Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks


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Foster The People sing “Pumped Up Kicks”, they are an indie pop band.


Mark Foster
Cubbie Fink
Mark Pontius

The band was signed to the Columbia a parent company of Sony Music Entertainment.

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Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks. You better run, better run, outrun my gun.

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September 6, 2010
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Comments on Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks Leave a Comment

September 17, 2010

Mike @ 11:43 am #

I love this song and Foster the People. 😀

October 12, 2010

jennifer @ 7:26 am #

Great Song!!

November 20, 2010

catherine @ 12:30 am #

i just like to know how will i get this cd foster the poeple pumped up kicks pls let me i want it on cd i just love this song .. thanks catherine

January 9, 2011

peq @ 12:32 pm #

Instrumentals rock, but i think the text could be stronger and more focused on a topic

January 20, 2011

dude @ 12:54 pm #

January 25th on itunes, i don’t know of any other release dates

January 24, 2011

Random @ 7:22 pm #

@peq.. They do focus on a topic.. The topic is a problem that has been going on for to long now. Kid gets bullied at school doesn’t tell people that it bothers him, instead go’s home into daddys secret box finds a gun and gos back to school.. its sad but true

February 8, 2011

Monkeymonk @ 9:25 am #

The funny thing is, this song isn’t for the people that get bullied on. This is a song for the punks that are doing the bullying and when they hear this song they take a step back and say ok im not going to do it anymore because some mother fucker made a song about what might happen to me if I keep bullying on weaker people..

Hence the..
You dead wrong.. The weak are the strong.. NOTORIOUS B.I.G.

Skkeeeeeeet skeeeeeeet

Monkeymonk @ 9:26 am #

The funny thing is, this song isn’t for the people that get bullied on. This is a song for the punks that are doing the bullying and when they hear this song they take a step back and say ok im not going to do it anymore because some mother f***er made a song about what might happen to me if I keep bullying on weaker people..

Hence the..
You dead wrong.. The weak are the strong.. NOTORIOUS B.I.G.

Skkeeeeeeet skeeeeeeet

March 7, 2011

Emily @ 11:04 pm #

This song is great . I love it

March 20, 2011

yennife @ 8:31 am #

popa dumb boy

March 29, 2011

marissa @ 4:54 pm #


April 1, 2011

danna @ 6:28 am #

The thing I have a problem with is that in this day and age, kids only hear the catchy tune. There aren’t a lot of us who are interested in knowing what we are listening to. Its worrisome that the song is so popular without a great deal of people knowing the meaning :/

April 2, 2011

Mike @ 9:20 am #

sounds like he says “Paul Shaffer” instead of pull trigger

April 3, 2011

Jackie @ 9:25 pm #

I have been trying forever to find this song.I hear it on one radio station called The Penguine-98.3,But they would never say who the artist was or the name of the song.I couldn’t make out the words to well either.I thought they were singing-run baby run,run get your gun.I found this accidentally,which is great because I love this song.

April 7, 2011

Braven @ 4:44 pm #

this song rocks its well put together, catchy, and lyrics rock

Fricken @ 9:21 pm #

This song has it all….great lyrics, great beat, and an incredibly fabulous bassline!

May 5, 2011

Thom @ 9:56 am #

This song is really kind of sick. I love it though, not because of the shock of what this song is about when you sit down and listen to the words… its just got that grove that doesn’t stop.

May 9, 2011

jeff elliott @ 8:57 pm #

i heard this song on the radio and must admit there is something really catchy about it! i found the video on comcast (music on demand) and cannot stop viewing the video. there is just something about it that really is kool!

May 17, 2011

leezozo @ 3:49 am #

Seriously awesome track!!! Seriously…..

May 23, 2011

Nacho Luquin @ 3:25 pm #

I heard this song in morning on KROQ and it has stuck on my mind all day!… Glad to hear their full album comes out tomorrow in iTunes and will be @ Amoeba Records in Hollywood. INDIE ROCK BANDS ROCK!!!!!!!!! Always!!

Flem @ 10:22 pm #

very sing-songy. fun for awhile, but gets old

Flem @ 10:31 pm #

oh yeah, the phrase “pumped up kicks” gets most peoples attention. does anyone know what pumped up kicks are? is it like the rebok or l.a. gear pumps? if so, this sounds like it was written around 1990 since about half of the kids had them then

May 27, 2011

BAM @ 12:57 pm #

“The song is about an outcast youth who doesn’t wear the right clothes, doesn’t say the right things and just doesn’t fit in,” Foster says. “It’s really about the mental process of him going crazy. So it’s a dark song with a really breezy melody.”

The fans who’ve been crowding into their shows, happily singing along, don’t seem to know what they’re singing about. They also don’t seem to care.

May 28, 2011

rogerroger @ 10:32 pm #

The correct phrase is “sleight of hand,” not “slight of hand.” THANK YOU we corrected “slight of hand.” to “sleight of hand.”

June 5, 2011

eric @ 11:06 am #

@Monkeymonk: Are you a chevydouchebag fan? Cause Mitch says skeet skeet a lot.

June 21, 2011

me @ 10:50 am #

@peq: *there is a topic. it’s about a boy who is kinda going insane and shooting shit up.*

July 7, 2011

alberto @ 9:19 pm #

I think you miss understood the whole concept of the song. You could make as may speculations as you want, but there is more than one way to interpretation this song, everybody in this website will have a different opinion and Idea of how they relate to the meaningful words of the song.. You my friend will give the meaning… Comprende

July 18, 2011

anon @ 10:24 am #

After the whistling the chorus repeats 2 times, not 3. We corrected the chorus to repeat twice. Thank you Anon for contributing to LYBIO

SkateboardSkip @ 8:03 pm #

I guess most of you are a little confused and only like this song because it’s catchy. Some of us have actually been the kid in this song and can actually relate.

July 24, 2011

Ugly Joey @ 10:19 am #

Thi$ $ite ROCK$, I take my karioki $eriosly. It$ nice to have accsess to lyrics so to rehur$e before going on the mic. Mucha$ $mucha$ Ugly Joey

Ugly Joey @ 10:29 am #

P.$. I get the lyric$ to Pumped up kick$. And the the mu$ic i$ like co$micly enchanting. At lea$t to me . Ma$ Mucha$ $mucha$ Ugly Joey!

July 26, 2011

bully beater @ 11:33 pm #

This song is truly catchy but i think the sad thing is the message this songs relays can more than likely encourage some pumped up kid to bust out the gun in school. All this because the song is so catchy that after listening for so long someone might just might just envelope the thought of carrying out those actions.

August 2, 2011

Mariah @ 1:33 am #

i love songs with deeper meanings it’s so awsome and true plus it’s a major burn on the popular kids hahaha being weird is sometimes cooler

August 6, 2011

3naah @ 10:07 pm #

@Random: Definitely Unique

August 23, 2011

kia @ 4:01 pm #

I take the time to research all the songs my kids sing. So your comments helped with my understanding. My 12 yr old has no understanding of this and only knows the chorus. I want him to listen and respond.

August 25, 2011

cambeul @ 9:51 am #


I think you should know that “pumped up kicks” likely refers to drug use. naturally, it could be pumped up in the form of other kicks like the adrenaline high some people get out of bullying others. While there are many ways to get “pumped up”, it is not necessarily from working out.

It’s a sad look (from the inside out) at someone who bears a grudge, and is exhibiting “Columbine” syndrome.

nibbles @ 7:49 pm #

Do you have to horrify him like that? Just let him be happy, It’s not like he’s ever gonna try to replicate the song if he doesn’t know what it means.

August 27, 2011

Shawn @ 5:57 pm #

@nibbles I have kids ranging from 5 to 12. The music might not effect them when they’re young but as they get older, the stories they take in, whether it is music, games, books, movies, etc. will come in to play as they get older. The info stays in there brain and becomes more influential as they develop better comprehension. If they aren’t taught how to filter info, then they become susceptible to any influence.

Like with this song, when they get older and if they are bullied, they might take this song at face value and think it’s saying to give in to the feeling of power that revenge creates. BUT, if we teach them when they first listen to the song that it’s a warning about the possible consequences of bulling, then it helps them put the song in a proper perspective.

As far as the song goes, I love it. The sound reminds me of the “Gorillaz”. When I first heard it, I thought it might be them and was surprised to find out it was a band called “Foster The People”. It adds some nice variety to the typical music playing on the radio now a days. That bass line is stuck in my head.

August 28, 2011

JRwowrocks @ 2:40 pm #

great tune great vibe they really hit the nail on the head with this 1 ,peace.

August 29, 2011

Anna @ 7:41 pm #

Danna….So true!! Sad but true!

August 30, 2011

Liz @ 11:41 am #

I love the song! And it speaks to what is going on today in schools which is really sad. I hope it discourages bullying instead of encourages it. What is with the video though? It doesn’t make any sense.

September 1, 2011

Dempsey @ 8:18 am #

Well said Shawn, I could not put it better. You are absolutely right, the sad part is that since the tune is catchy, kids think that is cool to try whatever the song is expressing.

September 4, 2011

dAkOtA @ 12:01 pm #


September 11, 2011

Andy Cody @ 7:14 am #

Just so you guys know,
Foster The People actually got the idea of the song from an incident that happened in 2007. A mall shooting where a kid with a gun shot, killed and injured a few people before killing himself. His name was Robert A. Hawkins — hence the first line of the song — he was generally a deranged and troubled kid but other people seem to say that he picked his target, looking for those who looked well, or were well-off (clean, fashionable, looking wealthy, etc). Probably why Foster The People came up with “kids with the pumped up kicks” since they were generally the target.

Hit a search on “Westroads Mall Shooting” look for the one in Wikipedia. More info there.

September 13, 2011

Darla @ 8:25 pm #

Luv luv luv this song!!!! Its awesome!!

September 14, 2011

Liz @ 8:55 am #

@Andy Cody: Interesting… thanks.

Honey @ 10:41 pm #

I can’t believe this song is on the radio, from what I was told. As far as it being a catchy tune, yes, it may very well be catchy, but think what other catchy fads have been. Do we really want to encourage kids to like this type of input? Nothing good will come out of this song being targeted to our youth, or adults for that matter. I believe the pumped upkicks is pumping up the shotgun. When the kid took the gun from the closet, he said there was a box of kicks, which would be the box of shells/ammo.This is terrible, and for any mother that wants their child to learn from this song ought to be ashamed of themselves. The child that hears these lyrics are not going to think it means anything, other than a good fun song, and hopefully they won’t want to duplicate the actions of the killer that day named Robert. There will be controversy over this song and there should be, because the day people don’t see anything wrong with lyrics such as these, being targeted to our impressionable, future adults, Hell, must be opening up it’s gates. There is no good learning lesson here.

September 15, 2011

Schweiger @ 4:34 am #

Alter Vater….
when I read the comment about the mixed upped lyrics (the run baby run…) I had such a flashback: I once heard the end of that song in radio and it was so catchy that I immediately searched the net for “run baby run” and all kind of variations of it!
Now I’m listening to the song the whole day and haven’t even realized that it was that song I heard in the radio! :)
Anyways, GREAT song!

nollie @ 11:25 pm #

“The weak or the strong.” Biggie Smalls

September 16, 2011

Josh @ 6:36 am #

@Schweiger: Ahhh Honey. It’s a song. And your pseudo-science-psychology is flawed. There is no evidence at all that the lyrics of a song make people violent. That old fashioned debate is over and done with.

luvmybabies @ 9:42 am #

I could not agree more with u honey this song is very deceiving. The catchy melody but dark lyrics scares me. There are some children out there that feel they have Noones to talk to n this song is simply inviting them to let loose n the fact that all those others that may h listening to around them unaware of its meaning will give that child the impression that its ok. I just cringe at the thought of these type of songs being so popular@Honey:

September 18, 2011

youll never know @ 5:48 pm #

the begin is stupid the chorus is cool though.

September 19, 2011

Hmmmm... @ 10:19 pm #

Wow, the lyrics to this song are ridiculous. This is the kind of song that messed up kids try to use as an excuse for harming other kids. Getting picked on and bullied is (very unfortunately) a part of growing up. Coming from a person who was bullied pretty badly, I am glad that I was strong enough to never let it get to me. I had awesome parents (who never really knew how badly I was picked on) that always made me feel good about myself. We were not rich (not even middle class, I don’t think), but I had other things in my life to focus on besides why other kids didn’t like me or why other kids were so mean. I can’t wait to go to my 15 year reunion. It will be awesome to see all of the lame people from High School, those kids who picked on me who still live in the small town where we grew up, not doing much of anything.
Unfortunately these days, a lot of parents don’t have the maturity to raise children at all, let alone give them the tools to grow up with a balanced sense of reality- and that goes for the parents of bullies as well as parents of kids who are bullied. To all of the kids that are so desperate to let everyone know that they are ‘different’ like everyone else, we see that you’re different, and no one really cares. If you’re truly doing it to be different, just be yourself and stop shoving it in the face of anyone that happens to look at you.

September 21, 2011

EC in BC @ 9:32 am #

I’m almost 50…I remember people saying the same things about “I don’t like Mondays” thirty years ago (about a teenage girl who went on a shooting spree).
Very catchy tune, love the beat, needed to know the words.

September 24, 2011

zammster @ 6:59 am #

Luv this song!X6

September 25, 2011

LD @ 9:28 am #

The song tells a story. It’s not encouraging bad things to happen or encouraging kids to go on shooting sprees. We know this happened, we talk about it, this singer sings about it.

I don’t see much controversy here, other that what’s being created by over-sensitive responders.

September 26, 2011

Awnee @ 3:37 am #

Haha looks like some of these parents who are concerned their kid might get shot should seriously stop commenting and go tell your kid that he better be nice! And I think its safer to scare a kid early before he gets brave with a bad crowd and starts making fun of the wrong little f**ker.

There was a bomb in my school once and my school was soo unprepared so it may even remind people to be prepared for this kind of thing too.

Either way though I think if someone is capable of going that far if there’s a song like this out or not he/she would most likely end up doing it or something worse anyway.


September 28, 2011

Smarter Than Whitey @ 10:01 am #


You misquoted B.I.G… foolish little guy..then after you diz BIG you skeeet? You are so white.

October 1, 2011

Hmmmm... @ 1:05 pm #

We need to tell kids, “they better be nice or else they’ll be shot”????? That’s f***ing crazy! How about teaching children the difference between right and wrong? It is not only wrong to bully other children, it is also wrong to retaliate against the bullies. Teach your children that there are going to be all kinds of people in this world. There will be people who don’t agree with what you think and there will certainly be people who are so insecure about themselves that they need to pick on those they think are weaker than themselves. Under no circumstance is it right to then use a gun or a bomb to get back at those who have wronged you. This is just giving an anthem to children who are victims of bullying. It’s sad that children are so over-diagnosed with mental disorders (for example – depression), when it’s more often a case of a child who is not required to take responsibility for his or her own actions. Show me one person who was not bullied at some point in his or her life, and I will show you a liar. Yet, the vast majority of people have made it through life just fine, without the need to play the victim. Grow up and enjoy the life you are blessed with!

desiree @ 10:14 pm #

@rogerroger: i deeply truly love this song because i too am a mental patient of 7 years since 15 years now 22 years and it just doesnt equal amount to tje other songs its better!

October 4, 2011

victoria @ 3:13 pm #

U better run run faster than my bullet.
I LOVE THIS SONG!!! but my mom thinks its weird :/.

jeff @ 8:45 pm #

love the song. reminds me of IAN HUNTER ! this is a good thing. A well thought out song and great sound. i will keep lisining. p.s. I am 50yrs. old I know a few things. A good song is a good song,it caught my ear! also check out MOTT THE HOOPLE. thank you thats all.

October 6, 2011

Celsey @ 7:26 am #

i love this song and i love foster the people they are the best

October 7, 2011

bdubbs @ 1:41 pm #

Wat’s crazy is I didn’t know the lyrics on this song when it plays on the radio all i hear is “all the other kids”….. lol i just liked the beat and decided to look it up. the lyrics are certainly ummm..interesting.

Angie @ 6:26 pm #

I am a 40 year old mom and I love this song. My 17 year old son loves it to, he actually told me what some of the words were but I still love it. Listen to it all the time.

October 11, 2011

dwilday @ 1:44 pm #

Pumped up kicks refers to sneakers…. expensive sneakers.
Drug use is not implied anywhere in this song… violence and acting out the fantasies of the potentially bullied, sure I’d buy that. Drug use? Nope.

October 12, 2011

thatgermandude @ 12:04 am #

oh, I actually thought it said

you better run, Betty run, faster than my bullet

which made me believe it’s about a guy taking revenge on a girl for hanging out with the cool kids

mereninla @ 12:15 am #

gr8 song

October 14, 2011

C.A.H. @ 6:10 pm #

@peq: The symbolism in the video with the red pyramid, Fathers, diving into the lake, Bud Light, keds, sidekicks, ballroom dancing, stars, palm trees, line in the middle, blonde heir, whistlers, you know… they obviously “get it.” The lyrics tell a story of the good guys winning after all, with the bad guys not even realizing what hit them, leaving in a hurry in what looks to the spectator as fiery flames.. HMMM> what could that refer to?
‘Cause dinner’s in the kitchen and it’s packed in ice.
– Dinarus…. pa-kid (father’s son) in eyes” –
D in aries dignitaries 4 and 20 elders… Wonder how many eyes are in the sun?

C.A.H. @ 6:12 pm #

@dwilday: OR… strong sneakers, or snakers… the letter ‘S’ stands for Essennes. Metatron is coming!

C.A.H. @ 6:23 pm #

@bully beater: Pumped up kicks KIX (roman numbers) K-9s references to dogs — false Gods or false prophets. Bullet – Brotherhood of Light ETs, KIDS ” we are all but little children in God’s eyes” reason with my cigarrette — A Ray son or lightbeam, cigarette = secret ET, whistle — weasel… POP! RU RED E? Be ready– 420 four score URANTIA

October 16, 2011

Wanda Kay @ 9:50 am #

There is a lesson to be learned from any and every occurrence in life. It is the mindset and attitude of how you TEACH the lesson that is so important to our kids! I think we all need to be able to listen better! Then we might actually be able to HEAR what our kids are trying to say to us!

October 17, 2011

BI MI @ 2:50 pm #

@Hmmmm… i dont agree with you at all iv been rasied fine and i get bullied all the time but im not gunna go kill kids because of this catchy awsome some what funny song and u guys who be downing on that it might effect kids are stupid.

BI MI @ 5:15 pm #

the yeah’s in when his dad comes home dosent happen in the song im listing to the song and rading lyrics and that wasnt right

October 18, 2011

Niasia @ 8:43 pm #


October 21, 2011

grimsgrind @ 11:49 am #

You people do know this song is about Columbine, correct?

Viki @ 9:09 pm #

@ cambeul..This song is Not Drug Related, Pumped up kicks are the 90’s version of Reebok Tennis shoes that had the pump on them to pump them up!,This song does though have a catchy tune thats attracking its listeners,its about a boy who doesnt fit in with the other kids,they make fun of him,so he gets in daddys box full of surprises(guns) gets a gun and takes it to school! (Columbine for Instance)..This song should be taken off the airwaves!!!

October 22, 2011

Corin @ 10:18 am #

If you listen to this song and enjoy it the your IQ is steadily declining…. Everybody at some time in their life will be bullied, parents need to toughen their kids up insted of softening them up. I was the toughest kid in my class in a very large inner city school and I got “bullied” by older kids not because I didn’t fit in but because it is LIFE. All the energy used trying to prevent bullying should be directed at teaching kids to cope with it. I got bullied and I never considered shooting up my school……

October 23, 2011

Francois B @ 9:17 am #

As someone who lived and dreaded school after April 20, 1999. This song is atrocious and an accurate representation of the degenerated minds in thmedia today. They are fatherless and motherless and without love who write wuch atrocities to be heard by young, susceptible minds.

robert @ 4:40 pm #

love this song…don’t know why exactly. genre unknown

October 29, 2011

me @ 7:17 am #

This song has the same tune as the old tv show, Petticoat Junction! haha
I like it, but the lyrics are sad.

November 1, 2011

Nicole @ 12:46 pm #

I like this song and it is catchy. I recently found out what the lyrics actualy meant. To all of you who listen to this song and can relate (being bullied or etc.) cruel people never win in the end and high school, while it may seem to go on 4 ever, only lasts 4 years. Im 28 and got into many school altercations/fights because of cruel ass holes picking on classmates. Even in one case got punched by a very large guy…lol! Life is so much more, so keep your heads up and to those who don’t like seeing shit (other kids being bullied) like that happen step up don’t leave your class mates out to dry.

November 6, 2011

Mike @ 5:45 pm #

This song seems like a catchy anthem that the bullied kids can use when they decide it’s a good idea to shoot up their school. This song is horrible in all way, shape and form. I don’t see what the reason was to write the song they way they did. I’m all for expression and I like many genres of music, but this song stepped a line for me and I’d have to say I’m really offended that someone decided this would be a good song to release as a single on the radio, like Top 40 radio…honestly, I’ve been a songwriter for quite some time and I think this song should have been looked at a little more closely before they decided, “Hey, you know, this would make a quite a poppy little shoot ’em up anthem for all our kids to sing along to! What a good idea it is to pump this straight into Top 40 radio!” I mean, seriously? Whatever angle they were trying to accomplish with this, it only comes across one way, and it’s not a good way. Then…to add insult to injury, they made it sound like it was recorded by a bunch of punks on Ketamine, playing on make-shift instruments in a tin roofed warehouse…with an 8-track recorder…I then say again, seriously?

November 8, 2011

charlie @ 4:48 pm #

omg i love this song, i have this song at home, i can just enjoy it all day, it is a catchy song tht everyone will enjoy. i have alot of best songs but i must say to everyone tht this song is the best,. it should be the number one hit, for ever and ever., when i first herd this song, i thought tht the melody was great. this song is so amazing!!!!

November 10, 2011

lydia @ 11:21 am #

ikr this shit is craze

November 11, 2011

Maribel @ 8:30 am #

I’m taking this from a spiritual point of view as well. It’s God telling humankind to outrun Satan and his minions. Think about it.

Kids with Pump up Kicks:Demons and drug use

Claudia @ 10:22 am #

Oh, Yea play my jam!!!!!

November 12, 2011

matchew @ 8:01 am #

@dwilday: not drug use as you are thinking more like the satisfaction that kids get out of bullying others used as there drug …. sneakers?? i think you might be missing it man

November 13, 2011

JustAThought @ 4:40 pm #

Ok look Americans are at risk for loosing the 2nd amendment.. This song almost encourages someone with bad luck to pull the 9mm out of dads closet and make a bad decision to use it… More misuse of weapons, I can bet you will cause all Americans to be de armed… This is unconstitutional!

November 14, 2011

Terry Green @ 5:22 pm #

You people, you kids are such idiots. Read the first verse. The kid who finds the gun and who smokes is the bully who is also a psycho. This f___K’d up kid is now going to go shoot people who happen to wear shoes that he does not like. Wake up children and turn off the damn TV.

November 15, 2011

rosebud @ 9:06 pm #

I am a grandmother who loves good music. I thought this song was pretty catchy and looked into its roots. It sickened me to read the lyrics and the reference to guns and violence. The video of frightened children running in fear has no place in today’s music. I will shout down Foster the People whenever I get a chance. They have talent that they have sold to the worst part of our world. Evil.
Go whistle your tune of violence somewhere else.

rosebud @ 9:39 pm #

You are one of the few intelligent comments on this page, so I say thank you.
I first saw the band on a late night TV show, and I really liked their sound, so wanting to know more about them, I looked further….and was appalled at lyrics.
I live in Colorado, and any glorification of running from my bullets is intolerable. Foster the People took a risky track…they loose, and it is so sad because they do have good music. But they ironically, shot themselves down.

November 16, 2011

get it right @ 2:52 pm #

The Westroads Mall shooting was a murder-suicide that occurred on Wednesday, December 5, 2007, at the Von Maur department store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. Nineteen-year-old Robert A. Hawkins killed nine people (including himself) and wounded four, two of them critically.[4] It was the deadliest shooting spree in Nebraska since the rampage of Charles Starkweather in 1958.[5]

[edit] Details[edit] Prior to the shootingAn hour before the rampage,[6] Hawkins’ mother gave the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Department his suicide note, which read: “I just want to take a few peices of shit with me… just think tho, I’m gonna be fuckin famous [sic].” but it was a farewell letter to his friends.[7][8]

Hawkins entered the south entrance of the Von Maur department store about 1:36 p.m. CST (19:36 UTC). After walking a short distance into the store, he paused for a second, then turned around and left. Returning six minutes later through the same entrance, he proceeded directly to the elevator at his immediate right, this time with a commercial copy of the AKM 7.62x39mm semi-automatic rifle[1][9] stolen from his stepfather’s house, along with two 30-round magazines,[10] concealed in a sweatshirt. He took the elevator to the top floor.[11]

Mall shooting victims[12]
1. Gary Scharf, age 48, customer.
2. John McDonald, age 65, customer.
3. Angie Schuster, age 36, employee.
4. Maggie Webb, age 24, employee.
5. Janet Jorgensen, age 66, employee.
6. Diane Trent, age 53, employee.
7. Gary Joy, age 56, employee.
8. Beverly Flynn, age 47, employee.

[edit] The shootingAt approximately 1:43 p.m. CST (19:43 UTC), Robert Hawkins stepped out of the elevator on the third floor and opened fire. He killed eight people and wounded four others over the course of six minutes, before dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head near the customer service desk.[4][13][14] He fired more than 30 rounds, striking 12 people. Six were killed instantly, one died before reaching the hospital, and another died 45 minutes after reaching the ER of another hospital.[15]

Omaha Police arrived at Westroads Mall about six minutes after receiving the first 911 call. During the entire 70 seconds of that first call, all the dispatcher heard was gunshots. Audio tapes and transcripts of the 911 calls, along with images captured by mall security surveillance cameras, were released by the police on December 7, 2007.[16]

An autopsy of Hawkins showed that he had 200 nanograms per milliliter of Valium in his system, which is the low end of its therapeutic-use range (100-1500 ng/mL).[17] No trace of any other drug was found in his system.[17]

[edit] The injuredFour of the victims shot by Hawkins survived. Two critically injured were store employees.[18] Fred Wilson, 61, was a manager for the customer service department. He was sent to the University of Nebraska Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the upper chest. By the time he reached the ER, he had lost three-quarters of his blood and had no pulse.[19] Wilson was upgraded to stable by the following weekend, and soon after was making some attempts to communicate. The other critically wounded victim was customer service employee Micheale “Mickey” Oldham, 65, who was sent to Creighton University Medical Center. She sustained heavy injuries to the abdomen and back, and, of the surviving victims, she suffered the worst injuries.[19][20] Another surviving victim was customer Jeff Schaffart, 34, who was treated and released at UNMC for a gunshot wound to the left arm and the little finger of his left hand. The Omaha Police Department announced on December 22, 2007, that Mandy Hyda, 34, received a bruise when a bullet fragment struck her left leg.[2] She was neither transported nor treated for the injury.[21] It was initially reported that there were five people injured (not including Hyda), but two of those at the scene who were sent to local hospitals were sent for reasons other than being shot by Hawkins.[4]

[edit] Community reactionThe Von Maur corporate headquarters in Davenport, Iowa issued a statement saying, “We are deeply saddened by the horrific shooting at our Omaha store this afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this tragic event, as well as their families.”[13] A similar statement was shown on its web site’s home page.[22] Westroads Mall also stated on its web site, “Our thoughts and prayers remain with all affected by this tragedy.”[23] Its home page also indicated that the mall would remain closed until the following Saturday, December 8; however, the Von Maur store, where the incident took place, did not open until December 20.[22] In the days following the tragedy, the Von Maur store was thronged on all sides by flowers and signs expressing condolences, as makeshift memorials to the victims.[24] By January 12, 2008, a fund for the victims’ families surpassed one million dollars.[25]

[edit] The shooterRobert A. Hawkins

Hawkins’ Papillion La Vista Senior High School yearbook photo
Born May 17, 1988
Suffolk, England
Died December 5, 2007(2007-12-05) (aged 19)
Omaha, Nebraska
Cause of death Suicide by gunshot wound to the head
Body discovered Westroads Mall, Omaha, Nebraska
Residence Bellevue, Nebraska
Nationality American
Parents Ronald Hawkins
Maribel “Molly” Rodriguez (step-mother Candace Sims)

The perpetrator of the shootings was Robert A. Hawkins,[26] 19 (May 17, 1988 – December 5, 2007). He was born in the Royal Air Force Lakenheath of Suffolk, England, to American parents Ronald Hawkins and Maribel “Molly” Rodriguez.[27] He was estranged from his parents and lived with two friends and their mother in a ranch-style house in the Quail Creek Neighborhood[18] of Bellevue, a suburb 10 miles (16 km) south of Omaha.[3] He was attending therapy sessions, taking medication and being hospitalized for depression by the time he was 6 years old.[27] Throughout most of his life, he and his family were plagued by his psychiatric problems.[27] The day after he turned 14, he was sent to a mental health treatment center for threatening to kill his stepmother Candace Hawkins with an axe.[28] Four months later, he became a ward of the State of Nebraska, which lasted nearly four years.[28] He had undergone two psychiatric hospitalizations, and was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, an unspecified mood disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and parent-child relationship problems.[28] His extensive treatments cost the state $265,000.[28] He attended Papillion-La Vista High School and later dropped out during his senior year in March 2006, but received a GED. Debora Maruca-Kovac, the owner of the house in which Hawkins lived, described him as “troubled”.[29] She also stated that he was depressed over being fired from his job at McDonald’s, reportedly for stealing $17,[30] and over separating from his girlfriend two weeks prior to the incident.[18][31]

Hawkins was ticketed on November 24, 2007, for suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two alcohol charges,[32] one of which was underage possession of alcohol. He was due in court for an arraignment on December 19, 2007.[18] According to local news sources, he threatened to kill a local teenager, because he thought she had stolen his CD player.[33] He was also convicted as a juvenile of a felony drug conviction[34][35] while in foster care in Omaha.[35]

The Smoking Gun released a copy of Hawkins’ three-page suicide note which consisted of a note to his family, one to his friends, and his last will and testament, below which he signed his name and included his Social Security number.[7] Initial news reports indicated that Hawkins wrote in his suicide note, “I’m going out in style;” however, the phrase does not appear on the publicly released document.[8]

The day after the shooting, the Hawkins family released a statement expressing their condolences for the victims.[36] On December 13, 2007, Hawkins’ mother issued a formal apology for Hawkins’ actions in an interview on Good Morning America.[1][37]

Swarmed @ 8:51 pm #

If you all don’t think that music influences young kids and their actions maybe you should read “the encyclopedia of teen killers” by Phil chalmers. In his book, chalmers interviewed and researched every murder committed by teenagers from1786 to the present. In a lot of his interviews, chalmers learned that music, video games, and movies influenced teens to kill. So unfortunately this songs lyrics could influence some who is hurting or being bullied to commit a violent act.

November 18, 2011

Angel @ 11:16 am #

First time I heard this song, unlike other people, I found the tune really anoying. Every time I heard it I would roll my eyes and shut the radio off. I didn’t even understand why other people liked the tune so much. I didn’t ever try to understand the lyrics. I really hated the song and it got stuck in my head so many times. Today, I figured that maybe the meaning and lyrics of the song is better than the tune. Now, I hate the song even more…It encourages teens to carry a gun and shoot anyone that makes them angry or bullies them.

Being a teen myself I actually had a simliar experience with my best friend. He was really depressed and listened to this one song that had lyrics simliar to this. He would listen to it over and over again. He even told me he was obsessed with the song. He later shot himself :,(
Can song affect how a teen acts? The answer is yes. If only people didn’t make
songs like this. I can’t bare to listen to this song anymore….

November 24, 2011

turp @ 1:44 am #

dude its just a song

turp @ 1:48 am #

this kid was being bullying and the pumped up kicks are very high price nikes he was aming for rich people cause they thought they were all that he was a poor kid growing up so people shut up about how this kid is a loser because maybe you need to go look in the mirror

turp @ 1:49 am #

he only shot people that were rich

turp @ 1:52 am #

@Terry Green:

shut up dude my friend knew this robert kid and he was a great student but people like YOU bullyed him and his parents beats him for no reason he was a smart kid at school

November 29, 2011

Rini @ 1:57 pm #

If, after hearing this song, someone decides that it’s acceptable for them to go out and shoot people, THERE IS SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH THEM. Period. One cannot blame a song for one’s own mental instability. And if your child gets the wrong message from this song and perpetuates it, you’ve failed as a parent.

Catchy song, but I’m far more into it for the lyrics. It’s unwitting food for thought.

December 1, 2011

Ebony Mateariki @ 1:01 am #

Well it was awesome ima tell evvy 1yoy

Ebony Mateariki @ 1:06 am #

Hey all u peeps that read thus reply I love all singers I am well ebony but u can call me ebzz I am great at singing and I’m on ytt so yer oh yer I am applying for school captin by the way RANDOM?.”…&ima awesome my peeps

Ebony Mateariki @ 1:08 am #

Well thought agreed and I’m 11 but don’t worrie peeeps who do that r stupid they don’t relies how they r effecting peeps I agrees

December 3, 2011

Mel @ 12:12 am #


I love this song- but it is so disturbing to naturalise or normalise violence- I would like to read that book – I’m an upper school English teacher and my son loves Black Ops and COD – I find it all very disturbing.

December 4, 2011

hey @ 11:24 am #

wow people are killing themselves alot lately that is sad

black ops @ 11:26 am #

wow how do the people come up with this song

December 5, 2011

Geocoop60 @ 8:43 pm #

To the dumbasees who claim that this song is about Robert hawkins or Columbine you’re full of more shit than a backed-up toilet!
Everywhere that I’ve searched it all comes down that Foster NEVER came up with the idea for this song from that piece of shit dirtbag or the 2 faggots in Colorado!
As for the bulling aspect of this song I was bullied all the way thru school from 4th grade thru high school because of how small I was!
I stopped it every time by standing up & duking it out with my tormentors.
Yea I got my ass beat a lot more than I won but I showed that I wasn’t scared of anyone!
The last bully I had was in the 10th grade when I was in gym class doing the rope climb.
He kept twirling the rope & I finally said fuck it & when I got above him I just let go & dropped on him from about 10 ft in the air!
I only weighed about 90 lbs but when I hit his fat ass he dropped to the floor, with a broken rib & dislocated shoulder!
After that he NEVER fucked with anyone again, & even started beating up the other bullies for picking on the smaller people in town!
See THAT’s how you handle a bully!
NOT running away & killing yourself!
BTW to those who like the catchy beat just want to bust your bubble that, that beat is nothing new!
It was originated in the early 70s with the advent of what was called “bubble gum music.
Ask your mom or grandma about The Defrancos, The Partridge Family, David & Shaun Cassidy etal!

December 13, 2011

lenny @ 6:14 am #

this song is not very good

lenny @ 6:16 am #

no just kidding song is great

lenny @ 6:17 am #

comment on me; what kind of songs do you like?

December 14, 2011

monkey @ 8:34 pm #

awesome song

December 16, 2011

lenny @ 6:15 am #

@monkey: what is an awesome song?????

lenny @ 6:16 am #

does anybody like jazz but old people???

lenny @ 6:17 am #

come on who likes what kind of song

kimberly @ 9:54 am #


December 18, 2011

ZhiXian @ 5:48 pm #

This song isn’t about good triumphing or anything of the sort. It is not encouraging people who have been bullied to get a gun and kill people. It’s a warning, plain and simple. These horrible things DO happen, but parents can make a difference. Even if the bullying never stops, the bullied can talk to their parents and let it out. The parents can then tell them to ignore the bullies or take it to the teachers. My little brother is bullied at school. He knows how to fight, he even knows how to shoot a gun. My little man has never lifted a finger to stop these children whose parents refuse to control them. He turns the other cheek, even though he could slam them. Bullying and reaction to bullying has a lot to do with parenting. I like to think that my brothers and I take adversity rather well, being that only my big brother has gotten into trouble for fighting.

PS- This song is ABOUT a shooting, telling the story of it. It isn’t something to fight over, it’s just a song. Ranting a raving over the violence portrayed is NOT going to change a single thing.

PPS- If you are going to get on and call people stupid then maybe you should type in full words with structured sentences. It’s insulting to have my intelligence questioned when I at least SHOW that I have a strong grasp on the English language.

December 19, 2011

lenny @ 11:37 am #

how do you I’m not a kid. And how old are you that you have kids

lenny @ 11:38 am #

by the way kimberly the song does not suck it is a good song

lenny @ 11:42 am #

i like how ZhiXian said it; its not teaching people to go out and shoot people. It’s just saying that the person is really mad at the person who is running. And you cant get mad at me for saying it.

lenny @ 11:44 am #

Its okay i know people who love cod and black ops who wouldnt hurt a fly

Luis @ 3:25 pm #

Hanging out of his mouth, he’s a cowboy kid* is a community where users contribute for online reading accuracy. Luis your contribution has been added. Thank you

December 20, 2011

lenny @ 5:57 am #

sorry replied to the wrong person

December 22, 2011

fosterTHEpeople! @ 5:36 am #

why are you mad? there are made so many books and movies about violens and yes shooting a whole shool and listen to jeremy from pearl jam it’s the same thing they made a song about this to!! and there are people like me who want to stop the violence now because thaks to this songs you realise how much violence is in this world. So don’t get mad at those boys for making this song they didn’t do anything wrong!

lenny @ 6:52 am #

i jusr want to wish everybody a merry christmas and a happy new year. see you next year

All the best Lenny, wishing you to a happy holidays and a wonderful 2012.

December 27, 2011

woeeei @ 10:28 am #

it isn’t about bullying, it’s about a psychotic isolated kid. @Monkeymonk:

December 31, 2011

Marc @ 3:19 am #

love it, ppl at work sing all day!

January 3, 2012

Katie @ 10:37 am #

To all of you people who like this song and have tried to understand the true meaning behind it. I live in Omaha, NE. People seem to get confused thinking that Robert is the gunman from the Westroads Mall shooting. That is incorrect. “Robert has a quick hand” is about Robert Butler Jr, who was the gunman at the Millard South High School shooting just this past year. He shot and killed the assistant Principle and shot at the head principle as well. His dad was a policeman and he found and used his dad’s gun to do the job, which was supposably locked up in a safe. After the shooting he committed suiced a few miles away in his car.

After reading my comment, listen to the song and it will make much more sense to you. Sad song but a true happening.

January 4, 2012

Merenana @ 9:20 pm #

This song is better then my line of rice

January 5, 2012

Sarah @ 1:14 pm #

The beat is great… But Wth does this ish mean… Seriously…..lyrics are lame!! Pumped up kicks…lame….There are two verses and u still have to look up the damn song to figure oh what it mean and what the hell it’s saying! ….garbage! But I do like the beat tho…that’s all it got… Why does it have to be sooooo metaphorical? I’m not that old and I dnt get man…

January 22, 2012

matt @ 5:10 am #

@Honey: sorry no shot gun; “Yeah he found a six shooter gun…” (IE revolver) and what children learn is the parents responsibility. this song just shows the tragedy from the point of view from the one that was troubled to begin with. the same can be said for romeo and Juliet (taught in all public school English curriculum’s) romeo was homicidal and suicidal. the truest thing that can be said about this is if you don’t want your kid to repeat these actions (IE Robert/columbine) then by all means shield them from every bad thing that happens in the world, or teach them the difference between right and wrong and be an emotional contact in their lives.

February 5, 2012

Jessica @ 9:13 am #

I think this song is such a sick song. Dinner’s packed on ice what does that mean mean? Does it mean he’s already shot someone? With a quick pull trigger? Does that mean he killed his dad? I HATE THIS SONG

May 5, 2012

mimi @ 9:04 pm #

this is a sad song, has any one noticed that this song is about a little boy getting shot cuz he wore the wrong shoes to school…

May 11, 2012

kat @ 4:42 pm #

@amigo : kk

September 28, 2012

miss haha @ 2:41 am #

nice song!!! i luv it!!!

March 20, 2014

jason @ 6:33 pm #

The comments here are awesome! TRYING TO EXPLAIN THE MEANING OF THE SONG….. now i get it…..

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