"Sixteen Military Wives" as written by and Colin Meloy....
Sixteen military wives
Thirty-two softly focused brightly colored eyes
Staring at the natural tan of thirty-two gently clenching wrinkled little hands
Seventeen company men
Out of which only twelve will make it back again
Sergeant sends a letter to five
Military wives whose tears drip down from ten little eyes

Cheer them on to their rivals
'Cause America can, and America can't say no
And America does, if America says it's so
It's so
And the anchor person on TV,
Goes la di da di da

Fifteen celebrity minds
Leading their fifteen sordid, wretched, checkered lives
Will they find the solution in time
Using their fifteen crispy moderate liberal minds

Eighteen academy chairs
Out of which only seven really even cares
Doling out the garland to five
Celebrity minds, they're humbly taken by surprise

Cheer them on to their rivals
'Cause America can, and America can't say no
And America does, if America says it's so
It's so
And the anchor person on TV,
Goes la di da di da

Fourteen cannibal kings
Wondering blindly what the dinner bell will bring
Fifteen celebrity minds
Served on a leafy bed of sixteen military wives

Cheer them on to their rivals
'Cause America can, and America can't say no
And America does, if America says it's so
It's so
And the anchor person on TV,
Goes la di da di da


Lyrics submitted by themunkel

"16 Military Wives" as written by Colin Meloy

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Sixteen Military Wives song meanings
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92 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentThe song isn't exactly anti war inasmuch as it is a commentary on how events and messages get muffled and distorted through the filters of the media.

    It seems to be anti-liberal as much as it is anti-war.

    As for the video, it seems to me that it is a very literal interperation of a certain aspect of the video.

    BTW, the phenomenon described by the song are not unique to America.

    The tail wags the dog the world over.
    rpupkin77on August 22, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthe song is not anti-liberal at all.

    When he talks about the actors and their "pristine moderate liberal minds", hes basically make fun of all the celebrities who are just liberal enough to get attention in the media. For example, Paris Hilton, a lead spokesperson for VOTE OR DIE and come time to voting, she wasnt even registered, and she "forgot".
    thats a big part of what the song is about.

    So its not anti-liberal

    But it is definitely anti-war and anti-imperialism

    AND I LOVE IT
    kid with a cameraon September 07, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWow, you guys all really seem to know the meaning of this song.
    fadetoflasheson March 31, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is clearly about the Iraq war, the Elite's repsonse to it, the media's coverage and the American public's reaction.

    Fairly topical commentary, really.
    Hyperboleon December 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe cannibal kings are the consumeres of U.S. cable "news" broadcasts and the "la-di-da" dishes of misery their anchorpersons serve out to entertain higher ratings. Thsi is the modern version of the Beatles classic "A Day in the Life" whose narrator "loves to turn (you) on" the news to get a laugh about "rather sad" events.

    This song is not really about the war in Iraq or the academy awards. There could just have easily been verses about Terry Schiavo, the death of the Pope, or having to count four thousand rather small holes in Blackburn, Lancashire.
    wraton May 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentUpdating my own comments.. it's not just a dish of misery that is best for the diet of the cannibals, but a balanced meal of vapidness and misery, as the line below makes clear:

    "wondering blithely what the dinner bell will bring
    fifteen celebrity minds served in a leafy bed of sixteen military wives"
    wraton May 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is one of the best anti-war songs out there no doubt.

    it basically says whatever america says-goes no matter what. and the media reports bull shit and the celebs speak their liberal opinions but have no idea what the hell their talking about, and how men go to war, most of the don't return alive.

    I love the irony though, it has a happy upbeat tempo yet its dogging out america and the war..

    I love this band!!!
    Heather200408on June 17, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe the song is called "16 Military Wives" . . . the iTunes release has it labeled as 16 by 32, and I'm not sure why.

    Although the song can be applied to many events, if you've seen the music video (an excellent video!) it seens to clearly be about the iraq war.
    Iceon June 17, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf you see the video, it becomes even clearer that this song isn't anti-war so much as commentary, or even satire, on America's fuck-what-they-think attitude.

    @Louie: You said "I'm proud to live in a country that does what it thinks is best, instead of kneeling to other countries agendas." I suppose that would make everybody else pussies right? Perhaps standing up for what you believe in doesn't involve forcing everybody else to agree.
    Ne Plus Ultraon July 19, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe video does make it clear. The US representative is the leader and most people blindly followed his word. Toward the end, they realize that the US is actually wrong to do whatever they say, especially because they like to go to war for no reason (in the video they go to war against Luxembourg with no stated reason).

    The song is pretty much about how we (the people of the US) tend to listen to whatever the media says and some of the other countries in the world follow us as well. But in the end they will probably realize how stupod they were to follow. It also seems like they touch on how anyone who doesn't listen to us will be made fun of and alienated.
    type44on August 01, 2005   Link

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