"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?


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
'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 Brent Smith, Dave Bassett

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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What a Shame song meanings
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  • +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
  • 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 CommentWell, i think that hes talking about someone he really loved, maybe at their wake or funeral? he is telling everyone who thought he was a bad or mean person, "hey, i knew him better than any of you did, he was sympathetic and ect.." maybe a grandparent?
    Plums72on June 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the new album, and this is definitely one of my favorites off of it. Amazing job!
    UbersEndeDieWelton June 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOn Shinedown's website Brent said it was about his late uncle. This song reminds me of 45, both have very strong meanings, and it sounds like it could be about the same person or something.
    zionboyz4lifeon June 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    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 CommentFirst off, I agree with art85..This album is a must for anyone who enjoys a good rock album..From start to finish, this album delivers in every way possible...

    Now, as far as the song meaning for me, I agree with Plums72...It does seem like he's giving a eulogy for someone that he knew "more than most" as Brent sings in the beginning. As if the world judged the person he knew so well, and he was shaming them all for judging his life.

    That relates to me a lot, because I have more judges trying to dictate my life than a little bit...As bad as my life is now, I could definitely use 2 packs of cigarettes and some of Kentucky's finest whisky..
    shiner4lifeon July 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like this song...possibly the best from their new album. It seems to be about a man who was judged and extremely misunderstood by others. Deep down he was a good person, but people couldn't see past his surface issues. (which really is a shame in today's world sometimes...the judgement).
    shed.some.lighton July 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite song on the new CD. I definitely agree that its about someone who was picked on and misunderstood in life.

    The Sound of Madness is the best rock CD of 2008!! Every song is FANTASTIC!! Not a bad song on it. Buy it! (get the bonus tracks, too!)
    KRAZYT5000on July 31, 2008   Link

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