"Waves" as written by John Baldwin Gourley and Brian Joseph Burton....
You can't fight a war with nobody to fight back
But if we get to digging to the bottom of the stack
We'll sell it to the youth and you never know, maybe
You'll get back home and you'll see your baby, oh

We'll just act like we care

All we're needing is a reason
It don't need to be clear
Singing songs to the news
It can play to their fears
Someone's gotta' die and you don't have to love him
But the military's still got more in its budget, oh

We always need more next year

No one cares about the waves
At the bottom of the ocean
And at the bottom of the ocean
It's always blue
No one will remember
'Cause nothing lasts forever
And everybody's looking
For somebody to use

When you don't bring them home and the war hasn't ended
There's still money there and that money needs spending
The powers that be, we gotta' do what we do
If they never know it than they'll never feel used, oh
Like I often do

To all the pretty girls out there looking for heartache
Crying, "All I wanted is to be your baby"
And all the pretty girls out there living with heartache
Crying cause they're never gonna' see their baby, oh

We just act like we care

No one cares about the waves
At the bottom of the ocean
And at the bottom of the ocean
It's always blue
No one will remember
'Cause nothing lasts forever
And everybody's looking
For somebody to use

No one will remember
'Cause nothing lasts forever
The world is always changing
And it's always blue
And it's always blue


Lyrics submitted by myhers

"Waves" as written by Brian Burton Asa Taccone

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Waves song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +3
    My InterpretationMy interpretation of "No one cares about the waves at the bottom of the ocean" is this:

    If you are at the bottom of the ocean, the waves at the top don't matter that too much to you. Since this is a pretty political song, I feel like it refers to people in Washington being so separate and disconnected from the people that they are in charge of. The real world is so far away from their own reality that they don't honestly care.
    Pickelon June 06, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThe song is about war, obviously.
    But the metaphor used here is that we only see what happens on the face of the war that the media shows us.
    'All we're needing is a reason
    It don't need to be clear
    Singing songs to the news"

    They show us the waves that break on the beach.
    But no-one cares or sees the waves at the bottom of the ocean that are just as present as the ones on the surface.

    No-one sees every soldier that goes off to war, and what they contribute.

    Their ripples have just as much an effect on the wave that break on the shore and without them the ones on the shore could not exist. But no-one cares.

    No-one sees, No-one will remember the work they did.

    No-one cares about someone that they don't know has died.

    But they will make heros out of some...

    'Someone's gotta' die and you don't have to love him'

    And it will all be worth it to the government

    And all the heartache caused
    'We just act like we care'
    mpodon June 04, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAll good points mpod, this song is really great in so many ways.

    I think the first "We'll just act like we care" is talking about the government pretending to care and then maybe the others are about the general population and the media showing stories about the war pretending to care but no one really does unless they know/love someone that died. Our government spends absolutely ridiculous amounts of the American taxpayer money on war while its citizens fight and die in them and are basically forgotten. Meanwhile the planet/oceans can get polluted and destroyed and most people don't pay attention to what's really going on so if they never know it, then they'll never feel used. The world may change but it's always blue, always sad, always bad shit happening and will happen as long as our government spends on the wrong things and its people stay asleep and blind or think they are dying for a noble cause when they aren't.
    myherson June 04, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationYeah, the more I hear it, the more I think it's probably aimed at politicians specifically than the isolationist feelings in the population as a whole, especially given the clear anti-war sentiments. Lines about military budgets and money support that since the politicians are the ones in charge of that sort of thing.

    The government "at the bottom of the ocean" doesn't feel the waves that are at the surface (the war occurring on the other side of the world). Intellectually they know the "waves" are there but they don't really care because it's all distant to them, just numbers on a page, just statistics. It's not something they truly *feel*; the "Someone's gotta die and you don't have to love him" line references the many anonymous soldiers the leaders in Washington will never meet.

    They forget that those numbers represent real human lives and that sending folks off to war rips people from their families. "All the pretty girls out there livin' with heartache / crying 'cause they're never gonna see their baby" makes me think of mothers, wives, girlfriends who say goodbye to their soldiers, some never to return.
    haunt3ron June 13, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think everyone's right about the obvious cynicism and how most of the verses are aimed at politicians who send people off to squabble over petty differences, simply because it perpetuates the military-industrial complex and drives the economy.

    But I interpret the chorus as the speaker trying to reassure himself by engaging in some escapism and a large-scale, bird's-eye view of things. Sure, everybody's always looking for someone to use. But in the scheme of things--on a geological scale--none of this matters. Life as a whole on this planet will keep on, far from the silly tiffs that serve as an excuse for politicians to start wars. Those squabbles won't last forever, because nothing lasts forever---except life, insulated from all of these "waves" (all of this human insanity) on the bottom of the ocean. Nature outlasts all of this pettiness, and the world stays blue.
    erie_boundon June 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about an abortion or miscarriage, in my opinion
    emily10552on January 08, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about how everyone cares about soilders but no one cares about the families of the veterans or "the waves at the bottom of the ocean" thats why it says that the girl is crying cuz she'll never get to see her baby. Her baby is the veteran whos risking his life to protect america
    jayden1081on May 24, 2016   Link

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