So, there is the pretty straight forward - girl sleeping with a boy who doesn't know if he's ready - interpretation. However, years ago, I had read that the song was a metaphor for the music industry taking advantage of young bands. So, the girl would be the music industry and Brand New is represented by the boy. I really liked that interpretation, just wanted to see what you all thought. It seems to fit as I had heard the same interpretation for Good To Know … and I believe they were quoted as saying that most of the songs on the record weren't about what people thought they were about.
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As a gay guy I always used to pretend it was about a secretly gay guy who gets forced into sex with a girl. I always knew it wasn’t but still how I envisioned it.
They talk about your interpretation here: https://www.songfacts.com/facts/brand-new/sic-transit-gloria-glory-fades
You’re thinking of Me vs. Maradona vs. Elvis. According to Jason at Absolutepunk (he worked for the band’s management at the time) Jesse had told him Maradona was a metaphor for the music industry abusing artists.
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I think both sic transit and me vs Maradona are both metaphors and both songs use sex/relationships for the metaphor
you are right I believe there are two meanings to this song. The literal meaning is the guy who has thought about sex his whole life is finally ready for it but the girl he meets is very experienced and has probably slept with 30+ guys the guy is realizing that he actually isn't ready for it and he wished he would have waited for the right person who he actually loves.
"die young and save yourself" means basically that you will inevitably want to have sex but instead you should die young before you even go through with it.. of course this is metaphorical because he isn't suggesting you actually kill yourself
the metaphorical meaning is just like you said.. they dreamed of being rock stars their whole life but they are realizing the complexities of the music industry and that they are basically being used for someone elses fortune .. the parallels of the metaphorical and the literal meaning are amazing in this song because we get a literal story that conveys the feeling they are trying to portray metaphorically