"Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise" as written by and Scott Avett....
There's a darkness upon me that's flooded in light
In the fine print they tell me what's wrong and what's right
And it comes in black and it comes in white
And I'm frightened by those that don't see it

When nothing is owed or deserved or expected
And your life doesn't change by the man that's elected
If you're loved by someone, you're never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it

There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in
And demanded that somebody free it
And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I'll scream 'til I die
And the last of those bad thoughts are finally out

There's a darkness upon you that's flooded in light
And in the fine print they tell you what's wrong and what's right
And it flies by day and it flies by night
And I'm frightened by those who don't see it

There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in
And demanded that somebody free it
And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I'll scream til I die
And the last of those bad thoughts are finally out

There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in
And demanded that somebody free it
And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I'll scream 'til I die
And the last of those bad thoughts are finally out

There's a darkness upon me that's flooded in light
In the fine print they tell me what's wrong and what's right
There's a darkness upon me that's flooded in light
And I'm frightened by those who don't see it


Lyrics submitted by hideindoors

"Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise" as written by Scott Yancey Avett Robert William Crawford

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise song meanings
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35 Comments

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  • +9
    My InterpretationI Think this song has little to do with God and more to do with urging people to think for themselves.

    There's a darkness upon me that's flooded in light (People filled with hate and ignorance but it goes unnoticed)

    In the fine print they tell me what's wrong and what's right (society tells people how they should live their lives)

    And it comes in black and it comes in white (society saying that there's only one right way to live)

    And I'm frightened by those who don't see it (and he's scared that people actually believe it/don't notice these things)

    When nothing is owed, deserved or expected (you have to think and work for yourself, you aren't entitled to anything, so stop complaining)

    And your life doesn't change by the man that's elected (Just because ___ or whoever is in office that shouldn't stop you from pursuing your dreams)

    If you're loved by someone you're never rejected (Those who really love you will always be there for you no matter what)

    Decide what to be and go be it. (so who you really are is who you should be, not what society tells you to be)
    dkellz010on July 09, 2014   Link
  • +6
    General CommentNot a political meaning, I don't think, but a moral one. I see this as an appeal to moral objectivism, that is the belief that the ideas about things like what's wrong and what's right aren't merely abstractions created by humanity, but are real things of real consequence. A vindication of the older, "black and white" way of seeing the world -- "I'm frightened by those who don't see it." That is, those who don't see right and wrong as real things.

    Other parts of this song seem to support this reading. A darkness flooded in light could mean the darkness of humanity that is illuminated by an exterior presence; also the response to a "head full of doubt" is just to keep screaming until those "bad thoughts are finally out."
    Nurarihyonon November 11, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI actually think this song is sort of criticizing the idea of wrong and right. He says "in the fine print," which I think describes the notions of "wrong and right" as sneaky, unnoticed. And that he's frightened people don't see that we're all pushed to these stark black and white contrasts.

    He then goes on to say that if you're not expected to fit into a certain mold, if you're not swayed by politicians, if your love is real, then live, do whatever you want because you're not constricted by wrong and right notions.

    In the third section he talks about dreaming and hoping of being free. He wants to be free of the society constraints.
    PLaMaduonnon January 01, 2010   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningI found this link on the avett brothers website:

    yfrog.com/…
    alexandranstrongon November 01, 2010   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaningjust my guess. the song is called "head full of doubt/road full of promise". it might be about having doubts, and seeing the promise that lies beyond.

    remember in the first stanza, "it" refers to the darkness. the darkness presents itself as light. in our world, religion and other absolutes present themselves as the only light for men (this little light of mine :)). "the fine print" would refer to sacred texts. it's not a flattering term. those sacred texts tell me what's wrong and right. their wrong and right comes in nice, neat black and white. i'm frightened by those who don't see that it's darkness.

    know when you'll be happy? when you stop worrying about what's owed to you, deserved by you, or expected from you. when you're not more or less happy based on who becomes president.

    loving someone and having them love you will make you happy.
    decide what to be. go be it!

    a warning. getting out of the cage of darkness is amazing freedom. but it's hard to get out all those ideas drilled into your head for so long...since you were a kid. guilt. fears of hell. expectations of family. absolutes and easy answers.

    see it?

    --
    the avett brothers clearly have a religious background. i think they want to get through to religious people. just my guess.
    it reminds me of a young jewish teacher a couple thousand years ago. in that story, religion didn't want to hear that it was the darkness.
    semanticallycorrecton January 28, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHope
    paysonazon May 20, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Commentmeh... i dunno why it double posted, i cant find how to delete them under my profile and stuff >.<


    There's a darkness upon me that's flooded in light
    In the fine print they tell me what's wrong and what's right
    And it comes in black and it comes in white
    And I'm frightened by those who don't see it

    He's stuck on path but sees where he wants to go.
    but his upbringing/society/authority figure/law/rules say he cannot go that way.
    it's plain and simple
    and it worries him that others aren't pushing back against it.

    When nothing is owed, deserved or expected
    And your life doesn't change by the man that's elected
    If you're loved by someone you're never rejected
    Decide what to be and go be it.

    You are born free and are not obligated to anything.
    no matter what the authority says.
    You are free to do what you want and find love
    and go be what you want to be.

    There was a dream
    One day I could see it
    Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it
    there was a kid, with a head full of doubt
    So I scream til I die or the last of those bad thoughts are finally out

    He had his dreams and wanted to chase them
    from being held down and stifled for so long, he broke free and demanded it to be allowed his dream.
    others cast doubt on his ideas to sway others to not speak up.
    So he would preach his mind until he died or until others let him be.
    Ataraxyon August 25, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song, especially the second verse, is really relevant in my life right now, the song means a lot to me.

    I love the symbolism in the first line, and maybe its not what was meant, but I interpret the darkness to be society telling people to be a certain thing, societal norms dictating peoples lives to be what everyone else thinks is best, and it very well may be the wrong thing. It's flooded in light, meaning that there's always a reason to justify a people's disapproval of a person's life choices or opinions, they convince people that they're right and the other person is wrong just because they're different. A currently relevant example: People against gay rights(in my opinion these people are darkness) using christianity(flooded in light) to justify their intrusion into someone else's life.
    yellenon April 24, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI am a parent of a 17 year old son who is a worrier. He worries about what is parents think, and his teachers and friends, etc. That is who he is.

    The line "If you're loved by someone you're never rejected
    Decide what to be and go be it." really hits home with me and I would like to share this with him at some point as he gets close to graduating high school and moving off to college.

    To me it says to stop trying to please everyone, be who you are and remember that you'll always have a safe place to land.

    "And there was a kid, with a head full of doubt
    So I scream til I die or the last of those bad thoughts are finally out"

    So spread your wings and fly, decide what to be and go be it.

    It's okay.
    JustaDadon March 03, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwhat i love about this song is that there are so many meanings that can be taken away from it.
    to me, it speaks as a warning to society.
    "there is a darkness flooded in light" to me, the darkness is ignorance. its flooded in light, meaning people relish in ignorance.

    "and it comes in black and it comes in white" ignorance isn't always good or bad. often it is made to look as a novelty of sorts.

    "frightend by those who don't see it" that ignorance is neither good nor bad. "

    "when nothing is owed, deserved, or expected"..when you don't expect anything, owe anything, or feel you deserve anything..then what are you diong maybe? i don't know this line gets me lost..

    "you're life doesn't change by the man that's elected" i think this could either mean that you are ignorant if your life doesn't change by the man that's elected or that your life shouldn't change by the man that's elected, in the day to day scheme of things.

    "decide what to be and go be it" simple.

    "there was a dream one day i could see it"..i think this means we all have dreams and many of us loose sight of them.

    "like a bird in a cage i broke in and demanded that somebody free it and there was a kid with a head full of doubt so i scream till i die or the last of those bad thoughts are finally out"... this is so beautiful. so poetic. to me..this section describes things that cannot speak for themselves or are too afraid to such as a caged bird or a kid with a head full of doubt. so he's screaming till he dies or until the last of these horrible thoughts are gone..meaning he will scream..be the voice for these voiceless things until he no longer needs to be.

    this is just what i got the first time i listened and i feel there is no truer impression of a song then the very first time you hear it because it is so vulnerable to you. you're hearing something you never expected. i like everyone else's interpretations too!
    nessa118942on April 06, 2011   Link

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