"Dept. of False Hope" as written by Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz....
Welcome now, son,
To where the work is never done
And the hungry are seldom ever fed

The department of false hope
Is a proving ground for dopes
And they'll grind your tiny bones to make their bread

So hold your head up high, forgotten man
Tomorrow won't be made for you
And everybody's gonna try to lend a helping hand
Forgotten man, there's nothing more to do

He crackled on the radio
Through bright plumes of the sun
The announcer said the age of faith was dead

Though the adolescent nation
Was just looking for salvation
The beast of reason reared its ugly head

So hold your head up high, forgotten man
Tomorrow's not for me and you
And everybody's gonna try to lend a helping hand
Forgotten man, there's nothing more to do

From your cradle of destruction
With the poorest of instruction
And nearest sliver of a tune
Oh, you managed somehow to muddle through

So hold your head up high, forgotten man
Tomorrow's not for me and you
And everybody's gonna try to lend a helping hand
Forgotten man, there's nothing more to do

There is nothing more


Lyrics submitted by MIKERUPTION, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Dept. of False Hope" as written by Greg Graffin Brett W. Gurewitz

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., MOTHERSHIP MUSIC PUBLISHING

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Dept. of False Hope song meanings
Add your thoughts

6 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentMost will probably see the overlying religious connotations in this song. That's what jumped out to me. As I continue to listen to this song, it took on a whole new personal meaning.

    "Welcome my son to where the work is never done
    And the hungry are seldom ever fed
    The department of false hope is a proving ground for dopes
    And they'll grind your tiny bones to make their bread (Hosanna)

    It makes me think about modern ideals for employement in this economic climate. Our society as a whole is on autopilot, driven by our subconscious. Take for instance generic job titles performing relatively menial tasks. Public servants going thru the motions with no "real" creative outlets. Obsequious tasks that we chatter about becomes bigger than the actual task itself in the grand scheme. Although we never feel shackled, we've become prisoner to a vested system that literally will never run out of these tasks in order to operate accordingly. It will grind your tiny bones to make their bread. You are insignificant and can be replaced by the next man waiting in line to secure a paycheck. You managed somehow to muddle through, so accept your gold watch when you're too old to travel and enjoy that pension. You're going to need those great medical benefits you've worked for the past 45 years. So hold your head up high forgotten man, there is nothing more.



    mj2315on February 22, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe this song is about the "false hope" scientific research gives humanity, particularly to the extent it promises to replace religion as a social institution and provide "salvation" on Earth.

    The song explores this concept through the lens of Cold War ideology (a frequent topic in BR's catalog). The "adolescent nation" of course refers to the USA, an overtly Christian nation "looking for salvation." The "beast of reason" refers to the godless, rational, and calculated utopian ideas which drove the USSR, and Communism in general. The "cradle of destruction" refers to the "mutually assured destruction" of the nuclear arms race (possibly a reference to "The Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut). As a byproduct of the arms race, science and technology grew exponentially. At the same time, research institutions which drove these advances embraced utopian ideals espoused by the Communists (e.g. "everybody's got to try to lend a helping hand"). Eventually, these institutions indoctrinated new generations of students "with the poorest of instruction," and "the beast of reason reared its ugly head" stateside.

    In the years since the fall of the USSR, intellectuals with utopian visions have gained major influence in the West. In their wisdom, they replaced jobs with technology. They replaced families with welfare. They replaced culture with economic growth. They replaced democratic institutions with top-down bureaucracy. They replaced individuality with collectivism. They declared "the age of faith was dead" and replaced it with an age of science. They did all of these things with little thought for the "forgotten man" and his humble human experiences.

    Unfortunately, science has proven to be a poor substitute for religion as a social institution. Even though our research "department" promises solutions to human suffering on Earth, "the work is never done," and "the hungry are seldom ever fed." Those seeking personal gratification in the academy will ultimately find it to be a thankless "proving ground for dopes," which grinds the "tiny bones" of their research to "make their bread" (referring to money, or other ends). For the "forgotten man" with his "head up high," still proudly clinging to the remnants of his culture, "tomorrow" (the future) looks grim. In man's quest for truth through reason, he has discovered the futility of his human experiences - art, love, culture, tradition, faith, etc. Inevitably, he will discover that his feeble human brain is woefully ill equipped to deduce answers from the universe, and that he is obsolete for his own truth-seeking purposes. "For God and man, there is nothing more to do."

    Note that the song's author (Graffin I presume) includes himself as a unit with the "forgotten man" ("tomorrow's not for me and you"). This is interesting given BR's pronouncements about religion. It makes sense given Graffin's background in the academic "proving ground." Could it be that Mr. Graffin is nostalgic for the "age of faith?"
    3v3ryth1ngon January 24, 2017   Link
  • -2
    General CommentMost will probably see the overlying religious connotations in this song. That's what jumped out to me. As I continue to listen to this song, it took on a whole new personal meaning.

    "Welcome my son to where the work is never done
    And the hungry are seldom ever fed
    The department of false hope is a proving ground for dopes
    And they'll grind your tiny bones to make their bread (Hosanna)

    It makes me think about modern ideals for employement in this economic climate. Our society as a whole is on autopilot, driven by our subconscious. Take for instance generic job titles performing relatively menial tasks. Public servants going thru the motions with no "real" creative outlets. Obsequious tasks that we chatter about becomes bigger than the actual task itself in the grand scheme. Although we never feel shackled, we've become prisoner to a vested system that literally will never run out of these tasks in order to operate accordingly. It will grind your tiny bones to make their bread. You are insignificant and can be replaced by the next man waiting in line to secure a paycheck. You managed somehow to muddle through, so accept your gold watch when you're too old to travel and enjoy that pension. You're going to need those great medical benefits you've worked for the past 45 years. So hold your head up high forgotten man, there is nothing more.



    mj2315on February 22, 2013   Link
  • -2
    General CommentMost will probably see the overlying religious connotations in this song. That's what jumped out to me. As I continue to listen to this song, it took on a whole new personal meaning.

    "Welcome my son to where the work is never done
    And the hungry are seldom ever fed
    The department of false hope is a proving ground for dopes
    And they'll grind your tiny bones to make their bread (Hosanna)

    It makes me think about modern ideals for employement in this economic climate. Our society as a whole is on autopilot, driven by our subconscious. Take for instance generic job titles performing relatively menial tasks. Public servants going thru the motions with no "real" creative outlets. Obsequious tasks that we chatter about becomes bigger than the actual task itself in the grand scheme. Although we never feel shackled, we've become prisoner to a vested system that literally will never run out of these tasks in order to operate accordingly. It will grind your tiny bones to make their bread. You are insignificant and can be replaced by the next man waiting in line to secure a paycheck. You managed somehow to muddle through, so accept your gold watch when you're too old to travel and enjoy that pension. You're going to need those great medical benefits you've worked for the past 45 years. So hold your head up high forgotten man, there is nothing more.



    mj2315on February 22, 2013   Link
  • -2
    General CommentMost will probably see the overlying religious connotations in this song. That's what jumped out to me. As I continue to listen to this song, it took on a whole new personal meaning.

    "Welcome my son to where the work is never done
    And the hungry are seldom ever fed
    The department of false hope is a proving ground for dopes
    And they'll grind your tiny bones to make their bread (Hosanna)

    It makes me think about modern ideals for employement in this economic climate. Our society as a whole is on autopilot, driven by our subconscious. Take for instance generic job titles performing relatively menial tasks. Public servants going thru the motions with no "real" creative outlets. Obsequious tasks that we chatter about becomes bigger than the actual task itself in the grand scheme. Although we never feel shackled, we've become prisoner to a vested system that literally will never run out of these tasks in order to operate accordingly. It will grind your tiny bones to make their bread. You are insignificant and can be replaced by the next man waiting in line to secure a paycheck. You managed somehow to muddle through, so accept your gold watch when you're too old to travel and enjoy that pension. You're going to need those great medical benefits you've worked for the past 45 years. So hold your head up high forgotten man, there is nothing more.



    mj2315on February 22, 2013   Link
  • -2
    General CommentMost will probably see the overlying religious connotations in this song. That's what jumped out to me. As I continue to listen to this song, it took on a whole new personal meaning.

    "Welcome my son to where the work is never done
    And the hungry are seldom ever fed
    The department of false hope is a proving ground for dopes
    And they'll grind your tiny bones to make their bread (Hosanna)

    It makes me think about modern ideals for employement in this economic climate. Our society as a whole is on autopilot, driven by our subconscious. Take for instance generic job titles performing relatively menial tasks. Public servants going thru the motions with no "real" creative outlets. Obsequious tasks that we chatter about becomes bigger than the actual task itself in the grand scheme. Although we never feel shackled, we've become prisoner to a vested system that literally will never run out of these tasks in order to operate accordingly. It will grind your tiny bones to make their bread. You are insignificant and can be replaced by the next man waiting in line to secure a paycheck. You managed somehow to muddle through, so accept your gold watch when you're too old to travel and enjoy that pension. You're going to need those great medical benefits you've worked for the past 45 years. So hold your head up high forgotten man, there is nothing more.



    mj2315on February 22, 2013   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