It's by God about people | Reviewer: Tim
It’s a song written from the perspective of God speaking about people who only pray when they need something. It is a sarcastic reminder that people are happy in their daily lives and don’t think for a moment about God until they are in trouble. Then they pray to God: just help me out with this one thing and I promise I’ll be good…I’ll be your son.
“When there’s no where else to run, is there room for one more son”
Opening line stating God’s perspective: People pray when they are screwed (no where else to run). People pray that God will see them and they will become the perfect son if only God will help them.
I wanna stand up, I wanna let go, You know, you know - no you don't, you don't
God saying: “I want to walk away from the world” – I want to let go, you have no idea
“Another head aches, another heart breaks”
These are the prayers God is hearing. Someone asking for relief of a head ache, someone asking for help in a relationship
“I am so much older than I can take”
God is saying I’m old and I tire of hearing these people continually praying for help and forgiveness then turning their backs as soon as the situation is resolved.
“And my affection, well it comes and goes”
God saying I answer some people’s prayers but not others
“I need direction to perfection, no no no no”
Could mean a number of things. Ex. God saying I need direction, or could mean people asking God for direction then as soon as they are ok, they say no no nevermind I don’t need you.
“Yeah, you know you got to help me out”
A little sarcasm about the prayers God hears – come on help me out with this one please come on, don’t ignore me, don’t put me on the backburner. I really need this pleeeaasse help me out you got to.
faded relationship with god? | Reviewer: E | 4/27/09
Possibly, he's talking about his own spiritual journey? "i have soul but i'm not a soldier"
can refer to one who feels he should be fighting a spiritual war for God, but is not. The use of "son" instead of sun is possibly referring to the son of god. "I wanna shine on in the hearts of men
I wanna mean it from the back of my broken hand" can be seen as he wants to live for god, and have a passion that is raw and real and noticeable to others. "I wanna stand up, I wanna let go
You know, you know - no you don't, you don't" is him trying to explain the feeling of living for god but no one understands him. he knows this feeling because "The gold-hearted boy I used to be" used to follow God. "Another head aches, another heart breaks. I am so much older than I can take. And my affection, well it comes and goes
I need direction to perfection, no no no no" shows how he sees and knows he needs to change.
"Over and in, last call for sin. While everyone's lost, the battle is won. With all these things that I've done. All these things that I've done" can be interpreted as repent for your sins while you can, because God will soon win the spiritual war and you will still be lost (like him), because of all the things you have done. Which is why he has such an urgency to find his way back to God "Yeah, you know you got to help me. Yeah, oh don't you put me on the back burner", but he knows he can't do it alone "You know you got to help me out. You're gonna bring yourself down. Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down" but in the process others are going to have to change too, and bring themselves before God.
Agreed | Reviewer: Megan | 3/2/09
I agree with everything Steve said. Brandon Flowers is Mormon and everthing else Steve said. And I too Doubt it was about Jesus. And to me it doesn't really sound Anti-War. I bet Brandon and the band didn't really think that this would happen to them. How everyone has different views on it and stuff. To me, I think they should tell the press or something about what it really is about, or tell them that they don't really know because they wrote it for the audience, like Steve said. Well anyways,, I think the song is awesome, just like the rest of The Killers work. Bravo! :]
Love | Reviewer: Jared | 12/4/08
"I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier"
I can wait around for you for awhile, but I can't keep on fighting forever in this war of hearts.
"You know, you know. No you don't, you don't.."
"Yeah, you know you gotta help me out"
You know how I feel about you. Wait.. I'm doubting myself, again. Help me stop being confused.
"If you can hold on, hold on"
I meant it.
Obvious religious overtones, too. Maybe love of God, if you don't want to mix the two meanings. Either way, definitely love of some kind. I don't think they meant it to be about war except the war of your heart versus your head in telling you the truth of your situation.
And.. I "love" this song, ha.
Can't see the wood for the trees | Reviewer: Steve
This is very straightforward - it's not necessarily an anti-war song but it is definitely a song about war, small cog in a big wheel so to speak. I think people are over-analysing here, and as far as the writer being a mormon, well he wrote the song for his audience and not necessarily himself. There's a great YouTube video that this music is the soundtrack to, it's by 2nd Para Infrantry battalion in Afghanistan and it shows soldiers in the battlefields, not all bravado but simply getting on with a job they clearly have to do but may not like doing, and out of choice wouldn't prefer to be there but it's their duty. I think it sums up the key line which is "got soul but I'm not a soldier". They don't like doing what they have to do but they do it. Video ends with a picture of their friends killed in battle. It's a great video, and says a lot they chose this song as opposed to a more gutsy gung-ho type tune to show their work against. So for me, seeing these guys choose this and how appropriate it is, it fits very well indeed.
Maybe it is about Jesus | Reviewer: John
I'm not really a jesus freak or anything, but i cant help but put two and two together here. "One more Son"? hmmm possibly the son of god there. "Shine on in the hearts of man"? Some might say that Christ did that. "The back of my broken hand"? His hand was definitly broken after the crucifixion. "So much older than i can take"? Possibly refering to the timelessness of god. the whole part about the back burner and bringing yourslef down. obvious. And i would say the last part about the "last call for sin" and how "the battle was won" with all the things that he had done could just possibly somehow refer to saving people from their sins by dying on the cross.
Again im not a really religious person, but i see more jesus references here than war references.
who cares | Reviewer: Mary
Honeslty.. who cares what the song means, it means whatever you want it to. It has different meanings to everyone. Why is everyone taking it so seriously. I love the song, I think it's awesome. I don't care how overplayed it is. And it makes a pretty good NIKE commercial :D
Heaven | Reviewer: Strap | 8/11/08
I don't think this song is even remotely about the war. Flowers is a devout Mormon and he's subtlely mixed in some very religious themes while keeping the music mainstream.
Flowers needs help from above because he's in the midst of a world that doesn't believe. He's worried that he won't be accepted by God because he's not gold-hearted like he used to be, and he needs "direction to perfection". He knows he has a soul, but he's not sure if he can be a soldier for his faith. He asking God not to abandon him because he needs him dearly.
I'm not the type that automatically looks for religious undertones in music, but this seems pretty obvious. This song only relates to the war if you're desperately looking for that to be the meaning.
Get your heads out! | Reviewer: Warzombie
This much overplayed, flavor of the week/month song is like anything else of "artistic" endeavor. Anybody can get whatever he wants out of it, or read whatever he wants into it. You can work in the damn maize fields all summer vacation--like I used to as a kid in between high school years--& never see a snake, but if you decide to look for one hard enough, bygod, you'll find one or more of them.
And for you oxygen thieving, leftist, sheeple anti-war pansies; Ben Stein's AWESOME movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed had the song playing during final credits. Ben Stein, by the way, is not only super intelligent, and a true patriot, but a staunch supporter of both the war AND our troops.
The song's "actual content" strikes me as ambiguous at best, and the video makes no sense at all. It is actually possible the band just wanted to cut up, be silly, have fun, and come up with a memorable hook (which they did a good job of). No heavy, "social commentary" has to be there just because someone who watches too much MTV, BET, CNN (communist news network), "reality" TV, or smokes 12 lbs of pot/week thinks it does. Get a grip.
BTW, I'm a soldier, many in my family have been, many of my friends and acquaintances are or have been, and bygod, we damn sure have souls. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, you mopes.
wtf | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/31/08
"I got soul, but I'm not a soldier" is a metaphor for social conformity. There's obviously some kind of internal struggle going on here with this character; some sort of growth or lack thereof. The lyrics hint at many different aspects of what one could consider an actual "theme", but hints are really all they are. It's not nearly discriptive or upfront enough to be completely deciphered. It's more than likely a song about freedom of expression and personal triumph. That's what it appears to be anyway; otherwise, if you still need another answer, go ask Brandon yourselves. And I agree with another comment somebody made - that not everything is always about the war. Though, I do not think it's as simple as "You're on the boat, or you're not." That phrase is stupid, and I'd prefer to never use it in regards to ANYTHING in my life, especially in contemporary world issues. Other than that, awesome song.
Huh? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/1/07
Okay, don't see the anti-war, even though you spelled-it out. I just don't take one or two words and make a book out of it. My take on the 'refrain' about not being a soldier: Look at some hip-hop or rap sometime - "I know some soldiers in here! Where dey at, where dey at?" The rap "soldiers" refers to a man who can battle the everyday world to provide for the singer (female) and her family. She sees them at the party she is at, tells her friends, who want a man to provide for them.
Now the tie-in: The guy has soul, he can do the job of providing; but he's not a soldier, he doesn't want to. Look at the video, the men are backing away from the women, who are also displaying strong-willed feminine traits. The guys clearly don't want to be tied-down.
Or it could just be a simple fun, funky play on words (or play on sounds).
Lighten up. Not everything is about the war.
Remember the lyrics from another song, and a different band: "What consumes your thoughts controls your life."
Anti marriage song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/1/07
Okay, here's a fun exercise. Listen to the song and constantly apply the theme of anti-marriage to the lines.
"While everyone's lost, the battle is won with all these things that I've done" = with all my friends lost to marriage, I still accomplish the same things (sex, companionship) with what I've done in the past and the present.
My two cents.
look deeper | Reviewer: Sarah | 10/25/07
Fully agreed with "anonymous 10/16/2007" comments -- a genuinely powerful anti-war song. And like they say, "you're either on the bus or you're off the bus" -- you get it or you don't...
Excellent Anti War Song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/16/07
I am surprised that all the reviewers think this song is nonsense and nobody gets the anti-war theme. "One more son". . . ."while everyone's lost, the battle is won" and of course, the hook...you can have SOUL w/o being a soldier. This is not actually a happy pick me up song -- it is a strong message song. Still, great to sing along to.
inspirational | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/23/07
the best sense is non-sense. this song just makes you want to stand up and sing like you really mean it. it's for those days when you feel absolutely terrible and you just need a pick-me-up, and suddenly you can just be okay.
this song ispires me to a great degree!