"Sinister Rouge" as written by and James Horner....
Innocence Burned, Alive on the Stage
Tortured and Dumped in nameless graves
Centuries weighed, authority died
Scattering seeds of bleach and lye

Sinister Rouge
Coming back for more to even the score
Sinister Rouge
Coming back for more to even the score

Child molesters and Jesuits
Holding secret conference
Underneath the pontiff's nose
And only god will ever know

Sinister Rouge
Coming back for more to even the score
Sinister Rouge
Coming back for more to even the score


Give us this day our daily bread
And then you'll see we'll not forget
Lick the wounds, cleanse the land
The modern world rejects your hands

Sinister Rouge
Coming back for more to even the score
Sinister Rouge
Coming back for more to even the score


Lyrics submitted by Aerion

"Sinister Rouge" as written by Greg Graffin Brett W. Gurewitz

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., MOTHERSHIP MUSIC PUBLISHING

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Sinister Rouge song meanings
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26 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI agree with Latchkey Kid. THis song is about the church,especially my dear own catholic church. First verse is about the inquisition who tortured and burnt people alive on the stake for heresy and how eventually the church's power waned,second verse is about the meetings held in the vatican about the clerical abuse scandal(Jesuits is indeed a christian group but also refers to any followers of Jesus)I thought I was ever so clever working out the rouge referred to the cardinals but people here worked it out well before I did.

    Third verse is just about how the modern world rejects religion in general.

    However I must disagree with Hraesvelg. By calling a religious person's views "ridiculous" you are being every bit as narrow minded as all those fundementalists who claim only the religion they belong to is a valid religion.It irritates the fuck out of me when some person comes along and flouts the fact that they believe in no God as if they are somehow more rational and more advanced than others.If you don't believe in God fine,to each his own but don't act as if your superior to others who think God exists.Fuck off and have a nice day
    cianon March 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty sure the first verse is about the inquisition and witch hunts, not the war, since this is more an anti-catholic song, and the pope was antiwar, so that wouldn't really fit the song.

    "Innocence Burned, Alive on the Stake" obviously refers to the witch burning, in my opinion.
    "Tortured and Dumped in nameless graves" is more related to the inquisiton, I think.
    Securitron5kon July 01, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about the Catholic Church, and how it's still a powerful force, this far down the line.
    First verse: Inquisition, then the power waned, but the ancient lies were still around.
    Second verse: The church today
    Third verse: The church is still trying to give people their legacy, or 'daily bread'. But the modern world doesn't want them anymore.
    'Sinister Rouge' - Rouge is 'red', like the robes worn by some officials in the church (Cardinals, was it?).
    Latchkey Kidon October 10, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI see this song about the Cathaholic Church, particularly in light of the molestation scandals of the past couple of decdes. I can't find a historic reference to "sinister rouge", but agree with Latchkey Kid that is is probably a refefence to the red robes of the cardinals.

    "The modern world rejects your hand" is an allusion to the Michelangelo painting where God's hand touches Adam's. Most in the modern world, particulary educated people like Dr. Graffin, find traditional religions superfluous. This is consistent with Greg's Ph.D. dissertation and the book he's writing.
    clarkon December 27, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst of all, SRDirty, for someone to be an educated person like a doctor, and simultaneously a christian, he should at some point account for the partition in his brain between reasonable knowledge based on evidence, and the faith-based beliefs of religion [with no evidence in their favor].

    Secondly: My interpretation of the song:

    Christianity [more specifically, Catholicism].

    The first verse refers to the Inquisition, witch hunts, and maybe the crusades. "Ancient lies" refers to Christianity itself, since it began as a lie, and is now believed by something like two billion people.

    The second verse refers to all of those altar boys who got diddled. [a Jesuit is a follower of Jesus]

    The third verse is sort of a closing in his message to/about Christians/Christianity. He refers to the violence enacted by Christians in history, in their attempt to convert the world to their ridiculous views, and closes by telling them that they have no place or necessity in our modern world.
    Hraesvelgon July 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThere is a clear political message right in the lyrics:

    Child molesters And JESUITS, Holding secret conferences.

    For those who don't know, a lot of people believe the JESUITS have a huge role in the "New World Order" or "Shadow Govt" and "Secret societies", etc. Very political message in that line of the song!
    ColoradoBoy19on May 28, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCorrected lyrics: (by the way "pontiff" is another word for pope)

    Innocence Burned, Alive on the Stake
    Tortured and Dumped in nameless graves
    Centuries waned, authority died
    Scattering seeds of ancient lies

    Sinister Rouge
    Coming back for more to even the score
    Sinister Rouge
    Coming back for more to even the score

    Child molesters and Jesuits
    holding secret conference
    underneath the pontiff’s nose
    and only God will ever know

    Sinister Rouge
    Coming back for more to even the score
    Sinister Rouge
    Coming back for more to even the score

    Give us this day our daily bread
    the legacy we'll not forget
    lick the wounds, cleanse the land
    the modern world rejects your hands

    Sinister Rouge
    Coming back for more to even the score
    Sinister Rouge
    Coming back for more to even the score
    Sorrynametakenon May 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnother lyric correction:

    Innocents burned, alive on the stake.

    Anyways, I think it goes beyond condemning the Catholic church, and encompasses all of Christianity. At least, the third verse does. It's warning of how Christian extremism is making a comeback, particularly in the United States, despite the fact that the modern world rejects its hypocrisy and hate-mongering. The very last line of the song (which also seems to have been left out here) says it all: "The nightmare comes in sinister rouge."
    zephaluson November 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJesuits are "The Society Of Jesus", a Catholic organization. They're educators...Jesuit universities are everywhere, including Georgetown, Saint Louis University, Holy Cross, Marquette, all of the Loyola universities, etc. As already said, "pontiff" is another word for Pope.

    Yeah, this song is a take on catholics.

    But Clark I disagree with the sentiment that Greg knows everything about religion simply because he's a doctor. Plenty of doctors happen to be Christian too, you know. None of his degrees even cover religion.
    SRDirtyon April 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the only good songs on this album, I believe the phrase "sinister rouge" refers to the colors of the papal and cardinal dress, as they often wear a red colored robe/frock.
    zeninthesmokeon April 16, 2006   Link

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