"Generator" as written by and Brett Gurewitz....
Like a rock,
Like a planet,
Like a fucking atom bomb,
I'll remain unperturbed by the joy and the madness

That I encounter everywhere I turn
I've seen it all before
In book and magazines
Like a twitch before dying
Like a pornographic sea
There's a flower behind the window

There's an ugly laughing man
Like a hummingbird in silence
Like the blood on the door
It's the generator
Oh yeah, oh yeah, like the blood on my door

Wash me clean and I will run
Until I reach the shore
I've known it all along
Like the bone under my skin
Like actors in a photograph
Like paper in the wind

There's a hammer by the window
There's a knife on the floor
Like turbines in darkness
Like the blood on my door
It's the generator

Lyrics submitted by IagainstI

"Generator" as written by Brett Gurewitz

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Generator song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentAccording to "The Answer" (a list of correspondence with BR and answers to many not-so-frequently asked questions) the Generator is a metaphor for God. Brett: "The vibe that I'm trying to give is like, if you've ever been in a room and the air conditioner's humming. You don't notice it, of course, because it's a constant hum. Then it turns off and you suddenly notice how quiet it is because it went away. That's the generator; it's just behind everything. It's funny, God and spirituality has been the central conflict of my entire life".

    dropkick34on June 15, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti agree with most of the above but no one has really pointed out anything about the structure.

    "There's a flower by the window" and
    "There's a hammer by the window"

    are juxtaposed in the sense that they are in the same place in verse one and two.

    now what would you think of doing with a hammer and a window.

    which leaads me to the slightly more sinister
    "There's an ugly laughing man" and
    "There's a knife on the floor"

    this kindof implies that the natural thing is to stab the man.


    fuckin excellent song though
    robzstyleon April 15, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen I first heard this song.. I nearly cried...cuz it was so good... <.< why are you all looking at me like that?
    KattHikarioftheTurkson March 07, 2003   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThe generator is the mysterious force that manifests the physical laws responsible for our reality.
    justinsane86on November 05, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is excellent. I have a live version of it that kicks ass. I interpret it different, and obviously not in the way that bad religion meant it to be interpreted. To me, it's like there is a presence that is always there. Actually, now that I think about it, my interpretation doesn't make too much sense..
    myownprison333on July 04, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWell, if you've seen the "Along the Way" DVD, the Bad Religion sign is actually against all institutions that limit and control thought, which include (but are not limited to) religion, nationalistic views, etc.

    And the God theme may be prominent in this song too. The beginning "like a rock..." could refer to a God who is apathetic to all the stuff that happens in this world because he/she's seen it all before and it's nothing new to them.
    It may also be about a desenisitized public who has seen everything before, so it stops affecting them, but that theory is real loose, for me at least.
    Gepettoon June 29, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou know what... Its a little off track but in reference to BR being religious or not... Slayer admitted that amongst all the lyrics they write/sing denouncing religion GOD etc they must have some sort of beleif in God (god if you will) and the devil (satan or whatever) as there constantly harping on about it. Tom said they could'nt very well say they were atheists considering their lyrics. IMO BR might be in the same category... Perhaps beleiving in a higher power but fed up with "Religion" as it is branded in our society... I beleive in God/ jesus etc but am no way religious... figure that one ppl. "Religion" gives ppl with faith a bad name.....
    Tricky1979on March 20, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationTL;DR - it's a song about being afraid to leave your comfort zone; probably agoraphobia; definitely not about a murder

    The first stanza, the guy is stoic. Like a rock - he's not moving. Like a Planet - he's REALLY not moving - like a fucking atom bomb - all that mass is becoming a dangerous force.

    The second stanza, he's depressed - possibly because nothing can make him feel? He's seen it all before - from the first movements of life (in an orgy) to the end of life. It's illustrating his situation, plumbing the depths of his stoicism.

    The hummingbird and the ugly laughing man are things behind the window. There's a world outside that is being analyzed, calculated through the window. The ugly man (a person he should be superior to) is laughing. This ugly person is doing something he can't.

    Blood on the door? All I can think of is Passover, the blood protects your house from the angel of death. Ergo - he's afraid of something outside! Something is keeping him inside.
    He's afraid to go outside and there's a world out there he only sees through the window. But the blood keeps out the bad things (in passover) but if he washes it, it will still be there. This is cool because if you wash it - it will run. It doesn't get clean. He can't leave. He's trapped by this fear.

    Wash me clean and I will run until I reach the shore - is also a nice play on words! If he could only escape he would run away!! Washing him clean, probably means helping him overcome his fears which are trapping him inside.

    I've known it all along - The next 3 things are witnessed by their action. You know they are there, but you can't see them. Well, except for actors - you know they're not real, but you can see them - so, I suppose that's a reverse description.

    The hammer by the window is a means of escape (breaking the window).
    The knife on the floor is a means to escape (suicide).
    He's only got two options if he wants his situation to change.

    I think the turbines in darkness suggests the power to do something is constantly working. He's motivated to do something. He's tormented!

    the blood on the door is his protection, but because he's scared to go out it's also his lock.

    The generator is his will to act. Stifled by his prison.
    leemodon January 31, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song it's about american consumerism, he says that we are its generator and its slaves

    Through the song he explains his struggle with consumerism and how he runs away from it and avoid it.
    roswellcvson April 16, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdropkick34 knows what hes taking about, i never really quite understoond this song but I knew it was somehow about god because the "like the blood on my door" line and that has to do with moses (I come from a religiously opressed family)
    SongMeaningson July 03, 2002   Link

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