God Am

Album: Alice in Chains (1995)


  • This song is about Layne Staley's frustration with having faith in God. He doesn't deny the existence of a higher power, but questions whether God really cares about our earthly existence. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brian - Brockton, MA

Comments: 25

  • MindyThis is actually not a line from fast times at ridgemont high spoken by Sean Penn who played the stoner in the movie. Layne stayley was smoking crack while in the studio and after taking a hit out of the bong, he said the fist line. Jerry Cantrell confirmed this in an interview.
  • Gilbert Thomas from SingaporeI think it's a stretch that this is about drugs. These are people who already decided that this song is about addiction, so they look at the lyrics and fit every verse in a specific context so that it IS about drugs. You can do it with any song and any topic, I could say it is about Power or wealth as well. I wonder how would Layne write his lyrics if he actually wanted to talk about God ? If you look at the lyrics plainly it is about his contempt for God that he doesn't even believe exists (Fable) .
  • Justin Case from Baltimore, MdWhen he says "sure, god's all powerful, but does he have lips" isn't actually nobody in the band saying it. It's actually a movie quote from Sean Penn's character "Spicholi" (surely misspelled) in the movie "fast times at Ridgemont High". He plays a stoner and says it while taking a bong hit while his buddies are amazed. As far as the song, he's basically having a conversation with god almighty and telling him he's losing faith in him because he now worships a new god named "Heroin" and doesn't have time for anyone or anything else in his life since his new god has completely consumed every minute of every day. He's asking "how can you love me and let this happen to me?"
  • J from Portland, OrI concure with (sean, london, ON) I have had the same addiction in my life, and if any of you truly understood what heroin addiction is like then you wouldn't need to even second guess what this song is really about. He could be referencing the real god in this song but I highly doubt it at this point in his addiction, and life. Even if he is talking about the almighty all powerful god from above, you can ask any junkie (addict) to listen to this song and I bet that 9 out of 10 will say it's an analogy for drug addiction.
  • Gina from Beaufort, Sctangibility. we as humans tend not to belive in what we can't see. he was just like that. but this song in interchangable. he could be talkin bout drugs in thee chorus but other than tht this is about tangibility
  • Gina from Beaufort, ScFirst I dont think he called the Bible a fable. Secound he's NOT bashing God he just thinks that He doesn't care about what mortal beings go through and that He failed us
  • Sean from London, Onwow dude, to the person who wrote the comment just below mine. you should take your own advice. u dont know what your talking about and you should just shut up. Being an addict in my life before i know there are very strong references to heroin in this song. only someone who has been there could understand. so unless u have been there u need to sgut up about things you don't understand. When layne was alive there was an interview on tv done where the interviewer asked what this song was about? layne said: God am is about suffering and control. its about being at your lowest and wanted to know why your there? he stated its not about bashing god, but more about asking yourself why i am where i am now.
  • C from Titusville, Flanyone who thinks this song is about heroin is truly blind, sorry to be so harsh about it, but dont talk about things you are clueless on. At the VERY beginning of the song he says "sure God's all powerful, but does he have lips?" If you think hes talking about heroin at this point.... what is wrong with your brain? learn how to pick up on the clues or something. He's not asking heroin "dear god how have you been then?" The God of the Bible's true name is "I Am" (you can look it up in the bible if you really care to learn what this song means) . in case youre confused what that may mean, it basically just means God has no beginning and no end. he just is. its a very very hard concept for a mortal man to comprehend since everything we know in our physical world has a beginning and an end. humans have a hard time learning things without relation.
  • Matt from North Kingstown, RiI definately think this song is about his lack of faith in the church. I'm pretty sure god is not a metaphor for heroine, don't over analyze it. If you read the lyrics to "Get Born Again" they are very similar.
  • Sap1992 from New Jersey, NjI understand alot of people want this song to be about God bashing, well songs are always open to interpretation, I'm going to explain these lyrics in the way I believe Layne Staley meant for them to be understood, this song is about Control, when he refers to "God" in this song it's a metaphor for heroin, similar to the songs Dirt, God Smack, A little Bitter etc. Layne always referred to Heroin as "God" in his songs,
    this is one his most brilliant pieces of poetry,
    the lyrics are written in the form of a prayer in what appear to be an angry person lashing out at his maker.

    Dear God, how have you been then?
    I'm not fine, f--k pretending

    He's relapsing, because of withdrawl or something
    that forced him out of sobriety

    All of this death your sending
    Best throw some free heart mending

    heroin is deadly
    but, He's hoping that he can still get a high
    from using it, which the free heart meaning reference

    Invite you in my heart, then
    When done, my sins forgiven?

    metaphor for shooting up
    after, he hopes for a high

    This God of mine relaxes
    World dies I still pay taxes

    the heroin feels nothing for him
    world dies - meaning he's high
    but he's paying for it in the end

    Can I be as my God am
    Can you be as God am
    Can I be as my God am
    God of all my God am

    Can he be in control

    So Lord, I see you grinnin
    Must be grand always winning

    it's like the H is laughing at him
    the smack always wins over his sobriety

    How proud are you being able
    To gather faith from fable

    how is it that people still use heroin
    when everyone knows how deadly it is
    but people still find a way to make an excuse
    and put their faith in it

    Can I be as my God am
    Can you be as God am
    Can I be as my God am
    God of all my God am
    God am
    My God am
    God am

    can he be in control

    All the respect I'm giving
    Shared strength acquired by living

    paying respect by using for so long
    shared strength meaning the heroin lives
    through the users, they use eachother

    All blooming life you're feeding
    Can't hide sick ones you're weeding

    it feeds off life, and it can't hide the signs of withdrawl from users who it's slowly killing (weeding)

    Can I be as my God am
    Can you be as God am
    Can I be as my God am
    God of all my God am
    God am
    God am
    God am
    God am

    can I be in control

    Layne Staley has plenty songs like this, Dirt
    God smack, Confusion, (sinking, Draining, Drowning, Bleeding, Dead) he never blamed anyone one for his problem but himself, why would he write a song about God bashing when he was guest vocals on the very religious song Ring them Bells by heart.. most of Layne's songs have to do with Heroin, the horrors of it's addiction, and the deep depression it's caused
  • Ricky from Nyc, CaHello. I discovered this song only a few days ago and I love it! It makes me melt and quiver. I just wanted to say that I feel that when Layne Staley sang it live he was expressing his suffering. He expressed his suffering beautifully. Everybody suffers one way or another.
  • Duff from Nanaimo, Bcthe quote sure gods all powerful but does he have lips means, sure hes all powerful but god cant talk directly. so hes not really all powerful, he cant do that.
  • Nate from Oregon City, Ori agree that he is challenging god and not denying him. also, it is possible to believe that a god exists and think that the bible is fable. fables are storys meant to teach leasons of morality. calling the bible a fable does not mean that god does not exist, just that the storys arent parts of history and just storys.
  • Pete from New Haven, Ctlayne is awesome. his words mean so much. it takes a real strong spirit to break gods balls. its about time someone did. we're blessing your soul layne,PP.
  • Sean from Alma, MiSince he's takin' a hit from a bong, I thought he was saying "Does God has THIS?" Not LIPS.
  • Andrew from Lanoka Harbor, NjLayne did believe in a god, he was just frustrated by how an all powerful god could sit around and allow so much hurt and pain to happen. "world dies i still pay taxes" "cant hide sick ones your weeding" both support this concept. when he asks "can i be as my god am?" he is saying that he doesnt believe its possible to be like the church says you must be like to attain heaven. in a world with such violence and dispair, and a silent god ( "sure god's all powerful but does he have lips?") how can one possibly have faith. And how is anyone suppose to be god or christ-like, there is only one god, and only god can be god-like (" can i be as my god am? god of all my god am")
  • C from Titusville, FlI think too many people want this song to mean that layne doesnt believe in a creater so it will agree with their atheistic beliefs. "gather faith from fable" isnt saying god isnt real, hes saying that he doent believe in the churches depiction of god. "does he have lips?" doesnt say that people cant describe what god looks like, its questioning why god never says anything to him or anyone else. i think the anger layne expresses towards this shows that he believes that theres a creator out there some where, whether he's good or bad or whatever. its just ridiculous to think everything just accidently evolved into all the life we see today on its own, and i doubt layne bought into it.
  • Skate6566 from Philly, PaI think this song is about Denial of the existence of god.

    For one, "the line how proud are you, being able to gather faith from fable?" calls the bible fictional.

    I think that the "but does he have lips?" Means that you can say god's all powerful, but you can't even describe how he looks.

    Originally I thought this had to do with a struggle of faith, until I heard the line about gathering faith from fable.
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., OhTamara, I would have to agree with you- when I had first heard this song, I honestly thought that Layne was singing "Goddamn". By listening to the lyrics, I think that was the idea.
  • Mike from Atlanta, GaHe knows God is weeding him out! He says it in his own words. But, God isn't doing it! He's doing it to himself! He knows he has failed God, or not the god that he knows! Mike
  • Jackie from Johnsburg, IlI agree i think this song is about the frusturation with having faith in God but also the fact that chruches get millions of donations yet dont have to pay taxes and yet they still need more money. the line "world dies i still pay taxes" seems logical to the whole churches dont have to pay taxes thing yet everyone else has to. Also the fact that if "god" is so powerful and all knowing ..he really didnt do a good job in creating the world "All of this death your sending ,Best throw some free heart mending" seems logical to that i mean how can an all loving god send people to eturnal torment?

    also at the beginning of the song "sure gods all power but does he have lips?" basically meaning god is set out to be all power all knowing but can he show himself? or talk to us to make us think he is real?
  • Tamara from Jacksonville, FlActually, I think Layne does deny the existence of God, with the line, "How proud are you, being able to gather faith from fable?" The song is therefore not about a crisis of faith, but rather frustration with mankind's blind faith that an omnipotent God will cure mankind's ills (some of which are enumerated in the song). Combined with "Bleed The Freak", it is clear that Layne Staley was not someone who put a lot of stock in religion. Also, it is possibly significant that he pronounces "God Am" as "God damn", since he usually enunciated his words quite well. The song therefore appears to have a double meaning.
  • Kyle from Hudson, NhAt the begining of the song, they're hittin a bubbler. That's why he's talkin so weird.
  • Tony from Sf, CaWhy would it take balls to write lyrics like this?
  • Andrew from Harrisburg, Pawow...hell of a song i must say, to write these lyrics takes balls
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Chris Squire of Yes

Chris Squire of YesSongwriter Interviews

One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

Al Jourgensen of Ministry

Al Jourgensen of MinistrySongwriter Interviews

In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.

Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

Peter Lord

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"They're Playing My Song

The first of Billy's five #1 hits was the song that propelled Madonna to stardom. You'd think that would get you a backstage pass, wouldn't you?