"Hard To Be" as written by and David Shannon Bazan....
You've heard the story
You know how it goes
Once upon a garden
We were lovers with no clothes

Fresh from the soil
We were beautiful and true
In control of our emotions
'Til we ate the poison fruit

And now it's hard to be
Hard to be
Hard to be a decent human being

Wait just a minute
You expect me to believe
That all this misbehaving
Grew from one enchanted tree?

And helpless to fight it
We should all be satisfied
With this magical explanation
For why the living die

And why it's hard to be
Hard to be
Hard to be a decent human being

Childbirth is painful
We toil to grow our food
Ignorance made us hungry
Information made us no good
Every burden misunderstood

So I swung my tassel
To the left side of my cap
Knowing after graduation
There would be no going back

And no congratulations
From my faithful family
Some of whom are already fasting
To intercede for me

Because it's hard to be
Hard to be
Hard to be a decent human being


Lyrics submitted by thefallofmath

Hard To Be song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentsweet. best song off the new album.
    themorningbell4on August 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't get over how amazing this album is. This one is the perfect kick-off.
    icouldseethedudeon August 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAwesome song. Awesome album. Awesome message.
    emergentpatternon August 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCory - Seriously? You say that as if you think the Garden of Eden narrative is super reasonable, and that any other explanation would be totally ridiculous. Since you asked, though, I have one...

    Creatures which do not have instincts toward self preservation do not survive. Since well before the evolution of Homo Sapiens, virtually every living creature has had natural instincts for self preservation. Beyond that, the perspective of an individual creature is always its own. Cats don't know what it's like to be dogs, or even what it's like to be other cats. People don't know what it's like to be other people. Men don't know what it's like to be women, or different men from themselves. Thinking of yourself takes zero effort because you ARE yourself. Your own existence and condition are some of the first things anybody ever thinks about. Thinking of others is hard, because others are necessarily a mystery. You can't know how they feel or what they think except through deduction and study. Acting selfishly is natural, instinctive, and easy. Acting selflessly takes thought, consideration, and effort. Being a decent human being is acting against one's own urges to be self-centered, and thinking carefully about the way your actions will effect other people. Thinking is harder than not thinking. Doing something is harder than laying down. It's as simple as that.
    jaydoesgameson July 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe the song is about Bazan asking why is it hard to be good, or a decent human being? and they give him the garden of Eden story about eve eating the forbiden apple and yall know the rest. Well bazan is rejecting that explanation. He says "you expect me to believe". He also says that his family did not even congratulate him on his graduation, one has to assume because of his atheism.
    aisatheiston March 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe the song is about Bazan asking why is it hard to be good, or a decent human being? and they give him the garden of Eden story about eve eating the forbiden apple and yall know the rest. Well bazan is rejecting that explanation. He says "you expect me to believe". He also says that his family did not even congratulate him on his graduation, one has to assume because of his atheism.
    aisatheiston March 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe the song is about Bazan asking why is it hard to be good, or a decent human being? and they give him the garden of Eden story about eve eating the forbiden apple and yall know the rest. Well bazan is rejecting that explanation. He says "you expect me to believe". He also says that his family did not even congratulate him on his graduation, one has to assume because of his atheism.
    aisatheiston March 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGotta think the "graduation" is a metaphor for leaving behind his religion. He was devout until around the time he was writing this album, this is his coming out record.

    Once he made the decision to leave religion behind there would be no going back. His family was likely not impressed; they didn't congratulate him on the decision. I could be wrong, but I like to think this is what he is saying.
    whofartedon June 28, 2015   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI'd like to hear the explanation of why it is hard to be a decent human being without the garden of eden narrative that Bazan is rejecting.
    corynelsonon May 16, 2010   Link

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