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Blink 182

How Dammit Made Your Childhood Less Shit 

Thoughts by Craig Leahy

Morena whanau, I'm pretty keen to try something a bit different here, so stick with me.

Today I would like to discuss something that has been argued throughout the generations, and that is if indeed Dammit by Blink 182 is the single most perfect song ever composed. Now trust me, I can already feel the blood of 10's of angry internet hipsters boiling, and we'll dissect why you're so deeply unfulfilled another time, but for now, let's keep on point. Alright? Focus you fucking nerds.

Dammit by Blink 182 is the single most perfect song ever composed and Mark Hoppus alongside Tom DeLonge should be revered in the same breath as Paul McCartney, Victor Wooten, Geddy Lee, Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorious, and the list goes on. That list does not include Anthony Kiedis.

We're gonna quickly break this down into two sections, first we'll talk about the composition then we'll breakdown Mark's vocal performance

Composition and Performance

I think it's fair to say that Tom Delonge is the single greatest guitarist of all time, and Mark Hoppus? Well, Mark Hoppus will forever be etched into the annals of history as the most thought provoking song writer that has ever walked our lord's green earth, because of this song, now I know what you're saying to yourself "But Papa Craig, Dammit is pretty simple" And you'd be right. But you're also forgetting that prog sucks and every song that's ever sold physical copies only has 4 chords, but it's also full of majesty and picking patterns so complex you probably don't realize you're doing nothing with your life. The progression C, G, Am and F is repeated for almost the entire song, and that's the beauty of it. Once we delve into the lyrics, narrative and vocal timbre this will all make sense - But the C, G and F chords all ring out with passion, acceptance, grace and an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia that ties in with the subject matter of the song, while the Am reminds us that Mark is a lonely, grieving guy with no place to go. I promise this will make sense by the end of my breakdown here, but actually you know what, let's just talk about the rest of the stuff. No one wants to hear about the music, music sucks and don't even try to argue that point, I won't listen and your mum hasn't been listening to you for years, she told me. Of course she googled how to turn read receipts off, she leaves them on so you'll stop texting her to like your fucking band on Facebook.


Lyrics, Narrative and Vocal Timbre

I think it's really important to break down the lyrics and narrative of Dammit before going any further, so I can address some key critiques whatever wannabe Anthony Fantano or who-the-fuck-ever will be waiting in the wings to deliver. Dammit is about the late honourable Sir Mark Hoppus being broken up with by his girlfriend, he's inconsolable, by the time he approaches his friends, Mark has pieced a timeline together of the breakup and he theorizes, rightly or wrongly, that his ex-girlfriend had been cheating on him leading up to the breakup.

First of all, I fucking guarantee a good portion of people reading this, including myself, have experienced this exact emotion and series of nights overthinking timelines with ex partners who may have cheated on you. It's a REALLY fucking hard emotion to digest. But hey, relationships are fucking hard man, and people are growing all the time, don't hate your exes man, hating your exes is cliché as fuck. They were important to you at one point in your life and no one owes anyone anything let alone owes you to be in a relationship with you, yea their communication was probably garbage but guess what, yours probably was too man, we're all growing aye. Honestly what's the point in hating anyone in 2023.

Except Anthony Kiedis, fuck him man, let's all hate him.

Alright, let's look at excerpts of lyrics from the first two verses, keeping the narrative in mind;

"It's alright to tell me what you think about me. I won't try to argue or hold it against you. I know that you're leaving you must have your reasons"

This is the breakup, Mark hasn't begun dissecting the timeline here. You can hear weakness in the way Mark is singing, he's confused, as far as he knew this relationship was awesome. We all know that your high school partner is literally the girl you'll end up with your entire life, imagine that not being a thing eh. Stink buzz. Mark effortlessly portrays confusion and weakness in his voice because he's an absolute master of his craft. Straight up, Robert Plant is fucking garbage compared to the Captain of the First XV Mark Hoppus.

Let's move on to the second verse;

"The steps that I retrace, the sad look on your face. The timing and structure did you hear he fucked her?"

Mark has it all figured out, his girlfriend cheated on him. You can hear from his timbre, Mark is angry. Mark's voice is cracking while he's singing this phrase, because the raw emotion is too much for him. Even the most heartened composers can still be broken. On the surface these lyrics could be seen as hostile, but Mark has you fucking dweebs all figured out, look at the next excerpt;

"I'm writing the report, on losing, and failing"

Now this lyric seems like a filler, but if pop punk taught us one thing, it's that it is ALL KILLER NO FILLER eh?? EH?? Fuck I hope at least one person gets that joke. This lyric isn't filler, it's Mark accepting that he's done things in that relationship that led to its end. He's metaphorically writing this report on the last period of his life, and he directly references failing. He's thinking about all the things he may have done in that relationship that pushed his girlfriend away, keeping in mind that the narrative device of this verse is an inner monologue so you have to believe that Mark isn't lying to himself, because Mark Hoppus might be a lot of things (all good things), but The Last Jedi Mark Hoppus is NOT a liar. We're about to move on to the chorus, which backs up the journey of self discovery.

"And it's happened once again, I'll turn to a friend, Someone that understands, Sees through the master plan"

The first half of our chorus is Mark leaning on his friends, he needs support and his friends are there to listen. He continues to lean on his friends, whenever he sees them he's a pit of despair, he constantly talks about his ex-girlfriend and wants them to side with him. But being a pop-punk band, they're from a small town that they likely have a plan to escape, so Mark's friends are likely friends with his ex-girlfriend too, which leads us to this absolute gold,

"But everybody's gone, and I've been here for too long, to face this on my own"

Mark realizes he's alienated himself from his friends, he's been treating his friends as a band-aid, instead of accepting what has happened and finding his way through the stages of grief to finally, acceptance. This brings us to the single most powerful lyric that has ever been written, in all of music.

"Well I guess this is growing up"

With one immaculately structured sentence, Mark has discovered the most important feeling that any person could hope to discover in themselves.




Mark realizes that he's been using his friends as a crutch, and as we know from the previous verse, he's already aware of the faults he had in the relationship that contributed to its end. Mark has affirmed with himself, that he is the one in control of how he moves through the stages of grief and with this acceptance of accountability, Mark becomes free.

Alright let's hit the second verse

"You'll show up and walk by, on the arm of that guy. And I'll smile, and you'll wave we'll pretend it's okay"

Mark is still in pain, but he's moved through the worst of it. You can tell from his timbre that he's still upset, his voice is cracking but he's accepting that his ex has moved on, and that's growth, cool, but the next lyric is something I want to dissect because on first listen it could be seen as straight up gaslighting, I'm going to finally put that notion to bed for Master of the Universe Mark Hoppus,

"The charade, it won't last. When he's gone, I won't come back"

Honestly, if this was said out loud, I wouldn't have any defense, that's a shitty thing to say to someone. But you're already fucking forgetting what we've learned about the Macho Man Randy Mark Hoppus, after the discovery of his own accountability he's not communicating about the breakup verbally anymore, this is an inner monologue. Which takes this from being gaslighty bullshit into something that we all do, and all need. A coping mechanism. Markret Thatcher Hoppus is dealing with his pain in the only way he knows, which is still kinda petty, but those petty thoughts are all part of moving through the pain. He wants desperately to not feel this way, and this is helping. We've all felt petty ass thoughts before, how dare you judge Mark "soy flat white two sugars" Hoppus for this.

The last thing I want to touch on about the lyrics and narrative is our last chorus. The words "I'll" have turned into "you" now he's singing the chorus about his ex-girlfriend. Not maliciously, but in hopes that if things fall apart with his ex's new partner, then she'll undertake this journey of self discovery as well. She'll come to terms with the fact that, well, this is growing up.

And, well kid, that's something we all face.


Best song of all Time - Dammit by Blink 182

Best Lyric - "I guess this is growing up"

Rating - 5 debunked gaslight theories out of fucking 5, perfect score, this song fucking slaps, stop writing music now.

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