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I'm afraid of the way that I live my life
I'm afraid of the way I don't
I'm afraid of the things I wanna do but I won't

I'm afraid of God
I'm afraid to believe
And I'm afraid of all the loved ones that I've made leave
I'm afraid that my dog doesn't love me anymore

I'm afraid of the social laziness that let Kitty Genovese die
And I'm afraid of the mob mentality that makes otherwise normal people go blind
I'm afraid of the way the world works
And I'm afraid of the words in my notebooks
I'm afraid that you all know that I am a pervert

But the bid red bird that lives under the city
Doesn't give a damn about me
And it dies every night
By burning alive

I'm afraid of my Grandfather's cancer
And I'm afraid of my Mom's dying arm
I'm afraid that I've somehow caused my family harm
I'm afraid that the ones I love won't have enough
I'm afraid that the ones I love won't have enough

It's harder to be yourself
Than it is to be anybody else
I wish I were a little less of a coward
But the big red bird that lives under the city
Doesn't give a damn about me
And it dies every night
So I bought a knife
I am a knife


Lyrics submitted by WorldStrike

Big Bird song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +10
    General Comment"But the big red bird that lives under the city
    Doesn't give a damn about me
    And it dies every night
    By burning alive"

    The big red bird is a Phoenix. Phoenix is also the city he lives in.
    huskon September 11, 2011   Link
  • +5
    My Interpretation"So I bought a knife
    I am a knife"

    I believe this is a reference to the last line from the first track of this album, The Michael Jordan of Drunk Driving:

    "His laziness built the pyramids, and his solitude was a knife"

    A knife is solitude. Being alone.

    So the last verse can be interpreted as saying, "I'm too afraid to show who I am to anyone. I'm a coward. So, I choose to be alone. I am alone!" I don't think this is too far of a stretch of the imagination since the album discusses loneliness (example: No One).
    oddsoupon August 27, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTook me a while to realize that, good observation! This song is so amazing, that drumbeat is so brutal...
    PardoneIsNotCoolon September 23, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI wish I were a little less of a coward but the big red bird that lives under the city
    doesn't give a damn about me and it dies every night.
    So I bought a knife.
    I am a knife.


    The phoenix thing makes a ton of sense but why would he be the knife (or need one, for that matter)
    Whitey666on June 30, 2013   Link
  • +1
    MemoryI listened to this whole album straight through. When the last line came up, my jaw dropped.
    mransom909on April 13, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfuck, thank you husk. that line was bothering the hell out of me.
    impon October 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentChills.
    Crane42on March 31, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"So I bought a knife
    I am a knife."
    I feel that he has finally accepted that he is the "cause" of every problem that's happening to his loved ones so he says he's the one causing all the pain just like a knife would.
    reicistson May 30, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo I've compiled everyone's comments to make a conclusion that he's alone in the city, and no one cares about him in his city.
    What's interesting is that cities are an often "go to place" to escape and drift away.

    Also the beginning sentence and ending sentence are important. As one said in the comments that the knife represents loneliness, and beginning statement suggest he is afraid of the way he lives his life. *So he's afraid of being alone*
    Asparagus.Partyon October 06, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the knife refers to a safety mechanism that he uses to fend off the evil person within ("there's a bad man in every one, no matter who we are") he is the knife because the "bad person" is part of him. I also believe that the phoenix represents the day to day struggle of some one with bipolar or a similar ailment, where they feel happy or content one moment, and then anxious, evil and unsure the next.
    Grommie122on July 22, 2015   Link

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