What does World's Smallest Violin mean?

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AJR: World's Smallest Violin Meaning

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Song Released: 2021


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World's Smallest Violin Lyrics

My grandpa fought in World War II
He was such a noble dude
I can't even finish school
Missed my mom and left too soon
His dad was a fireman
Who fought fires so violent
I think I bored my therapist
While playing him my violin
(Oh my God)...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    #1 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
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    Oct 2nd 2021 report

    It is about needing to be heard and not have your concerns/thoughts/struggles dismissed, especially with the common "people have it worse" response. That doesn't help a lot of times - sometimes makes a person feel more helpless, especially when coming from a "therapist". The lyrics "I'll blow up into smithereens And spew my tiny symphony All up and down a city street" could have a wide meaning, perhaps even very dark depending on how you choose to interpret. Could it mean taking one's own life, or otherwise doing something to attract a lot of attention (city street) after EVERYTHING finally comes to a head (not just a small part of the sympathy like the violin, but the whole orchestra)

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 6th report

    Its about mental health and that some people have it worse as said by the lyrics "Somewhere in the universe, Somewhere, Someone's got it worse" and he wished it made it easier.

  3. anonymous
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    Oct 27th report

    It's about needing to be heard no matter how small your struggles are. Because all of those little struggles add up to a big struggle and things are a lot worse. And "people have it worse" doesn't really help because you are still feeling that way. It's about needing to be heard like "let me play my violin for you"

  4. anonymous
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    Sep 27th report

    The phrase ‘world’s smallest violin’ is supposed to be about someone playing the world’s smallest violin (aka whining and venting about how their life is terrible).

    The verse “so let me play my violin for you” is supposed to be them wanting attention.

  5. sugxrqueen
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    Aug 22nd report

    this song is about wanting to hold up expectations and wanting to do something “noble“ just like his previous relatives. hence to the lyrics “my grandpa fought in world war ll” and “his had was a fireman who fought fires so violent”.

    the character feels like what their doing is kinda of useless because “next to them [his]my shit don’t feel so grand.” also he feels like he should be more ahead in his life as he compares himself to his friends by saying “they’re so good at making friends, i’m so scared of caving in…” so if he’s able to play a symphony with his tiny violin he would feel like he accomplished something.

    especially if he would be able to play his violin for “you”. by the end of the song he emphasizes having to finish the song because it “feels like a necessity, so this could be the death of [him]me, or maybe just a better me.” he’s on the fence thinking this action could make him better in moving on with his life or tear him down.

    he tries to be positive by “com[ing] in with the timpanis and take a shot of hennessy, [he] i know i’m not there mentally,” he’s not in the right head space to actually celebrate ‘being a better him’.

    “but you could be the remedy,” there he feels like all he needs to do to have a meaning in life is to play this tiny violin and for it to have an audience and FINALLY. maybe. he will then feel like he accomplished something in the world.

  6. sugxrqueen
    click a star to vote
    Aug 22nd report

    this song is about wanting to hold up expectations and wanting to do something “noble“ just like his previous relatives. hence to the lyrics “my grandpa fought in world war ll” and “his had was a fireman who fought fires so violent”. the character feels like what their doing is kinda of useless because “next to them [his]my shit don’t feel so grand.” also he feels like he should be more ahead in his life as he compares himself to his friends by saying “they’re so good at making friends, i’m so scared of caving in…” so if he’s able to play a symphony with his tiny violin he would feel like he accomplished something. especially if he would be able to play his violin for “you”. by the end of the song he emphasizes having to finish the song because it “feels like a necessity, so this could be the death of [him]me, or maybe just a better me.” he’s on the fence thinking this action could make him better in moving on with his life or tear him down. he tries to be positive by “com[ing] in with the timpanis and take a shot of hennessy, [he] i know i’m not there mentally,” he’s not in the right head space to actually celebrate ‘being a better him’. “but you could be the remedy,” there he feels like all he needs to do to have a meaning in life is to play this tiny violin and for it to have an audience and FINALLY. maybe. he will then feel like he accomplished something in the world.


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