"Decree" as written by and Ani Difranco....
Step up and forfeit your frontal lobe
To the sexed-up stroll of celebrity
Never mind that the nanoseconds in between
Are some of the darkest darkness that you've ever seen
Keep your eye on my finger and listen to the sound of my voice

Get your subliminal decree and your false security
Be all that you can be, be all that you can be

In hospitals and schools, airports, and banks and bars
Big ones on street corners, little ones driving by in cars
And glowing through countless bedroom curtains at night
That thirty k tone and that pale blue light saying

Dad knows best, yes this is the news
And ninety second segments officially produced
And aired again, and again, and again
By the little black and white pawns of the network yes men
Well the stars are going out and the stripes are getting bent

And cancer the great teacher has been opening schools
Down stream from every factory still, everywhere fools
Are squinting into microscopes researching cells
Trying to figure out a way that we can all live in hell
Well step back, look up, you'll see I'm dimming the sun
But you won't will you? No, that's a good little one

Cause daddy knows best, yes this is the news
And ninety second segments officially produced
And aired again, and again, and again
By the little black and white pawns of the network yes men
Well the stars are going out and the stripes are getting bent
Yes the stars are going out and the stripes are getting bent


Lyrics submitted by GoOgOoGiRL77

"Decree" as written by Ani Difranco

Lyrics © A SIDE MUSIC LLC D/B/A MODERN WORKS MUSIC PUBLISHING

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Decree song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentyesssssssssss....as soon as ani started playing this on conan, i was like what the hey? i was expecting a song from knuckle down but was pleasantly surprised to hear new material...thank you so much for putting the lyrics up! now if only i could find the song somewhere...
    yeahyouknowmeon May 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDecree is about thought control/the manufacturing of consent through the media. She is observing the mind-numbing effects that televised propaganda is having on the attitudes and the actions of many americans. These people are so hypnotized by this propaganda that they can't see what the U.S. is becoming (stars going out/stripes getting bent). I agree with her.
    mickzzzzzzon July 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"...In hospitals and schools, airports, and banks and bars
    Big ones on street corners, little ones driving by in cars
    And glowing through countless bedroom curtains at night
    That thirty k tone and that pale blue light saying..."

    It's actually "20k tone" on the album, but I'm wondering what this MEANS. I finally realized she's talking about TVs, but I dunno what the "20k tone" means.
    Saynaon December 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSayna - "20K tone" is an audio test tone that they would broadcast through the television when a channel was off air, supposedly to make sure that the frequency and broadcasting is working properly, though I believe they switched to 1K tones at some point. (I don't know if they even ever used 20K tones.) 20K is actually too high for a lot of people to hear, so maybe she was implying that it was some sort of brainwashing.

    I agree that this song is about how brainwashed society has become because of the media and big companies. I also think "Well step back, look up, you'll see I'm dimming the sun
    But you won't will you? No, that's a good little one" is talking about how we're all taught to ignore certain things when they're not easily fixed - sort of like pretending the problem doesn't exist, e.g. the Bush Administration denying the fact that global warming exists.

    The one part of this song that actually really confuses me is "And cancer the great teacher has been opening schools
    Down stream from every factory still, everywhere fools
    Are squinting into microscopes researching cells
    Trying to figure out a way that we can all live in hell"

    It sounds as if she's talking about cancer in a good way, that stem cell research is getting us nowhere, but the entire verse may be sarcastic. I just don't think that describing people who are trying to find a cure for a horrible disease as fools is very fitting to her liberal perspective. Describing a world without cancer as "hell" seems completely over-the-top, which is one of the main reasons I think it might be sarcastic, though she doesn't sound particularly sarcastic.

    Though this may just be her stating the first three lines from the perspective of those that believe stem-cell research is a waste of time, and then the fourth line is her jumping in to state her opinion on the situation.

    Anyway, this song is amazing, though it's strikingly dark and creepy, especially "Never mind that the nanoseconds in between
    Are some of the darkest darkness that you've ever seen". The ominous and almost dream-like feel of this song is probably one of the reasons I love it as much as I do.
    entitudeon September 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commententitude - Regarding your question about the cancer lines noted above: I think Ani is basically pointing out the difference between preventitive measures and reactionary measures. Instead of trying to live healthy and prevent cancer and the costs associated with it (IE: not living downstream from things that contribute to cancer and avoiding the costs of cancer), mainstream science tries to find solutions or band-aids to fix them (thus finding a way to live in hell/live with cancer). When she says that cancer is opening a school downstream she is describing a familiar situation where a factory pumps out some chemical into a stream and cancer rates rise in the surrounding area. She says that scientists are fools for investing so much into a cure for cancer when there are very obvious ways to decrease it's impact (such as not dumping chemicals into a stream). Point well made.
    mickzzzzzzon October 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso, Cancer is a teacher because it is teaching us the consequences of our negligence.
    mickzzzzzzon October 23, 2008   Link

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