Yeah!
They assumed I was guilty
But I'd committed no crime
They said confessions bring lenience
So they put me on the line
So I protest the massacres
At the Tiananmen Square
My friends said: "yo, stay away man"
You better not go fuckin' back there
Oh!

Watch this!
Wouldn't let me write about
My opinions about the state
And the freedom of expression
They would never tolerate
And the military secrets that I never did steal
I didn't start no violence, no
There was nobody that I killed
No!

So I had a clear account
Of all the abuses of power
And the memories of homeland
Now have gone sour
And I only got one weapon
It's so plain for me to see
My only weapon
I call poetry

And I don't even know why
The truth seems like a lie
In my cell there is no sky
When I was arrested in Shanghai

Into wealth and privilege
I was not born
But a devotion of freedom
And liberty I was sworn
So every emotion is studied
Watched and controlled
Who gets paid, who gets disciplined
Who gets rolled

So a transmitter beams
My coordinates anywhere on earth
And as radio waves, surveillance,
Satellite burst
Open up your skull
And let some knowledge come in
Yeah!
Crack open the cranium
And let awareness begin!
Oh!

And I don't even know why
The truth seems like a lie
In my cell there is no sky
When I was arrested in Shanghai
When I was arrested in Shanghai
When I was arrested in Shanghai
Woo


Lyrics submitted by freehat17, edited by maaat


Arrested In Shanghai song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThe reason he mentions poetry is because poetry is commonly written with hidden meanings. The Chinese goverment tried to control all writings, but if they couldn't clearly see the meaning or thought it was something else, then they might not do anything about it.
    cobalt26on November 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think its fucking rad he mentioned poetry.
    I dont know of many other punk bands that have done that.

    but uhm.
    this song to me
    is about how controlling the government is
    and how supposeldy people are entitled to freedom of speach
    which, isn't true at all.
    you can saw whatever you want... until the governement doesent agrea with it.

    the first verse kinda makes me wonder.
    like maybe he wrote something the government didnt like
    but they are carrying it out because he looks different or something....
    whatev.
    ThrashedChickon July 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is why i love rancid, they don't represent the posers that think it's cool to be dumb and emotionless
    themanspeakswordson June 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is why i love rancid, they don't represent the posers that think it's cool to be dumb and emotionless
    themanspeakswordson June 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is of course about the protests at the Tiennenmen Square in China. This is one of my favorite things about Rancid - how they can take a specific event in history and write a song about it that doesn't end up sounding preachy. The only other punk band I can think of that could do it as well would be The Clash.
    freehat17on April 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's not just about the square it's about the Chinese government in general and how bad it is that they control EVERYTHING. fillthesquare.org
    Bonavoxon June 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwelli have the album with this on (indestructible) and in the bookelt their is an explanation of what the songs mean. An for this one tim said its written for anyone who has stood up when they were told to sit down, anyone who hs stood up for what they beleive in.
    paranoid666on July 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti enjoy music, it makes me happy
    geodisicdomeon July 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI guess the Protests at Tiennemen sqaure is an extreme example of the message of "standing up"
    Quarkboyon September 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTim tried too hard to rhyme. Thats my problem with most of Rancid's stuff. Most of it is great, the rest of it kinda seems like filler on the Cds.
    "its so plain for me to see...my only weapon I call poetry"? What the hell, TIM? Was this your first song? Its just as bad as the typical "theres more to life...than pain and Strife".
    rancidbreatheon December 30, 2005   Link

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