My comments in > red.
Is there anyone who
Ever remembers changing their mind from
The paint on a sign?
> Great point!
Is there anyone who really recalls
Ever breaking rank at all
> Wow. I wish I'd said this. It is spot-on
For something someone yelled real loud one time
In how they think it ought to be
And they're not going easily
> I cannot think of anything more frustrating.
> He's right. Nobody moves easily from their position, no matter how little thought has gone into it.
Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword
Like punching under water
You never can hit who you're trying for
> Odd thought. I cannot picture belief as a sword at all, and just barely as armor.
> Now, if I picture belief in a false philosophy, I could see the armor thing. You're protecting yourself against some other thought. But belief in a thing that is real is not an armor. It's just a correct understanding of the laws that govern the universe.
Some need the exhibition
And some have to know they tried
> Sounds like every evangelistic evangelical I've ever known. Ouch.
It's the chemical weapon
For the war that's raging on inside
> Whoops. First serious miss.
> There's a war raging inside us all, he says, and belief unjustly ends the struggle. By belief we kill the opposition illegally, and very thoroughly.
> Now, I can limit his lyrics to talking about toxic belief, but he does not.
From emptiness to everything
And no ones going quietly
We're never gonna win the world
We're never gonna stop the war
We're never gonna beat this
If belief is what we're fighting for
> That's a mighty big "if" there at the end of that powerful statement.
> I thought we were fighting for oil, and for imperialist expansion. Nobody, but nobody, but nobody that I know thinks that America is fighting for beliefs. Could he be assaulting a belief in democracy? Nah. That doesn't make a lick of sense.
What puts a hundred thousand children in the sand
What puts the folded flag inside his mother's hand
> Just brutal.
Mr. Mayer mourns both the deaths of civilians and soldiers. The symbolism of the soldier story is that of an American funeral, so he's definitely talking about the Iraqi war amongst maybe a number of things. And he talks about "we" all through the song, so he's not talking exclusively about the Islamicists who teach their own babies to suicide for Allah.
John Mayer really believes that the deaths in Iraq are about American beliefs? Christian beliefs? I will concede that the song is too vague to be hold him to anything I'm saying about it, but the symbolism sure seems spot-on clear. Mr. Mayer aligns Christians with baby killers.
I love expressive songs, and passionate ones, but I cannot swallow this one.
Maybe I'm guilty of believing too much to listen.