"Fleas" as written by and Mike Burkett....
My father used to say
You sleep with dogs the next day
You'll wake up in the bed scratching
Those inevitable fleas
At ten years old
You listen to what you're told
But I never felt the itch
I never would

My mother had forbidden me
To waste away my life
I want you to have all the things
I could never buy you
So don't stop what I'd begun
You're my one and only son
Follow what I say, not what I've done
Follow what I say, not what I've done

Shower, scrub, and shave
Cleanly boys don't misbehave

Follow what I say, not what I've done


Lyrics submitted by AtomicGarden

"Fleas" as written by Mike Burkett

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Fleas song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commenthis father is suck
    rippnerson May 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song means........ a kid with disapline will grow up successful
    DeloreanRider99on March 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song's about not passing on your bad habits to your children. The father obviously has done some bad things in his life that didn't come out for the better in the end. He's advising his son to follow what he knows what it right and not to mimic his own behavior.
    AmishNinjaon March 20, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah. telling his kid to do things otherwise he would be sleeping in the kennels with the dogs, but the kid dont wanna do that ("But I never felt the itch
    I never would") so he just stuck to his fathers rules ("follow what i say")
    also maybe that the father had bad habits (like wife beater? alcoholic?) cos of the line "Follow what I say not what I've done"

    AmishNinja has it pretty spot on tho i think!
    Halfdigestedon February 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is a tribute to his parents. His father wagiving him advice, "Don't sleep with the dogs or you'll catch their fleas", but he did it anyway, and found that his dad was wrong. "I never had the itch, I never would."

    His mother wanted him to succeed, "forbidden me to waste away my life." The line "I want you to have all the things I could never buy you" is a what she said to him. Actually, everything past the point in the song is a quote from his mother.

    He took all that advice, and became a successful musician. Maybe not exactly what they had in mind, but they are proud, anyway.

    To me, it is along a similar theme as "I Got No" by Op Ivy. "No reason I was going mad, I was hating my Mom and Dad, I was riding a sinking ship; Thank God I never did slip." Not exactly the same, but kinda similar, you know?
    mr13lckyon November 05, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIf you've paid attention to other songs by NOFX, then you know that Fat Mike didn't follow the advice given in this song from his mom or dad. But things have turned out pretty good anyway. This is useless advice given by a lot of parents. We all make bad choices from time to time. Learning from these mistakes is called growing up. "Fleas" is about advice on how to be perfect. And perfection isn't possible if you're human.
    kanoe13on July 09, 2012   Link

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