You can't be what you were
So, you better start being just what you are
You can't be what you were

Time is now and it's running out
You can't be what you were
So, you better start living the life that you're talking about

You can't be what you were
No movement, no movement, no movement
In a bad mouth, it betrays a bad mind


Lyrics submitted by PLANES, edited by BlueDiamondx3

Bad Mouth Lyrics as written by

Lyrics © ROUGH TRADE PUBLISHING

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Bad Mouth song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +5
    General Comment

    I don't mean to be rude, but Fugazi is NOT emo. As far as I'm concerned there is no such thing as emo. Guy Picciotto even said in an interview that it was an insult to him that people thought Fugazi invented emo because emo was the stupidest thing he had ever heard. He said if they started emo then does that mean that bands like Bad Brains were robots? I love Fugazi, but like Picciotto says, there's no such thing as emo.

    doosuon June 08, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    The lyrics are missing the last line:

    "Your always talking talking talking talking shit now... but you will talk yourself down Your going down!"

    plosionon June 26, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Also Picciotto considers every band he's ever been in to be punk rock.

    doosuon June 08, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    stop talking about a word

    szorkoon December 20, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    A friend and I used this song along with others that were important to us at the time (Bad Religion's 'Henchman''Against the Grain', for example) as a sort of 'brain default' to help us with a hard time we were going through. Consider when you see a ray of light after feeling dead for a long time, and then how easy it is to turn over and go back to bed when confronted with the hard work of change or personal progress. Maybe it's drugs, or some serious depression, or being an idiot in a broken relationship- punk rock has served to help not only break what needs to be broken but provided encouragement and strength for what needs to be fixed.

    That includes this song.

    Yeah, and fuck 'emo'.

    allnightpancakeson October 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Fugazi is not only punk...it is the dictionary definition of punk. It seems strange to say that when you realize how smart they are. Rent or buy the "Instrument" DVD and see the live version of this song that Ian turns into a rant on violence. Awesome

    Bellyfull of Swanson January 17, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    blah blah blah emo blah blah. shut up. So anyways, put simply this song is about living in the here and now. It's saying that the past is futile.

    replica8715on October 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song is so great. first of all, ian mckaye is just a genius, and second of all, this song is super fun to dance to. i decided that when i'm a senior, "you can't be what you were, so you better start being just what you are," is going to be the quote under my picture in my yearbook. true til death.

    backupdorkon June 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    hell.yes.fugazi.is.so.good.i.love.this.song

    XquietxmindXon August 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Actually, it's Piciotto's previous band, Rites of Spring, that's credited with inventing emo, as stupid as that is. Its a shame that 'emo' is now Dashboard Confessional and Saves the Day.

    shadowwiththeeyeson June 18, 2004   Link

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