The Story behind ‘Youth Of The Nation’ by P.O.D

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Youth of the Nation is the most popular song by P.O.D released on 27th November 2001 as part of the ‘Satellite’ album. P.O.D(initialism for payable on death) is an American Christian metal band formed in 1992 from San Diego, California. So, Here’s POD song meaning and story behind it.

POD Song Meaning and Story

So, the song is based on school shootings- one being in Santana High School and another being in Columbine High School. On 5th March 2001 in Santana High School, a boy named Charles Williams(15 at that time) entered the school with his father’s gun and fired 30 shots killing 2 students and injuring 13 others in the process. The band was pretty close to where the incident happened. Sonny Sandovel in an interview with ‘’ talked about how the band was about 2 blocks away from where the incident was taking place.

When we were actually writing the record for Satellite, we were two blocks away from the Santee high school shootings. We had taken a break and went out for some coffee, and we see all the fire trucks and the police department and the helicopters and news. And we’re like, something’s going on. We turn on the TV and all of a sudden there’s a young kid who has trapped everybody inside the school and he’s shooting. Here we are, glued to the TV and we’re literally two blocks away. All this is going down, and here we were supposed to write music. It kind of just set the tone for how we felt that day.

Sonny Sandovel

The Columbine High School incident took place on 20th April 1999 where 2 students named Dylan Klebold(17 years old) and Eric Harris(18 years old) killed 12 students and a teacher. The perpetrators injured several others and also exchanged fire with the police before committing suicide themselves.

Charles Williams was bullied in class and explained how he was left with no option but to take that step. As to why Dylan and Eric carried out the shootings, their motives still remain unclear.

We had always been a touring band and we had toured through Colorado, even when Columbine had happened, and we had an awesome underground following, even of kids in Colorado. So when we toured through Colorado, some of the kids that survived the Columbine shootings put on a fund raiser, so we’ve always been kind of involved in that. We’re hanging out with young kids, we’re talking with kids, and that was one of the things that was going on when we were touring so many years ago. So it had always been something that was on our shoulders.

And then when this happened it was like wow, what’s going on with these kids? And it was like here it is, these are the youth of the nation. So it just sparked that whole story.

Sonny Sandovel

We had the title and we had the music. It was just this very drone like echo of this guitar. And that’s just how we felt. And here we are having conversation and the title ‘Youth of the Nation’ came up, and then we kind of hummed out some ideas of the chorus. But the lyrics for the verses weren’t written until we actually got into the studio and started to write out tracks. But I knew I was going to be telling the story of what we experienced and what happened. So it was more about this story of certain individuals, or just this kid who feels like he’s lost in this world. The lyrics all came out once we were in the studio.

Sonny Sandovel

The song talks about stories of 3 different individuals – a boy, who gets shot by a fellow classmate in school, a girl named Suzie who is abandoned by her father and is getting into abusive relationships and another boy named Johnny, who tries to be cool but fails miserably and ends up taking his own life. These stories however didn’t happen in real life, although situations like this keep happening.

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