Sometimes I try to do things
And it just doesn't work out the way I want it to
And I get real frustrated, and like I try hard to do it
And I take my time, but it just doesn't work out the way I want it to
It's like I concentrate on it real hard
And it just doesn't work out
And everything I do and everything I try
It never turns out, it's like, I need time to figure these things out
But there's always someone there going
"Hey Amanda, you know, we've been noticing you've been having a lot of problems lately, you know? You should maybe get away, and like, maybe you should talk about it you'll feel a lot better"
And I go
"No it's okay, you know, I'll figure it out, just leave me alone, I'll figure it out, you know? I'm just working on myself"
They go
"Well you know, if you want to talk about it, I'll be here, you know, and you'll probably feel a lot better if you talk about it. So why don't you talk about it?"
And I go
"NO I don't want to, I'm okay! I'll figure it out myself!"
But they just keep bugging me
They just keep bugging me and it builds up inside

So you're gonna be institutionalized
You'll come out brainwashed with bloodshot eyes
You won't have any say
They'll brainwash you until you see their way

I'm not crazy!
Institutionalized
You're the one that's crazy!
Institutionalized
You're driving me crazy!
Institutionalized

They stuck me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect from the enemy myself

I was in my room, and I was just like, staring at the walls thinking about everything
But then again I was thinking about nothing, and then my mom came in
And I didn't even know she was there
She called my name and I didn't hear her
Then she started screaming, "Amanda! Amanda!"
And I go, "What? What's the matter?"
She goes, "What's the matter with you?"
I go, "There's nothing wrong, mom"
She goes, "Don't tell me that, you're on drugs!"
I go, "No mom, I'm not on drugs, I'm okay, I'm just thinking, you know? Why don't you get me a Pepsi?"
She goes, "NO! You're on drugs!"
I go, "Mom, I'm okay, I'm just thinking"
And she goes, "NO! You're not thinking you're on drugs! Normal people don't act that way!"
I go, "Mom, just get me a Pepsi, please? All I want's a Pepsi"
And she wouldn't give it to me, all I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi
And she wouldn't give it to me, just a Pepsi!

They give you a white shirt with long sleeves
Tied around your back, you're treated like thieves
Drug you up because they're lazy
It's too much work to help a crazy

I'm not crazy!
Institutionalized
You're the one that's crazy!
Institutionalized
You're driving me crazy!
Institutionalized

I'm sitting in my room, and my mom and my dad came in
They pulled up a chair and they sat down
They go, "Amanda, we need to talk to you"
And I go, "Okay, what's the matter?"
They go
"Me and your mom, we've been noticing lately you've been having a lot of problems, and you've been going off for no reason, and we're afraid you're gonna hurt somebody, and we're afraid you're gonna hurt yourself, so we decided that it would be in your best interest, if we put you in a place where you could get the help that you need"
And I go
"Wait! What are you talking about? WE decided?! MY best interest?! How do YOU know what MY best interest is? How can YOU say what MY best interest is? What are you trying to say, I'M crazy?! When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities! So how can you say I'm crazy?!

They say they're gonna fix my brain
Alleviate my suffering and my pain
But by the time they fix my head
Mentally I'll be dead

I'm not crazy!
Institutionalized
You're the one that's crazy!
Institutionalized
You're driving me crazy!
Institutionalized

It doesn't matter, I'll probably get hit by a car anyway


Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher

Institutionalized (Suicidal Tendencies cover) song meanings
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    My InterpretationIt's a trip inside the head of some already sliding down a long road of narcissism. Man, I like I met her (not the singer, but the one she's performing) back when she was still in high school -- raging, raging just like that. I watched her screaming at her mom, calling her a bitch because it was her mom's "job" to take care of her, to give her what she needed, but not to run her "fuckin" life.

    Now, twenty-five years later, she's sucking at the nipple of the very State she claims to hate, brain-damaged, unable to even achieve a real high, talking the same way to her own kids that she did to her mother. Until they started going crazy and had to be pulled away before they ended up dead or sold for sex to get a few more bucks for drugs ... well actually we were a bit too late getting to the five year old boy.

    Without the music, the words are almost ambiguous -- maybe the girl's right and the parents are totally clueless violators of her existence; maybe the mom's right and the girl is totally clueless, already seeing through the warped lens of whatever she happens to be on at the moment.

    The point is, true vision or not, the girl herself means it.

    But with the music, with the hysteria she is unable to control, there is too little doubt. Sure, be treated like you're insane can make you insane; but that's not what the deeper message of the lyrics imply. No one's keeping her trapped there. There's a few hundred million people out there selling burgers and fries or whatever else in order to have the right to get out of their parents' house; the fact that she doesn't says a lot about the girl.

    The sad thing is she'll actually win a lot of the first rounds, or appear to. She'll get out of the institution. The girl I'm thinking of certainly managed to, within a matter of weeks. The illusion of sobriety, of keeping it together is easy to maintain at first, especially when the price appears to be your freedom.

    But she'll be singing those same lyrics to her boy friend or girl friend, then to the next one after that, and after that.

    I actually think the song would be stronger by building up longer, working up through the stages of alienation, of choices. There should be at least five sections instead of just the three.
    danskoyon April 04, 2015   Link

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