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The Meaning Behind The Song: Brave as a Noun by Andrew Jackson Jihad

The Meaning Behind The Song: “Brave as a Noun” by Andrew Jackson Jihad

Andrew Jackson Jihad is an American folk-punk band that formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 2004. The band has released numerous albums, but their song “Brave as a Noun” is one of their most popular and meaningful songs. The song is a commentary on bravery, individuality, and standing up to oppression. This article will explore the meaning behind the song and unpack the lyrics to give readers a clearer understanding of the themes and messages that Andrew Jackson Jihad is trying to convey.

The Lyrics

Before diving into the meaning behind the song, it’s worth taking a closer look at the lyrics. Here are the full lyrics to “Brave as a Noun”:

“I’ll make my peace and paint it on a flag
And they can wave it Fannie Lou Hamer’s way
I’ll make my peace and paint it on a flag
And they can wave it Fannie Lou Hamer’s way

I’m going to tell my kids a bedtime story
A play without a plot will do
And i will sing a song as deep as the holler
As strong as the mountains, as gentle as the dew

I’ll sing about a love as reckless as the stars
As lost as the letters in a bottle that you’ll never read
And i will tell you everything about bravery
Cause i have traded all my virtues for a pack of cigarettes

I’m going to be a happy idiot
And struggle for the legal tender
Where the ads take aim and lay their claim
To the heart and the soul of the spender

And believe in whatever may lie
In those things that money can’t buy
Though true love could have been a contender
Are you there?
Say a prayer for the pretender
Who started out so young and strong
Only to surrender”

The Themes

The song is centered around three key themes: bravery, individuality, and standing up to oppression. The first line of the song, “I’ll make my peace and paint it on a flag,” refers to the idea of standing up for what one believes in and taking an active role in shaping their future. The reference to Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil rights activist who famously said, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired,” underscores the importance of speaking out against injustice and actively working towards a better world.

Throughout the song, the lyrics emphasize the value of individuality and self-expression. The line “I’m going to tell my kids a bedtime story / A play without a plot will do” emphasizes the idea of creating one’s own story and forging their own path. The following line, “And i will sing a song as deep as the holler / As strong as the mountains, as gentle as the dew,” further underscores the importance of embracing one’s unique voice and perspective.

Finally, the song focuses on the idea of standing up to oppression and fighting for what is right. The line “And i will tell you everything about bravery / Cause i have traded all my virtues for a pack of cigarettes” speaks to the idea of sacrificing one’s own comfort and safety in order to stand up for what is right. The final lines of the song, “Are you there? / Say a prayer for the pretender / Who started out so young and strong / Only to surrender,” underscore the fact that even the bravest among us can struggle in the face of oppression and adversity.

FAQs

What inspired Andrew Jackson Jihad to write the song “Brave as a Noun”?

Andrew Jackson Jihad has cited a number of inspirations for the song “Brave as a Noun.” Lead singer Sean Bonnette has said in interviews that he was inspired by the idea of creating his own story and navigating life on his own terms. He was also deeply influenced by the work of Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil rights activist who fought for equal rights for African Americans and women.

What is the significance of the reference to Fannie Lou Hamer in the song?

Fannie Lou Hamer was a powerful civil rights activist who dedicated her life to fighting for equal rights for African Americans and women. She was known for her fiery speeches and her unwavering commitment to justice. By referencing Hamer in the song, Andrew Jackson Jihad is emphasizing the importance of speaking out against injustice and actively working towards a better world.

What do the lines “And i will tell you everything about bravery / Cause i have traded all my virtues for a pack of cigarettes” mean?

These lines speak to the idea of sacrificing one’s own comfort and safety in order to stand up for what is right. By implying that he has given up his virtues for a pack of cigarettes, the narrator is highlighting the fact that standing up for what is right can be difficult and even dangerous.

What does the term “pretender” mean in the final lines of the song?

The term “pretender” refers to someone who has struggled and ultimately given up in the face of oppression or adversity. By using this term, Andrew Jackson Jihad is underscoring the fact that even the bravest among us can struggle in the face of injustice.

What is the significance of the line “I’m going to be a happy idiot / And struggle for the legal tender”?

This line speaks to the idea of working within a system that may not be perfect in order to achieve one’s goals. By embracing the “legal tender” and working towards financial stability, the narrator is highlighting the fact that even small steps towards progress can be meaningful.

What is the meaning behind the line “I’ll sing about a love as reckless as the stars”?

This line is meant to evoke a sense of boundless passion and intensity. By likening love to the stars, which burn brightly and fiercely, the narrator is emphasizing the idea of embracing one’s emotions fully and without reservation.

What is the significance of the line “As lost as the letters in a bottle that you’ll never read”?

This line speaks to the idea of unfulfilled potential and missed connections. The idea of letters in a bottle that are never read speaks to the idea of missed opportunities and relationships that could have been meaningful.

What is the overall message of the song?

The overall message of “Brave as a Noun” is one of bravery, individuality, and standing up to oppression. The song emphasizes the importance of speaking out against injustice and actively working towards a better world. It also stresses the value of individuality and self-expression.

What are some other notable songs by Andrew Jackson Jihad?

Some other notable songs by Andrew Jackson Jihad include “People Who Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World,” “Hate, Rain on Me,” and “Big Bird.”

What genre of music does Andrew Jackson Jihad play?

Andrew Jackson Jihad is often classified as a folk-punk band, though their music draws from a variety of genres including country, blues, and indie rock.

Has “Brave as a Noun” been covered by other artists?

Yes, “Brave as a Noun” has been covered by several other artists including Jeff Rosenstock and the band RVIVR.

What impact has “Brave as a Noun” had on Andrew Jackson Jihad’s career?

“Brave as a Noun” is one of Andrew Jackson Jihad’s most popular songs and has helped to cement the band’s reputation as one of the leading voices in the folk-punk genre. The song has been celebrated for its poignant lyrics and its message of bravery and self-expression.

What do critics think of “Brave as a Noun”?

“Brave as a Noun” has been widely praised by critics for its powerful message and its evocative lyrics. The song has been cited as one of Andrew Jackson Jihad’s best and has helped to solidify the band’s reputation as one of the most important voices in the folk-punk genre.

What is the significance of the title “Brave as a Noun”?

The title “Brave as a Noun” speaks to the idea of bravery as a concrete concept rather than an abstract emotion. By using the word “noun” in the title, Andrew Jackson Jihad is emphasizing the importance of bravery as something that can be manifested in actions and behaviors rather than simply felt.

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