"Son of Sam" as written by Rick Beato and Brent Smith....
Something's happening
Don't speak too soon
I told the boss off, made my move
Got nowhere to go
Son of Sam
Son of the shining path, the clouded mind
The couple killer each and every time

I'm not uncomfortable feeling weird
Lonely leered, options disappeared
But I know what to do
Son of Sam, son of a doctor's touch, a nurse's love
Acting under orders from above

King for a day

Son of Sam
Son of the shining path, the clouded mind
The couple killer running out of time
Shiva opens her arms now
To make sure I don't get too far
I may talk in my sleep tonight
Cos I don't know what I am
I'm a little like you
More like Son of Sam

Lyrics submitted by EnjOy IncUbus

"Son of Sam" as written by Brent Smith Rick Beato

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Son of Sam song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI can't help but think this song is about David Berkowitz (Son of Sam.) This guy ran around killing women in the 70's.

    "couple killer each and every time"
    "acting under orders from above"
    "the clouded mind"

    all references to Berkowitz

    Berkowitz claimed demons controlled him and a talking dog told him to kill the girls. He later told the truth in prison that he really killed these women because of his shit relationships with his mom/other women and he would masturbate after killing these women. Berkowitz claims to be sorry for everything he did as of 2002, he's rotting away in jail and claims to be a Christian now.

    As far as the reference to Shiva, she would be more..creative than destructive. I guess maybe this song is about good vs evil type of thing? The whole "Shiva opens her arms now to make sure I don't get too far" I guess too far out of her reach. Maybe he's saying he's creatively destroying himself. I mean, he did kill himself in the end. He was awesome though.
    Aslardon May 13, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Commentits not about the son of sam killer, or relationships. its neither. its about discovery and enlightenment.

    shiva is the destroyer.

    when the world reaches the point where it is turned into a hell, shiva comes to destroy everything, as sort of a savior in a sense, before we become too evil. shiva destroys everything so it can begin again fresh.

    the person in the song is describing his philisophical enlightenment, he believes himself to be the destroyer, so he is going about doing what he thinks his job is. the son of sam reference is doubt. he fears his cause may be in vain, and that he is just insane (a-la son of sam killer)

    in the end he is going to sleep, forever, as shiva opens his arms up to him, because he fears he is indeed just like the son of sam killer, so rather than live with it, he decides to kill himself.
    soulboton June 14, 2005   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song is about interpretation of oneself and the conflict within. It gives a sense of awe about what we are capable of, be it good or evil.

    We've spawned from the love of a mother and the slap of a docter, to be thrown into the world to make our move, with nowhere to go.

    We've the courage to not feel weird being out of our comfort zone, but we don't really have any other choice.

    God's embrace keeps us close, but when you look at me, you are not looking at an image of yourself, but at a demon within.

    What the hell are we?

    Great Song Elliott!
    bluesbegger123on May 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think Elliott's father, Gary, is a doctor (retired now). Correct me on that if I'm wrong. Also, Son of Sam WAS a "couple killer." He shot at couples making out in alleys or cars with .44 caliber. Usually the men were just badly wounded and one man DID die. So he didn't just kill women, theough his anger was probably more fixed towanrds them. Elliott might be saying that his failed relationships make him a couple killer and that he didn't feel particularly great about it. He felt guilty, and that makes him no better than Son of Sam, because he knew he harbored a messed up love and hate for those women in his love. Since his dad was a doctor whom he repsected and loved, his mom was probably the nurse. Although the images are pretty sterile, aren't they? BTW, Elliott's relationship with his mom was strained. He got along much better with his dad, probably blaming his mom for letting him be abused by his step-dad. "You tears are cheap" he once wrote of her. I can understand why he said this song was written without Berkowitz in mind, creativity can be very sub-conscious.
    Welles-radioon February 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyoutube.com/…

    Listen to this for a great cover of the song.
    GIBBOon July 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSon of Sam is metaphor for being a fucked up product of abuse. You know he can't form relationships or hold relationships because of this. Hence couple killer each and everytime. The ending shows that he is scared of himself.
    Brenguyon November 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning"It's not about the serial killer. I'm not sure exactly what it's about because it's just sort of like telling someone a dream you had last night. There are some destructive figures in it, 'Son of Sam', Shiva... but Shiva's also associated with creativity... I'm not sure... it's just an impressionistic song about destruction and creativity, I guess, if it's about anything." -- Elliott Smith
    pete116128on January 01, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this is one of elliots catchiest songs
    sha shaon April 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is the first of elliott i ever heard, and it's probably the most different of any of his other stuff.

    aslard, i was thinking about david berkowitz, too.
    berkowitz and smith both had a really messed up childhoods, and there are parellels in the way that they both were rejected from step-parents and whatnot.
    creepy connection but it's a cool song nonetheless.
    juicycladon May 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard Elliott say on an interview one time that he wasn't thinking of Berkowitz at all when he wrote this, like he didn't even know what the lyrics meant
    sweetadelineon June 20, 2004   Link

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