You're Gonna Go Far, Kid

Album: Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace (2008)
Charted: 63

Songfacts®:

  • Offspring frontman Dexter Holland explained the meaning behind this punk rock rager in an interview with the Argentina's Pagina 12: "The guy from 'Pretty Fly' was hooked on the latest fashion culture and [the guy from] 'You're Gonna Go Far, Kid' is busy manipulating other people. You can take him as a high school kid who tries to form his own social group, but on the way he manipulates others with a behavior disorder that will never leave him. You might see that guy later as a United States deputy or running a corporation. Even if that boy has grown up, his idea of manipulating will always be with him."
  • Bob Rock, who is best known for his work with Motley Crue and Metallica, produced this song along with the rest of the album.
  • This reached #1 on the US Modern Rock tracks chart.
  • The lyrics mention Lord of the Flies, William Golding's 1954 novel about a group of British schoolboys who resort to savagery after being stranded on an uninhabited island. The few rational thinkers who resist the descent into chaos are dealt with violently by the others.
  • This was used during the opening credits of the 2009 comedy National Lampoon's Van Wilder: Freshman Year.

Comments: 30

  • JustaguyIt’s a song about those who want. He who can make those of the masses hang on every word due to compelling word choice and vocabulary. Humans live to serve weather it’s. God or another being they simply give in to compelling subjugation. It’s about someone who can inspire people while not being the brunt of his own force. Someone who can use others the way a man would use tools. A song of ambition and those who oppose you.
  • Sodoko from Orecal Schoolme and my sister always lisen to it when were board or werer on a cruse or just cuse we feel like it
  • KillerwombatI think of it as a really messed up sidekick to superhero story such as ‘Titans’ robin
  • Crazygirrafe613's Channel from HellHitman. He's a hit man
  • Anonymous from Sydneythe offspring is the best band in the world ever
  • Mark Watney from MarsI've almost fixed the rover!
  • Scott from Schuylerville NySo to me the song is just about A manipulator and the a commentary on what it takes to get ahead. We have one guy who manages to creat a mob to do his bidding and then vanish in that crowd. He at this point just enjoys as people dance to the tune he makes for them. So he smirks and watches them saying dance f- dance. The irony is because he works in secret and gets what he wants by manipulation he can win anything he wants. Hiding and lying he can hit his opponent before they know who they even face. So in a real way he is the one that will go far not because he should, but because he knows how to play people and win
  • Susan from NelsonAlso appropo for former dialysis patients who have been screwed over by narrow minded nephrologists.
  • Bill from BlieHere's an interview with Dexter Holland where he actually tells us the meaning of the lyrics:
    https://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/suplementos/no/12-3695-2008-10-23.html
    The guy from Pretty Fly was hooked on the latest fashion culture and that of You're Gonna Go Far, Kid is busy manipulating other people. You can take him as a high school kid who tries to form his own social group, but on the way he manipulates others with a behavior disorder that will never leave him. You might see that guy later as a United States deputy or running a corporation. Even if that boy has grown up, his idea of manipulating will always be with him.
  • Jeremy from ChicagoThe best thing about music is that it's open to interpretation. I've read the biblical interpretations, the Lord of the Flies interpretations, and various other comments and they all make good points. At the end of the day, there are songs that you can use to motivate you any way you need them to. This is one of them. I use this as inspiration to get back to the top of the leaderboard at work when I've had some personal setbacks. I also think it applies as a message to the newbie fake MF that thinks he's going to be the new king. It's all whatever you want it to be.
  • Hanna from OkI think this song is about someone who is power tripping. They're using their popularity to influence people in their clique to shun and ruin the lives of others by lying about, and spreading rumors about them.

    Another clever word
    Sets off an unsuspecting herd
    And as you get back into line
    A mob jumps to their feet

    However someone caught on to this persons deceitful crap and turned the tables.

    So play it out I'm wide awake
    It's a scene about me
    There's something in your way
    And now someone is gonna pay
    And if you can't get what you want
    Well it's all because of me
  • Robert from Santa Fe Nm This song is about me... Billy the Kid. I changed a law when I was sixteen and created my own senate bill as I served a s a page for the New Mexico senate. It was a law that enabled children under 18 to get a drivers liscence before their 18th birthday. I've mentioned a lot these days in these #Starwars you can read about me in drakes lyrics along with other rockers and rap stars #WizKhslifa more so is my favorite along with Jon Bon Jovi.
  • Wayneembryskids from Cleveland, OhThis song is about Lebron James.
  • Bubblesk from Memphis, TnSo - what is The Offspring's interpretation of the message in this song? Now that a variety of interpretations have been posted here, what about the artist's input on this song? Who knows? Will anyone from the band say anything?
  • Shawn from Lusby, MdOK, see if you take it into context the title of You're Gonna Go Far is because it's about a youth who did turn to violence, but because he was so good at deceiving people he joined the mafia as a hitman but in turn deceived them and took them out, which is the trust deceived line.
  • Sapper from Nowhere, LiechtensteinI, unfortunately, disagree with most of the other interpretations. I feel this is most obviously about a troubled youth who has turned to violence, harming innocent people. I feel the title line, "You're gonna go far kid", is simply ironic (because the killer thinks he will get away). It makes sense that the video doesn't reflect this due to the controversy around events such as the tragedies at Columbine, Texas A&M, and West Virginia Tech. The line "Dance f--ker, dance" may reference old-west films where the bad guy shot at the feet of his target. I feel that it is to be read as though the gunman is saying it to his targets as they scatter. This is a darker interpretation, I know, but being The Offspring I wouldn't be shocked at the idea that they made a controversial song. Listen to the lyrics with this in mind and I believe you'll hear it as I do.
  • Jessica from Rockaway, NjIts about how no matter who you are and how much money, you have you can still go far. Then, if you take advantage of it than you loose it.
  • Amanda from Gretna, Vtand here I always thought it was about a hit man. go figure.
  • Matt from White Plains, NyThis song makes me think of Bernie Madoff
  • Joe from New York, NyBaal-zebub is one of the names for satan in the bible,it literally means "lord of the flies", Jesus also refered to satan as"the father of lies" so if you listen to the lyrics based on those two principals its quite possible that the song is about satan,but you be the judge, here are the lyrics:Show me how to lie
    You're getting better all the time
    And turning all against the one
    Is an art that's hard to teach
    Another clever word
    Sets off an unsuspecting herd
    And as you get back into line
    A mob jumps to their feet

    Now dance, f**ker, dance
    Man, he never had a chance
    And no one even knew
    It was really only you

    And now you steal away
    Take him out today
    Nice work you did
    You're gonna go far, kid

    With a thousand lies
    And a good disguise
    Hit 'em right between the eyes
    Hit 'em right between the eyes
    When you walk away
    Nothing more to say
    See the lightning in your eyes
    See 'em running for their lives

    Slowly out of line
    And drifting closer in your sights
    So play it out I'm wide awake
    It's a scene about me
    There's something in your way
    And now someone is gonna pay
    And if you can't get what you want
    Well it's all because of me

    Now dance, f**ker, dance
    Man, I never had a chance
    And no one even knew
    It was really only you

    And now you'll lead the way
    Show the light of day
    Nice work you did
    You're gonna go far, kid
    Trust, deceived!

    With a thousand lies
    And a good disguise
    Hit 'em right between the eyes
    Hit 'em right between the eyes
    When you walk away
    Nothing more to say
    See the lightning in your eyes
    See 'em running for their lives

    Now dance, f**ker, dance
    He never had a chance
    And no one even knew
    It was really only you

    So dance, f**ker, dance
    I never had a chance
    It was really only you

    With a thousand lies
    And a good disguise
    Hit 'em right between the eyes
    Hit 'em right between the eyes
    When you walk away
    Nothing more to say
    See the lightning in your eyes
    See 'em running for their lives

    Clever alibis
    Lord of the flies
    Hit 'em right between the eyes
    Hit 'em right between the eyes
    When you walk away
    Nothing more to say
    See the lightning in your eyes
    See 'em running for their lives.

    here is one instance in the bible where it speaks of baal-zebub "After Ahab's death, Moab rebelled against Israel. Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, "Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury." But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, "Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, 'Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub,the god of Ekron? Therefore this is what the LORD says:You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!' " So Elijah went. When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, "Why have you come back?" "A man came to meet us," they replied. "And he said to us, 'Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, "This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending men to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!" ' " The king asked them, "What kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?" They replied, "He was a man with a garment of hair and with a leather belt around his waist." The king said, "That was Elijah the Tishbite." Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men. The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, "Man of God, the king says, 'Come down!' "
    Elijah answered the captain, "If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.
    At this the king sent to Elijah another captain with his fifty men. The captain said to him, "Man of God, this is what the king says, 'Come down at once!' "If I am a man of God," Elijah replied, "may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Then the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men. So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. "Man of God," he begged, "please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!" The angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Go down with him; do not be afraid of him." So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king. He told the king, "This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!" So he died, according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken."2 Kings 1:1-17
  • Justing from Orlando , FlThe title for some reason makes me think of the Dr. Suess book "Oh the places you'll go"
  • Aaron from Nunya, MoI think [But not really of course] the song was written ahead of its time about Rogues in the game World of Warcraft. Any gamers looking this up should listen to it while they play, especially in PvP. It's the greatest.
  • Jared from 510, CaI agree with Calum. If you've read the book and think about the lyrics of the song, it makes sense. Plus, within the last 30 seconds of the song he clearly says "Lord of the Flies" twice lol.
  • Amanda from Millville, MaLove this song, I always wondered what it was about... My friend used to think it was about war, and someone being shot down :P I think that all the other people here are right; it's about an abuse of power, although I didn't know it was based on a book...
  • Matt from Gardiner, MeAmazing drums/guitar/bass. Probably one of the better newer songs
  • Shannon from Kalkaka, Mivery VERY catchy! my mom hates the music i listen to, including this soing, but i just think shes crazy!
  • Calum from Brisbane, Australiai think this song is about Lord of the Flies. it is about Jack killing Simon. 1/2 of the song is Jack singing to Simon and the other 1/2 is Simon singing to Jack.
  • Craig from Henderson, NvAwesome beat. Pumps me up to the max. Ya know what I mean. This is the story of my life. Let me tell you.
  • Chris from Claremont, CaSounds like what a boxing promoter might say to a boxer, or someone high in power might say to a struggling musician just breaking into the biz. or a prize fighter. great song, have heard it countless times and I still like it.
  • Lilly from Chicago, IlThis song is really catchy, with cool lyrics, I just wish there was more info on what it was about!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Judas Priest

Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton talk twin guitar harmonies and explain how they create songs in Judas Priest.

U2 Lyrics

U2 LyricsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the lyrics of U2?

Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee JonesSongwriter Interviews

Rickie Lee Jones on songwriting, social media, and how she's handling Trump.

Alice Cooper

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Francis Rossi of Status Quo

Francis Rossi of Status QuoSongwriter Interviews

Doubt led to drive for Francis, who still isn't sure why one of Status Quo's biggest hits is so beloved.

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).