"Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums" as written by and Maynard James/howerdel Keenan....
Don't fret precious, I'm here
Step away from the window, go back to sleep
Safe from pain and truth and choice and other poison devils
See, they don't give a fuck about you like I do

Count lies like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep
Count lies like sheeps, like sheeps, like sheeps, like sheeps, like sheeps, like sheeps

Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow

Count bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums

Count bodies like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep

Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow
Go back to sleep

Go back to sleep
Count bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums (Go back to sleep)
Go back to sleep
Count bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums (Go back to sleep)
Go back to sleep
Count bodies like sheep
Go back to

Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep,
Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep,
Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep,
Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep,

Go back to sleep
Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow
Go back to sleep

Go back to sleep
Count bodies like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep (Go back to sleep)
Go back to sleep
Count bodies like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep, like sheep (Go back to sleep)
Go back to sleep
Count bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums (Go back to sleep)
Go back to sleep
Count bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums (Go back to sleep)
Go back to sleep
Count bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums (Go back to sleep)
Go back to sleep

I'll be the one to protect you from your enemies and all your demons
I'll be the one to protect you from a will to survive and a voice of reason
I'll be the one to protect you from your enemies and your choices, son
They're one in the same
I must isolate you
Isolate and save you from yourself


Lyrics submitted by prayingmantis84

"Counting Bodies Like Sheep To the Rhythm of the War Drums" as written by Maynard Keenan Billy Howerdel

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums song meanings
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  • +13
    My InterpretationThe government are trying to control us with the media and we believe everything that the media says and so we start following it. We become sheep, we believe everything that is told to us and we follow it, but those that are smart enough to not follow anymore are killed because the government are very afraid of the people who are against them. They are exterminated, for lack of better word, and because we are sheep and following the government we don't know of the destruction we are heading to and that the government are trying to hurt us.
    BananaPieLordon July 08, 2014   Link
  • +3
    General CommentBefore I start I'd like to add that during interviews Maynard states that his songs do have meaning. He says that it depends on the listener. If you as a listener believe it means something to you then that's probably what it means.
    Listening to the song, I initially thought this song was about dead bodies being counted in the same sense as counting sheep while trying to go to sleep. After listening to it a couple times I then began to think that it was talking about someone keeping count of how many people they fuck. He lies and deceives the people telling them he will protect them and keep them from harm. He continues to tell them that no one gives a fuck about them like he does; making them think that he's the only one that cares about them, when in reality he's just telling them what they want to hear to get what he wants.
    Srichon April 09, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis man, Maynard, may well be philosophical but he performs as an artist. That is his primary function in society. Art embodies feeling, emotion, information that is otherwise difficult to qualify but, nontheless, very real and generally significant to us. We tend to value art - possibly because art has this unparalleled ability...to convey meaning through various mediums and not just spoken or written language. In other words, an artist does not have to explain his, her, or itself, through modern day language. If the work satisfies the artist's motivation, then it is a finished piece. Expecting a rigorous and/or logical explanation of said work is unreasonable and, possibly even, quite bizarre - however normal.
    So, therefore, permit me to address this piece from my gut - a place very real and posessing meaning, but a place that possesses little currency in a world that weighs words for the express purpose of creating corrupted scales upon which to weigh those very words. In me, it invokes frustration with the way civilization is going. We are but the descendants of a violent, aggressive manifestation of informational organization. We are prone to war, ready to snatch each other's faces off for minor greivences. Our society has become parasitic in nature rather than synergistic. We survive in spite of each other rather than as willing, mutual beneficiaries. How disturbing! Nay, how natural! Just go to sleep. Listen to the propaganda and the advertisements. Do not be alarmed or you may realize that you're a sheep, marching off a precipace to the benefit of someone claiming to care for you. Watch or read 1984, A Handmaid's Tale, Fight Club, various footage of Jane Goodall's research, and you will now the meaning of this song better than the artist himself.
    prolefaceon April 26, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentNo, Pet WAS about his son
    Yes, there are porn noises in the background
    Yes, this song was remixed to have more political weight.
    Yes, the title is too long

    Thank you for your time
    Cynosureon November 07, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentin the original context of THIRTEENTH STEP, which was basically a concept album dealing with drugs and addiction, the song PET was meant to be sung by a drug to the addicted person - it had nothing to do with keenan's son. if you read the lyrics with this in mind you will see that it makes perfect sense.

    here the lyrics are given a political meaning. it is about how george bush would like to get the people of america to stay out of any politial business and to let him act like he pleases since he cannot defend or justify his actions anyway - because they are firstly simply not right and therefore unjustifiable and secondly because mr bush's ability to express himself is more than clumsy.

    mr bush is the father singing to his son, the people of amrica. "step away from the window/go back to sleep" means don't look at what is going on outside. it is not your concern. mind your own business and go back to sleep. sleep is here seen as a state of unawareness.

    the government declares this attitude to be right and necesarry to protect the people of their enemies, trheir demons and of the voice of reason, the voice that tells the truh about mr bush's highly questionable decisions.
    sonne_mondon November 11, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentnot gonna try and make a comment on the meaning because of maynards intention of self exploration, but one quote that does spring to mind from this song is:
    "the death of a person is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic" - Stalin (I could be horribly wrong, but along those lines"
    knife_prtyon November 11, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRead into it and you can figure it out.

    This is how the government blinds people from what is really going on, hiding things behind a curtain of nationalism or patriotism.

    Maynard talks a lot about "sheep" and that refers to basically people following blindly, without thinking for themselves and forming their own opinion.

    Read into this stanza and you can see the ironic duality within:
    "I’ll be the one to protect you from
    Your enemies and all your demons
    I'll be the one to protect you from
    A will to survive and a voice of reason
    I'll be the one to protect you from
    Your enemies and your choices son
    One in the same,
    I must isolate you
    Isolate and save you from yourself"

    That you'll be protected by the government in your country yet it is really your own choices and voice of reason they are blocking out. That for the price of being guarded by enemies and "demons," you lose the very own values within your self. You lose your humanity.

    Many people in this country and perhaps even the world (I'm not sure) are asleep. They are turned off from their dreams, hopes, and wishes. They are numb because of prozac or a number of theraputic drugs. They have no energy because of diets such as the Atkins or other fads.

    This allows more people to become faceless and under control.

    I believe that is the gist of this song.
    chino69on November 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRead into it and you can figure it out.

    This is how the government blinds people from what is really going on, hiding things behind a curtain of nationalism or patriotism.

    Maynard talks a lot about "sheep" and that refers to basically people following blindly, without thinking for themselves and forming their own opinion.

    Read into this stanza and you can see the ironic duality within:
    "I’ll be the one to protect you from
    Your enemies and all your demons
    I'll be the one to protect you from
    A will to survive and a voice of reason
    I'll be the one to protect you from
    Your enemies and your choices son
    One in the same,
    I must isolate you
    Isolate and save you from yourself"

    That you'll be protected by the government in your country yet it is really your own choices and voice of reason they are blocking out. That for the price of being guarded by enemies and "demons," you lose the very own values within your self. You lose your humanity.

    Many people in this country and perhaps even the world (I'm not sure) are asleep. They are turned off from their dreams, hopes, and wishes. They are numb because of prozac or a number of theraputic drugs. They have no energy because of diets such as the Atkins or other fads.

    This allows more people to become faceless and under control.

    I believe that is the gist of this song.
    chino69on November 24, 2004   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningTo me this has many meanings (addiction, protection of a child, many veins of other protections)... Being a father of two kids (boy & girl-older & younger) I have mixed feelings about both that are very tough to deal with on a local level, much less trying to fatham what kind of life our leaders are going to press upon them. It's a crying shame that it has come to this. Does anyone remember when you had to work up the nereve to punch someone? God Bless America! God help us! Mattyc-OH
    mattyc123on February 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHonestly, and don't go off on me for my own opinion but I personally think that this song can be interperated however we wish. To me, it reminds me of someone's need to protect someone from any possible harm - whether harm from themselves or another person. I say this because "I'll be the one to protect you from your enemies and your choices" and "Isolate and save you from yourself" sounds like something a mother or father might say to their children, seeing as how I have heard this several times in my lifetime. Then again it impacts me because it reminds me of the Soldiers at war and how they wish to "protect you from your enemies and your choices." Music video's do NOT give the meaning of the song, i mean come on people! Have you seen music video's these days? They tend to have NOTHING to do with the songs, just saying. Unlike everyone here, I have not heard these "porn sounds." Just because someone grunts, does not mean they are having sex. I grunt when being kicked in the stomach, so the sounds you may hear could because it's a representation of someone being hurt. "They don't give a fuck about you like I do." could also refer to an obsessive ex boyfriend or girlfriend. There are voices, girls and guys, but i don't hear any sex sounds honestly. I hear fighting, anguish and moaning (Pain, not from sex.) As humans, we will hear whatever we THINK is there. Confusing lyrics happens a LOT. Nonetheless about the song's possible true meaning - It rocks, i go into a sort of...trance when I listen to it and it makes my mind race. Unless lyrics are straightforward and make it OBVIOUS what the song is about, more than likely the artist wants the person listening to simply interperate it their own way. Music is a powerful thing so when we listen to a song and try to find a meaning that was never specifically there in the first place, it makes us listen to it more, buy more of their cds and have your own meanings to a song.
    Music2maniacon February 09, 2010   Link

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