Analyzing Minor Threats “Salad Days”
Minor Threat’s “Salad Days”, describes the end a youthful time in one’s life and the reassurance that there is no turning back, stressing the importance of living life to its fullest potential.
The preservation of youth is an important topic addressed by Minor Threat in “Salad Days”. In the excerpt, “Wishing for the days when I first wore this suit,” can express a feeling of regret for not considering the valuableness of youth. The hope that maybe one can stay young is diminished by society’s views on midlife children, or the anxieties caused by experiences in everyday life. The term “suit”, may represent the physical body, and the line “when I first wore this suit,” can illustrate when an individual was born. This can show the common urge for a time in one’s life, when it was accepted to be inexperienced. The lines “But I stay on, I stay on Where do I get off? On to greener pastures,” can represent a youth waiting to become an adult. It can signify the feeling of still being young even if one was at the age of maturity. It can also represent a child’s idea of being an adult, and the assumption that life gets easier with age.
The struggles to meet expectations set when in times of youth are described by Minor Threat in the lines, “Baby has grown older, It’s no longer cute,” and, “Baby has grown ugly, It’s no longer cute”. These separate statements can represent a parent struggling to repudiate their past expectations and accept their offspring for what they have become. It can also denote the strife of the child, who cannot meet expectations set by their parents, or society. The quote shows that as an individual reaches the standard age of adulthood their state of mind doesn’t exactly change with their new age. This portion simply expresses how fast time passes and how people aren’t aware until it’s too late.
The term “ugly”, can refer to an individual who changes from a sweet baby to a criminal. In the quote, “too many voices, they’ve made me mute,” the idea that peer pressures help mold you is stated. For example if an individual is demeaned multiple times they can develop an uneasiness to interact socially. The quote shows the effects of being told what’s wrong so many times, illustrating how it can make a person just give up on their aspirations’ completely. The quote can also express the fear of expressing one’s self, due to social anxieties or fear of conflict. As a person gets older they’re core beliefs and morals change, the quote, “The core has gotten soft,” puts that idea into a good perspective.
Minor Threat puts life in a different veiw, where either you live to die or live to live. The lines “But I stay on, I stay on Where do I get off? On to greener pastures,” can represent the many followers of religion, who set aside their true goals to dedicate their lives to making it into heaven. It describes the many people who believe every story and follow every law, no matter how brutal. The same people who live a whole life of worship only to make it to heaven.
One of the key messages to this song is to savor time. Life goes by fast and there is no way to go back. Minor Threat criticizes society for wasting time in the quote,” Look at us today We've gotten soft and fat Waiting for the moment, Its just no coming back”. This statement illustrates how lazy our society has become from the lack of effort. It is symbolized to “Dwell upon our memories,“and sit around waiting for excitement gets us nowhere. Life is what you make it, not how you made it. The passage emphasizes the importance of living each day to the fullest no matter what age. People don’t get anything accomplished waiting around living in memories. The blunt statement,” It’s just no coming back,” explains there is no way to relive your good times. In the excerpt, “Wishing for the days when I first wore this suit,” the desire to be reborn and relive ones childhood is expressed. The word “wished” was used to emphasize that it’s not possible in reality. No matter how hard you try theirs no going back to the past.
Minor Threat articulates the importance of living life to one’s own standards. Wasting time worrying what other people think can keep a person from accomplishing they’re true desires. In the last line, “there are no facts,” Minor Threat emphasizes the fact that there is no right way to have fun. If someone has fun robbing people they are still having fun. It doesn’t matter how society looks at it, as long as it feels fun to you, than you are having fun. The same goes for beliefs, If it feels right to you than follow it to the end.
In conclusion, Minor Threat’s “Salad Days” describes the end of youth. The pressures and desires of everyday life in this sensitive time are explained both upfront and paradoxically. They signify the importance of making each day memorable and not looking back.