"The Burn" as written by and Rob Thomas....
I thought about
Leaving but I couldn't even get outta bed
I'm hangin' cause I couldn't get a ride outta town
Now anyone who really wanted me to be down
Come 'round

Thought about
Singin' but I couldn't remember all of the words
Breakin' but I couldn't get the pieces apart
Laughin' never knowing what the joke was about

Now I'm down
And I wonder how I never got the burn
And if I'm ever gonna learn
How lonely people make a life
One strain at a time

Forgot about
Everything and everyone I needed before
Tryin' to get a handle on a reason to shine
Pickin' up the pieces that are falling behind takes time

So I wonder how I never got the burn
And if I'm ever gonna learn
How lonely people make a life
One strain at a time and still shine

And I wonder how I never got the burn
And if I'm ever gonna learn
How lonely people make a life
One strain at a time

And I wonder how I never got the burn
And if I'm ever gonna learn
How lonely people make a life
One strain at a time and still shine



Lyrics submitted by punkmebabygal

"The Burn" as written by Rob Thomas

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Burn song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI thought this song was about someone who couldn't connect with anyone on an emotional level. He see's people getting upset and crying and having real emotions, and he can't feel their emotions, and because of this, he gets upset. He wanders around and he doesn't know the meaning of things anymore. I'm probably wrong, but that's just what I thought.
    Unconquered Sunon March 18, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYeah, I think Unconquered Sun was right. It's about not being able to connect emotionally. He never gets "the burn", that overwhelming passion. He can't feel anything at all "I thought about leaving but I couldn't even get out of bed", etc. He wonders "if I'm ever gonna learn how lonely people make a life" because he doesn't know how lonely people make a life, or how he'll make a life. Essentially, he's a numb mess.
    feaadon December 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentto me this song is about those times when eveything sucks and nothing goes right, when it seems like u cant get past whatever is making u depressed and move on. thats just what i think though. i love the line "breakin but i couldnt get the pieces apart"!
    applejuicyon June 06, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentnote: it's "for the sake of our sanities"
    verbaljujitsuon June 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentUnconquered Sun: Perfect. Absolutely perfect. I don't know how you feel about astrology or anyone else, for that matter, but Rob Thomas has the same birthday as an ex of mine (Aquarius) and with your explanation for this song it makes utter sense.

    They're so far detached from the world (or even society as a whole and how it's supposed to act, etc.) that they're practically outsiders, watching everyone else break down or out or whatever, and not knowing why they don't. Or can't, or won't: whichever applies to the individual. Some question it, some accept it and others fight against it and overcompensate. The moment emotion takes over, or 'The Burn', as he calls it at this particular time. Mike Patton's lyrics (of Faith No More) also ring of this detached state of being as well. But in the case of this song, full agreement with Unconquered Sun. ^__^


    T.
    trinity_tragedyon November 28, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this song is about someone that is depressed, maybe is in a small town, is not sure what to do with his life and smokes weed to cope. By smoking he alleviates the pain and delays the decision in the short term, but by doing so prolongs the issues he's ultimately wanting to fix and figure out.

    Lyrics with interpretation:

    "I thought about
    Leaving but I couldn't even get outta bed
    I'm hangin' cause I couldn't get a ride outta town
    Now anyone who really wanted me to be down
    Come 'round"

    He wants to leave but his depression makes it hard for him to act (he stays in bed). He may not have any financial or material means to leave this small town he's trying to escape, so he might as well hang out with the same familiar faces of deadbeats, dealers, etc that he's ultimately trying to escape from.


    "Thought about
    Singin' but I couldn't remember all of the words
    Breakin' but I couldn't get the pieces apart
    Laughin' never knowing what the joke was about"

    He got some weed from the dealers, now he's high. He is forgetful, slow, and laughing, all symptoms when using weed (for me anyway). At this stage he's relaxed, calm, and not thinking about anything but enjoying being high. It's the relief he seeks.

    "Now I'm down
    And I wonder how I never got the burn
    And if I'm ever gonna learn
    How lonely people make a life
    One strain at a time"

    He's coming down from the high and facing his reality (depression, stuck in life, etc). He feels guilty for smoking instead of doing something about his situation. Smoking alone can be a lonely life, just like drinking alone. Every time he says he won't do it again, yet tomorrow he will be doing the same thing. The habit has already formed but the conflict is still there - he wants to change yet sticks to his routine saying, I'll stop after this strain of weed is finished.

    "Forgot about
    Everything and everyone I needed before
    Tryin' to get a handle on a reason to shine
    Pickin' up the pieces that are falling behind takes time"

    Now he's smoking another bowl to think through his situation. Forget has a double meaning here, he wants to forget everything, everyone and start over again in life while one impact of weed makes you forgetful in the short term and you often can't remember what you thought while high, even if it is a life changing revelation, sort of like waking up from a dream - it fades quickly.

    His depression is showing here though, while he wants to escape, he's trying to figure out what's the point - no matter what he does it will fail. The time reference is also a double meaning - "it will take too long, why try?" and while under the influence you lose track of time, similar to life - time has gone by and before you know it you are 40 with no wife, no career and still stuck in the same town with the same faces, which is what he's trying to avoid (he sees what he'll become in those face around town).

    "So I wonder how I never got the burn
    And if I'm ever gonna learn
    How lonely people make a life
    One strain at a time and still shine

    And I wonder how I never got the burn
    And if I'm ever gonna learn
    How lonely people make a life
    One strain at a time

    And I wonder how I never got the burn
    And if I'm ever gonna learn
    How lonely people make a life
    One strain at a time and still shine"

    Burn here is his motivation, or more precisely his lack thereof and means smoking (burning his weed). To me the repeating chorus at the end means he still continuous his pattern day after day. Wants to do something different, move, get a girl, etc but he can't or won't and continuous his pattern day after day, ultimately becoming what he fears.
    lunlumoon February 08, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTHIS is my favorite MB20 song.
    vandalizedon May 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is pretty awesome.
    zacsteron July 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this about just kind of lounging around because no one wants to pay attention to you. one of those days where you just kind of feel depressed but that the next day will be better because he kn0ows someone will remember him. he talks about how he "never got the burn" and "how lonely people make a life" so he doesnt exactly know what is like to be lonely.
    catycali83on July 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about someone who feels like his life isn't really working. It seems like everything is going wrong and he's just starting to notice all these problems that he didn't see before.
    sweet_jealousyon September 02, 2002   Link

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