There's an old man on a city bus
Holding a candy cane
And it isn't even Christmas
He see's a note in the obituary
That his last friend has died
There's an infant clinging

To his overweight mother in the cold
As they go to shop for cigarettes
As the spends her last dollar
On a bottle of vodka for tonight
And I guess it struck a nerve
Like I had to squint my eyes

You can never get out
Of the line of sight
Like a barren winter day
Or a patch of unburned green
Like a tragic real dream
I guess it struck a nerve
Every day I wander

In negative disposition
As I'm bombarded by superlatives
Realizing very well that I am not alone

I look to tomorrow for salvation
But I'm thinking altruistically
And a wave of overwhelming doubt
Turns me to stone

And I guess it struck a nerve
Send a murmur through my heart
We just haven't got time
To crack the maze

Like a magic speeding clock
Or a cancer in our cells
A collision in the dark
I guess it strunk a nerve
I try to close my eyes

But I cannot ignore the stimuli
If there's a purpose for us all
It remains a secret to me
Don't ask me to justify my life

Lyrics submitted by ndu192, edited by Mellow_Harsher, MyQualia

Struck a Nerve Lyrics as written by Greg Graffin

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Struck a Nerve song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentthis is about how the writer saw something that reminded him of his own view of the futility of life

    the "i try to close my eyes" bridge is his inability to come to terms with his negative view on the world.

    "i look to tomorrow for salvation ... a wave of doubt turns me to stone" is how he tries to remain hopeful despite knowing it's not going to get better...

    basically, it's about knowing the world is getting worse, not being able to convince yourself otherwise, coming to terms with your own negativity, and then being reminded of it by some other sad example of life.
    shokwaveon January 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwell put xeranox. my take is just; things that disturb or perturb you and your natural
    reaction is to squint. things that truely stike your nerves hard are unexpected and lethal...

    the man with the candy cane ; not being the christmas season I think expresses how He's feeling hopeful and joy
    even in troubling times he's coping and then he looks to the paper to find his only last friend has died...

    struck a nerve- just an unavoidable reaction or recoil of sorrow you cant turn away from.

    one of thier best songs
    pinkfadeon March 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is saying that the reason of suffering will always be hidden and it doesn't allow the writer to close their eyes. It's a song about searching for answers to our questions and coming out with nothing.
    agnostic soldieron June 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is a song about guilt. It's about the way we close our eyes to things we don't want to see.
    Xeranoxon March 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe wants to maintain a positive drive but the sight of reality turned his drive to shit.
    gainstthegrain87on September 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Every day I wander
    In negative disposition
    As I'm bombarded by superlatives
    Realizing very well that I am not alone
    I look to tomorrow for salvation
    But I'm thinking altruistically
    And a wave of overwhelming doubt
    Turns me to stone"

    It's about fear. We see all the horrible things in life, yet we're fascinated by all the incredible, beautiful, larger than life things other people are capable of - both of which scare us. Fear of insignificance, fear of uncertainty, fear of capability, fear of feeling like a loser, and the biggest fear of looking back at life and never taking a chance - an introverted idealist, but never really takes their shot at something they believe in their soul. Fear of overwhelming guilt and shame. Thinking things will just magically get better or they will improve without steping outside of their comfort zone of security and realizing the immense pressure and challenge of the unknown (thinking altruistically / overwhelming doubt turning you to stone). Its self analysis, its burying your head in the sand and going back to your comfortable fantasy land where things will never change unless you do.

    "If there's a purpose for us all it remains a secret to me"
    Searching desperately for purpose, passion, and meaning of their life. The guilt of realizing you're not special, until you understand that you really are. That feeling in your belly, that's intuition leading you towards purpose. Follow it, understand why.

    mj2315on May 03, 2013   Link

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