"Fooling Yourself (the Angry Young Man)" as written by and Tommy Shaw....
You see the world through your cynical eyes
You're a troubled young man I can tell
You've got it all in the palm of your hand
But your hand's wet with sweat and your head needs a rest

And you're fooling yourself if you don't believe it
You're kidding yourself if you don't believe it
Why must you be such an angry young man
When your future looks quite bright to me
How can there be such a sinister plan
That could hide such a lamb, such a caring young man

You're fooling yourself if you don't believe it
You're kidding yourself if you don't believe it
Get up, get back on your feet
You're the one they can't beat and you know it
Come on, let's see what you've got
Just take your best shot and don't blow it

You're fooling yourself if you don't believe it
You're killing yourself if you don't believe it
Get up, get back on your feet
You're the one they can't beat and you know it
Come on, let's see what you've got
Just take your best shot and don't blow it


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Fooling Yourself (the Angry Young Man)" as written by Tommy Shaw

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThis is also one of my favorite Styx songs. The intro is great but I think it's a little long (it's just over 1 and a half minutes). I really doubt the masterbation metaphor was intentional. "You've got it all in the palm of your hand But your hand's wet with sweat and your head needs a rest " - he's simply describing someone who has worked themself to exhaustion, and in the context it's used, he's not talking about masterbation. "You're the one they can't beat and you know it" - again he's saying that you are the best at whatever you do and you know it. Nothing more to it.

    The song is about getting yourself back on your feet after failure or stressful times. "Just take your best shot and don't blow it" - give life another shot and learn from your mistakes.
    flatland2don April 02, 2005   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningI can't be certain of this, but I think Tommy Shaw once said in an interview that Dennis DeYoung was the inspiration for this song. It seems that Dennis was a perfectionist & was getting himself too wound up. So the song was Tommy's way of telling him to lighten up & not be so hard on himself. It makes sense to me. This is one of my favorites by Styx. Love the intro & the synth solos.
    rockinazon April 28, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely one of my favourite Styx songs. The keyboard with guitar intro is a masterpiece.
    Karlon May 10, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA masterpiece indeed, and good advice to a lot of musicians these days.
    Thunderbolton April 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes i love it as well
    PINKFLOYDFAN101on February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGillusion, you perv!
    Anyhoo, I didn't like it at first because it made me think of those annoying "think positive" optimists...but now I listen to this song whenever I'm in a bad mood, and need inspiration...
    AyeAyeReturnson September 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGillusion nice thinking there and flatland the intro isn't long enough for me..
    kfe2on February 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI guess after listening to Pink Floyd so much this intro doesnt seem so long. I think it just helps to aptly set the tone

    The masturbation metahpor might be a stretch but this song does do a great job of describing social frustration associated with teenage males and how they can feel trapped or needing to make a mark...often leading to a destructive path
    legendary55on April 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits definitely not about masturbation. how could a young man be angry about masturbating?
    quesomanon June 13, 2013   Link
  • -2
    General CommentDefinately one of Styx's most distinct intros...one that makes you stop and listen. Pity that the metaphor of masturbation is everywhere in the song (palm of your hand, head needs a rest, can't beat don't blow it.)
    gillusionon February 17, 2005   Link

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