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Shades Of Grey Lyrics

Some things were perfectly clear, seen with the vision of youth
No doubts and nothing to fear, I claimed the corner on truth
These days it's harder to say I know what I'm fighting for
My faith is falling away
I'm not that sure anymore

Shades of grey wherever I go
The more I find out the less that I know
Black and white is how it should be
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Once there were trenches and walls and one point of every view
Fight 'til the other man falls - kill him before he kills you
These days the edges are blurred, I'm old and tired of war
I hear the other man's words
I'm not that sure anymore

Shades of grey are all that I find
When I look to the enemy line
Black and white was so easy for me
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Now with the wisdom of years, I try to reason things out
And the only people I fear are those who never have doubts
Save us all from arrogant men, and all the causes they're for
I won't be righteous again
I'm not that sure anymore

Shades of grey are all that I find
When I look to the enemy line
Ain't no rainbows shining on me
Shades of grey are the colors I see

Shades of grey wherever I go
The more I find out the less that I know
Ain't no rainbows shining on me
Shades of grey are the colors I see
Song Info
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Submitted on
Apr 01, 2001
7 Meanings
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This is so meaningful. OK. Through the years you live your life thinking you've had it figured out. And somewhere along the line you lose it. And just as your eye sight blurrs with age, sometimes you lose clear sight of why you're still here. He's beginning a second sort of "soul searching stage" in his life, one you usually have in your early adult years. I think he's questioning, is my life really all about my music career, what other stuff could i have been...and he's become sort of humble through his experiences and wisdom, so he sees young arrogance and is intimidated by its confidence...he starts to doubt himself...and what he's always been told (kill the competition) doesn't really seem to apply anymore. I like this song.

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I love this song, and the entire River of Dreams album. It helped me realize how arrogant I was, and that I didn't know as much about my world as I thought I knew. The CD was one of the things that formed me into what I am today (hopefully a better person). Kudos, Billy.

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"The only people I fear are those who never have doubt" is a lesson a lot of people need to learn.

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This song is the cartharsis of the "River of Dreams" album. The first half of the album is dark and bitter. The songs after this are brighter. I think I heard once that Joel set the album out in the order he wrote the songs, which, if true, is fascinating, because it captures the process of a person working his way out of depression.

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It's such a simple message, the kind of thing you think everyone should have figured out by age 16. And yet, few really have. Most everyone (in America, at least) sees issues in black or white, good or evil, right or wrong.

I don't understand why people, instead of looking at the motivations of an action, always go to a judgement first.

And the only people I fear are those who never have doubts Save us all from arrogant men, and all the causes they're for I won't be righteous again I'm not that sure anymore

Everyone think of this verse, before you go out proclaiming that you're right. Whether you be Democrat, Republican, Muslim, Christian, Atheist, whatever.

I certainly won't be righteous again. I haven't been sure for a few years now.

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The lyrics and theme are fairly clear--that we think we think all the answers in the world, but the more we live, the more we discover how complex and unclear the world is--"the more that I find out, the less that I know".

But it also seems to be a somewhat anti-war song, talking about "It's hard to know what I'm fighting for", "enemy lines", "kill him before he kills you", "I'm old and tired of war".

The "people I fear...who never have doubts" and "arrogant men and all the causes they're for" would be the government and hawk types--they're so damn sure the other side is made up of evil and the only answer is to kill 'em all, but "I hear the other man's words, I'm not that sure anymore"--the enemy, much like you, probably just wants to live their life and get along well enough to be happy, but they're told that you don't want that, just like you're told they want to ruin your life (Americans can think of Bush's "The terrorists hate us and our way of life and want to destroy us" speeches--which don't sound that far from the "they want to meddle with our governments, infect us with their culture, or destroy us via Israel" propaganda used to stir up hate in Middle East).

The song can be seen as talking about war metaphorically to refer to strife in relationships. But I wonder if he didn't mean it literally as well as figuratively.

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I almost wonder if he's reffering to to a blur in his relationship with his brother with the "shades lf grey". Any confirmation on this?

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