Keep you in the dark
You know they all pretend
Keep you in the dark
And so it all began

Send in your skeletons
Sing as their bones go marching in, again
The need you buried deep
The secrets that you keep are ever ready
Are you ready?
I'm finished making sense
Done pleading ignorance
That whole defense

Spinning infinity, boy
The wheel is spinning me
It's never-ending, never-ending
Same old story

What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
You're the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?
What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
You're the pretender
What if I say that I'll never surrender?

In time our soul untold
I'm just another soul for sale, oh well
The page is out of print
We are not permanent
We're temporary, temporary
Same old story

What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
You're the pretender
What if I say that I'll never surrender?
What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
You're the pretender
What if I say that I'll never surrender?

I'm the voice inside your head
You refuse to hear
I'm the face that you have to face
Mirrored in your stare
I'm what's left, I'm what's right
I'm the enemy
I'm the hand that will take you down
Bring you to your knees

So who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?

Keep you in the dark
You know they all pretend

What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
You're the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?
What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
You're the pretender
What if I say that I'll never surrender?

What if I say I'm not like the others?
(Keep you in the dark)
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
(You know they all pretend)
You're the pretender
(Who dares)
What if I say I will never surrender?

What if I say I'm not like the others?
(Keep you in the dark)
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
(You know they all pretend)
You're the pretender
(Who dares)
What if I say I will never surrender?

So who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?


Lyrics submitted by intothegrinder2, edited by kobe107, SomebodyElse01

The Pretender Lyrics as written by David Eric Grohl Christopher A. Shiflett

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Pretender song meanings
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181 Comments

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  • +9
    General CommentWell, I hate politics.. so even if many people interpret is as something political.. EK! Haha, I find a meaning that is.. I'm horrible with words.. it's like someone challenges who he is, and he is standing his ground and saying he will never give in and surrender (to whatever you can relate to). I think one of the things he refuses is to be like everyone else in the typical 'guy' way. He's telling a girl, no matter how much she might put a stamp on his head that he's just like everyone else, he says he doesn't care what she thinks. Who is she to say who he is? He believes he can give more than that. I like to think of it without the relationhip ties, though. As in, someone is challenging you for who you are and what you stand for and you get up off the ground, state your purpose and hold your own. As in, someone is finally questioning you and you have enough sense of self and security to stand up and prove yourself.
    Beautiful. And MOVING.
    stephanierush07on August 25, 2007   Link
  • +6
    General CommentGreat. Nay, it's *fucking* great. Excuse my French, but it was needed to emphasise just how incredible this song is.

    I think... could be way off, but I think maybe he's in love with a girl, and he's telling he's the one for her, even though she keeps going for other guys.

    Or that all these other guys say they're in love with her, but they're not. When he says it - he's not pretending. And he's not giving up. Good man!
    strider3005on August 13, 2007   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIncubus_Man23: I just want to let you know that I think "tohup" was right in what he said this song is about.

    In short, it is about letting those supporters of the Bilderberg Agenda - human population reduction by at least 80% and the implanting of digital chips in people - know that They Will Fail, and that we - many, many people; and more and more as more people learn about them - will just chose a different way of life, one not decided on by us (people) following (believing and obeying) your (the talking points and policy suggestions of those people in Bilderberg) agenda as presented to us by your deception.

    I would like to add a personal note: A lot of people have been noticing the barcode like squares made of black and white ink which can be scanned by cellphones. I think this is part of this agenda of getting people used to a track-and-trace society. Just remember we have free will, and if we act on this we will be fine.

    To those who attend the Bilderberg Group and to the those on the steering committee of Bilderberg and to those who agree with Bilderberg's vision for the human community, I say: "Your the pretender. What if I say I will never surrender?" Meaning: Your the ones deceiving others about trying to steal peoples wealth and about the history of all the cruel activities that you are responsible for, and I, and may others, aren't believing your lies (your pretending facade) anyone. We've woken-up, and were staying awake.

    P.S. Clinton, Obama, Hillary, Bill Gates, Sorros, Rothschilds, the Queen of England, the Queen of the Netherlands, David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, and many other influential people attend the Bilderberg Group.
    Daniel Estulin wrote a good book on the subject.

    In short: the Bilderberg Group was a secret meeting of globally influential people who used to deny they exist but now it has become obvious they do, so it can no longer be considered a secret, and they try and steer world events. If you think "they control the world" or that "they don't exist" or that "they don't have any influence in human affairs" or that "they are annunaki aliens" your an idiot. There past existence is part of human history and their current existence is part of current-events fact, so research it, think for yourself, form your own thoughts (first start thinking), and just do your part in reality - not childish make believe. Your a human being, for gods sake! Your life has VALUE! Ending one a personal note: I will never surrender. So will you? Music inspires us to do greatness, and this song further inspires me to keep spreading the word and further informing myself and others about Bilderberg and their agenda and of our individual potential - which is limitless.

    tarpley.net
    theinternationalforecaster.com
    earthpulse.com
    infowars.com
    YouTube: The Alex Jones Channel
    Books: By Webster G. Tarpley: George Bush, the unauthorized biography; Surviving the Cataclysm; Against Oligarchy.
    By Nick Begich: Angels Don't Play This HARRP
    By L. Fletcher Prouty: The Secret Team
    By Daniel Estulin: The True Story of the Bilderberg Group
    and for you "religious christians" that can't stop talking about how much you have "accepted Jesus Christ into your
    heart" and can't stop implying your sooo much better then everyone else for doing this, because now you are
    "born-again" and are "saved", and how everyone else "needs to do the same in order to be saved." etc. here is a
    book for you: the title is BeHold A Pale Horse, and its author is William Cooper.
    Movies: YouTube: Endgame: blueprint for global enslavement
    The Obama Deception
    Interview with Aaron Russo
    Facts/ things to research that will wake you up:
    MIAC Report
    NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act)
    Eustace Mullins: his Books "the curse of Cain" ; "the world order"; and "secrets of the federal reserve" (G. Edward Griffen and bob chapman covered this stuff after Eustace did.)

    AccountKiller sss121111on December 11, 2011   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationIt's a protest against the police state and the elite political class and government employee overclass. the emperor has no clothes. he's the pretender.
    kanzeion May 04, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think this song can have a wide meaning it's mostly about fakers or disingenuous people, but then a very specific person too. Possibly a wife or lover. liars always keep people in the dark, they spin webs of lies that never end. then specifically about this one person,they dig up skeletons in arguments as a use them as a distraction. this person uses people and manipulates them. Dave wasn't gonna a have none of it. and he lets this person know that their relationship isn't written in stone, it's not even finished and it's not in print, he doesn't have to sit and wait to be a puppet. then finally his biggest challenge of the song is to find out who this person is. "who are you, yeah who are you?" comes as both a question to and a challenge from the pretender. I know who I am, who are you?
    joggernaughton May 17, 2018   Link
  • +4
    Song MeaningI would have to say this song depicts a world in which people are all being treated under rule and being told what to believe, how to behave and what to do with their lives. Through Marketing, Through Governments etc.


    "What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays"
    Everyone is treated as a puppet. Told what to do and directed. See above paragraph.

    This song is basically saying that he is not like the others. He is a rebel. Unique. We are not puppets on a string and we will not be told what to do why these authoritative figures.

    Its my interpretation. I can not see any associations with Love.

    ooop. Just read the above. songofthedeafgirl has got it aswell!

    Anyway, Brilliant song and its not the real meaning that counts I guess! Its your interpretation! Thank Goodness for Postmodernism! :D
    Mr Danon July 07, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is one of those rare masterpieces that can actually tailor itself to mean something powerful to the listener regardless of where he is coming from in his/her life. The ideas that are conveyed in the song are ones of virtue, standing your ground, and for whats right. Whatever this may mean to the listener, it reinforces that those who stand in the truth will win in the end, no matter how much of a minority they are.
    jojojojojoon January 12, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love this song! I love the energy of the vocals. I love the cello as well. The video reminds me of the counter terrorists from Counter Strike.hehe. I can play the song a little bit on the guitar, I'm so proud of myself ;) Definetly one of the most underated bands in the world. Aza aza fighting!!
    LightofAuguston July 28, 2010   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningIn a 2007 interview with XFM, frontman Dave Grohl stopped short of explaining the meaning behind "The Pretender", but alluded its roots go to current political unrest. Grohl noted,
    "That's the thing with lyrics, you never want to give away specifics, because it's nice for people to have their own idea or interpretation of the song. But, you know, everyone's been fucked over before and I think a lot of people feel fucked over right now and they're not getting what they were promised, and so something to do with that."
    Grohl also told XFM "The Pretender" was not initially planned for the album and happened really quickly.
    "That song didn't happen until later on in the session. We didn't go into making the record with that song and it happened after we recorded a lot of stuff. Up until that point, I didn't know if we had a good opening song or not. So after we recorded it, I thought, 'oh this is perfect, we have the song to open the record,' and it just became everybody's favorite song. ... It's the type of song that I look forward to opening shows with and it came together really easily. We put that song together in, I don't know, a day, whereas a lot of the other songs we worked on for weeks."
    lolguy23on May 14, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationTo me this can and probably is political, but what i love about it is that it can apply to anyone, and anything. Anyone who is miss treated, or unproportionately appreciated can relate to this. It doesn't need to be about government, although it can. It can be about people that take advantage of you, friends, family, work, school, whatever. To me, it's about people who keep you around just when it's convenient to them, and the rest of the time it's like you don't exist. This song is just a way of saying you may be able to treat other people like that, and they may be blissfully ignorant about the way they are being treated, but i'm not going to let you treat me like that anymore. Who gave YOU the right to mistreat ME like that. Now you've got to watch out, because one day you're going to call me up out of the blue and need me, and i'm going to laugh. After everything i've done for you and everything you've done TO me, why would i help you? Now you've got to find another puppet to manipulate. "What if i say i'm not just another one your plays?"
    ME68on May 15, 2012   Link

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