I've seen a lot of things in five years,
I struggle just to hold back the tears,
But every-fucking-where I go, I see the pathos that I know
Will spell the termination of us all.
Someone's got to tell me, do you see
That everything around you has a hidden tragedy?
Seeds of happiness have never found a place to grow,
And our generation doesn't know.
When, when will you try
To change the logarithmic pace of kissing things goodbye?
When, when will you know
That human life is so short, and death is oh-so-slow?
I've tried to make things make sense, but I can't,
I'm happy just to watch them all and laugh.
And if you think you've got it made,
Just revel in your selfish ways,
'Cause when the world stops turning, so will you!
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07/26/2011 at 12:30
I think the third verse is the crux of the song. It asks, "when will people realize that they're ignoring so much, letting so much slip away, not paying attention, and there's a very short amount of time to do these things before you die. I think the rest of the song supports this idea. The pathos spelling our termination means that we pity those around us without understanding we're included in that demise. "Seeds of happiness" never growing states that we can never be happy with anything because we're too busy not paying attention to realize that perhaps we already have what we need.
Location: Baltimore, MD
08/14/2007 at 22:58
"When?" is a very cynical, dark song in the same vein as "Watch It Die", or "10 in 2010". The message of this song is that there is a very concrete, inescapable reality to the world; that existence in general has no care for whether humans are around to be a part of it. To a naturalist, there is some elegance and perhaps even beauty in understanding this. Graffin is "happy just to watch them all and laugh" because of the dramatic irony created by humans trying to outlast nature.
05/15/2007 at 22:56
This songs talks about the stupidity of our race. It tells us that we are going to destroy ourselves and that if you think you've got it all made, don't be so selfish because when the world stops turning so will you. All the pollution, the wars, the social inequality is going to kill us, and we don't do anything about it, there's going to be a disaster and nobody cares! How can we be so blind?, we destroy entire species and we don't even give a fuck about it.
Greg says "I try to make things make sense but I can't ", that means that it is just so hard to understand how humans can do all this and not change and realize what they are doing. It is just so sad that everyday there's something bad happening, everywhere.