"What A Scene" as written by and John Rzeznik....
When you're all wrong in the back of your mind again
How does it feel
When you drop down everything's all the same
Saccharine caffeine nicotine gum
Yeah it tastes sweet but it's not for long
And I just think you thought it would be
When you're looking for truth on the cover of a magazie
How does it feel
When you find out what you're not gonna be
They give you your image and the things you believe
Open your eyes tell me what did you see
And I just think you thought it surreal

How does it feel when you're out on your own
And now it's too late to come home
And it's hard to be free when you're down on your knees
Take it easy till you make it alone
Now you're a supermarket punk rock television comedy
Out on the scene
Yeah I bit down now there's no hand to feed
And all the beautiful images lining your wall
Pop radio screaming down the halls
Now you think you found something real
When it's all about money and the things that you need
Live a big lie and they all believe
Now I just find that somehow obscene

How does it feel when you're out on your own
And now it's too late to come home
And it's hard to be free when you're down on your knees
Take it easy till you make it alone
Take it easy till you make it alone
What a scene
Yeah
When it's been said before
And all been done
Take it easy till you make it alone
Take it easy till you make it alone


Lyrics submitted by WinterzEnd

"What a Scene" as written by John T Rzeznik

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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What A Scene song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song is really powerful for me because it summed up my life when I was battling an eating disorder, both at face value and in the deeper emotion of the song. I'm pretty sure bulimia's not what the GGD were singing about, but it fits so well that it's a little creepy. Some of the highlights:

    "when you drop down, everything's all the same" - on your knees, vomiting, just like the day, week, month before

    "Saccharine caffeine nicotine gum" - substitutes for food and energy

    "Yeah it tastes sweet but it's not for long" - need I explain?

    "When you're looking for truth on the cover of a magazine / How does it feel / When you find out what you're not gonna be" - seeing attractive models and celebrities everywhere you look, and being desperate to measure up to them

    "They give you your image and the things you believe" - the only thing that matters in your life becomes being thin, whether you want to feel that way or not

    "How does it feel when you're out on your own / And now it's too late to come home" - my disorder started in college, because I suddenly had all this time and freedom and loneliness, and before you know it, you're addicted because there's nothing and no one else in your life to stop you

    "And it's hard to be free when you're down on your knees" - again, addicted to the act of purging as strongly as one can be addicted to drugs. All you want in the world is to be free of your body, but now you're more fixated on it than ever

    "Now you're a supermarket punk rock television comedy / Out on the scene / Yeah I bit down now there's no hand to feed" - out of control, obsessed with mass media and your own failures, pushing people away so they don't stop you from your disorder

    "And all the beautiful images lining your walls / Pop radio screaming down the halls" - reminds me of my dorm room

    "Now you think you found something real" - binging/purging become all that matter in your world

    "When it's all about money and the things that you need" - binging and emetics costs a lot of money, but you need it like someone might need a hit of heroin

    "Live a big lie and they all believe" - oh, boy. Eventually, people noticed I was losing weight, and I had to hide my behaviors from them. I told them I did it all healthfully and naturally, and everyone believed me. They were constantly praising me, trying to imitate me, asking me for advice. I lied left and right.

    "When it's all been said before / And all been done" - it's a ritual, an obsession, an addiction.

    "Lies weigh more than truth / Innocence looks good on you / Now everybody wants to know your name" - what an ending. My binging got so severe that I started regaining weight even though I was vomiting twice and exercising for hours every day. I kept trying to hide from everyone, but they wouldn't leave me alone. I was the only one in my family who wasn't obese, and they just kept badgering and idolizing me until I truly thought suicide was the only way out. I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone the truth.

    This song doesn't promote bulimia; it's a devastatingly accurate look at the collapse of everything around you when it happens. If I hadn't gotten confidential, free therapy from my college, I wouldn't be here today. To this day, no one knows about this period in my life.

    Again, I know the GGD didn't set out to make it about an eating disorder. It just fits that interpretation very well in my eyes. Thanks for listening, everyone.
    elmtree211on January 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis sounds like he's disappointed in the person he's with, maybe because they've conformed to be the same as everybody else.
    stardropleton May 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about being a 'star'. Being a 'rock star' sounds good, seems to be the greatest thing on earth, but maybe it's just miserable to some. And maybe you've been waiting forever to become famous, and when you do, sometimes ,you really wish you weren't.
    bee_happyon June 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me this song sounds like someone really wanted a job and did loads of work for it but still cant get it
    'How does it feel When you find out what you're not gonna be'
    so now they are begging to try and get money or something
    'And it's hard to be free when you're down on your knees'
    because they are not able to go back and face their home since they failed. Just my opinion, what does everyone else think?
    binky_on_wheelson September 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI definitely think this song is all about the media and what it does to people... "When you're looking for truth on the cover of a magazine How does it feel
    When you find out what you're not gonna be" i think this gives it away because it's like the beauty magazines like "teen", "seventeen", etc. that have those quizzes that tell you who you are and who you aren't going to be... "They give you your image and the things you believe Open your eyes tell me what did you see " this also gives off the idea of how the media tries to show how an ideal person should be and the way people do anything to be "model perfect" but the guy singing the song wants to know how people are really affected by this. "When it's all about money and the things that you need Live a big lie and they all believe " everyone is convinced that in one way or another, money is an absolute necessity for success in life- and this image is shown through the media as well... and finally, "Lies weigh more than truth Innocence looks good on you
    Now everybody wants to know your name" shows how when you're the person that the media has been trying to mold you into, everyone wants to know you- which goes to show how fake people can be when it comes to caring about someone. This is just my interpretation, but it makes sense, eh?! ;)

    angel457non September 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment*applaudes angel 457n* Yay!! I understand what it meeans now!! aah this song rocks :D I love it!
    MimiGetsShoton September 16, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the powerhouse song on the Gutterflower album. It is filled with such intensity and emotion. Beautiful.
    LittleBriddieon April 18, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is the story of my life, out of everything GGD has done, this is one of my favorites and one I relate to. "When you're looking for truth on the cover of a magazine, How does it feel when you find out what you're not gonna be" This line is centered on the media and magazines that show you beautiful people who we will never become. "And all the beautiful images lining your walls. Pop radio screaming down the halls" I think this is about the celebrities and "American Idols" (which, I think we have far too many of, but anyways...) that have immense control over the lives and minds of the masses. "Now everybody wants to know your name" Ooh.. I love that! Great song. -Kel
    insomniarockson June 09, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about the pressures of society and how fare people will go just to claim their fame....kick ass song!
    diegorockusaon September 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentProbably describes a lot of peoples teenage years when you really didn't think for yourself. Basically wanting to be what the media pumps into your brain as being 'cool'. And the whole "how does it feel when you're out on your own..." is just being stubborn, wanting that freedom because it's cool to be indepentant of parents and such, but it's completely irrational as you have no means to make it by yourself. So relax and make the best of things.
    sleepfloweron October 22, 2004   Link

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