Son Of Sam
Elliott Smith Lyrics


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Something's happening, don't speak too soon
I told the boss off and made my move
Got nowhere to go

Son of Sam, son of the shining path, the clouded mind
The couple killer, each and every time

I'm not uncomfortable feeling weird
Lonely leered, options disappeared
But I know what to do

Son of Sam, son of a doctor's touch, a nurse's love
Acting under orders from above

King for a day

Son of Sam, son of the shining path, the clouded mind
The couple killer, running out of time

Shiva opens her arms now
To make sure I don't get too far




I may talk in my sleep tonight 'cause I don't know what I am
I'm a little like you, more like son of Sam

Overall Meaning

In Elliott Smith's "Son of Sam," the lyrics describe a person who is feeling lost in life, yet empowered by speaking their mind to their boss. They are haunted by their own thoughts and feelings, but also by the infamous serial killer, Son of Sam. The lyrics suggest that the singer feels a connection to Son of Sam, as they both seem to be acting under some sort of external force, whether it be through orders from above or by mental illness. The singer references the "shining path," a reference to a Maoist insurgency in Peru, and feels a sense of power as they become the "king for a day."


The chorus repeats the title phrase, "Son of Sam," and adds the line "the couple killer each and every time." This references the fact that Son of Sam, whose real name was David Berkowitz, targeted couples in his shootings. The singer seems to have a fascination with Son of Sam, and the final lines of the song suggest that they may even be afraid that they share some similarities with him.


Overall, the lyrics of "Son of Sam" are a haunting exploration of mental illness, power dynamics, and the darkness that can exist within us all.


Line by Line Meaning

Something's happening
There is a shift or a change taking place


Don't speak too soon
It's better to wait and observe before making any assumptions


I told the boss off, made my move
I stood up for myself and took action to change my situation


Got nowhere to go
Feeling stuck and without options


Son of Sam
A reference to the infamous serial killer, David Berkowitz


Son of the shining path, the clouded mind
Feeling lost and unclear about one's path in life


The couple killer each and every time
A reminder of the devastating impact of violence and murder


I'm not uncomfortable feeling weird
I'm okay with embracing my quirks and differences


Lonely leered, options disappeared
Feeling isolated and without opportunities


But I know what to do
Confident in my ability to handle challenges


Son of Sam, son of a doctor's touch, a nurse's love
A reminder that even those who commit evil acts were once innocent and loved


Acting under orders from above
Suggests a lack of personal responsibility for one's actions


King for a day
Feeling powerful and in control, if only temporarily


The couple killer running out of time
A sense of urgency - the consequences of one's actions are catching up


Shiva opens her arms now
A reference to the Hindu goddess associated with destruction and transformation


To make sure I don't get too far
A reminder that there are limits to what we can do or get away with


I may talk in my sleep tonight
Unsure of what might happen or what one might reveal


Cos I don't know what I am
A sense of confusion or lack of identity


I'm a little like you
A connection or similarity with someone else


More like Son of Sam
Embracing one's dark or troubled side




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Steven Paul Smith

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@writersherlock

Something's happening
Don't speak too soon
I told the boss off, made my move
Got nowhere to go
Son of Sam
Son of the shining path, the clouded mind
The couple killer each and every time

I'm not uncomfortable feeling weird
Lonely leered, options disappeared
But I know what to do
Son of Sam, son of a doctor's touch, a nurse's love
Acting under orders from above

King for a day

Son of Sam
Son of the shining path, the clouded mind
The couple killer running out of time
Shiva opens her arms now
To make sure I don't get too far
I may talk in my sleep tonight
Cos I don't know what I am
I'm a little like you
More like Son of Sam

Songwriters: Beato, Rick / Smith, Brent



@agustindwiyanti4951

Something's happening, don't speak too soon
I told the boss off and made my move
Got nowhere to go
Son of Sam, son of the shining path, the clouded mind
The couple killer each and every time
I'm not uncomfortable, feeling weird
Lonely leered, options disappeared
But I know what to do
Son of Sam, son of a doctor's touch, a nurse's love
Acting under orders from above
King for a day
Son of Sam, son of the shining path, the clouded mind
The couple killer running out of time
Shiva opens her arms now to make sure I don't get too far
I may talk in my sleep tonight 'cos I don't know what I am
I'm a little like you
More like Son of Sam



@regzzuse280

Im not sure if term Son of Sam existed before David Berkowitz. But this song had something to do with that case, even though Elliott said otherwise.
I might be wrong, but I see it like this.
The beginning of the song, you can see Elliot writing on a piece of paper, hes writing lyrics of the song, but they are not really in order, more like in a way that Berkowitz used to write his letters to police. And notice how it starts and what he wrote:
-Son of Sam 2X,
-Clouded mind
-Something's happening.
And the talking in the background sounds like hallucinations, what appareantly Berkowitz had throughout his life.

"I told the boss off and made my move
Got nowhere to go"
After Berkowitz got discharged form the army, he began his reign of terror.

"The couple killer each and every time"
Berkowitz always targeted couples.

"The clouded mind",
"I'm not uncomfortable, feeling weird
Lonely leered, options disappeared
But I know what to do" - Pretty much explains the nature of a killer, in this case a loner Berkowitz.

"Acting under orders from above" This is interesting and important part of the song. Berkowitz claimed that he could hear voice from demons whom ordered him what to do, kill.

I might be wrong, but this makes some sense.



All comments from YouTube:

@petercastillo2752

This is the most intense powerpoint presentation I've ever seen.

@humorgenerico

Lmaoooo

@giangarciamusic

This will forever be appreciated haha.

@tammyh4677

lol i was sad before i read this comment lmfao hahahaha

@a_little.less.than.a.human1090

You made my stomach hurt out of laughter XDDD

@nen7736

The ZOOMS and special effects hahaha

6 More Replies...

@travisminneapolis

That chord progression in the beginning is so amazing.

@Missjunebugfreak

I love it too. He knew how to use great interesting chord progressions. It's one of my favourite aspects of his music.

@jamiefugazi6974

His chord progressions are just on a different level and the way he worked with what he had available is insane early on. Genius songwriter and prolific as hell check out "Dancing on the highway''.

@SunbourneRd

Love you, Elliott mou!!

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