"Better Living Through Chemistry" as written by and Josh/oliveri Homme....
The blue pill opens your eyes
Is there a better way
A new religion prescribed
To those without the faith
The hero holding a knife
And blood is not enough
Is it too late to go back?
Is it too late to go?

There's no one here
And people everywhere, you're on your own

Let's see if I'm hearing this right
Is it just I should take
And never endings are glad
To carry out the dead
Your idols burn in the fire
The mob comes crawling out (take us down and out)
I'm reclaiming their minds
Destroying everyone

There's no one here
And people everywhere, you're all alone


Lyrics submitted by OwnPersonalDemon, edited by Jamface

"Better Living Through Chemistry" as written by Nick Oliveri Josh Homme

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

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Better Living Through Chemistry song meanings
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42 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentI believe this song is about modern society's dependence on medication, especially for happiness. The number of people on antidepressant drugs is huge.
    Hoaxon March 04, 2006   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThis song is certainly a social commentary on abuse of prescription medication (whether it is prescribed or not). The airy drone to the song certainly gives the feeling that you're floating on clouds, high as fuck...

    The last four lines remind me of Brave New World... only the people stop taking drugs and revolt

    And people have got to realize that the Red pill, Blue pill thing wasn't invented by the Matrix. The whole story of that movie is practically a study of Plato's Cave.
    PapaBrainon April 16, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentJosh: "I think lots of the things that deal with drugs in our music are misunderstood. Like, we have a song called Better Living Through Chemistry which is an anti-drug song. It's saying it's okay, [that] the government says it's okay, for you to take Prozac everyday, every single day, to feel better and feel absolutely numb. Don't smoke that joint, though, you! (points finger)"

    josh in interview [copy and pasted from thefade.net, the best unofficial QOTSA site there is]

    also, the line "There's no one here And people everywhere" is attributed to Bjork
    uncletommyon March 31, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti misinterpreted part of this song and like my version better:

    let's see if i'm hearing this right
    you suggest that i should take
    a never-ending supply
    to carry out the day

    fiddlesticks.
    fingergunon January 08, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI really like the bongo drums. I think they really differentiate this song from others. Not to mention, the opening guitar and bass riffs are extremely catchy. I think I'd have to agree with uncletommy in terms to the meaning of the song. Josh pretty much said it for himself.
    nolimit24on November 12, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti saw queens of the stone age the day before yesterday... and he said: "This song is about LSD."
    i'm not 100% sure if it was this song but i think so (first two lines).
    Karmapaxon July 01, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commentmy favorite thing about the queens is that they are not like all the cowering children of the war on drugs. they accept the responsibility of drug use and throw it in the faces of their fans. its about time musicians made drugs popular again.
    slushieon March 17, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentRight. Because Josh has always been so afraid to admit drug use in the past........... nope.
    VelvetEyeson October 24, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentabout the title:
    "The phrase "Better Living Through Chemistry" is a variant of a DuPont advertising slogan, "Better Things for Better Living...Through Chemistry." DuPont adopted it in 1939 and was their slogan until the 1980s when the "Through Chemistry" bit was dropped; in 1999 it was replaced by "The miracles of science".

    This phrase became popular as culture shifted from mod to hippie in the later half of the 1960s. Protesters would show up for a rally, perhaps to protest a chemical plant, wearing DuPont propaganda buttons, which bore this slogan, while high on LSD, Quaaludes or other man-made drugs.

    Protests in the 1960s didn't all revolve around the Vietnam War. Dow Chemical and DuPont were common targets, as people disliked the "artificiality" they represented, not to mention the fact that DuPont did manufacture napalm. But food preservatives, industrial pollution, nuclear establishments, and the prohibition of drugs were also common topics of protests.

    The phrase "Better Living Through Chemistry" was used on products that were not affiliated with DuPont to circumvent trademark infringement. This transmutation is now more commonly used than the original. This statement is used for commentary on several different topics, from the promotion of illegal drugs, to the praise of chemicals and plastics, to the criticism of the same, sarcastically.

    This phase is sometimes associated with Aldous Huxley's book Brave New World, though it does not actually appear in the text of the book."
    *From Wikipedia.com

    by the way Better Living Through Chemistry is also the name of FatBoy Slims 1996 album.
    JeffKaos71on March 12, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is definitely about prescription drugs. I mean, he uses the word "prescribe" in the song...how much more obvious can you get?

    "Those without the faith" would be those who are not "normal" per se; the depressed, the psychotic, the imbalanced.

    I'm not sure what "A hero holding a knife and blood is not enough" means. I suppose the hero could be someone who rejects mind-altering drugs, legal or illegal, and "self-medicates" by self-mutilation. The fact that it isn't enough may indicate that he's still spiralling into his insanities.

    The second verse on this site is totally wrong. I quote from qotsa.com:

    Let's see if I'm hearing this right
    You suggest I should take
    A never-ending supply
    To carry out the dead
    Your idols burn in the fire
    The mob comes crawling up
    I'm reclaiming my mind
    Destroying everyone
    Pellucidon February 17, 2006   Link

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