"The Nobodies" as written by and Brian/lowery Warner....
Today I'm dirty
And I want to be pretty
Tomorrow, I know I'm just dirt
Today I'm dirty
And I want to be pretty
Tomorrow, I know I'm just dirt

We are the nobodies
Wanna be somebodies
When we're dead
They'll know just who we are
We are the nobodies
Wanna be somebodies
When we're dead
They'll know just who we are

Yesterday I was dirty
Wanted to be pretty
I know now that I'm forever dirt
Yesterday I was dirty
Wanted to be pretty
I know now that I'm forever dirt

We are the nobodies
Wanna be somebodies
When we're dead
They'll know just who we are
We are the nobodies
Wanna be somebodies
When we're dead
They'll know just who we are

Some children died the other day
We fed machines and then we prayed
Puked up and down in morbid faith
You should have seen the ratings that day
Some children died the other day
We fed machines and then we prayed
Puked up and down in morbid faith
You should have seen the ratings that day

We are the nobodies
Wanna be somebodies
When we're dead
They'll know just who we are
We are the nobodies
Wanna be somebodies
When we're dead
They'll know just who we are
We are the nobodies
Wanna be somebodies
When we're dead
They'll know just who we are
We are the nobodies
Wanna be somebodies
When we're dead
They'll know just who we are


Lyrics submitted by Ice

"The Nobodies" as written by Brian Hugh Warner John Lowery

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Peermusic Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Nobodies song meanings
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  • +4
    General Commentthe "some children died the other day..." line is referring to the way the media handled the columbine incident. america fed the corporate machine then they prayed for the victims, he saying that its all wrong. they shouldnt have faith in the american government. "you should have seen the ratings that day" - showing that america has the wrong approach to tragedies like this. they just plaster it all over TV in order to get the ratings, they dont actually care about the victims, they just want the gory details.
    kellioon May 10, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think hirotheavatar hit it on the head with the meaning of this song. The media has made death very impersonal. Whether it is a school massacre or a suicide, when the nobodies die (for whatever reason it may be) people are shocked,... but then the people just pray for the nobodies and quickly forget them, moving on with their lives as if it was just a bad dream.

    The media plasters it all over the tv in order to increase their ratings... now these tragedies are just another day. People are desensitized now and they may feel sorrow over the nobodies, but it just doesn't hit home. They don't care cause it isn't effecting them... its just another news reel.

    This song actually hits home with me. I can relate to it a lot, cause I was a nobody in high school who was very suicidal. I felt like nobody else understood me and did not see me for who I truly was. I was bullied extremely bad (I mean, kicked down fire escape stares, had books slammed against my head, etc, not just called names and stuff) and was suicidal cause of it. I felt dirtier and dirtier every day that went by.

    I kept thinking to myself, "I bet if I blew out my brains, then these fxckers would finally see me." It's not that I wanted recognition for my death, I just wanted them to see me for what I was (someone in extreme pain), and not who they thought I was (which was just some kid who 'knew they were joking').
    Tenkuhon August 24, 2008   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis has been stated in previous comments but I wanted to put together a concise (whoops, not anymore) summary of both what I feel and others thought.

    The main verse section sets the stage for the feelings that the song embodies. Being an outcast, bullied, lonely, that's how the nobody feels. As the days pass by (which is symbolized by the repeats of the verse), the nobody begins to fall spiral deeper and deeper into these feelings resulting in an incredibly bleak outlook on life (Feeling dirty). At first the nobody feels positive that things will change in the future (I want to be pretty) but then those feelings change (wanted to be pretty) as the nobody feels that his case is hopeless. He comes to the conclusion that he will be forever dirt. This state of depression can result in violent behavior, whether it be self harm or the harm of others. I feel Manson is not only referencing Columbine here, but also trying to flesh out how any person who is bullied may feel. They may not take it to the extreme of Columbine, but they may have suicidal thoughts or thoughts of killing others. After spending their whole life beat down, they loose their sense of purpose and feel that the only way they can be heard is to commit violent acts loud enough to catch someone's attention.
    The middle section of the song (Starting "Two children died the other day") I believe breaks out of the character of the nobody, and begins a commentary on how Marilyn feels about the state of the media and how it affects the nobodies. The media in all their broadcasting of violence sends the message that doing something loud enough will get you attention from the people around you or even the world, if you are drastic enough. These people have reached a point where they don't care if what they do is seen negatively, they just want to hurt people and be heard. They want to show people that they are so incredibly damaged that they will do whatever it takes to come out on top and be heard (in their eyes). I do not feel that Marilyn is promoting these sorts of actions, but rather bringing to light that he thinks no one should be surprised when it comes to this. I also feel that this song intends to create some sort of awareness of those around you - you never know when someone will snap, and we should all be proactive in listening to others and helping them through the feelings that the nobodies feel.
    One motif in this section of the song, the reference of religion with "...and then we prayed" and "puked up and down in morbid faith" is (I think) bringing out the phenomenon where people begin practicing religion only when confronted by death but later forget. Someone dies, they begin to adopt a false sense of religion and pray, then after time passes, they drop it again only to pick it up when another trial is encountered. I think he is trying to point out the hypocrisy in such actions where they seemingly become spiritual to try and look better and cast the blame on others. The media loves to adopt similar practices - not necessarily becoming religious, but acting as though they care on a personal rather than empathetic level about the tragedies that have passed. I am not sure on this though.
    Finally, he points out how the TV secretly loves these situations - everyone tunes into the news to learn about the latest development in the tragedy, to get another point to gossip about. The ratings rise. I think this is sort of the punchline of this section. Before, we had this false sense of care from the media for those affected by the tragedy, and now we see the selfishness employed by the media in exploiting these tragedies for money. A media that truly respected those affected by the tragedy wouldn't swoop in to interview the parents of the victims, wouldn't stake out at the funerals of those who died, and wouldn't televise the violent acts. I find their actions incredibly disrespectful and self serving in a time where we should be really evaluating how we can be making a difference to those around us who may be feeling the same way and be inspired in a very morbid sense to do something awful.
    Repetition and tense seem to be very purposeful in this song. Since there are so few unique words, I feel that each word matters, and that includes the tense. We can see the progression from hopeful to bleak just by the change of tense in a few lines. The repetition I think really drives home not only that this is something that happens over time, but also has a sense of it happening over and over. There will continue to be occurrences just like Columbine, and chances are the reactions are going to be the same.
    I really think that Marilyn Manson's work can be perceived as very dark by people who don't listen to his music closely, and this song is no exception with it's talk of death and depression. However, I feel he writes these songs not to inspire us to go down that same route, but to inspire us to make changes to those around us and really think about what we do and how it can affect people. I think that is the biggest thing to take away from this song - not that the media exploits people, not that people commit violence to become famous, or any of the corruption that goes along with that because in the end, one person can't bring change to those things and there will always be people doing unethical things for money and fame. What we can bring change to is those around us and create a more positive atmosphere in the areas that we are in, and remind people that they are important by listening and helping them get through hard times in their life, even when it doesn't benefit ourselves.
    -Rawrishly
    Rawrishlyon March 08, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEXACTLY LOGAN! You hit it on the dot. You are what he is talking about. People who don't care.

    There are so many "nobodies" in the world, no one really cares about them or notices them. They want to be something, to be noticed. They know they are nothing though. When THEY die no one cares, it doesn't effect them. They say some prayers and go on. The only thing people care about when someone dies is if they can get enough coverage of the deaths to get ratings.

    You are a perfect example of a souless person. You don't care and to me that means you feel nothing. I pray for you.
    hirotheavitaron July 21, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can't interpret this song anymore because everyone's got basically my ideas.

    But the whole
    "Today I am dirty
    I want to be pretty"
    Thing means, maybe the outcast [obv Dyl & Eric in this case] wanted to be seen as something more than disgusting dirty vermin, and that the "pretty" thing was idk.. Being treated equally? But tomorrow it'll be the same.

    "We are the nobodies
    we wanna be somebodies
    when we're dead,
    they'll know just who we are"
    - Like most say, nobody notices you until you're dead.

    "Yesterday I was dirty
    wanted to be pretty
    I know now that I'm forever dirt"
    - Yesterday I was an outcast, who wanted to be looked at differently, like something pretty, but I know that that's never going to change.

    "Some children died the other day
    we fed machines and then we prayed
    puked up and down in morbid faith
    you should have seen the ratings that day"
    - That's going along with feeding your stories to the media about the Columbine thing [or any school shooting for that example] They fed the media, they prayed for a difference and they're only doing that being of the killings. "Morbid faith" might mean only praying to whatever god there is when someone is killed.


    Idk, it's really late here and my head's a bit jihdfdsljdhkus but yeah. This remains to single handedly be the best Manson song in existence for me. He's been my hero since I was 9 years of age, and I can proudly say that.
    C0m4.Wh1t3on May 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmarilyn manson wrote this song about eric harris and dan klebold. this is fact.

    the lyrics: "Some children died the other day / We fed machines and then we prayed / Puked up and down in morbid faith / You should have seen the ratings that day" are criticizing the media.

    manson said that if he had gotten the chance to speak with harris and klebold "I wouldn't say a single word to them — I would listen to what they have to say, and that's what no one did."
    domsammichon October 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI remember a snippet in his "Bowling for Columbine" inverview where he was asked what he'd say to the kids of he met them. He said something like: "I wouldn't say anything - I would listen to them..." I had already started to like Marilyn Manson, but that was one of the most profound things I'd ever heard a famous person say, and ever since then, I have been a die-hard fan and supporter of his. MM is very intelligent, well-spoken, calm under fire, and if he ran for President, I'd vote for him... ;) well, maybe kidding about that, but I do like and admire him.
    bckmon April 16, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWell, it kinda pissed me off the fact of that everyone moved inmediatly to the brigde to talk about tha columbine shit, and almost noone took the time to look at the verses

    "Today, i'm dirty
    I want to be pretty
    Tomorrow, i'll know, i'm just dirt

    What i see here, is someone who feels bad about himself, doesn't matter what, and does something to become "pretty", losing with this his humanity, first he was dirty, but then, he lost himself, and only the dirt was left.

    The Bridge it's obviously about television, but not exactly the columbine, i think, even if manson said it was, clever publicity stunt by him, but when we talk about "the kids" we talk about someone young, who's still not corrupted by our shitty society, we talk about something pure, and i guess that's what manson wanted to say.

    Manson is awesome, just awesome <3
    debsakon October 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthat we are all worthless
    justdelegardon February 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentColumbine surely?
    MaximGon February 22, 2002   Link

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