The Offspring - The Kids Aren't Alright - Meaning of the song
"The Kids Aren't Alright" is a song by the Offspring. It is the fifth track from the band's fifth studio album, Americana (1998), and was released as its third single. It became another top 10 hit on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart.
Despite not being as commercially successful as its predecessors, "The Kids Aren't Alright" remains the most-listened to Offspring song amongst Last.fm users and still receives some radio play. The song was played over the end credits of Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage. It was also used in the opening scene of the film The Faculty and appears on the soundtrack album.
The song's title is an allusion to the Who song "The Kids Are Alright" (from My Generation). The magazine also argued that the track "borrows heavily" from "Electricity" by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), and pointed to NOFX's punk rock cover of "Electricity" as evidence.
The song lyrics tell the stories of several people from a town and the problems they faced growing up (unplanned pregnancy, unemployment, drug addiction, and suicide). Dexter Holland wrote the song after visiting his home town, Garden Grove, California. Holland said:
"You grow up in America, and you're supposed to have a bright future." During his visit he discovered that was not the case for many residents of the town.
The kids aren't alright - Lyrics
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) He 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