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PallidaMors
February 9th, 2005, 06:53 AM
Interested what these lyrics mean to various ODN'ers. How do you interpret them?



The world is my expense
The cost of my desire
Jesus blessed me with its future
And I protect it with fire
So raise your fists and march around
Just don't take what you need
I'll jail and bury those committed
And smother the rest in greed
Crawl with me into tomorrow
Or I'll drag you to your grave
I'm deep inside your children
They'll betray you in my name

Hey, hey
Sleep now in the fire
Hey, hey
Sleep now in the fire

The lie is my expense
The scope with my desire
The party blessed me with its future
And I protect it with fire
I am the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria
The noose and the rapist, the fields' overseer
The agents of orange
The priests of Hiroshima
The cost of my desire
Sleep now in the fire

Hey, hey
Sleep now in the fire
Hey, hey
Sleep now in the fire

For it's the end of history
It's caged and frozen still
There is no other pill to take
So swallow the one
That makes you ill
The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria
The noose and the rapist, the fields' overseer
The agents of orange
The priests of Hiroshima
The cost of my desire
Sleep now in the fire

Was RATM referring to the Republican Party in the first verse, perhaps? :p

Snoop
February 9th, 2005, 06:57 AM
Give Rage Against The Machine credit! This is the last line someone inserted on one of the lyric pages I searched: "(Tom picks up a Korean radio station on his amp.)"
Was this song in reference to N Korea?

PallidaMors
February 9th, 2005, 07:05 AM
Yes, a great song by the same name from a band called Rage Against the Machine. Pop Culture the wrong place to put it? Heck, the mods can move it whereever they feel it would be appropriate. I was just reading the lyrics a while ago and thought it would be neat to see how other people interpret them.

PallidaMors
February 9th, 2005, 07:08 AM
hey that was weird. did you change your post SCS?

PallidaMors
February 9th, 2005, 07:10 AM
Give Rage Against The Machine credit!
:) I did! Perhaps instead of using their initials at the bottom of my first post I should have spelled it out...

PallidaMors
February 9th, 2005, 07:12 AM
"(Tom picks up a Korean radio station on his amp.)"
Was this song in reference to N Korea?
I honestly don't know. "Tom" is referring to the amazingly cool guitarist of RAtM, Tom Morello.

Snoop
February 9th, 2005, 07:17 AM
hey that was weird. did you change your post SCS?
Yes I am wierd. I was trying to edit the post - as F&N once said "you caught me with my pants down". Here's a link to a video of the live performance of the song: http://www.mtv.com/bands/az/rage_against_the_machine/audvid.jhtml#

KevinBrowning
February 9th, 2005, 08:08 AM
I can't make much out of it, besides a general tirade against war and oppression. It goes from talking about Cristoforo Colombo's ships to Japanese priests, so I don't think it's focusing its criticism on any one group.

Slipnish
February 9th, 2005, 11:11 AM
Actually I like the idea of seeing other's thoughts here a lot, and hope this thread gets some attention. I also don't want my views to influence others, so I covered them up. As a long time student of human behavior, I think this kind of exercise says alot about a persons mentality and make up...

So like the man said, what do ya'll think?


The world is my expense
The cost of my desire

Greed. Unbridled capatilism and mindless consumerism.


Jesus blessed me with its future
And I protect it with fire
So raise your fists and march around
Just don't take what you need
I'll jail and bury those committed
And smother the rest in greed

Not sure about the Jesus reference, though I see how it could be linked to the Republican party/ultra-conservatives. Perhaps its a view of American's in general and our view by the rest of the world that we claim devine inspiration for our mindless consumerism and greed in natural and world resources. :?: ??? :?:


Crawl with me into tomorrow
Or I'll drag you to your grave
I'm deep inside your children
They'll betray you in my name

I still am thinking greed and consumerism. Either you "seize the day" in business, or you get left behind to die...

I dunno. We all know children are easily marketable, no not per pound, be serious. :P

Just watch an hour of Saturday morning cartoons or 30 minutes of Yu-Gi-Oh..... Oy! At any rate, I that's what I see when I read the first lines...

FruitandNut
February 9th, 2005, 11:32 AM
Heavy man, heavy. But sadly so often true.

Zhavric
February 9th, 2005, 11:57 AM
*cracks knuckles*

Right!

First, a little background. Rage Against The Machince doesn't discriminate all that much between Democrat, Republican, or Independent. To them, there's the uber-corrupt government that destroyed the Native Americans, starts wars, etc. and there's everyone else who said government steps on. Consider the lyrics from their much earlier release Evil Empire which featured the single "Bulls on Parade" which had the chorus of

"They rally round the family
With a pocket full of shells"

The lyrics are a play on the hypocricy that Rage saw in the Republicans demanding a return to "traditional family values"... and then running off to start a war in the Gulf.

So, with that preface, let's delve.


The world is my expense
The cost of my desire

In the opening the singer is speaking as a government or corporate leader. The world is my expense means that the singer is free to do whatever to the world... war... famine... chaos... whatever I desire. That's the cost. (hence the second line).


Jesus blessed me with its future
And I protect it with fire

A statement of hypocracy: Jesus who professed peace and understanding now has "followers" who use his name as spiritual backing / inspiration / guidance / etc to go to war (fire).

It's also a statement about how the Christian right is taking an ever increasing role in government (or at least attempting to). The speaker is commenting on the idea that the Christian right feels they have a god given right to guide the future of the world.


So raise your fists and march around
Just don't take what you need

The speaker (speaking as a corrupt politician) is saying "Go ahead and protest. I don't care." Don't take what you need is a comment on what is actually important. The speaker is much happier with pointless protests and warning against open revolution. (taking what you need / taking the country back / etc)


I'll jail and bury those committed

The speaker (speaking as a corrupt politician) is saying I will kill or arrest / jail those who are truly committed to the cause of change against the speaker's regime.


And smother the rest in greed

Those not truly committed are too wraped up in watching television, working jobs, driving SUV's, and leading lives chasing objects they don't need to bother with actual protesting.


Crawl with me into tomorrow
Or I'll drag you to your grave

This is an affirmation of the above. Join me (the corrupt speaker persona) or you'll end up smothered in greed, dead, or jailed.


I'm deep inside your children
They'll betray you in my name

I'm thinking this is a comment on children of baby-boomer hippies growing up to be Republicans... the Alex P Keatons taken to a melodramatic level.


Hey, hey
Sleep now in the fire
Hey, hey
Sleep now in the fire

Sleep now in the fire... you're asleep... and there's a fire... There corruption and conspiracy all around you... but you're ignorant / oblivious of it. It should be as obvious as a fire burning you, but yet you continue to snore away. Politicians get richer and the poor get poorer. America is obsessed with Clinton's indescretion while Osama plots.

Lots going wrong = fire.
You too wrapped up in your own little world to care or notice = sleep.

Sleep now in the fire.


The lie is my expense
The scope with my desire

This echoes the opening two lines. The lie with my expense speaks of propaganda used by big governments. Any lie is acceptable so long as it is a means to my (the speaker's) desire.


The party blessed me with its future
And I protect it with fire

This echoes to the above lines. The party refers to political party and the fire is a symbol for the force / violence / propoganda that governments and political parties use behind the scenes.


I am the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria

Christopher Columbus... seen as a hero by whites and seen as a herald of apocolyptic decimation by the Native Americans... the image is also of the ships speeding their way towards the new world. Here we come.


The noose and the rapist, the fields' overseer

Symbols of white southern slave owners. Lynchings, rapes, and brutal work conditions; the legacy of our American South.


The agents of orange

Agent orange used on both Vietnamese civilians and our own (expendable in the eyes of the speaker) troops.


The priests of Hiroshima

America: the ONLY country to EVER use nuclear weapons against another nation's civilian population.


The cost of my desire
Sleep now in the fire

Hey, hey
Sleep now in the fire
Hey, hey
Sleep now in the fire

See above.


For it's the end of history
It's caged and frozen still

I believe the speaker is using the word "history" in a positive sense here. What do I mean? I believe he is speaking of history as the struggle for civil rights. The protests of the 60's. The people getting involved in protest. That's now history as less and less people turn out to protest and those protesters are taken less and less seriously.


There is no other pill to take
So swallow the one
That makes you ill

There's no way but my way (speaking as the corrupt politician). Accept it. You have no alternatives. No matter who gets elected things aren't going to change and no matter how much you protest it won't matter.


The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria
The noose and the rapist, the fields' overseer
The agents of orange
The priests of Hiroshima
The cost of my desire
Sleep now in the fire

Same as above.


Was RATM referring to the Republican Party in the first verse, perhaps?

Rage was always anti-government and pro-record sales. :evil: They never limited themselves to protesting against any one political party.


Make sense now?

FruitandNut
February 9th, 2005, 03:22 PM
I hope the old head stops playing up - it kind of (understandably) makes you tetchy and grumpy.
Knuckle cracking can lead to arthritis.

Snoop
February 9th, 2005, 03:25 PM
I hope the old head stops playing up - it kind of (understandably) makes you tetchy and grumpy.
Knuckle cracking can lead to arthritis.
I love non-sequiters (however you spell it). Now the head playing up is a strange metaphor. Knuckle cracking ALWAYS scared me.

P.S. Congrats on including Homer Simpson in your signature. We'll make you an American yet!

Withnail
February 10th, 2005, 12:08 AM
And who directed the video for this song?
(great Gap tv ad intro)

PallidaMors
February 10th, 2005, 04:17 AM
Michael Moore did the MTV version of the video. the police tried to jack him too...hehehe the band ran inside the NYSE and the gates came crashing down, riot police everywhere...pretty much everything you would expect from a RAtM appearance... :D

PallidaMors
February 10th, 2005, 04:35 AM
Awesome post, Zhav. I am highly impressed...all of your conclusions seem to fit really well. Essentially it IS about the lack of committed protesters, and the fact that protesting doesnt matter anymore.

Just as Billy Joel says "We didn't start the Fire", RAtM says, it doesn't matter who started it, with that attitude you are just sleeping in it.