heart can break the sound
And change the season
Now the leaves are falling faster
Happily ever after
You gave me hope through your endeavors
And now you will live forever

What a shame, what a shame
To judge a life that you can't change
The choir sings, the church bells ring
So, won't you give this man his wings?
What a shame, to have to beg you to
See we're not all the same
What a shame

What a shame, what a shame
'Cause we're not all the same
What a shame, what a shame
'Cause we're not all the same


Lyrics submitted by animated lies

"What a Shame" as written by Dave Bassett Brent Smith

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

What a Shame song meanings
Add your thoughts

52 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +6
    General Comment^ Interesting.

    That makes sense. He was close to him but he must have been looked down upon by others because he wasn't the same as them. That's true in many situations. People don't always see the same good side of a person that you do and it can be heartbreaking. Some are so quick to judge that they never care to truly know how another person REALLY is.
    IDoKnowTheMuffinManon July 08, 2008   Link
  • +5
    My OpinionBeautiful song. I agree though so many people are judged from everyone around them and it causes so much wrong in the world. If everyone had a chance, drug addicts never sat at home saying one day I'll get addicted to heroin, people need help, they dont need to be critized by everyone around them. This song is deep.
    KillaSong111on November 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat a shame
    To judge a life that you can't change

    Good lyrics. Wow.
    This whole album rocks.
    trn3ngoon July 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOH MY GOD THIS SONG IS BEAUTIFUL! THIS WHOLE ALBUM ROCKS VERY HARD. Its by far there best and i must say that shinedown has cemented thereselves in rock history!!!
    art85on June 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhenever I hear this song, I think of Brent singing his closing remarks as the defense lawyer for someone about to be tried for using drugs or doing something under the influence. How a good man is being put in jail for something he could not control, and how evil man still run free. He tells how good that man was, and tries desperately to explain the uncontrollable addiction. If you look at the words, they seem to support this a lot, and some of the words I heard differently, which may explain my interpretation (thought church bell was judge's bell). Finally, as he nears his conclusion, he needs to scream, for the jury is unsympathetic, and he must make them understand! Throughout the song you can hear how him and the "vagabond" are better than everyone else because they can forgive this world that their understanding of justice was ahead of.
    ExurKunon August 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat great great song, so is the album by the way. This is probably my favorite song on the album, even my father, who harsley judges modern rock liked it, what a surprise! But this song truly brings out the best qualities in Brent Smith's singing abilities, and the lyrics are also very touching. Only a few songs in history have ever made me teary eyed, and right now the only ones I can think of are "Rapture" by Hurt, and this one. Oh, and what's that thing about bonus tracks?? I want bonus tracks!
    Quatermainon August 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with art too when i first heard the song i loved it great hit made me think harder about things in life too of how people are misunderstood in the world these days
    islandguyon August 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song, lyrically, reminds me quite a bit of "The Ballad of Curtis Leow" by Lynard Skynard. I'm pretty sure that Shinedown are fans of theirs, too. So anyway, it's just something I noticed.
    11tallbson August 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenta lot of songs on this new album kind of dont sound that original--awesome album album awesome song, dont get me wrong, but when i first heard this song it reminded me of that stupid nickelback song they kept playing on the radio--"if everyone cared and nobody died" or something like that...
    ultra_blueon August 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalso i only have a 96kbps mp3 of this song. its such a powerful song that such low quality doesnt do it justice.
    ultra_blueon August 26, 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