The Good Left Undone

Album: The Sufferer and the Witness (2006)


  • "The Good Left Undone" reached #10 on the Modern Rock chart week ending February 2, 2008 in its 30th chart week. This was the longest time it had taken any song to reach the Top 10 in the history of this chart. The previous record-holder for the slowest climb to the Top 10 on the Modern Rock chart was Sick Puppies' "All the Same." The Australian rock band's song arrived in the Top 10 in 2007 in its 25th week on the list.
  • In an interview with The Red Alert front man Tim McIlrath was asked if the instrumental part at the end of the song was originally a separate piece of music. He replied: "That one was actually pure collaboration. With a lot of our songs, Joe (Principe) will write the whole thing, or I'll write the whole thing, or Chris (Chasse) will write the whole thing, and then we'll all collaborate on little parts here and there. But 'The Good Left Undone' was really all four of us, Brandon (Barnes) included, all adding our own two cents."

Comments: 10

  • The1whoknocks from Oldsmar, IlToo me this song is about addiction to Opiates. I know love songs can often be mistaken for addition songs and vice versa but this is just my take on it.

    "The fields where nothing grew but weeds, I found a flower at my feet, Bending there in my direction." Uses opiates (Flower) which makes everything he use to feel seem drab.

    "I wrapped a hand around it's stem, I pulled until the roots gave in, Finding now what I've been missing, And I know." Fully embraces the drug and realizes what he has been missing.

    "So I tell myself, tell myself it's wrong, There's a point we pass from which we can't return, I felt the cold rain of the coming storm, All because you." Completely consumed by the drug and is unable to stop.

    The rest goes on to talk about quitting the drug "returning the flower to dirt."

    "Longing for the shore, Where I can lay my head down, Inside these arms of yours." Craving the warm embrace of the drug.

    "When home becomes a strange place" What he used to feel like before seems strange.
  • Toby from Kempsey, AustraliaThis song represtens my life to the closest possible expence, the simularities between this song, and the the girl of my dreams, as they unfold and the differences created. she sit's their bending there in my direction waiting for me to speaki, not knowing what i will say. but only believing the things her friends say. As she posts weak remarks confused about her..annointment? sticking up for the biggest Bitch i've ever met! she doesn't seem to realise how much that life affected me, and believes it can pass just like it never came. Crying every night, and not knowing how the next few minutes in their life will progress, somthing both the song and i have in common. through which is seemless in hidden identity.
  • Corey from Richmond, VaHe finds an amazing girl, pursues her & captures her heart. He has problems however, and hurts he breaks up with her and lets her go to be with someone else that can give her what she needs from a man & life in general.

    While he knows he did the best thing for her at the end of the day, he deeply regrets how he hurt her & is tortured by her memory. He realizes that she was the best thing that ever happened to him.
  • Steven from Gilbert, AzThis is my favorite Rise Against song, with the last stanza (All because of you I believe in angels... shout it out) Being my favorite stanza. This songs meaning of loving someone but having to let them go because you are hurting them has special meaning to me, making it one of my favorite songs of all time... GREAT lyrics.
  • Rachel from Cincinnati, OhI think everybody, has somebody that holds them up or pulls you down, it seems like both. Either way its a great song, breaking out on your own is what is sounds most like to me.
  • Sarah from Londin, Oni think this song is about a guy that is looking for something diffrent from the rest of the world. when he finaly finds a girl that is diffrent from every one elts in his life, he is consomed by her. she is all he can think of, and he stays up at night thinking of her. finaly he needs to let her go. he trys to accept this, but when he does he cant stop wanting her. needing her.
  • Berto from Northport, Fli think its about finding someone or something good in a world where everything is bad, and trying to make that thing your own, even though you know it's not. you become so consumed with it because it's the only good thing you know. eventually it takes over you and you "haven't slept in so long". your obcession is eventually what kills it and then you start wanting it again. i could be wrong and probably am, but that's my opipnion.
  • Grace from Seattle, Wathink its about someone who ruined his life from the way i look at it. "i haven't slept in so long when i do i dream of drowning in the ocean, running toward the shore so i can lay my head down." i cry every time i hear it it reminds me of my so called father.
  • Moebert from Burgdorf, GermanyI think the flower is a metaphor for this special person ("finding now what i've been missing",growing in a field of weed its something special), and the verses tell us that you can't force that person to come with you. (He plucked the folwer and it died)
  • Vince from San Francisco, CaGreat song, i think this song is about having nothing right in your life and believing that that one special person will make it better
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)Songwriter Interviews

Before "Rap" was a form of music, it was something guys did to pick up girls in nightclubs. Donnie talks about "The Rapper" and reveals the identity of Leah.

Gentle Giant

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.

Def Leppard Quiz

Def Leppard QuizMusic Quiz

Can you name Def Leppard's only #1 hit in America? Get rocked with this adrenalized quiz.

Eric Clapton

Eric ClaptonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really write "Cocaine" while on cocaine? This question and more in the Clapton edition of Fact or Fiction.

James Bond Theme Songs

James Bond Theme SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the 007 theme songs?