No one’s Gonna Cry on the Very Day You Die…


Yeah. Let’s talk the new Shinedown single.

I adore it.

Parts of it even remind me of King’s X. (Anyone else remember them?)

Anyway… here’s the deal. I’m surfing the music headlines over at Blabbermouth and one of them says “Shinedown Singer says Bully Does Not Condone Violence.”

Huh? What?

Okay. Clearly, I missed something here. That’s not terribly surprising, as I’ve been wrapped up in my own stuff over here.

Or… maybe I didn’t. I mean, isn’t part of the magic of a good song the way a listener can give it their own meaning?

And for me, Bully is more about eventuality. It’s about what’s going to happen in the long run. All you’ll ever be is a fading memory of a bully.

Here’s what Shinedown singer Brent Smith had to say, according to that news from Blabbermouth (link above if you missed it):

Brent Smith told The Pulse Of Radio that “Bully” does nothing of the kind. “I’m not condoning violence in this song,” he said. “What I’m condoning is survival. You want to be able to use your words in any situation, but the reality is, is that you have to make sure people realize that you think highly of yourself, and that you have self-respect and you have dignity. And the song is really about, if you push me, I will push you back, and if you hit me, I will hit you back.”

Yeah. Sorry, Brent. I totally missed it. Maybe it’s my age (perish the thought!) — maybe it’s the wisdom I’ve acquired over the past few years. I don’t know. All I know is that to me, it’s a song about biding your time and letting that bully turn out to be nothing more than a faded memory. While me, you, whoever… we go on to bigger and better.

Now that I’m watching the video, hearing all this… okay. I get it. It’s more immediate. I totally see what Brent’s saying. It IS a song about action.

But I still like my vision better. Payback doesn’t have to be automatic, boys and girls. In fact, sometimes, biding your time and waiting… makes it all the sweeter.

Your thoughts, gang?



  1. Derek C

    March 14, 2012 10:52 am

    I think that’s the ‘wonder’ of just about any art form in that it can mean something different to different people, but each has equal value in a sense because the individual gives it that value.

    I know the song you’re talking about, but can’t comment because I haven’t really given it a good listen, however, I can say that I don’t think satisfaction of ‘revenge’ expires so that whether immediate or delayed it remains.

    • susan

      March 14, 2012 11:26 am

      Exactly! You have hit on something that shows up in writer’s workshops all the time — what the (in this case ) reader brings to a work of (fiction) art.

      Now, go listen to the song a bunch of times. I want to know what you think.

  2. Darcia Helle

    March 14, 2012 11:46 am

    I’m a huge Shinedown fan and I love this song. I never got the sense it was in support of violence or even revenge. That hadn’t occurred to me until I read your post just now. What I get out of the lyrics is that you don’t have to accept the bullying behavior. You’re not alone in it. The bullied kids – society – can stand together and stop it all. And, in the end, the bullies are a blip in the past. They’re moving through life without love and support.

    I totally agree about people getting different things from music and fiction. Our interpretations often depend on our personal experiences. In fact, I recently read an interview with Michael Stipe from REM. He said that he would purposely muddle the words, so that people would be forced to interpret the song their own way.

  3. Alice Audrey

    March 14, 2012 2:51 pm

    Tsk. You’re such a pacifist. As someone who spent many, many years on the pathetic end of bullying, I’m all for hitting back early and hard. Once you get a rep for fighting back, the bullies leave you alone. Fail to do so, and you could spend years trapped in lockers. Bide your time, and it’s all the harder for bullies to believe you really will defend yourself.

  4. West of Mars » Blog Archive » From a Bully to a Book

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