I've got respect from the community
I've got my bridge game to look forward to
I've got this chance, a golden opportunity
As long as I keep doing what I'm supposed to

You see my wife and kids, they depend on me
To provide them with nothing but the best
I feel it's my duty, my obligation
to live up to the standards society suggusts

So I'll keep on working for their benefit
And I'll keep on drinking
I'll keep on believing in my life

Another year of slaving and smiling, buying and trading
Living the life of a wealthy man
But somehow I don't feel so rich inside
But that doesn't make sense
I just had a two week vacation
As soon as I get this operation
taken care of, I'll start enjoying
the good things in life

So I'll keep on working for the benefits
And I'll keep on drinking
I'll keep believing in my life

When the pity spins your mind,
Darkness fills your heart,
And I won't be around
When you're feeling all alone
Then you'll know it's time,
To go into the ground

When the pity spins your mind,
Darkness fills your heart,
And I won't be around

I've got my family, friends, and associates
To stand by me as the threshold comes near
Within their faces I see grave concern
As I ask myself if their thoughts are sincere

After all these years of being complacent
What do I get? Tenderness, affection, a true sense of love?
No! Just a pain through a body chalk full of regret

I'll keep on believing my life still has value
And I'll keep on laughing
Why can't I stop laughing? I can't stop the laughing.


Lyrics submitted by AtomicGarden

The Death Of John Smith song meanings
Add your thoughts

10 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentWhen the pity spins your mind,
    Darkness fills your heart,
    And I won't be around
    When you're feeling all alone
    Then you'll know it's time,
    To go into the ground

    Best part in the whole song!
    nazipunksfuckoffon August 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbah, this whole song is great, first nofx song i heard, and is still one of my favorite songs from em
    Sk8Er55on September 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah it's really good, showing thir roots, too mutch tech though but the lyrics are just so good... I rwally like the title, John Smith is the avarage "succeded" amarican right?
    Marrrtinon April 22, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song, greater band!
    nstempon March 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeh John Smith is like the name for the generic examplke LOL or something like that.... so the average american... I guess in the song the guy tried so hard to become what society sees as a "successful, happy man" And in the end he realised how stupid it was that he didn't just have fun when he had a chance to... Well that's what I think it's about...
    Sliceon March 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds like somone who feels that he's living for everyone else and not really himself. He becomes an alchoholic 'cause he can't cope with his life. I'm sure alot of us put on a smile and kiss some ass just to live another day, but really it's not ideal. This does sound like the "successful" American though.. Compromising yourself just to be labeled a "success".
    nstempon March 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe he commits suicide in the end.

    "When the pity spins your mind,
    Darkness fills your heart,
    And I won't be around
    When you're feeling all alone
    Then you'll know it's time,
    To go into the ground*"

    *go into the grounds pretty self explanatory, hes buried, cuz hes dead, why? probably cuz he killed himself, also the title stating "the DEATH of john smith" kinda reflects that theory too.
    basstardon July 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor me, this song was the moment NOFX hit their stride. Ribbed was an awesome album, very raw, funny, quasi-political, a different kind of sound. But The Longest Line into White Trash into Punk in Drublic to me is when NOFX was absolutely untouchable. I was like 13-16 for the span of these three albums, and they along with some other classic albums from some other classic bands really meant something to me through my formative years. The first time I heard the Death of John Smith, I was hooked to that sound. Different from what they had been doing up to that point. It sounded cleaner, more produced but in a good way. It was more complex, dare I say it more mature. Groundbreaking really. Nofx basically created New School Punk. Bad Religion, Operation Ivy, The Descendents all had a hand in it too, but it was those vocals. Fat Mike's vocal and the harmonies that really defined the sound. Every punk band making a living on the radio since that time has owed a huge chunk of their sound to NOFX, from Blink 182 to Sum 41, to Fall Out Boy. The Longest Line was the first time that sound as it exists today was heard.
    And the first time I listened to those lyrics, fuhgedaboutit. They always reminded me of my father and exactly what I didn't want to do with my life.
    Fucking excellent.
    R2kon January 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is about someone who worked hard at a business for many years, got rich, and eventually died. before he died he realized that there was really no point to being rich or working hard because your just gonna die anyway. hefe is awesome. it shows in this song.
    mtvhatredon April 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is simply awsome,
    I guess it about people who works their ass off all their lives then somehow feel nothing... until they die, then they realise that they could've done some much other things.
    All the word flows in this song, like many other nofx songs but my favorite part is

    So I'll keep on working for the benefits
    And I'll keep on drinking
    I'll keep believing in my life
    then

    I'll keep on believing my life still has value
    And I'll keep on laughing
    Why can't I stop laughing? I can't stop the laughing.

    Yeah, why can't he stop laughing? 'cause he's dying and he understand how pointless his live have been as a corporate whore...
    djakkuon November 01, 2006   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