Once I had my heroes
And once I had my dreams
But all of that is changed now
They've turned things inside out
The truth is not that comfortable, no!

And Mother taught us patience
The virtues of restraint
And Father taught us boundaries
Beyond which we must go
To find the secrets promised us, yeah

That's when I reach for my revolver
That's when it all gets blown away
That's when I reach for my revolver
The spirit fights to find its way

A friend of mine once told me
His one and only aim
To build a giant castle
And live inside his name
Cry and whispers sing in muted pain

That's when I reach for my revolver
That's when it all gets blown away
That's when I reach for my revolver
The spirit fights to find its way

Tonight the sky is empty
But that is nothing new
Its dead eyes look upon us
They tell me
We're nothing
But slaves

That's when I reach for my revolver
Just slaves
That's when I reach for my revolver
That's when I reach for my revolver
That's when I reach for my revolver
That's when I reach for my revolver
That's when I reach for my revolver

Lyrics submitted by agnamaracs, edited by Phad, Enemy#0

That's When I Reach For My Revolver song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentThis song is obviously about how when you were young things seemed so simple, but now you're grown up and you'd rather shoot yourself than put up with all the bullshit.

    Great song.
    CouchChimpanzeeon February 21, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIts about the disillousionment (sic) of growing up, learning that things aren't as simple as you though they once were and finding faults in the people and ideals you once admired then, and the anger that that causes.
    Teloson September 22, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI go to work to a meaningless job. I don't feel like I belong there. I feel like I should be somewhere else, not necessarily a better paying job, but one where I feel like I'm making a difference/impact and that's when I reach for my revolver.
    Schr4nzon July 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think the song means you are found to be surrounded by false idols. Once motivated to have a meaning. A purpose. Angry that all those things are pointless now and it's not easy to choke down because it's eating you away. We find that we were taught by guidance even though we were gonna lose it someday. You've had enough! there's no more hope, so just destroy it all. We want to do right. So we hide ourselves from anything more that can destroy us. The more things stay the same. We become slaves to believe in these false idols. working this meaningless job. The Anger that seethes in. You just keep letting it eat you away. It's time to reach for my revolver and put an end to this artificial symmetry of life. No matter who is in the way, it all get blow away.

    It reminds me today's standards. The way society is. What's the point. It's already dead. Time to reach for my gun and go out in a blaze of glory. Destroy what has already been dead.
    Enemy#0on September 12, 2018   Link
  • -2
    General CommentI don't know the band all that well, I first heard the Moby version of this song before going after the original, but Here's my idea on it.

    I think it's about having our perspectives on life constantly changed, constantly "Blown away" with the force of a friggin revolver, demolishing our perspective on life constantly.

    The first verse is saying how we start out with bright limitless dreams in our childhood blissfull ignorance, but as we get older, we learn the life is harder, harsher, and more intense than simply "Growing up to be an astronaut"

    The second verse kinda goes into how as we grow up, our parents teach us about life, and how it establishes our basis on life.

    The third verse seem to be something about how our life ambitions change, how we just want to leave the world with some great accomplishment, and leave a name for ourselves, for people to look back on and remember you for.

    The last verse seems to be about how people in the real world aren't always supportive like they work back in the comforting childhood days. Some people will tell you you're not going to amount to anything, and in a defiant kind of way it is follwed up by "That's when I reach for my revolver, that's when it all gets blown away" I think is kind of their way of saying "But, I don't have to take that crap" In kind of a changing of perspectives by his own will this time, rather than the harshness of the world around him for once.

    I don't think it's so down as to say "The world is a disapointment, and almost seems like it'd be easier to just kill yourself and get it over with" as much as the revolver and blowing away is figurative to the destruction of our perspectives on life.
    SlightlyShinobion June 02, 2005   Link
  • -2
    General Commentit kind of bridges the gap between positive and negative punk music thats why I like it, burma is between dead kennedys and ministry on the musical spectrum...
    shenmue4lifeon August 03, 2006   Link
  • -2
    General Commentthere's a famous quote attributed to nazi leader hermann goring: "When I hear the word culture, I reach for my Browning".
    snakemistakeson April 21, 2007   Link
  • -2
    General CommentThe original vinyl LP of Burma's Signals, Calls, And Marches contained a nearly 12 inch square lyric sheet elegantly printed on beautifully textured stock. It contained the *individual words* from all eight songs, neatly *listed in alphabetical order*. How cool is that?

    Also, often misattributed to Himmler or Goring, the line, "Whenever I hear of culture, I release the safety-catch of my Browning," is from a play by Nazi writer Hanns Johst.
    airsmurfon June 08, 2007   Link
  • -3
    General CommentNihilist angst . . . this could be my theme song :/
    procrastinatingbumon April 20, 2003   Link
  • -3
    General Commentlove this song the first punk song i really ever got into, is spawn from nothin but a bunch of kids in the land before punk fads and fags, who were just some fuckin cool young fucks that just wanted to make some fuckin noise !! YEAH !!!!!! very poetic shit too, props !!
    madehamon February 01, 2008   Link

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