"Penitentiary" as written by and Clarence Greenwood....
Well I'm waiting on the day
When the people walk free to see
When the penitentiary is on fire
When there's no need
To bleed
For your mother or your brother
Or the one that bomes before you whoa
Well I'm waiting on a time when people walk free to see
>From the renitentiary in our mind
When there's no need to bleed
For your father
Or your son
Or the one that you've become
When the penitentiary is on fire
When the penitentiary is on fire


Lyrics submitted by pnkseashel, edited by Whitecocoa

"Penitentiary" as written by Clarence Greenwood

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Penitentiary song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment"When there's no need to bleed
    For your father
    Or your son"

    These lines give me a reason to believe this song might actually be about war. Jail might be a symbol of something greater, like the constant fight for a greater good but with so many different cultures, it has to start with a change in the people, hence"in our mind."

    lyricalgenius93on July 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm gonna have to agree with rusty4099 on this one; I think he's saying he can't wait for the day that we don't need penitentiaries.

    "When there's no need to bleed
    For your mother or your brother
    Or the one that comes before you"

    I think these lyrics are pointing toward the ridiculous amount of 'revenge' homicides in inner cities. Someone is shot for drugs or money or whatever the f@ck the problem is that day, and then someone has to go after the killer for 'respect' for the person who was killed---hints the bleeding for your mother or brother or one who comes before you (in rankings in gangs and whatnot). Its a chain reaction of killings that's seen way too often.

    PS I'm just a spoiled kid from a well-to-do area, so I could be wrong on this one, but I think I might be close. For the love of god--- stop shooting eachother over 10 year old grudges
    z115491on November 08, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think it's necessarily a protest against the jail systems, I think he's just saying he can't wait until we don't have a need for them. When crime just stops so we don't even need the penitentiary. That's just me though.
    rusty4099on March 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOr maybe we've been to jail and the way it's run just makes nooo fuckin sense.
    Zunkon January 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"From the Penitentiary in our mind" was the most thought provoking line for me. We have to free ourselves mental slavery, the great late Bob once said.

    Think for yourselves, always doubt what you're told, don't make assumptions, and come to your own conclusions.

    "When there's no need
    To bleed
    For your mother or your brother
    Or the one that comes before you" -Any thoughts on this?
    ccrideron September 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou must emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds
    ohiostwrestleron January 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen there's no need
    To bleed
    For your mother or your brother
    Or the one that bomes before you whoa

    i jsut cant seem to grasp the real meaning of this song. what does this line eman any thoughts?
    i actauly met the band after a show in jax fl. we sat down and talked for a good 30. im so mad i didnt think to ask him!
    not2shabby13on May 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI'm sure it's not religious but maybe when it says "There's no need to bleed for your mother or your brother or the one that comes before you" Jesus anyone? I agree with Rusty4099. There's no sins to die for and no reason for jail systems
    DPaigeSon November 30, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about being free of crime and violence. Like he is saying he wants to see nobody in jails, from his people walk free line, and when the jails are useless they will just be burnt down to make room for other things, from his on fire line. I could be completely off but that is my thought about the meaning.
    lmntal16on September 08, 2010   Link
  • -2
    General Commentthis song is a straightforward protest against the system of putting people in jail, it seems to me.
    tunasandwich77on July 21, 2005   Link

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