"Audience Of One" as written by Zach Blair, Joseph Principe, Timothy Mcilrath and Brandon Barnes....
I can still remember
The words and what they meant
As we etched them with our fingers
In years of wet cement
The days blurred into each other
Though everything seemed clear
We cruised along at half speed
But then we shifted gears

We ran like vampires from a thousand burning suns
But even then we should have stayed

But we ran away
Now all my friends have gone
Maybe we've outgrown all the things that we once loved
Runaway
But what are we running from?
A show of hands from those in this audience of one
Where have they gone?

Identities assume us
As nine and five add up
Synchronizing watches
To the seconds that we lost
I looked up and saw you
I know that you saw me
We froze but for a moment
In empathy

I brought down the sky for you but all you did was shrug
You gave my emptiness a name
And you ran away
Now all my friends have gone
Maybe we've outgrown all the things that we once loved
Runaway
But what are we running from?
A show of hands from those in this audience of one
Where have they gone?

We're all OK, until the day we're not
The surface shines, while the inside rots
We raced the sunset and we almost won
We slammed the brakes, but the wheels went on

But we ran away
Now all my friends have gone
Maybe we've outgrown all the things that we once loved
Runaway
But what are we running from?
A show of hands from those in this audience of one
Where have they gone?


Lyrics submitted by Yoshü

"Audience of One" as written by Joseph Principe Brandon Barnes

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Audience Of One song meanings
Add your thoughts

75 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +17
    General Comment"A show of hands from those in this audience of one
    Where have they gone ?"
    I think this line means that there is no one to blame but his self.

    And to address the haters that apparently have invaded songMEANINGS.net: When did it become that whenever a punk band has "harmony" or "melody" it is automatcially "horrible" pop-punk? And if you want to classify it as that fine, but to me Rise Against is one of a very few punk bands that have reached a wide audience (gasp the horror) and still have a message and a meaning behind their ART. And that is what punk (to me) means carrying a message of change, of outrage, of genuine emotion. ($0.02)
    LazyEmc2on October 08, 2008   Link
  • +8
    Song MeaningI can still remember
    The words and what they meant
    As we etched them with our fingers
    In years of wet cement

    -Early childhood memories that shaped their life. the wet cement analogy is because human arent static. our opinions and beliefs change. wet cement can be written in an then wiped over to clean it then written in again.

    The days blurred into each other
    Though everything seemed clear
    We cruised along at half speed
    But then we shifted gears

    -this is probably at high school. from experiance i know that high school passes very quickly so that explains that line. everything is clear in a teenagers mind; they are right and you are wrong :). Slacking off and not doing work is a typical teenager so that explains "we cruised along at half speed. Shifting gears implys the rapid change from high school to living in th real world.

    We ran like vampires from a thousand burning suns
    But even then we should have stayed
    But we ran away
    Now all my friends are gone

    -Id imagine that vampires would be in a rush to get away from a thouand burning suns just like the few months after school when former students realise they arent going back. also i believe that theyd scatter much the same as friends do after high school. some go overseas, some go to university and others work full time. "but even then we should have stayed" makes me think of standing in the face of adversity so i think it means facing the future together which many dont. But we ran away, is pretty elf explanatory. same for now all my friends are gone.

    Maybe we’ve outgrown all the things that we once loved
    Runaway
    But what are we running from ?
    A show of hands from those in this audience of one
    Where have they gone ?

    -maybe weve outgrown all the things that we once loved reminds me of how we have to mature and give up stuff that we loved to make way for our careers. running away is symbolic of leaving those things behind. But what are we running from makes me think of the times weve enjoyed buy have forgotten i.e when you were a kid and had fun just mucking around with mates. A show of hands from this audience of one is a metaphor for his childhood and the things he loved sticking its hand up and saying "thats me that you ran away from". Where have they gone referring to the thing he once loved in his childhood

    Identities assume us
    As nine and five add up
    Synchronizing watches
    To the seconds that we lost

    Identities assume us is in reference to how our career shapes what events we will encounter in our life also identity could be a reference to how we take job titles i.e assistant to the state manager. As nine and five add up is a reference to the working hours and how much time we spend on our careers. synchronizing watches is a reference to his childhood again, him and his childhood metaphor synchronizing their lives. To the seconds that we lost is reference to when we realise how much time weve wasted on absolutely nothing and how life doesnt usually turn out how you plan

    I looked up and saw you
    I know that you saw me
    We froze but for a moment
    In empathy

    -I looked up and saw you this is him talking about his childhood metaphor. I know that you saw me, we froze but for a moment, in empathy is them pausing and looking from the others point of view at whats happened throughout his life.

    I brought down the sky for you but all you did was shrug
    You gave my emptiness a name

    -I brought down the sky for you but all you did was shrug, i think is how he has this amazing career but the childhood metaphor doesnt want any of that he just wants to enjoy himslef. You gave my emptiness a name shows that he realises that the things he loved from his childhood that he pushed aaway are the reason his life is empty.

    But you ran away
    Now all my friends are gone
    Maybe we’ve outgrown all the things that we once loved
    Runaway
    But what are we running from ?
    A show of hands from those in this audience of one
    Where have they gone ?

    -But you ran away, is in reference to how he just realised why he was empty and now he cant recall the memories he misses. the rest of this paragraph is basically the same as in the first chorus

    We’re all ok, until the day we’re not
    The surface shines, while the inside rots
    We raced the sunset and we almost won
    We slammed the brakes, but the wheels went on

    - Were all okay until they day were not is a reference to how we suddenly breakdown sometimes. The surface shine while the inside rots is in reference to how we put up a facade to mask what we really feel and to stop others getting too close. we raced the sunset and we almost won i think is an analogy to the way we lie to ourselves about things but then they catch up with us. we slammed the brakes but the wheels went on is an analogy to when the truth comes out (slamming the brakes on) but there are consequences that follow afterward.

    We ran away
    Now all my friends are gone
    Maybe we’ve outgrown all the things that we once loved
    Runaway
    But what are we running from ?
    A show of hands from those in this audience of one
    Where have they gone ?

    -this is similar to the first chorus
    SomniumOmegaon January 22, 2009   Link
  • +5
    General CommentBest line I think is:
    "I brought down the sky for you but all you did was shrug
    You gave my emptiness a name."

    I think the song is about change and no matter how much we fear it, it is inevitable: "We slammed the brakes, but the wheels went on."
    jeppoon October 04, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General Commentcatchy song, not original RA but still great lyrics. you cant expect them to put out songs like everchanging and blood-red, white and blue. They are getting older and still putting out great meaningful songs. I would have to say this is not my favorite song or favorite sound but it does mix well on my randomized rise against list on my Ipod. When i heard this song as well as some of the others I knew people would be pissed but Its still a great song compared to what else is on the radio. Plus this CD shows how great they are that their songs can kick ass in any genre, pop, punk, hardcore, rock, acoustic, indy, I seriously;y think they just want to get their music out there because the message in their songs should be heard by more than one group of people. Its amazing but no matter what song you click on, its usually someones favorite song and that is pretty sweet. Rise against are genius writers and artists and hands down my favorite band. I agree that everyone is entitled to an opinion but as a person that doesn't exactly like "the sound" of this song, I think its still amazing and well done, and I hope people who do like this sound love it as much as I love everchanging or blood-red, white and blue.

    With all that said. I think this song is about growing up and losing close friends and rememberign the times that you used to have with friends or an Ex. I think it sorta a sad song. the lines :
    "Identities assume us
    As nine and five add up
    Synchronizing watches
    To the seconds that we lost"
    to me this is saying life is now a job and its sucks that we cant go back to the things we used to do before we had responsibility. The innocence and freedom is gone and now the person in this song is lonely and wishing things were different. Another idea I had was when guys get g/fs and blow off their friends and then when there's no more g/f and you have no more friends either. these are just my interpretations. My favorite part of RA songs as they can be interpreted differently by different people and their situations. Want to hear what others think but not if they are gonna diss the song!
    RiseFan4Lifeon October 15, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI have been through this exact experience, I was with a girl and I would rather spend time with her instead of my mates and would constantly blow them off to "run away" with her. I would do everything and anything for her even "give her the sky" if I could but in the end it wasnt enough and after a long time she left me. At the end of it all I turned around and seen that "all my friends were gone" as I had neglected them for so long. I have been a RA fan for many years and this song means so much to me already and evokes a lot of feeling, absolutely love it!
    corbyon October 07, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThese are just basic thoughts and opinions
    Audience of One...The one being George W Bush.

    "As we etched them with our fingers
    In years of wet cement"
    -The election of George W Bush

    "We cruised along at half speed
    But then we shifted gears"
    -Everything was fine for awhile the shit started to go down

    "We ran like vampires from a thousand burning sons
    But even then we should have stayed"
    -Those who voted for him decided they made a huge mistake. They are rethinking it and they know its too late.

    The next verse Im still thinking about.

    "I brought down the sky for you but all you did was shrug
    You gave my emptiness a name"
    -I think its basically the fact that a soldier may have killed someone and was expecting praise maybe afterwards but all he felt was emptiness,depression, and regret.

    "We’re all ok, until the day we’re not
    The surface shines, while the inside rots
    We raced the sunset and we almost won
    We slammed the brakes, but the wheels went on"
    -I think it means We act like it was all okay when we know for a fact that it isnt. We may live a perfectly normal life when on the inside we're in pain. We thought we stopped the chaos when we know its still happening.


    Just an opinion.

    tw15tedon January 21, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationJust spitballin this. But my guess is that this song is about Fear, and growing up.. I think the Intro is just about realizing its time to grow up "We cruise along at half speed but then we shifted gears" (Transition to adulthood). "Identities assume us As nine and five add up" I think this also has to do with growing up (Age based meaning fourteen years old when he was nine not long ago.. and five not long before that) and his identity is becoming more clear to him. "Synchronizing Watches to the seconds that we lost" I think just means he feels growing up hit him really quick and he feels like he lost a lot of time in childhood.. "I looked up and saw you, I know that you saw me, We froze but for a moment,
    In empathy" Empathy meaning they can understand each others state of mind, looking at each other frozen as they realize how fast they are growing up. "I brought down the sky for you but all you did was shrug
    You gave my emptiness a name" I think this is just about trying to impress those who we look up to as teenagers or children. We can do something incredible but they have seen so much more so to them its not as impressive, hence they shrug it off.

    "We're all ok, until the day we're not The surface shines, while the inside rots We raced the sunset and we almost won We slammed the brakes, but the wheels went on"

    This is about as true as it gets. The first part is self explanitory. We're okay until something goes wrong.. The surface shines, while the inside rots meaning on the outside we act okay but on the inside we are terrified of growing up during which time we are terrified that something will go wrong. We raced the sunset and we almost won meaning that life is going by to quick and the sunset happens before we can accomplish our goal(s). We slammed the brakes, but the wheels went on is an amazing metaphor simply meaning there really isn't breaks in life like there is in a car.. You can try to put growing up on hold but growing up is something that you can't stop or even slow down.

    "But you ran away
    Now all my friends are gone
    Maybe we've outgrown all the things that we once loved
    Runaway
    But what are we running from?
    A show of hands from those in this audience of one
    Where have they gone?"

    Chorus is about his fear of moving on. Runaway but what are we running from? Meaning hes trying to run away from growing up but you can't.. So really.. What is he running from? Maybe we've outgrown all the things that we once loved meaning he is facing that he is growing up but the sentence starts with a genuine maybe showing that he is unsure.

    I believe the Audience of One is just a metaphor meaning that people really aren't as alone when it comes to growing up as they think they are. Perhaps Audience of One just refers to people in general feeling alone but we all have to go through several of the same experiences to reach maturity.
    KrAzYArKaDeon April 02, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAre people really calling this a pop song? My God, people really need to learn genres. That's just absolutely pathetic to call it a pop song.

    mattjames2010on April 07, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think its about how things change within a relationship that he changed his life for and once things changed between them he had nothing left because he abandonded his old life for her.
    Rise_to_Anthemon October 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of the best rise against song EVER!!!
    great lyrics.
    astatic13on October 13, 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