This song is a cathartic one for Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, who takes out his family frustrations in the lyric. He wrote the music for the song and had the title, but didn't know what the song would be about until he remembered an incident when he came home from high school and found a bottle of beer in the refrigerator belonging to his stepfather ("Somebody's Heine' is crowdin' my icebox").
Cuomo's family had been hurt by alcohol abuse in the past, as his father was an alcoholic and left the family when Rivers was four. When Cuomo saw the beer in the fridge, he thought his stepfather was also going to end up leaving.
Rivers Cuomo takes a shot at his biological father, Frank, in this song in the verse he starts with "Dear Daddy." After leaving the family when Cuomo was four, Rivers saw Frank infrequently until around the time when this song was released, at which point they renewed their relationship.
When Cuomo sings, "You've cleaned up, found Jesus," he's referring to his dad's religious epiphany: Frank became a Pentecostal preacher. Years later, Rivers enjoyed watching videos of his father's sermons, which often incorporated music (Frank was a professional drummer). This helped Rivers come to terms with his insecurities on stage - he never looked like a rock star and sometimes felt like he didn't belong on stage, but seeing his father do it helped Rivers realize that he had a genetic gift for performing.
Looking back at the lashing he gave his dad, Cuomo told Rolling Stone in 2014, "I was an angry young man. I was quick to point the finger."
The video was shot at the garage in the Los Angeles where Cuomo and Weezer bass player Matt Sharp lived. It was directed by Sophie Muller, whose extensive credits include most of the Eurythmics and Annie Lennox videos, and several by No Doubt.
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France
The line, "Flip on the tele', wrestle with Jimmy" is a reference to Cuomo's brother, Jimmy. The other name mentioned in the song is "Stephen" ("This bottle of Stephen's"), which refers to their stepfather, Stephen Kitts.
Bass player Matt Sharp sang the falsetto vocals on The Blue Album, which is probably most easily recognizable on this song. These were, oddly enough, the first notes Sharp sang in front of anyone.
Erin from ArizonaWhen I was young this song made me feel uneasy and upset, as my family is full of alcoholics and abusive parents. I interpreted the song to be both about alcoholism and child abuse, and I was always sensitive to songs like that when I was little because of being a witness and unable to intervene. (Hell Is For Children by Pat Benatar is another example) So today I remembered Say It Ain't So and wanted to look into it, and I'm glad to know that I was at least wrong about the abuse idea and that eventually they reconciled. I wish anyone who experienced alcoholism in their family or abuse peace of mind. We all deserve that.
Zero from The Abyss, NjThis song kind of reminds me of "Sexy Sadie" by the Beatles, but more so does "Karma Police" by Radiohead.
Rotunda from Tulsa, OkMy favorite song off Weezer's Blue Album from '94. I still have the Blue Album CD I bought in '94 while in college. Believe me, it's in better condition than I am!! Anyhowz, I've been a Weezer fan ever since & follow them on Facebook here in 2013. Go with it........
Guy from Benson, NcEmmett, what's worse than people bragging about being able to play a song on expert level on Guitar Hero or Rock Band is the people who brag about being able to play it on a real instrument and criticize those who play the games. I have a master's degree in music and I can play these songs on both a real instrument and on the games. GET A LIFE!!!!! WIN!!!!
Em from Seattle, Wathis song is amazing...it's one of the songs i will love for the rest of my life.
Caitlyn from Royersford, PaLove it and love to sing it on rock band. Oh, and Emmett, Canadian, TX, no they're not.
Kelly from Durango, Cohardcore, it starts off pretty mellow and funky too with that nice guitar but then it gets kind of intense. Love it none the less!
Emmett from Canadian, TxAustin, i agree with you this is a good song, and i also hate it when people see a song like this and are like I can play this on expert level on rock band or guitar hero. I can play it on a real guitar! GET A LIFE PEOPLE, rock band and guitar hero are stupid!
Austin from Smallsville,new England, --Weezer recieved criticism shortly after they began to get airplay with people accusing them of being Nirvana wannabees(Stone Temple Piliots was recieving criticism to for being grunge wannabees at the same time), Rolling Stones also named them one of the worst bands of the year. They later made it up to weezer though placing Say it Ain't so on the 100 greatest guitar songs and naming there albums on a few top Albums list.
Austin from Smallsville,new England, --This song was featured on the video game Rock Band.And yes I did like this song before the game.
Sean from Milford, Pathis song is basically the story of my dad, but no step-dad yet. me and my mom left cause he drank so bad
Heather from San Jose, CaWhen visiting this summer from college, my brother downloaded this song, played it, and said "this is college". After looking it up, i realize that the meaning of the song has nothing to do with how he intrepreted it, i hear it as he did. And it makes sense to me.
Bobby from Boston, Mai always thought the "heine" (heineken) bottle that was somehow now in his fridge was stirring up these old memories of what alcohol has done to his family. the song is basically about alcoholism. but thats just me, i guess.
Andrew from Bartlett, TnWhen you listen to it alot it gets better ever time you listen.
Andrew from Saint Johns, MiThis song is covered by alot of songs in saint johns. We've done it, never the less has done, seth in ohio has done it, apochy has done it, it's covered by everyone.
Aja from Gloucester, Mathis guy's got something.
Dwayne from Nowhereville, Australiahello, this is about some guy who writes a song about things that happened in his life. i believe that is what it is about.
Dwayne from Nowhereville, Australiahello, this is about me being good. Johnny Flybong
Brad from St. Charles, MoNo, Emo, Casey was right. Rivers just had the memories suddenly come back to him and he jumped to conclusions that his stepfather must, too, be leaving his mother.
Emo from Lewiston, IdNo, no, his stepfather did leave.
Brad from Manteca, CaThis song has been covered by many bands, for it is definetly a classic song from this time. Mainstream Bands: Deftones Indie Bands: Anniston.
Casey from Monroe, WaRivers stepfather never left, but rather Rivers saw a brew in his fridge and all of a sudden the memories came flooding back.