She had to leave...

Los Angeles

All her toys wore out in black and her boys had too
She started to hate every nigger and Jew
Every Mexican that gave her lotta shit
Every homosexual and the idle rich
She had to get out
She gets confused
Flying over the dateline her hands turn red
Cause the days change at night change in an instant the days
Change at night change in an instant
She had to leave
Los Angeles
She found it hard to say goodbye to her own best friend
She bought a clock on Hollywood blvd the day she left
It felt sad she had to get out

Lyrics submitted by punker87, edited by Rubisco

Los Angeles Lyrics as written by Charles Thompson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Los Angeles song meanings
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  • +7
    General Comment
    Notice the time references: date line, clock. This seems most related to both confusion and things wearing out (expiring - as a day does when the sun comes up at the international dateline, which is an arbitrary distinction, and toys and boys losing their appeal, which are expirations of arbitrary or idiosyncratic choices). Other arbitrary distinctions (potentially) appear in the song: ethnic or racial classifications which might be founded in fact but reflect arbitrary conventions also. This, too, is a source of confusion to the lyric's protagonist. Purchasing a clock is a method of finding something factual and objective to sort out something confusing. If there is nothing objective to sort things out, then you are left with coping with the arbitrary conventions, idiosyncratic features, and other tidbits as they are. If you can't do this, you have to get out. In short, if you can't sort out the ethnic/racial scene in LA, your will be hopelessly lost and there's no clock you can buy to help you - you have to get out.
    nullportalon October 03, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General Comment
    In the era this lyric was penned, punk and other forms of metal rock where in a backlash against the turmoil of the 60-70s counterculture. The generation coming of age then experienced the counterculture from a younger perspective: as if listening to one's parents argue and wondering if they are going to both be alive in the morning. People who were young children, but aware of events going on, during the counterculture, naturally built up an insulating wall to protect themselves, particularly on topics such as race, gender identity, class, etc., which the counterculture struggle had been about. The generation originally listening to X in live performances were very atuned to the release and pleasure to be experienced from raw and candid expressions of what was bugging them. Thus the very raw racial epithets in this lyric have an authenicity for them. Notice that in some singing of the lyrics (live or recorded) you can almost hear "cross the date line" as both or either "cross the Orange County line" and "cross the color line". Both had resonance as it relates the racial angst a mostly white punk set in Los Angeles. In many ways the protagonist of this lyric is dealing with her feelings of distress and confusion about race that were very typical for the generation coming of age immediately after the death of the counterculture, and what was envigorating about these lyrics in part is the very fact of candidly using epithets that expressed the sense of unease this generation felt about all topics of race, etc, that reminded them of the counterculture struggle going on that they were old enought to witness with horror but too young to actually be part of.
    nullportalon October 06, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General Comment
    This song is about a racist woman who decides to leave Los Angeles because she is sick of all the minorities. It's definitely not a racist song, though.
    JohnnyLurgon April 18, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General Comment
    The song is about Exene's friend from Florida who was a racist and homophobic. There is a number of references to her in "We Got the Neutron Bomb : The Untold Story of L.A. Punk" book. I can't remember her name and don't have the book handy. She was not will liked by the time she left. In the movie "X - The Unheard Music" I believe the character in the car and the one that wrote the letter to Slash was her. In a way the song is about live style of living a 7 day weekend. The days turn to night is a reference to this and the idea that all toys being worn out. Also her only best friend is referring to most of the scene disliking her and she had worn out her wlecome.
    davoaxiomon October 27, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    Does anybody actually have a meaning for it instead of discussing what's "true punk" or not?
    hiddenarton January 16, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    This is true punk. What the 'teenyboppers' are supporting is poppy-punk trying to disguise itself as 'hard core'. I have nothing against Sum 41 or Blink 182, just don't try and tell me that you're punk because you're Blink's #1 fan.
    iheartnitzon May 16, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    This song is actually pretty straightforward-- it was a small-town friend of Exene & John\'s from their early X days. She couldn\'t handle being in Los Angeles & had to go home. I like how it portrays LA in all its gritty, soul-sucking glory. No one ever talks about that side of it, walking down Broadway in the downtown after midnight, Inglewood Ave, North Hollywood or Santa Monica Blvd. past La Cienega. Now that\'s REALLY Los Angeles.
    Mojave66on April 23, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    I agree with some users above with the meaning to this song...It's a really good song, I love it.....but JesusBeard, if all you want to do is flame, don't post here. By the way, what is your definition of "real punk"??? I mean if the bands that shaped the genre nearly 30 yrs ago isn't 'real' then I don't know what is.....?!?
    McDog3on July 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    This song is the perfect companion to Less Than Zero .. a book by Brett Easton Ellis. If ANY of you saw the movie go get the book. The movie is shit. They both perfectly describe the fair town in which I spent my youth.
    rizzenon June 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    The funny thing is, I'm not what would be described as a 'punk'. And I don't know everything about punk. But I also know pop when I hear it. Like music for what it is, but don't pretend it's something that it isn't. The way I see it, 'X' is timeless. I guess nothing else matters, but sometimes things aggravate me. Anyways... I think the meaning of the song is quite obvious. It's about the superficiality of LA... "the days change at night, change in an instant" I believe is referring to how LA isn't always the epitomy of brightness and fame that it is made out to be--people can be fake; the city itself is fake. And it displays these changes suddenly, frequently.
    iheartnitzon June 18, 2002   Link

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