"Monster" as written by Jerry Edmonton and John Kay....
Once the religious, the hunted and weary
Chasing the promise of freedom and hope
Came to this country to build a new vision
Far from the reaches of Kingdom and pope

Like good Christians some would burn the witches
Later some got slaves to gather riches

But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands, to court the wild
But she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light

And once the ties with the crown had been broken
Westward in saddle and wagon it went
And till the railroad linked ocean to ocean
Many the lives which had come to an end

While we bullied, stole and bought a homeland
We began the slaughter of the red man

But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands to court the wild
But she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light

The Blue and Grey they stomped it
They kicked it just like a dog
And when the war was over
They stuffed it just like a hog

And though the past has its share of injustice
Kind was the spirit in many a way
But its protectors and friends have been sleeping
Now it's a monster and will not obey

The spirit was freedom and justice
And its keepers seemed generous and kind
Its leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won't pay it no mind
Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
Now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it's all just an echo of what they've been told

Yeah, there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into the noose
And it just sits there watchin'

The cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin' the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can't understand
We don't know how to mind our own business
'Cause the whole world's got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who's the winner we can't pay the cost

'Cause there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into the noose
And it just sits there watchin'

America, where are you now
Don't you care about your sons and daughters
Don't you know we need you now
We can't fight alone against the monster

America, where are you now
Don't you care about your sons and daughters
Don't you know we need you now
We can't fight alone against the monster

America...America...America...America...


Lyrics submitted by oofus

"Monster" as written by John Kay Jerry Edmonton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Monster song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentWell not quite how it sucks, cause that'd include Americans in general. Im pretty sure its just authority of America. Kinda makes me think of greenday, geez i hate american idiot. Make a real protest song w*nkers.
    mattalacon May 31, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe full song is actually called Monster/Suicide/America
    kfe2on January 31, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWith politically-engaged or protest art, including rock music, your impulses can generally go in one of two directions. One direction is nihilism and infantile self-righteousness, a point of view in which one issues blanket condemnations against whatever it is you're attacking or criticizing. In this view, America (or "Amerika" to make it look like some heir to the Nazi Third Reich) is irredeemably evil and corrupt, racist/violent/murderous/greedy/hypocritical, and one issues the verdict from a (self-appointed) position of moral superiority.

    The other direction or point of view, the one John Kay and Steppenwolf embraced in their politically-oriented songs (and this was their best and most ambitious of the genre), one comes from a position not of simplistic, blindly condemnatory self-righteousness and infantile sneering, but from a position of saddened and dismayed disillusionment. Kay and Co. recognize the ideals of the first white settlers of the nation, but also their mixed motives and the injustices done to native peoples here. They recognize that America is and has been capable of great things for humanity, but is engaged in violent and destructive projects (the Vietnam war was at its height at the time). They are begging America to return to its ideals, but they haven't given up on the original project.

    I think Kay and Co. would disagree strongly with Gimpy Jim. America doesn't "suck"; it has been corrupted, and needs fixing. They would probably side with OWS, or at least with the demonstrators who want reform, not the ones who want to sneer and destroy with nothing positive to put in its place.

    Gimpy Jim, if America sucks what place would you prefer? Iran? Zimbabwe? N. Korea? Perhaps Europe, where the EU is working so harmoniously for the prosperity of all?
    mbrachmanon March 01, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Commentdon't ever mention green day and steppenwolf in the same context steppenwolf are about 50 times better than than those pretenders!
    floydian18on June 02, 2006   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis is one of the first EPIC Rock Songs written and completely captures John Kay's intelligence and forward thinking. I was a 7 or 8 yrs. old kid when I hear this song for the first time, but its meaning was as obvious to me then as it is now.

    It clearly speaks to the original idea or Spirit of what America was supposed to be- and what that spirit became because of prosperity, hypocrisy, and laziness. The first settlers came to escape religious persecution- and planted the seeds for a "live and let live" societal concept, But alas- even back then those same hypocritical Christians burnt "withes" to the stake and enslaved stolen Africans for the purpose of self gain.

    Still they emigrated by thousands to what was to become America, despite its short comings and inability to fulfill its idealistic-altruistic dream. We broke our ties with the Crown (American Revolution) and hence a country that was supposed to allow for freedom, property, liberty, and individualism was born. Many lives were lost building the railroad that connected the east and west coast, we slaughtered the Native Americans- but it was all based on the premise that we were building a free nation, based on equality and devoid of persecution for being different. But we constantly fell short-(and still do).

    The blue gray is obviously reference to the civil war- and is when America transitioned to the industrial age-and then references feeding the corrupt modern version of the original spiritual idealistic America.(They stuffed it just like a hog-what a powerful, lyrical rhyme!) In its early stages the corrupted version of the spirit still "smiled" on America and was generous in supporting its growth and prosperity despite stomping on the original ideas of freedom and liberty for ALL that the first pioneers had planted.

    The city's have turned into jungles of crime, poverty, and corruption. Instead of looking out for each other, we are just worried about ourselves. Our political leaders, local/federal government, and police forces once filled with great people are now self serving hypocrites no longer concerned about the original idea of freedom and individualism that bought the first settlers here. We have fed the perverse version of the original American dream/spirit (which is the Monster) and it is now out of control.

    Kay's lyrics reflect a love for America- the original dream, but recognizes it has gone astray. He calls for us to rally - and get back to the basics of what this country was originally founded on. This is expressed in the "America-where are you now" lyrics- it is the spirit of the 60s generation to make America the country it has the potential to be, not to tear it down. "Now we are fighting a war over there"-Vietnam of course!)

    Tremendous, message that surmised what Steppenwolf, Kay, and the supposed counter hippy culture was all about in the 60s - American is great but is off track and needs to be guided back on course. The song stands the test of time as it seems to become MORE relevant with the passing of time-not less. What recent song do you know of that delivered such a message......America never did quite answer his call, and now we are fatter and lazier less concerned with this message than ever before! I know he wasn't an American- but Kay definitely understood the American spirit, dream, and vision.
    MCgoldon May 18, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentActually people, I am doing a project on this song, and this song actually has everything to do with the starting of America. The first stanza talks about the Puritans and some about the Salem Witch Trials. You should do your research people.
    LuvvingReeferon February 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI'm not sure if I have this compeletly correct but here is my interpretation.

    The beginning talks about how America was born from people who tried to escape religion.

    "Like good Christians some would burn the witches" refers to the Salem Witchcraft Trials as stated by LuvvingReefer above.

    Then they talk about how African Americans were made into slaves "Later some got slaves to gather riches".

    "They came by thousands..." refers to emmigration. "to court the wild" is claiming territory.

    The song talkes about the Statue of Liberty, but im not 100% sure... "To be their spirit and guiding light".

    "Westward in saddle and wagon it went" marking of the Gold Rush

    "And till the railroad linked ocean to ocean" completion of the Transcontinental Railroad

    "Many the lives which had come to an end" End of the Cowboy Era

    "While we bullied, stole and bought a homeland
    We began the slaughter of the red man" We fought Native Americans for their territory

    "The Blue and Grey they stomped it
    They kicked it just like a dog
    And when the war was over
    They stuffed it just like a hog"
    The Civil War as Zephid mentioned above. "they stomped it" refers how the Civil War destroyed America

    "But its protectors and friends have been sleeping" the people have allowed America to change for the worse.

    "And its keepers seemed generous and kind" The keepers are politicians

    "We don't know how to mind our own business
    'Cause the whole world's got to be just like us"
    These lines refer to how America trys to force other countrys to do stuff.

    "Now we are fighting a war over there" The Vietnam War

    "America, where are you now
    Don't you care about your sons and daughters
    Don't you know we need you now
    We can't fight alone against the monster
    America, where are you now
    Don't you care about your sons and daughters
    Don't you know we need you now
    We can't fight alone against the monster"
    The last lines are calling out to The People to fight the goverment, so their children have a better world.
    ApolloXIon April 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentActually Reefer, I already did a project on this song in high school and the song actually has everything to do with the state of the US Government and Vietnam. There is more than one verse. Do your research.
    messedupgirl77on May 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Blue and Grey they stomped it
    They kicked it just like a dog
    And when the war was over
    They stuffed it just like a hog

    Is that referring to the American Civil War?
    zephidon November 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah its talking about how we beat the brits i think at the end when it talks about fighting the monster i think its about the monster america created in its self
    peppinatoron June 13, 2008   Link

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