We're Only Gonna Die

Album: How Could Hell Be Any Worse? (1982)
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Songfacts®:

  • In Charles Darwin's book Origin of Species, he wrote: "To have arrived on this earth as the product of a biological accident, only to depart it through arrogance, would be the ultimate irony."

    Bad Religion lead singer Greg Graffin adapted and evolved this passage into this song, where he sings: "We're only gonna die from our own arrogance."

    Graffin later became an evolutionary biologist, earning a Ph.D. in zoology from Cornell University in 2003 and lecturing at UCLA.
  • This song is about the change from old to new. After early man (old) walked away, modern man (new) took control. The modern man built a huge empire then slaughtered his own kind. The last two lines in the song say: "We're only gonna die for our own arrogance, that's why we might as well take our time," meaning that we shouldn't rush into the future. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Amanda - Manchester, NH
  • This song teaches us a moral, and uses Hitler as an example. The line, "Their minds weren't all the same, to conquer was their goal" is addressing the Nazis. Hitler was part Jewish, which explains "He slaughtered his own kind." The line, "He died a confused man, killed himself with his own mind" is about how Hitler killed himself and he really didn't know what he was doing in the end. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    James - Ontario, Canada
  • Sublime covered this song (as "We're Only Gonna Die Of Our Own Arrogance") on their 1992 debut album, 40 Oz. To Freedom.

Comments: 17

  • Mike from Grantham, NhThis is not about Hitler. Early man was the neanderthals who were seen until recent years as peaceful people close to the Earth, and is still commonly thought among lefty environmentalist types. Modern man is Cro-Magnon who were thought to have caused Neanderthals to go extinct, and who have conquered the earth and killed each other in wars for millenia in their race to progress technologically and to command resources.
  • Trevor from Tulsa, OkNobody thinks it could be Stalin, he killed thousands of his kind, Russians. And Shawn, being a Jew is a religion and also a race, they are called Israelites, me being one of them.
  • Rene from Vienna, Austriai think this song is about white man stealing a very big land.
    like AMERICA.
    and situations like this in general.
    you can't do a song about genocide without having hitler in the back of your mind.

  • Joe from Sin City, NvBTW, only 16 Sublime songs and even worse, only 4 Bad Religion songs? Come on! There should be way more from these bands (especially Bad Religion) on the site.
  • Joe from Sin City, NvYeah, I'm getting kind of annoyed with the reverence that everyone (except me it seems) has for Scarface. It was a horrible film.

    Anyway, back to the song. I think it's about evil dictators and warlords and the like in general. It's just that Hitler took it to a whole new level and considering that he committed suicide (or got the hell out of Germany and booked it to South America, whatever you want to believe) only 63 years ago he is still fresh in the minds of many people that are alive today. And that is why so many people think it applies specifically to Adolf Hitler, where it could apply to Saddam Hussein, Genghis Khan or hundreds of other people in between just as well as it applies to Hitler.
  • Cody from Tallahassee, FlThis is a Bad Religion cover song popularized by Sublime most definitely. It was a downloadable bonus track off of the deluxe edition album 40 Oz. To Freedom. I'm sure the writer of these lyrics ment for them to be more of a universal statement about mankind than a narrow emphasis on one person such as Hitler. The lyrics never name Hitler in the first place, so you have no empirical evidence to say for certain that the lyrics were are about Hitler.
  • Pedro from Chula Vista, CaOkay, let's settle this. Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician. The only ties to Judaism that he had (not counting his systematic removal of Jews, of course) was that his grandfather was "very likely" Jewish. There is no empirical evidence, however.
  • Roger from Waterford, MiIt is a cover of a Bad Religion song that is totally about Hitler.
  • Chris from Sedona, AzI know this isn't right, but i'm going to say it, it sounds like a song about Tony Montana from "Scarface" but u need to have seen the movie to fully understand where i'm coming from :)
  • Shawn from Hutchinson, Mnyou can't be half jewish, its a religion not a race you either are or arent
  • Kelsey from Largo, FlHitler was too Jewish.

    and actually if you listen to the song it kinda does seem like thir talking about Hitler. do your research!!!!!
  • Steve from Tolland, Ctactually hitler was half jewish.....
  • Paul from Lebanon, KyIt's an early 80's Bad religion song. You can find it on Bad Religion's "80-85" compilation (song #1).

    I'm assuming Greg Graffin wrote it. He was doing university work on the evolution of bone matter at about the time 80-85 came out.
    While I haven't heard his explanation of the song, I assume it's more of a "the nature of man is to destroy himself" piece than something specific to Hitler. Human history is full of warlords and dictators, the strong oppressing the weak.
  • Megan from Los Angeles, CaThis song is about Hitler, but Hitler was most certainly not Jewish. Slaughtered his own kind means that he slaughtered German Jews-- innocent citizens of his country.
  • Ryan from Lanesborough, MaThis song doesn't have anything to do with Nazis... Just in case you were wondering
  • James from Burlington, CanadaActually, this song is about Hitler.
  • Joe from Carson, NvSublime covered this song from Bad Religion.
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