I can recall the warm youth of a summer day
The sweetest lemonade
The darkest game arcade
And billy had a yearning in the corner of his mind
It moved him secretly
It moved him powerfully
But prescience was lacking and the present was all
And his aptitudes were carelessly wasted
And challenging life with the abandon of a fool
He squandered the hours of his day

Then darkness and disorder slapped him sharply in the face
It hit him like a friend
Struck something deep within
He couldn't break the chain of slow decay that seemed to drag him
Just like a fatal tie
Toward the other side
And billy was a lunatic just barking at the moon
And his brain was totally wasted
He then exchanged his friends for a needle and a spoon
And he threw his future away

Bolt the door and throw away the key
Your dim reflection is all that you can see
So where is the justice when no one is at fault
And a human life is tragically wasted?
How fragile is the flame that burns within us all
To light each passing day?


Lyrics submitted by oofus

Billy Lyrics as written by Brett Gurewitz

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Billy song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +6
    General Comment

    What is wrong with you people? I can't even believe you are squabbling like children about WHO it is about. Does that matter? Almost all pieces of art are based on personal experiences, but the experience is not the point! The point is the question and the lesson.

    As was said, this is about a drug addict who fucked up and lost everything. But I'd like to direct your eyes to the bottom part.

    "So where is the justice when no one is at fault And a human life is tragically wasted? How fragile is the flame that burns within us all To light each passing day?"

    The drug addict NEVER makes it out of his addiction. So in this song it is questioned the strength of people versus the strength of addiction and temptation. And unlike when someone harms another where it is easy to see who is at fault, what happens when someone hurts themselves? Was he weak? Did his friends' fail him? Society?

    maxbenon May 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i dont think so, i think its about a friend he lost to drugs ("needle and a spoon"). kind of an anti-drug song.

    mindless62on April 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    no, this is about a friend. brett has said so himself many times.

    Chipper1048on July 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Its a personal song at least.

    I like it a lot, since one of my friends nearly went into drug addiction. And it reflects the descent into decay well

    weaselfierceon August 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I'm not sure who its about. It is very good though, and it seems a bit different than all their other songs...I'm not sure why...

    Madcappunkon August 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Chipper1048, if you are going make a comment about then at least know what you are talking about. Billy is Brett, and no, Brett has not said "no it isnt about me" many times.

    And anthropogentric absolutely right, in fact its quoted information from "the answer".(haha, we even have evidence to back up our claim). So to everyone who wants to argue go to this website. thebrpage.tierranet.com/theanswer/index.html

    If you want to interpret it differently, by all means go ahead, but dont tell me its not about Brett b/c it is.

    wrinkledPholeon April 17, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i think the key lines are:

    And had a yearning in the corner of his mind. It moved him secretly. It moved him powerfully.

    it's about a person who had lots of potentials but threw them away, lost them to his yearning which could be a strong creative but turned into an even stronger destructive force.

    aimless_on July 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i think the key lines are:

    And had a yearning in the corner of his mind. It moved him secretly. It moved him powerfully.

    it's about a person who had lots of potentials but threw them away, lost them to his yearning which could be a strong creative but turned into an even stronger destructive force.

    aimless_on July 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    In a weird way I think I can relate to this. It is really good.

    DJgifon May 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Well, would Brett refer to himself as someone whose, "mind was totally wasted?"

    DeeEl1on September 09, 2009   Link

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