Badfish
Sublime Lyrics


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When you grab a hold of me
You tell me that I'll never be set free
But I'm a parasite
Creep and crawl I step into the night
Two pints of booze
Tell me are you a badfish too?
Are you a badfish too?
Ain't got no money to spend
I hope the night will never end
Lord knows I'm weak
Won't somebody get me off of this reef

Baby, you're a big blue whale
Grab the reef when all duck diving fails
I swim, but wish I'd never learned
The water's too polluted with the germs
I dive deep when it's ten feet overhead
Grab the reef underneath my bed (it's underneath my bed)
Ain't got no quarrels with God
Ain't got no time to grow old
Lord knows I'm weak
Won't somebody get me off of this reef

Ain't got no quarrels with God
Ain't got no time to get old




Lord knows I'm weak
Won't somebody get me off of this reef

Overall Meaning

The song Badfish by Sublime is a reggae punk rock anthem that tells a story of addiction and self-destruction. The lyrics capture the feelings of being trapped in a cycle of substance abuse, while also describing a sense of freedom and liberation. Through the use of metaphors and vivid imagery, the lead singer, Bradley Nowell, depicts his struggle with addiction as being trapped in a reef, unable to escape the pull of the ocean.


The opening lyrics, "When you grab a hold of me, tell me that I'll never be set free," paints a picture of someone who is controlled by their addiction. The use of the term "parasite" in the line "But I'm a parasite, creep, and crawl I step into the night" further emphasizes the feeling of being consumed by addiction. The chorus, "Two pints of booze, tell me, are you a badfish too?" highlights the shared experience of substance abuse, while also hinting at the dangers and negative consequences that come with it.


The second verse shifts the focus to the environment and its effect on the singer's addiction. The line "The water's too polluted with the germs" implies that the world around him is also corrupt, and this reinforces the sense of hopelessness and despair that is prevalent throughout the song. The final chorus repeats "Ain't got no quarrels with God, ain't got no time to get old, Lord knows I'm weak, won't somebody get me off of this reef" as a plea for help and a cry for liberation from the cycle of addiction.


Line by Line Meaning

When you grab a hold of me
When someone has control over me


Tell me that I'll never be set free
They don't plan on letting me go


But I'm a parasite
I'm dependent on them, like a parasite


Creep and crawl I step into the night
I sneak away into the darkness


Two pints of booze
I've had a couple drinks


Tell me are you a badfish too?
Asking if the person is also someone who indulges in vices


Are you a badfish too?
Repeating to emphasize the point


Ain't got no money to spend
I'm broke


I hope the night will never end
I don't want this good feeling to stop


Lord knows I'm weak
I have a weakness for indulging in vices


Won't somebody get me off of this reef
I need help getting out of this cycle


Baby you're a big blue whale
Referring to someone as a large, overwhelming presence


Grab the reef when all duck diving fails
When you've exhausted all your other options, hold onto something stable


I swim, but wish I'd never learned
I regret knowing how to swim


The water's too polluted with the germs
The world is tainted and corrupt


I dive deep when it's ten feet overhead
I go deeper when I feel overwhelmed


Grab the reef underneath my bed (it's underneath my bed)
I cling to stability even in my sleep


Ain't got no quarrels with God
I have no issues with religion


Ain't got no time to grow old
I don't plan on living long


Lord knows I'm weak
Re-emphasizing my affliction


Won't somebody get me off of this reef
Asking for help again




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Bradley James Nowell

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

@Limberxingo

[Verse 1]
When you grab a hold of me
Tell me that I'll never be set free
But I'm a parasite
Creep and crawl, I step into the night

[Pre-Chorus]
Two pints of booze
Tell me, are you a badfish, too?
(Are you a badfish, too?)

[Chorus]
But, I
Ain't got no money to spend
I hope the night will never end
Lord knows I'm weak
Won't somebody get me off of this reef?

[Verse 2]
Baby, you're a big blue whale
Grab the reef when all duck divin' fails
I swim, but I wish I never learned
The water's too polluted with germs

[Pre-Chorus]
I dive deep when it's ten feet overhead
Grab the reef underneath my bed
(Underneath my bed)

[Chorus]
But, I
Ain't got no quarrels with God
Ain't got no time to grow old
Lord knows I'm weak
Won't somebody get me off of this reef?

[Solo]

[Chorus]
Ain't got no quarrels with God
Ain't got no time to get old
Lord knows I'm weak
Won't somebody get me off of this reef?



All comments from YouTube:

@greenclydefrog

that 90's feel, so innocent like stomach butterflies. Wish I could relive it again, but then I'm asking for too much because it was heaven.

@dreekd80

Wish i felt that way about it. Those years were fun sometimes but pretty jacked too.

@legbiter1462

greenclydefrog 90s were probably the greatest decade

@_droid

wtf are you kidding me, the 90's sucked ass. I was in my 20's in the 90's.

@bafoolagan4273

I wish I could live the 90's I would give anything

@danielflanard8274

Funny how every generation says the decade they spent their teens and early 20s in was the best decade. Can't imagine why, maybe it's due to nostalgia and that period of your life being monumental to the person you later become.

23 More Replies...

@MFJiggy

You don't have to be a stoner to appreciate sublime, but I sure am.

@jamesbee2006

This made me lol love to you and thanks brother or sister!

@TayNez63

I fucking love sublime, and I’m not a stoner

@MFJiggy

@@TayNez63 exactly you dont have to be one bro

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