|Single by Blink-182|
|from the album Enema of the State|
|Released||September 5, 2000|
|Format||CD single, DVD|
|Length||4:09 (Album version)
4:07 (Greatest Hits version)
|Blink-182 singles chronology|
"Adam's Song" is a song by the American rock band Blink-182, released on September 5, 2000 as the third and final single from the group's third studio album, Enema of the State. It is a slow track dealing with themes of depression and suicide. It was written by Mark Hoppus.
Background and recording
Beginning in the summer of 1997, Blink-182 would enter an extended period of touring to support their second studio album, Dude Ranch. The group had played a handful of dates on the Vans Warped Tour 1996, a lifestyle tour promoting skateboarding and punk rock music. However, upon Dude Ranch's release and popularity, Blink-182 would play every date of the 1997 tour worldwide with influences NOFX and Social Distortion. In late 1997 and early 1998, the band would be on the road for nine months straight, only coming home to San Diego for days at a time before striking out on the next tour. "When we did our longest tour stretch, it was right when I started dating my fiancee," recalled guitarist Tom DeLonge. "We were all new and in love, and I had to leave. It was just, 'Hey, I'll see you in nine months.' It was really hard."
Hoppus penned "Adam's Song" to vent these frustrations and the loneliness he experienced on the tour; while the other members had longtime girlfriends to return home to, Hoppus was single. The couplet "I couldn’t wait til I got home/To pass the time in my room alone" originally ended "to get off the plane alone." In addition, the song was inspired by an article about a teenager's suicide and the note he left for his parents. When Hoppus brought the song to the band, the trio reacted positively but showed reluctance to add it to the record, believing the dark subject matter might off-put listeners. Although usually vocals would take many alternate takes to complete, Hoppus completed the vocal track for "Adam's Song" in a single take. The song makes a reference to "Come as You Are" by Nirvana, which includes the lyric "Take your time, hurry up, the choice is yours, don't be late." "Adam's Song," in turn, includes the lyric "I took my time, I hurried up, The choice was mine, I didn't think enough."
|Tom and Travis always had girlfriends waiting back home, so they had something to look forward to at the end of the tour. But I didn’t, so it was always like, I was lonely on tour, but then I got home and it didn’t matter because there was nothing there for me anyway.|
|— Mark Hoppus, reflecting on writing "Adam's Song"|
"Adam's Song" is commonly referred to as the song when Blink-182 got "serious", being their first well-known slow-paced song. The song is placed in between the catchy and fast-paced songs "Dysentery Gary" and "All the Small Things" on Enema of the State. During their 2009 summer tour, after the passing of DJ AM, whose real name is Adam Goldstein, Blink-182 stopped playing "Adam's Song" for the remainder of the tour.
The music video shows clips of the band performing activities while in the background others are suffering. In one scene, a woman walks away from a man she was arguing with and he hangs his head. In another, Mark and Tom exit a convenience store while in the background a distraught looking woman hangs up a payphone and grimaces. The video cuts between these clips and clips of the band playing alone in a large warehouse room surrounded by pictures of these situations in which others are suffering. It was later self-parodied in "Man Overboard" (2000).
The song caused a stir in 2000 when it was set to replay indefinitely on a nearby stereo as 17-year-old Greg Barnes, a survivor of the Columbine High School massacre, hanged himself in the garage of his family's home. In an interview on MTV about the suicide, the band's bassist Mark Hoppus said:
I was actually out shopping, and management called me up and told me the story of what happened, and I was like, "But that's an anti-suicide song!" It felt awful. I mean, the things that the kid had to go through in his life were very saddening, and then to end it that way was really depressing.
But "Adam's Song", the heart of the song is about having hard times in your life, being depressed, and going through a difficult period, but then finding the strength to go on and finding a better place at the other side of that."
All songs written and composed by Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge and arranged by Blink-182.
|Adam's Song CD Single|
|1.||"Adam's Song" (Radio edit)||3:35|
|2.||"Going Away to College" (Live)||3:46|
|3.||"Adam's Song" (Live)||4:53|
|4.||"Wendy Clear" (Live)||2:47|
|Adam's Song Single DVD|
|1.||"Man Overboard" (Music video)||3:03|
|2.||"Adam's Song" (Music video)||4:22|
|Canada Alternative 30 (RPM)||15|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||11|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||39|
|US Billboard Hot 100||101|
|US Hot Modern Rock Tracks (Billboard)||2|
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- Hoppus, 2001. p. 79
- Hoppus, 2001. p. 80
- Hoppus, 2001. p. 81
- Hoppus, 2001. p. 83
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- Hoppus, Anne (October 1, 2001). Blink-182: Tales from Beneath Your Mom. MTV Books / Pocket Books. ISBN 0-7434-2207-4.