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The Kids Aren't Alright
The Offspring Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

When we were young, the future was so bright (whoa)
The old neighborhood was so alive (whoa)
And every kid on the whole damn street (whoa)
Was gonna make it big and not be beat
Now the neighborhood's cracked and torn (whoa)
The kids are grown up but their lives are worn (whoa)
How can one little street swallow so many lives?

Chances thrown, nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams, go

Jamie had a chance, well, she really did (whoa)
Instead she dropped out and had a couple of kids (whoa)
Mark still lives at home 'cause he's got no job (whoa)
Just plays guitar and smokes a lot of pot
Jay committed suicide (whoa)
Brandon OD'd and died (whoa)
What the hell is going on?
The cruelest dream, reality

Chances thrown, nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams, go

Chances thrown, nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams

Overall Meaning

The Offspring's song The Kids Aren't Alright is a bittersweet tribute to youth and the broken dreams it sometimes leaves in its wake. The first verse sets the stage by describing a time when the future seemed bright and full of promise. The old neighborhood was alive, and every kid on the street had dreams of making it big. But the second verse paints a different picture. The neighborhood is now cracked and worn, and the kids are grown up, but their lives are worn. The song asks the question "How can one little street swallow so many lives?"


The chorus amplifies the themes of loss and disappointment. The first line, "Chances thrown, nothing's free," suggests that life is a game with high stakes and no guarantees. The second and third lines, "Longing for used to be / Still it's hard, hard to see," are a poignant expression of nostalgia and regret. The final line, "Fragile lives, shattered dreams, go," is a bleak reminder that life can be hard and unforgiving, and that even the most promising dreams can end in disappointment.


Line by Line Meaning

When we were young, the future was so bright (whoa)
When the songwriter was young, they believed their future was full of promise and positive opportunities.


The old neighborhood was so alive (whoa)
The place where the songwriter grew up was once a vibrant community that was filled with life.


And every kid on the whole damn street (whoa)
Every child who lived on the songwriter's street believed they had the potential for greatness and success.


Was gonna make it big and not be beat
All the children in the neighborhood had dreams of succeeding and not being defeated by their own circumstances.


Now the neighborhood's cracked and torn (whoa)
The songwriter's neighborhood has deteriorated physically and is no longer as strong as it once was.


The kids are grown up but their lives are worn (whoa)
The children who were once full of hope and potential are now adults who have faced many hardships and struggles.


How can one little street Swallow so many lives?
The songwriter is reflecting on how the problems faced by their community and the people they knew all seemed to be concentrated on one small street.


Jamie had a chance, well, she really did (whoa)
Jamie was someone who had opportunities to succeed in life.


Instead she dropped out and had a couple of kids (whoa)
Jamie chose to have children and did not take advantage of the opportunities available to her.


Mark still lives at home 'cause he's got no job (whoa)
Mark is still living with his parents because he has not been able to find employment.


Just plays guitar and smokes a lot of pot
Mark spends his time playing music and smoking marijuana instead of working to support himself.


Jay committed suicide (whoa)
Jay took his own life.


Brandon OD'd and died (whoa)
Brandon overdosed on drugs and passed away.


What the hell is going on?
The songwriter is questioning why so many negative things are happening to the people in their community.


The cruelest dream, reality
The harsh truth of the difficult lives many people in the songwriter's community are living feels like a nightmare that has become reality.


Fragile lives Shattered dreams Go
The lives of the people the songwriter knows are fragile and their dreams have been broken beyond repair.




Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Bryan Keith Holland

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@sveinunglunestad7167

Lyrics
When we were young, the future was so bright
Woah-oh
The old neighborhood was so alive
Woah-oh
And every kid on the whole damn street
Woah-oh
Was gonna make it big and not be beat


Now the neighborhood's cracked and torn
Woah-oh
The kids are grown up, but their lives are worn
Woah-oh
How can one little street swallow so many lives?


Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for, used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives
Shattered dreams (go!)


Jamie had a chance, well, she really did
Woah-oh
Instead she dropped out and had a couple of kids
Woah-oh
Mark still lives at home 'cause he's got no job
Woah-oh
He just plays guitar and smokes a lot of pot


Jay commited suicide
Woah-oh
Brandon OD'd and died
Woah-oh
What the hell is going on?
The cruelest dream, reality


Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for, used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives
Shattered dreams (Go!)


Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for (what), used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives
Shattered dreams



@Mr.Scootini

Yeah I think most of us fell through the cracks.
School just wants to to graduate, they don’t care as much if you cheat or not on tests. They just want to get themselves a good score so they can get more money.
Teachers are crushed by the amount of work, student behavior, educational board requirements, im sure there’s more.
Parents just want to see you succeed. But they won’t tell you how to. Or teach you how to bc that’s the “schools job”

I think there is a fundamental disconnect between parents, school boards and teachers.

I think it’s safe to say that Americans schools are useless when it comes to getting kids, teens and young adults ready for the “real world”

It’s no wonder people fail hard after high school or college.



@Not-a-Cockroach

When we were young, the future was so bright
Woah-oh
The old neighborhood was so alive
Woah-oh
And every kid on the whole damn street
Woah-oh
Was gonna make it big and not be beat
Now the neighborhood's cracked and torn
Woah-oh
The kids are grown up, but their lives are worn
Woah-oh
How can one little street swallow so many lives?
Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for, used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives
Shattered dreams (go!)
Jamie had a chance, well, she really did
Woah-oh
Instead she dropped out and had a couple of kids
Woah-oh
Mark still lives at home 'cause he's got no job
Woah-oh
He just plays guitar and smokes a lot of pot
Jay commited suicide
Woah-oh
Brandon OD'd and died
Woah-oh
What the hell is going on?
The cruelest dream, reality
Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for, used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives
Shattered dreams (Go!)
Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for (what), used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives
Shattered dreams



@Xetelian

[Verse 1]
When we were young, the future was so bright (Woah)
The old neighborhood was so alive (Woah)
And every kid on the whole damn street (Woah)
Was gonna make it big and not be beat
Now the neighborhood's cracked and torn (Woah)
The kids are grown up, but their lives are worn (Woah)
How can one little street swallow so many lives?

[Chorus]
Chances thrown, nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams
(Go!)

[Verse 2]
Jamie had a chance, well, she really did (Woah)
Instead, she dropped out and had a couple of kids (Woah)
Mark still lives at home 'cause he's got no job (Woah)
He just plays guitar, smokes a lot of pot
And Jay committed suicide (Woah)
And Brandon OD'd and died (Woah)
What the hell is goin' on?
The cruelest dream, reality

[Chorus]
Chances thrown, nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still, it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams
(Go)

[Guitar Solo]

[Chorus]
Chances thrown, nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still, it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams



@enzoschulmeister5967

Lyrics:
When we were young, the future was so bright
Woah-oh
The old neighborhood was so alive
Woah-oh
And every kid on the whole damn street
Woah-oh
Was gonna make it big and not be beat
Now the neighborhood's cracked and torn
Woah-oh
The kids are grown up, but their lives are worn
Woah-oh
How can one little street swallow so many lives?
Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives
Shattered dreams (Go!)
Jamie had a chance, well she really did
Woah-oh
Instead she dropped out and had a couple of kids
Woah-oh
Mark still lives at home 'cause he's got no job
Woah-oh
He just plays guitar and smokes a lot of pot
Jay commited suicide
Woah-oh
Brandon OD'd and died
Woah-oh
What the hell is going on?
The cruelest dream, reality
Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives
Shattered dreams (Go!)
Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for (what) used to be
Still it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives
Shattered dreams



@zerotheidealist

When we were young, the future was so bright
The old neighborhood was so alive
And every kid on the whole damn street
Was gonna make it big and not be beat

Now the neighborhood's cracked and torn
The kids are grown up, but their lives are worn
How can one little street
Swallow so many lives

Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still it's hard
Hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams

Jamie had a chance, well she really did
Instead she dropped out and had a couple of kids
Mark still lives at home, 'cause he's got no job
He just plays guitar and smokes a lot of pot

O.J. committed suicide
Brandon od'd and died
What the hell is going on?
The cruelest dream, reality

Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still it's hard
Hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams

Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still it's hard
Hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams



@blacktemplar9499

Lyrics:
When we were young the future was so bright
The old neighborhood was so alive
And every kid on the whole damn street
Was gonna make it big and not be beat

Now the neighborhood's cracked and torn
The kids are grown up but their lives are worn
How can one little street
Swallow so many lives

[Chorus]
Chances thrown
Nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still it's hard
Hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams

Jamie had a chance, well she really did
Instead she dropped out and had a couple of kids
Mark still lives at home cause he's got no job
He just plays guitar and smokes a lot of pot

Jay committed suicide
Brandon OD'd and died
What the hell is going on
The cruelest dream, reality

[Chorus x2]



@100gecsrbetterthangod5

I remember when I randomly decided to put my offspring CD in my computer. Didn't have internet so I didn't expect anything to happen. I was blown away, felt like I was discovering a secret. The CD had this and other music videos on it. Watched them over and over again. I don't even remember how I got that CD. Birthday maybe?

I remember that cd got me my first compliment from a high schooler that meant anything. I went from the quiet kid riding alone on the bus to sitting in back with the high schoolers, growing more and more outrageous and outlandish by the day. I mooned cars and other sorts of dumb but fun hijinks. Played "penis" until we wussed out. They were so entertained by me and I felt so cool and so accepted by them. My favorite part of the day was always the ride home on that bus.

We listened to music together once. One brother out of this pair that didn't ride very often brought a pocket amp. I don't remember all the songs he played but I do remember all of us singing "POD - youth of the nation" together. It may sound corny as hell but it's a fond memory that doesn't come up often. They helped me get into and out of varying degrees of trouble.

We weren't even friends outside of that bus ride. The morning rides were always so different, each one of us struggling with waking up, personal drama, the thought of yet another school day waiting to test us. We usually sat in 100% silence, each listening to our own music. That evening ride made any trouble, pending or passed, all the more bearable. I wonder if any of that ever would have happened if I didn't get into The Offspring?

This comment wasn't supposed to turn out like this lol. If you read this then know I am sorry for wasting your time 😂



All comments from YouTube:

@HealthySkepticism1775

This song was fun when I was 13.

Now, at 33, it hurts a little bit.

@solike1646

The same bat i was 9

@luisfelipelino

You are not alone bro.

@barefootwanderer

it can be a tough listen on a bad day that's for sure

@grakengaming5115

Im 32 now, back then i do not speak english now i understand it better

@ThePotato343

me too dude, me too. Just like you, only now i`m understand this song from a to z

129 More Replies...

@anonymousjeffry1864

When I was 15 years old this song sounded nice.
Now I'm 39 years old and it hits on a whole other level.

@PRODBYDARKO_

Honestly

@hayvenforpeace

I know exactly how you feel. It just hits differently now 😢.

@PRODBYDARKO_

@@hayvenforpeace Its nostalgia with a hint of fuck up

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