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BASTARDS OF YOUNG Lyrics

Artist: The Replacements
Album: Tim

God, what a mess, on the ladder of success
Where you take one step and miss the whole first rung
Dreams unfulfilled, graduate unskilled
It beats pickin' cotton and waitin' to be forgotten

We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
The daughters and the sons

Clean your baby womb, trash that baby boom
Elvis in the ground, there'll ain't no beer tonight
Income tax deduction, what a hell of a function
It beats pickin' cotton and waitin' to be forgotten

We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
The daughters and the sons

Unwillingness to claim us, ya got no word (war?) to name us

The ones who love us best are the ones we'll lay to rest
And visit their graves on holidays at best
The ones who love us least are the ones we'll die to please
If it's any consolation, I don't begin to understand them

We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
The daughters and the sons

Young...take it, it's yours...
Comments/Interpretations
by aileen on 5/19/2008 1:10pm
uh one of the best songs of all time. there is no question about that.
by seamus on 5/27/2008 3:57pm
one of the greatest songs ever if not the greatest.....
by shirley on 9/11/2008 1:38am
I love!1 the line when it says how the ones love us least are the ones we'll die to please!
by ex-ex-alien on 10/1/2008 9:18pm
I love the line "The ones who love us best are the ones we'll lay to rest"
by hunter on 10/22/2008 10:02pm
if you like this song listen to the rainman suite version of it. better than the replacements version.
by truman on 10/24/2008 6:40pm
imitation can never out do the original
by Happy One on 11/9/2008 8:47pm
I was taking a walk today ~ trying to clear my head and I stopped dead in my step - the stanza that I've heard numerous times before just rang out so true and pure:

The ones who love us best are the ones we'll lay to rest
And visit their graves on holidays at best
The ones who love us least are the ones we'll die to please
If it's any consolation, I don't begin to understand them.

It put things into perspective for me today. I need to work it out and certainly MOVE ON!

Thankful.
by BILLY on 12/17/2008 12:50am
Truman - But a cover isn't always going to try and be a replication of the original. It's usually a reinterpretation which is an entirely different story. An obvious obvious example is Hallelujah. Boring original version written and performed by Leonard Cohen which was then transformed by Jeff Buckley.
by bvaljalo on 1/9/2009 3:11pm
what i always thought ...

'elvis in the ground, we're waitin on beer tonight'

'one hell of a function'

'we got no war to name us'

one of the greatest albums of all time, here comes a regular was the first song i learned to play and sing on the guitar at the same time ... all these reissues take me back to my college daze, kinda forgot what great discs were 'tim'-'all shook down'. long live the 'mats!
by Diego on 1/22/2009 5:57pm
The replacements are certainly another level. How I would have loved to have seen them live. This song kicks ass.
by fish on 1/24/2009 4:38pm
its you got no word to name us
by Cuervo on 4/15/2009 3:06pm
Listen to the Superdrag version too on "Greetings from Tennessee" the best cover of this song.
by adam on 4/20/2009 9:54am
i always thought it was "we got no war to name us", and always was impressed by that idea: the baby boom, the greatest generation, etc. and then...what are we? we weren't part of anything. no have nothing to represent us. we represent nothing, etc. thus, the orphan/"bastard" tie-in...
by Matt on 5/23/2009 12:55pm
Against Me! also does a pretty ripping cover of this song as well.
by Kate on 5/29/2009 10:15am
I saw them in 1989 (90?) in Philadelphia at the Tower Theater. They were so drunk and raucous...Tommy fell off the stage...ha! ha! ha!
by Ryan on 12/7/2009 11:07pm
whoa! and it is the intro song on the movie 'Adventureland' and you feel it all over again!
by Steak on 12/15/2009 4:31pm
It's War to name us
by Iff on 1/9/2010 2:04pm
No, it's war to MAIM us.
by Iff on 1/9/2010 2:07pm
rainman suite's version sounds like a bad green day trying their best to copy the song to the T. reinterpretation? Balderdash!
by Markus Farkus on 3/10/2010 12:46am
It sort of sums up the whole human love/hate experience for a lot of us I think - remarkable insight
by KC on 5/1/2010 12:58pm
I also listened to the rainman suite cover version. It's a karaoke version. I always have to laugh when kids stumble upon an older band through a cover version by an upstart band, say the newer version blows the older one away, and don't see the irony of their opinions. Why is the song being covered in the first place?
Like people who think DJs are 'talented'.
by Sean B on 5/7/2010 1:37pm
It's "wait on the sons of no one." Westerberg just confirmed it an interview with SPIN.
by Steve S on 6/1/2010 9:39pm
To quote the Hold Steady - "Everyone's a critic, and most people are DJ's". Replacements are the last great rock'n roll band - period. They were self destructive to a fault; but that's also part of their allure I think. RIP Bob.
by David on 7/8/2010 6:16am
Is it not 'Warrant to name us'?
by andrew on 7/29/2010 7:12pm
either way, word or war, it's still the best first song on an album ever
by grondotapptronicfunkadelic on 9/2/2010 6:17am
Was this song supposed to give me an erection?
by MM on 9/22/2010 12:48am
Billy-
In this case it does try to be a replica.
by big al on 11/24/2010 9:06pm
@ David - Hold my life is the first song! though this is the first song on the 2nd side, ill give you that.
by Michael on 11/24/2010 9:56pm
This album changed my whole outlook on music...The Replacements most certainly were one of the last great Rock n Roll bands...i really like what the Hold Steady are doing. Craig Finn reminds me somewhat of Westerberg, but indeed there will never be another Replacements or Westerberg...also everyone who digs this band should read that book about them "all over but the shouting: an oral history of the replacements" some of the stories are damn hilarious...
by _X_ on 1/7/2011 10:24pm
It's war brother, promise!
by B on 7/17/2011 11:59am
Its "wait on the sons of no one" not "we are the sons of no one"
by junebug on 8/13/2011 7:33pm
I agree that this is definately one of the best songs ever. And probably also the most badass outro ever!
by Adam on 10/3/2011 6:07pm
No offense, but if you think Leonard Cohen's version of Hallelujah is "boring" and inferior to the commercialized Buckley version, you are beyond hope.
by Cherie on 1/18/2012 6:23pm
BEST SONG EVER!!!!!! :) <3
by James on 3/23/2012 8:50am
Adam - Totally agree with you about Hallelujah. Cohen is one of the greatest writers and performers ever - no question.

This song, however, is also fucking great, despite the face that nobody can agree on the actual lyrics.

Paul Westerberg probably changed it every time he played it anyway!
by Dave on 5/17/2012 8:32pm
I went to HS with these guys:
It's got no WAR to name us.
by judy on 7/23/2012 10:36am
Being an long time mats fan, I was fortunate enouugh to experince them live 3 times in the 80s each time leaving me more of a fan....they embodied the spirit of rock and roll only with such human emotion that no one else seemed to capture....reckless, fucked up and emo before emo was cool...fondest memory If I only had a beer to the tune of if I only had a brain, love the mats and they summed up a decade of my life!
by Loki on 11/2/2012 10:46am
It's probably NOT what he sings, but I've always heard the lyric as:


Elvis in the ground, and we're up here tonight
by jg on 12/22/2012 8:01pm
I heard it as "Elvis and the colonel are waiting on me tonight"
by igzyozgy on 3/15/2013 12:56pm
It's "clean your babied wound", not "clean your baby womb".
by nh on 5/7/2013 2:17pm
It's ward, not word or war.
by egf on 7/30/2013 2:48pm
what's with the "beats pickin' cotton" line? just seems out of context.
by Ronnie P on 8/12/2013 2:28pm
I thought it was "Elvis in the ground, no way no beer tonight." i.e., there's no way we're not drinking tonight.

by greg on 8/28/2013 11:07am
I think it is "we got no wars to maim us"
by Zach VanLinn on 9/9/2013 10:50am
It's "We've got no war to name us" because my father was the singer of this band and he has all the lyrics written down and I found them one day.
by DoctorDee on 9/23/2013 10:13pm
Zach, your Father WAS the singer of this band?

Paul Westerberg IS the singer of this band. His son is called Johnny. Is that you?

by Joe on 11/7/2013 4:27am
It's not ward, war, or word. It's "They've got no one to name us" as in there's no parent to claim us or name us because we are the sons of no one. "Ward" and "war" make no sense, but "word" is the most nonsensical option as there is a word to name them right in the chorus and title.
by Brian on 1/25/2014 12:45pm
It is actually "they've got no war to name us" referring to my warless generation. That is, until I saw them twice in early 1991 (several months before they broke up) and Paul sang "they've got the Gulf War to name us" which was a pretty cool and topical lyric to add in.


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