Youth Of The Nation

Album: Satellite (2001)
Charted: 36 28

Songfacts®:

  • This song was inspired by the March 5, 2001 shootings at Santana High School in Santee, California, where 15-year-old Charles Williams walked into school with his father's gun and fired 30 shots, killing two students and wounding 13 others. The shooting was remarkably close to where P.O.D. was working that day, and inspired this song.

    In our interview with lead singer Sonny Sandoval, he said: "When we were actually writing the record for Satellite, we were two blocks away from the Santee high school shootings. We had taken a break and went out for some coffee, and we see all the fire trucks and the police department and the helicopters and news. And we're like, something's going on. We turn on the TV and all of a sudden there's a young kid who has trapped everybody inside the school and he's shooting. Here we are, glued to the TV and we're literally two blocks away. All this is going down, and here we were supposed to write music. It kind of just set the tone for how we felt that day."
  • On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado killed 13 people in a shooting spree at the school. P.O.D. stands for "Payable On Death," but that's a reflection of their Christian beliefs, and not a call for violence. The band spends a lot of time working with young people and trying to represent them in their music.

    Sonny Sandoval told us: "We had always been a touring band and we had toured through Colorado, even when Columbine had happened, and we had an awesome underground following, even of kids in Colorado. So when we toured through Colorado, some of the kids that survived the Columbine shootings put on a fund raiser, so we've always been kind of involved in that. We're hanging out with young kids, we're talking with kids, and that was one of the things that was going on when we were touring so many years ago. So it had always been something that was on our shoulders.

    And then when this happened it was like wow, what's going on with these kids? And it was like here it is, these are the youth of the nation. So it just sparked that whole story."
  • Guitarist Marcos Curiel said of this song: "It's always been a topic on tour. I don't want to say it inspired us, but it gave us the motivation to write something. Well, when we were writing this record, we wanted to be secluded so we went to Santee, in East San Diego, where we had this 35x35 rehearsal studio. One day we were on our way to practice, and we saw all these cops, but we didn't know what was going on. Later we found out what had happened (The shooting). It was an emotional situation. The main control room in the studio has a TV, and we're watching the news on there, thinking, 'Man, this is a mess.' I'm the only one that doesn't have kids, but everybody was like, ' Dude, that could have been my kids in there,' or 'That could have been my sister.'" >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Nick - Paramus, NJ
  • Parts of this song were recorded very quickly after the Santee shootings. Sandoval explained in his Songfacts interview: "We had the title and we had the music. It was just this very drone like echo of this guitar. And that's just how we felt. And here we are having conversation and the title 'Youth of the Nation' came up, and then we kind of hummed out some ideas of the chorus. But the lyrics for the verses weren't written until we actually got into the studio and started to write out tracks. But I knew I was going to be telling the story of what we experienced and what happened. So it was more about this story of certain individuals, or just this kid who feels like he's lost in this world. The lyrics all came out once we were in the studio."
  • Paul Fedor directed the video, which follows a young man on a cross-country journey, where he brings other young folks into the fold. In the band scenes, the balls are covered with enlarged yearbook photos, some of them distorted.

    The video has a positive vibe, with the youth of the nation coming together. Other directors pitched much darker storylines.

Comments: 51

  • Lane from Lansing, IaTruly a deep song, and all you people who think it's Christians that do this look up "voice of the martyrs" then you will find the truth.
  • Galen from California , CaI was one of the kids who survived the shooting and when I heard about them writing a song about it I couldn't wait to hear it.
  • Chase from San Diego, CaThank you for the song. Our school is and always will be greatful. I was a student there went it all
    Went down. Still not over it. I would kill him if I ever saw him
  • Elena from Letterston, United KingdomDarius I agree. Justin, so sorry mate and it was really sad. My heart goes out to all affected ot any shooting, there was one down in Wales before and it was so close to home. My mate went to one of the funerals. It was her boyfriend. Except this time it wasnt in a school, a guy dressed up as a policeman and went around the coast shooting people and carrying a decapitated head under one of his arms. No one butone tried to stop him because they thought he was an officer, the only one who tried to stop it was shot to death.
  • Eleanor from Melbourne, AustraliaHaha that Toby...Ohhhh.. well.. pretty sad for someone to post something as stupid as that..
    well i am sure that 99% of the worlds conflict is caused by people who make pretentious assumptions such as your comment..
    before you become so caught up in your own thought..
    maybe consider aspects such as.. greed. jealous..racism..murder..???

    before you even start to insult people who have faith in God.. you might want to take into consideration that most of the music you would listen to actually pass on messages about GOD and help people who are going through terrible times..
    disgusts me that people decide to post stuff before they even think about it..
    PEACE
  • Josh from Corry, Patoby... wat if you actually knew the shooter.. yes religion does cause a lot of the problems between countries... but you need to overlook the fact.... that noone gives a s--t about wat u have to say... wat im actually trying to say is if u knew the shooter, how would u label him? would u label him christian still? i sure as the hell wouldnt
  • Troy from Roscoe, Il-toby- I am just going to point out that people left England and came to the U.S. to freely interpret the bible in their own ways. They fought for so long against the church for their right to read and interpret it in their own eyes. All religions in some way require the person to have their own beliefs about religion, but are bound by vauge rules that all believers see as true.
    in short.... YOUR COMMENT IS PRETTY MUCH A FALLACY OF AN ARGUMENT.
  • Jennie from Ansonia, CtWhat I love best about this song is the kids singing the chorus line! Hopefully the tragedies of the school shootings will never be repeated. It was a very frightening time to be going to school not knowing if any the kids you're there with will one day snap.
  • Perla from San Diego, Caeverytime i hear this song i feel like going on a mission for god and bringing other teens to him. and i always want to cry when i hear this song even though i've heard it a million times.
  • Alex from Detroit, MiLessons written in ink are never heeded.
    Lessons written in blood are never forgotten.
    Santanna
    Virginia Tech
    Columbine
  • Jennifer from North Platte, Neyouth of the nation reveals something that happened march 5 2001 and that was a shooting. this shooting was by a 14 year old boy in the ninth grade in santee california. i think P.O.D. was tryn to prove that shooting some people dont get you anywhere it jus cause you to get put in jail for like 25 to life. now that would suck. if you think shooting someone makes you feel better make it be yourself because your taking some innocent persons life and what that was you getting your life tookin away. you would feel just as bad. chaos doesnt solve one thing except tears, death, and unhappiness.
  • Jeff from Norco, Cageez first this toby guy chill out first WW1 and 2 iraq war civil war 100 years war american revolution french revolution vietnam korean cold war the list goes on they had nothing to with religion but political aspects so clearly ur statistic is way off and there r instances where atheists have persecuted us like north korea where they slaughtered millions of us so it is just as easy to say that ur kind should die as u say ours should ...u might want to think before u speak and just so ur aware the chemical associated with anger clouds the brains ability to think...and unless ya can prove with facts and u have seen all the evidence that there is no god u cant say one does not exist if ya cant prove he does not exist then one must logically be an agnostic open to the idea anyway this song is awesome it got me through rough times
  • Darius from Colorado Springs, CoLol if 99% of deaths is caused by religon then why not all religons come together and annihilate Toby?
  • Don from Hermosa Beach, CaToby i hope you read this you are the ignorent type of person that causes hate if 99% of all war and death is caused by religion you do realize everyone would be dead because the mass amounts of different religions and only 2% of the entire population have no belife you are a retard
  • Matthew from Grand Forks, NdToby, London, United Kingdom

    I don't think you understand death. Have you ever been near it, or even thought about it. Telling us to all die in a brutal way is stupid. You are the type that likes to pass the blame, people are the root of all problems.

    Thanks POD for this song, its been one of my fav's since it was released.
  • Kaveh from Urbana, Ohthe only thing i can say is thank you p.o.d. for making this song because it has helped alot of people out an that was there goal even if it touched one person it meant that the meaning of this song was understood
  • Tanna from Santee, CaThank you so much this song has touched alot of people especially the ones there that tragic day as well as their family and friends. SHS we will never forget
  • Toby from London, United KingdomThe song is cool. But all of the people going on about God this and God that infact make me want to shoot them.

    Religion causes 99% of the worlds death and conflict, so before you hide behind your bible get an actual understanding of it and dont just do the typical retard thing of interpreting it to suit yourself.

    The kids who did this were Christians, but everyone will label them differently to protect the religion.

    Maybe lets blame music?

    Creation is against organised religion, yes / no.

    Never have I seen more ignorance and stupidity on display than in the company of religious people.

    You all need to die brutally, then you'll realise there is no god, no heaven and no "paradise".

    You idiots.
  • Kristin from Silent Hill, AustraliaI am doing an english assignment on this song, it is a woderful and meaningful song.
  • Brynden from Puyallup, Waman this song is gnarly. reading that comment by justin is just unbelievable.. i cant imagine seeing my friend get shot like that. this song has a lot of meaning. this sounds cliche but Violence is not the only way to get your anger out, infact its not the answer at all. God is the only way. He's behind you every step, every second, every min. of your life. he can help you. God Bless
  • Steph from Commack, NyThis song means alot. keep on lisening, p.o.d is amazing
  • Michael from Hutchinson, Ksthe 1st time i heard this song it was weird. i really did not like it at all. but after liten to it god as put it on my heart to listen to at least once a week to keep me grouned in my faith. my pastor was the one who got me listening to P.O.D.. and i thank him for that.
  • Austn411 from Va. Beach, Vathis song rocks and has a cool meaning
  • Steven from Gibsonia , PaI think there were scenes from this video that were shot in Harmar Township and New Kensington,PA,which is not far from where I live
  • Sebastian from Devonport, AustraliaThanks P.O.D,
    For putting a song out there that has meaning. Youth of the Nation is my favourite song and it gave me something to write my school paper on and this site has helped me a lot thanks.
  • Reanna from New Middletown,this song is awesome. my church did a human video to this song and i was in it...i was a marcher! it was awesome but after the human video my pastors wife was crying =( but it was really good
  • Devonte from Springfield, IlI think this Song tells alot. i mean its hard for teenagers now adays. to many bullying. like today i seen some kid picking on my cousin. i dont care what age u are or that i am. i will take anyone out that tryies to shoot up my school. my life would be a scarafic for the kids. i would prove to the shooter what friends do. to much blood has been spilled . pepole its time to stop that and tack care of it our selfs.
  • Jillian from Delaware, Ohmy dad used to play this song all the time when it came out , and i never knew what it was called, and then i searched for it a couple months ago and couldnt remember most of the song, i heard it today on a video my health teacher showed us in class, it's a really good song .
  • Haleigh from Colorado Springs, Cowhen i was in 6th grade this song came out and i loved it. it remined me of how we are the ones that are going to be caring this nation in a few years. but the way its going we will never make it.
  • Grace from Bundaberg, AustraliaWow. This song has so much meaning to me.
    I know what those kids feel like, when they do shootings at school. Life can seem so difficult that the only way out is by committing suicide, or doing something way more serious, like killing people.
  • Raoul Duke from Here, Careally powerful song... gives me chills everytime i hear it. wow. we really are the youth of a (deleted) up nation.
  • Sam I Am from Santee, CaThanks For writting this song.

    Our school will never forget it

    Thankyou, it means so much to us

    SHS 04 One School, One Heart Never Forget
  • Mandie from Port Royal, Pathis song states all the down falls of the teenagers of the nation
  • Jim from San Diego, CaThanks to P.O.D. for putting out a song that has meaning. This is a great song because it touches something the effects and concerns us all.
  • John from Ben Lomond, Cadude this song kicks ass i may not like christian bands but this song is awesome
  • Joel from Columbia, ScI like this song. It is similar to "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam in that there were both shootings at a school. It is sad when something like that happens but having a song about it helps to get through.
  • Lacie from Whitefish, MtI love this song!!! I remember hearing it in school in 5th grade! it was a great song...Kinda scared me at first but it has good meaning
  • Laine from Detroit, MiThis song tells a big story with a lot of people very eloquently. It really puts you in the shoes of the shooter, and all the people whose lives were ended. No matter how unrelated their lives were before, they were all joined together in the end in the shooting.
  • Rebka from Crapville, WyI like this song. It's really meaningful. P.O.D is a good group. They are also christian.
  • Kat from Melbourne, Australiaits kat again letting all u guys no i got an A+ on my dance exam to this song.. i showed my teacher clippings from this site.. she was saddened by the tradgerty and was pleased i choose such a meaningful song :D:D *thumbs up* to POD .. keep up the good work
  • Kat from Melbourne, Australiathanks for the site.. iam doin my year 10 dance exam on this theme and song and it has helped me heaps..... thanks... my heart goes out 2 all the victims and the families and friends of not only the people injured and killed in these tradgerties but the teachers and the police and evryone who had to whitness these terrible things -xoxox-
  • Eric from Winooski, Vtthank you for posting this web page it helped me write my school paper
  • Jessie from Middle Of Nowhere, WaThis song is a real good song it has help me in so many ways
  • Scott Baddwin from Edmonton, EnglandSo sorry 2 hear that,Justin!did he live?
  • Sarah from Burlington, Nji am writing a paper for school on this song and this website has helped me out greatly! thanks!
  • Justin from Santee, CaThe shooters name was Charles andrew Williams. He shot my friend in the neck. Justin
  • Mandie from Martinsville, InI think that song is not just for the schools that had the shootings but every other school in the united stated that deals with problems everyday. Plus it lets all the young people all over the world know that they make a difference good or bad b/c they are the youth of the nation.
  • Nick from Paramus, NjSatellite was realeased on September 11th, 2001.
  • Sarah from Toronto, CanadaIt was also used on an episode of Boston Public when the students had a riot in the hallways.
  • Julio from El Paso, TxThe video for this song was held back from being aired after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Also I think this song also goes along with the Columbine attacks. If im not mistaken this song is about students who went to school not noing that it would be their last day living because of a student who shot them all.
  • Garret from Avon, MnOne of the 4 Live songs that are on the DVD disc of the Satellite re-release [2002]. The Others being "Set It Off", "Without Jah, Nothin'", and "Outkast".
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