"The Bag" as written by and Mike Burkett....
Endless evenings of non-exist
Are getting shorter, monotonous
Like an intruder, I belong outside
Although I find myself right back
The place I was before
Saying things I've say once more

There's no reason for me to be here, no
I feel so lonesome surrounded by friends
Who are talking about me, saying things
I could care less about
This dialogue is without
Worth, content, significance
Conversational ambivalence
Hear the same things every night,
It just ain't right
I'm not the one to hold the bag

Give me something I can sink my teeth into
Show me a time, tell me a story
That I haven't heard a million times before
I pass out from boredom

As I watch the people pass
I see moments in their live, nothing fascinating
Are we all living for the past, never realizing
We're clinging to an empty bag
Lacking content, significance
Conversational ambivalence
Hear the same things every night,
It just ain't right
We'll see who's left holding the bag


Lyrics submitted by AtomicGarden

"The Bag" as written by Mike Burkett

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Bag song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentawesome song... i cant believe that nobody has posted about it yet... i wanna know what he means by "the bag". i get the vibe that in this song he is pondering the insignificance of life, or maybe he is bored with the things that once brought him joy. i dunno, i want other peoples opinions
    nofx_cyanideon February 26, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEveryone's interpretation is based on personal experience. For me, it's all about meth addiction. Literally every single sentence describes what the world of meth addiction is like.

    The first stanza is verbalizing how your whole life turns into a ritual of scoring and getting high. Even tho you're so tired and fed up with it, you just continue to repeat the same mistakes.

    The second stanza is about how it effects your relationships. When you're on meth you surround yourself with others who are as well. It not only allows you to openly use but to avoid the reality of how awful it is. But soon you start to get fed up. You start hearing the same stories over and over, you start to realize that your conversations are utterly meaningless bullshit, you're just trying to fill time with words. They're empty and meaningless. You start to realize that everyone is stabbing everyone else in the back, just because meth turns good people into monsters.

    The third short stanza is just a continuation of that though. You lose interest in utterly everything. You become listless. You feel like you could literally pass out from boredom.

    The last stanza is coming to the realization of the situation. You start to see very clearly how miserable and pathetic your life has become.

    The bag itself, to me, is both literal and metaphorical, as most NOFX lyrics are.

    The literal being a bag of speed. It's always empty or just about. There's never enough. And addicts tend to keep their used baggies for whatever reason, literally holding on to an empty bag.

    The metaphorical being, the bag represents emptiness. Most often, when people use, they are trying to fill a void in themselves. The sad irony is, meth just makes you more empty. You forget your dreams and your goals and your aspirations. Your life becomes consumed with getting your hands on that little bag. You start to realize that all that's in that bag, no matter how full of dope, it's really just filled with emptiness.

    Your life has now become an endless attempt at filling emptiness with more emptiness. And you see that no one else gets it. Once you do you start to HATE the bag. You realize that it's your enemy and your friends enemy. And no matter how much you try to explain this to them, until they have their own epiphany, it's pointless.

    Eventually I got off of dope and did so way before my friends did. This song was a very big motivation for me during recovery. The bag came to represent everything about meth addiction in my mind. I saw I was losing all of my friends and it's because they were clinging to an empty bag.

    Once some of them started to recover, I told them to listen to this song, they got it instantly. So all of us used to constantly say to each other, "don't be the one left holding the bag".

    Be the one who lets it go.
    timwins31on December 30, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about how it is being famous and allways in the centre of attention, people allways talking about how much they like your band and this and that record. Nothing new, no interesting conversations, just the same shallow admiring.

    I get the impression Fat Mike is a real clever and smart guy and this i him venting some angst on the issue that he's under-stimulated.
    Ellingtonon May 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah that makes alot of sense! i think u got it right
    nofx_cyanideon July 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite NOFX song!! I love it. I think this song is about the fact that he tries to see other people's lives but he does not find them very interesting.
    pmmon January 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song IMO is ftom the prespective of a guy who is tired of the same old routine every day. The same people to hang out with, talking or bitching about the same things every day. "Give me something i can sink my teeth into" is his yearning for something new or a change.
    The last verse is summing up that his/her group of friends is so used to their group comfortability that has been for so long (possibly childhood friends grown up). They're holding onto the past never realizing theyre clinging to the "empty bag".
    Empty bag being the friendship that has grown stale due to lack of ambition or something new to keep meaning, it still goes because its always been.
    bushybeardabeon August 02, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh, and at the end, it hints towards him moving on with his life, wondering who will follow his lead and move on to see who's trying to hold onto the past. We'll see whos left holding the bag.
    bushybeardabeon August 02, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFat Mike is a very intelligent guy. This song talks about when you suddenly realise that there is much more to life than just the same old shit day after day. It's clearly a spiritual enlightment. ; )
    Johnnycoolcomon March 19, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about the mainstream creeping into the underground. Signing bands that couldn't get arrested before Nirvana... It's about Punk Rock being Mainstreamed. Mike wrote "Dinosaurs Will Die" about the crumbling of Major Labels in 2000, at the beginning of the digital revolution.
    tranzparenon June 09, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe whole song is a metaphor.
    tranzparenon June 09, 2016   Link

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