"Fed to Death" as written by and Maxim Bemis....
There was a man from Allentown
Who fed his son to death.
He calmly watched him gorge himself
Until his final breath.

And there he stood surprised and shocked
Above his tiny frame.
He said "I bear no blame for this;
I only share his name!"

There was a man from Nazareth
The fools at war pervert.
They forged an image of his flesh
To brand on mugs and t-shirts.

They say one day he'll spring to life
To smile and clear your name,
So nail yourself upon the cross
And hang your head in shame

This is forever.
This is forever.
This is forever.
This is forever.

Lyrics submitted by jaydawgtwo04

"Fed to Death" as written by Max Bemis

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Fed to Death song meanings
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  • +2
    Song MeaningAlright folks, you're making this excessively complicated. It's crystal clear and easy to see what Max is going for here.

    The man from Allentown gave his son all the food he wanted and go figure, he overate and died from it. It was the man's responsibility to make sure he son whom he created only ate what he needed, but he did not. Now he's not taking the blame for his actions.

    Similarly, Jesus gave humans freedom to do with their lives whatever they pleased, and what do you know, we're killing ourselves too! (wars, global warming, black people, etc). Jesus is not taking the blame for this like the aforementioned man though it is because of him that we have all of the things that we have, which is slowly causing our eventual demise.

    Lesson here: Jesus is careless.
    kingwoody1on August 13, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentin a recent altpress article max said, "Ironically, this is the first song I wrote for the record, and it also became the first song on the record. It's pretty much a statement of purpose about what I think is wrong with the world or what is worth fighting against in the world. It covers two aspects: one is someone who is irresponsible and the other is one who claims too much responsibility and is obsessed with power. Both of which I think are two things wrong with society--people who do those things."
    marsh318on November 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThere was a man from Allentown who fed his son to death.
    He calmly watched him gorge himself until his final breath.
    And there he stood, surprised and shocked above his tiny frame.
    He said, "I bear no blame for this. I only share his name!"

    This part of the song is not a metaphor; it is a symbol. The title of the song is “Fed To Death.” The first image I get from that is the scene in Se7en where a gluttonous man is literally fed to death by the killer. But the deeper connotation is also one of gluttony in its modern guise: consumerism, and its damaging effects. Do we want too much? Do we have too much?

    The “man from Allentown” is, by Bemis’s own admitting, unable to take responsibility for his actions. He assumes that a young child can assume responsibility for his own actions, volition, and faculties; obviously, that isn’t the case. Parents and dog owners are responsible for keeping their kids and dogs from eating too much: “No, you can’t have another slice.” (My wife has a great theory that kids are dogs, but that’s another story.)

    Childhood obesity is at an all-time high, so it’s a relevant and timely way of showing how some people are incapable of taking responsibility for their actions. The father is to blame.

    There was a man from Nazareth

    That is, Jesus, the principle deity of Roman Catholicism, and the only deity of Protestant Christianity. Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi whose life and teachings are laid out in the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible, otherwise known as the Gospels. Of course, these documents are probably historically dubious, but rest assured that the historical Jesus lived from around the year zero through to 33 A.D., whereupon he was crucified by the Roman Empire. Some Jews accepted Jesus as the Messiah, that is, the man who was supposed to liberate Israel from bondage. Those Jews became today’s Christians.

    Max Bemis is Jewish, but his Judaism is not a particularly Orthodox one. I’m reminded of Regina Spektor’s quote, “If Judaism is a plate of food, I’m a picky eater.” He draws on themes from many religions in his songs.

    The fools at war pervert.

    Jesus was a pacifist and taught to follow peace, so the fact that numerous wars have been fought in his name is, indeed, perverse, and very ironic–we all know how Max feels about irony (“Go choke on your irony,” “I can’t define myself through irony,” etc.), and here he’s saying that Jesus’ teaching have been corrupted through their use in war. Recently, it was revealed that official Department of Defense memos had Bible quotes on their covers during the early Iraq War/”War Against Terror.”

    They forged an image of his flesh

    Jesus was a Palestinian Jew, but has been portrayed as being white, even with blonde hair and blue eyes, through the ages. Max talks about this in another song, “Died A Jew” (Jesus died a Jew/Pupils painted blue).

    to brand on mugs and t-shirts.

    Again, he’s dissing consumerism; something of utmost spiritual meaning to millions (billions, actually) is cheapened for use on coffee mugs and t-shirts. The ironic “Jesus Is My Homeboy” shirts come to mind.

    They say one day he'll spring to life, to smile and clear your name.

    Christians believe that all mankind is born with sin (original sin) because Adam, the first man, ate of the forbidden tree, but that Jesus died for their sins, and that to believe in Jesus is the path to Heaven. Jews are fuzzier on the concept of the afterlife, but believe that sin is not something we’re born with, but just something that happens: something that you must atone for by doing good works. (For more, see: youtube.com/…). There’s a story about Adam in the Jewish Zohar:

    "No one departs from the world without first seeing Adam, who asks him why he is leaving the world and how he is exiting. [The one dying] replies, 'Woe to you! On account of you, I am leaving the world.' [Adam] responds, 'My son, I violated one command and was punished for it. Look at all your sins! Look how many of your Lord's commands you have violated!'"

    The point is, no one’s going to die for your sins, because you’re to blame for your sins, and no one else is (as Patti Smith put it, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.” We are all the father with the gorged kid in this scenario. Jesus is just too easy for Max.

    So nail yourself up on the cross and hang your head in shame forever.

    That is, be ashamed that you thought you could just wish away your sin like that.

    This is forever.

    And you should stop treating life like it's a joke, because it's serious, it's all you've got. Now, whether he means, "This is the only life you get, forever," or "Life will last forever (i.e. eternally)," is up for debate. Please, debate!
    transylvanianon November 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionBest non-single of the year.
    1 Of The Millionon December 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe first part is about how we tend to sit back and watch things happen, and claim to bear no blame for it. This connects to Jesus because Max is saying Jesus didn't want us to sit back and wait to get into heaven, we should actually try to do some good. Christians tend to pervert Jesus' teachings by saying if you just believe in him you'll get into heaven.
    KillVolumeon May 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love the outro for this.
    this song is a perfect album opener.

    clearly the man from Nazareth is Jesus...
    there's a lot of irony between the two stories i think.
    i don't know how to elaborate. :[
    canvaswingson November 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe second story is about jesus. the first, no idea. wanted to say it was about max and his dad but he wasn't born in allentown i'm pretty sure.. whoever the first verse is about is being compared to jesus.
    ancientclockson November 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe booklet says, "the fools at war pervert"
    Shedronianon November 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know what any of it means really, but Allentown is a town in PA, and there is a town right near Allentown called Nazareth. So, I'm sure they were trying to make this connection as well as bring up jesus somehow. Just thought that was interesting...
    la7crosse11on November 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah really not sure what the first verse is about, the only thing I can think of is childhood obesity in American specifically, and the general lack of good parenting, perhaps specifically from parents who keep feeding their obese kids cake for breakfast and stuff.

    The second verse is pretty clear. It's obviously about Jesus, and people who use his name in vain as moral justification to go to war and do terrible things that, ironically, the biblical Jesus would not have stood for.

    And just to clarify, because the lyrics on that part are a little sloppy above, and I have the booklet, it goes

    "There was a man from Nazareth
    Who fools at war pervert."

    I don't think it's a slight against religion in general, I think it's just a slight against people who misuse it. Great opening song, love the new CD so far.
    PistolSmokeon November 04, 2009   Link

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