"A Plateful of Our Dead" as written by and Moe Carlson Arif Mirabdolbaghi....
Don't ever ask us to define our morals
Sometimes when fundamentals meet teenage heartbreak
Some of us are all of us; half-selves that love whole hopes
And hara-kiri heartbreak

There's almost nothing worse than never being real
Strained voices crying wolf when nobody can hear
If I had a gun I'd pump your ethics full of lead
If I believed in meat I'd eat a plateful of our dead

There's merit in construction when it's done with your own hands
There's beauty in destruction, resurrection, another chance
There's a you and I in union but just an I in my beliefs
There's a crashing plane with a banner that reads everyone's na?ve

The only proof that I have that we shot and killed this horse
Is the sounds of whips on flesh and a bleeding heart remorse
When I'm In this state of reflection and you hand me whips
And two by fours I could never bring them down and beat the same horse as before

I'd rather kill a stupid flower and spread its seeds
Until a garden with our bullet-laden morals will be found


Lyrics submitted by guitarhero, edited by Mathos22

"A Plateful of Our Dead" as written by Lucas Hoskin Arif Mirabodlbaghi

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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A Plateful of Our Dead song meanings
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  • +4
    My InterpretationAs we all already know, Kezia is a concept album about a prison priest, a prison guard, and finally Kezia, a woman who is to be executed.

    The first three songs are the prison priest's side of the story. No Stars Over Bethlehem tell of the prison priest doubting his profession as a priest in a society where God is "dead" (or does not exist...reminds me of America). Heretics & Killers tell of the priest doubting his own religion by temptation (since he was first dining with "heathens", or possibly Kezia, it may be assumed that Kezia is the source of the priest's temptation). Then, Divinity Within tells of the prison priest witnessing Kezia going down to be executed, when finally the priest is reminded by his faith by Kezia (perhaps the fact that Kezia's execution could seem as Christ's crucifixion). Even still, the priest may be interpreted as a strong hypocrite when he remains a priest even though he doubts his profession and religion, then does not even care to go against Kezia's execution.

    The next set of three are of the prison guard's point of view. Bury the Hatchet is simple enough: it basically says that he does not originally care about Kezia's execution, because of his job as a prison guard. However, in Nautical, we find that the remorse begins to tick in when it comes to Kezia, due to her nature (the same nature that led to the prison priest being reminded of his faith). Nautical also implies that Kezia has been first imprisoned due to a "fashion trend", quite possibly standing up for her morals...something she believes in. Morals can quite easily be related to as a "fashion trend." It may be possible that she stood up for her religious beliefs, and has been imprisoned for it (this somehow seems like it takes place in a third-world or communist country). The prison guard reaches full regret in the next song, Blindfolds Aside. The sin that he "didn't care for" is, of course, execution. Quite a sin indeed, but nessecary for his support of his family. And this profession as a prison guard has blindfolded him (metaphorically). He questions if he should remove this blindfold, drop the gun, and save Kezia from execution. But in the end, I believe it can be understood that his obligation outshined his reason, and she was indeed executed.

    The final three songs of the story are Kezia's view of what is going on. She Who Mars the Skin of Gods is rather self-explantory. The first lines allude to the idea that they live in a society of sexism against the female gender. Kezia's mother cursing her father's name could mean that her mother is one of those women whom hate men due to their oppression; the line "It was our situation, our position, our gender to blame" also gives off this idea. (Perhaps it was standing up for female rights that got Kezia imprisoned?) Kezia seems to be highly effected by her mother (almost as if Kezia is still a young girl), by being effected by her mother's "feminist" ideas, then wishing death just like her mother said was most comforting.
    Someone previously said elsewhere that it's likely for a female to be imprisoned, she would not be executed so she would be used as a sexual slave for the more-than-likely male-only prison guards. Therefore, Kezia is probably not executed for the crime that got her in, but instead she was executed for refusing to be the whore for these prison guards any longer. (As stated also previously, this reflects the name of the next song, The Divine Suicide of K.) Turn Soonest to the Sea shows Kezia being used as a whore, as are most other females in the society. The final lines show her hoping for a society where women will no longer be looked at as a sexual object, but as an equal to man. These lines once more imply that Kezia may have been imprisoned for standing up for women's rights.
    Finally, in The Divine Suicide of K., we see Kezia's final thoughts before she is to be executed. She knows her death will be short ("It's true that a bullet never knocks on the door, it's about to come crashing through"), so it doesn't bother her. The line immedialy before this also gives off the idea her execution stems from her going against a popular idea (this doesn't mean she's executed because of going against this idea; she would have never gotten into prison if she hadn't of gone against the idea either, therefore avoiding execution). Her thoughts once more show that the priest was a hypocrite (with the golden calf remark), and that the guard became sick of his life as an executioner (with the remark of his future being locked up). The last three lines have a deep meaning. The first of those three show her as being resurrected with the letter mentioned in She Who Mars the Skin of Gods. I believe this to show the letter as being very crucial (I'll get to that later). The last two lines have a double meaning in my opinion. First showing she is resurrected (previous line; I believe emotionally and spiritually resurrected) just to be executed, but perhaps born again through the letter. Then the final line shows her proud of her choices, so she can die with no regrets. I think the final line shows the band's feelings as well; how they feel as Kezia in this story.

    The final song of this album is A Plateful of Our Dead. I believe this is an aftermath of the story, in perspective of a narrator. I think that, in the end, the priest and guard were so effected by Kezia that they gave up everything. Also, it shows Kezia having a strong effect in the end; quite possibly with that single letter. The last two lines show this the best (though it's also found through most of the song). It simply states that Kezia died for a greater cause; I think she possibly died to have the very thing she was imprisoned for be spread around, like she spread the seeds and it grew an entire garden.

    It's hard to say the deeper meaning behind all of this. I'd think that, perhaps, the priest shows religion and how many who claim it are truly nothing more than hypocrites, just like the pharisees Jesus talks about in the New Testament, which the priest can be related to. The guard shows society in logic, and possibly nihilism. Trying to define everything with logic, but in the end, it doesn't work. It ends in regret and remorse. The logic killed morals, which brings me to Kezia, who is probably the hardest to define; but I think she represents morality in itself. Her death ends in a resurrection of the greater cause. You can try to kill the morality, but it just springs forth more. I think Kezia's imprisoning for a moral belief shows what reprecutions we receive at times when standing up for what we believe in; but in the end, it only helped everything grow stronger (Kezia's case of reprecutions is a bit of an exaggeration).

    The concept of this all is actually loosely put together. I think there are many different interpretations you can get, and that was done on purpose. Honestly, it's all in the eyes of the beholder. I'd say this interpretation makes the most sense, though.
    In addition, I'd say each song has a deeper meaning behind it individually as well. I'd leave that up to the reader to figure out, as that also could be interpreted in different ways, depending. Protest the Hero is a great band, and the lyrics to this album really show how deep they can go. It's honestly...amazing.
    Zadionon March 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with fear, this song is one of my favorites when it comes to the lyrics. I don't think the song was from any one character's perspective, it was simply a narrative reflection on the story. I read what other people thought, and as vague and complicated as the words are, this is my take on it:

    The first part is basically saying how our morals are so fragile, and they're not as rigid and set in stone as we like to think. "Don't ever ask us to define our morals..."

    The next two lines tie in perfectly. "There's almost nothing worse than never being real; strained voices crying wolf when no one else can hear" 'Not real' means you're not yourself or you're not really living. So when you finally do have a crisis on your hands, no one will listen ("cry wolf"). I think this is what Kezia was feeling before she died, and throughout her life maybe.

    "If I had a gun I'd pump your ethics full of lead
    If I believed in meat I'd eat a plateful of our dead"
    I think that part's about shedding away obsolete ethics, and reverting to a state of simplified humanity, something like that. Which seems to be a major theme of the story. The dead are sacred, and to consume them, or be a cannibal, is an abomination; and "pump your ethics full of lead" is pretty blunt.

    "There's merit in construction when it's done with your own hands
    There's beauty in destruction, resurrection, another chance
    There's a you and I in union but just an I in our beliefs
    There's a crashing plane with a banner that reads everyone's naïve"

    I LOVE this part. I think "construction" and "destruction" in these verses mean life and death, respectively. Construction (i.e. life) is only meaningful when we can live it ourselves. Destruction (death) can be a vital, beautiful thing because it can sometimes mark the beginning of new life (resurrection).

    "There's a U and I in union, but just an I in my beliefs." So true. "There's a crashing plane with a banner that reads everyone's naïve" I think the crashing plane is actually society and the justice system, which is falling downhill, and Kezia's execution showed everyone just how naive and arrogant they all were to think they were righteous.

    I agree exactly with paleta on the "beat the same horse" bit. It means the people who killed Kezia are still mourning and reflecting, and they have sworn to never do it again. But at the same time, something good came out of it, too. Everyone now sees the error of their ways, and it manifests itself in a "garden of bullet-laden morals".

    "I'd rather kill a stupid flower and spread its seeds
    Until a garden with our bullet-laden morals will be found"

    I love that. Perfect ending to a perfect album.
    AmpleVoltageon May 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe songs the finale of the album
    not from the perspective of anyone in the story except for the band
    roadtrippinon May 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI just realized something that may have already occured to all of you, and be totally obvious. The last line of the last song refers to the album cover. The "garden of bullet-laden morals" is the CD that you bought!

    I also think that the part about the dead horse plays off of the "beating a dead horse" thing that people say.
    derplo1on March 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningJust a few lyrics I'd like to comment on:

    "There's almost nothing worse than never being real
    Strained voices crying wolf when nobody can hear
    If I had a gun I'd pump your ethics full of lead
    If I believed in meat I'd eat a plateful of our dead"

    Even though the story of Kezia is told in 3 parts, the band themselves insert their own opinions from a first-person perspective in a few songs (see turn soonest). Basically here they're referring to how awful it was/is when society renders your opinion invalid. They then use the metaphor of shooting "your ethics" dead, because that is what a close-minded society was doing to Kezia (who symbolically represents equal rights/recognition). Arif, Tim, Luke, Rody and Moe are all vegetarians which explains the last line, describing how much they detest this kind of ignorant response to progressive thinking.


    "I'd rather kill a stupid flower and spread its seeds
    Until a garden with our bullet-laden morals will be found."

    I'm conflicted as to whose perspective this part is from, but I think it is Kezia accepting her fate and coming to terms with the bull-headed and unreasonable nature of society. She seems disillusioned and bitter, but also hopeful. She realizes that with her death she can make a bigger impact than she could in life and seal the message she has been spreading throughout the story. Even though it's a bloody end, she believes truth will spring from her grave and eventually society will open its eyes.

    It's a beautiful, bittersweet ending to one of the greatest concept albums ever created.
    JKT84on March 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCopyright restrictions? Jesus this shit is getting out of hand.
    CoarseAiron March 06, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDeath
    Skanxon February 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is about that sometimes bad things happen its better than good things happening "I'd rather kill a stupid flower and spread its seeds
    Until a garden with our bullet-laden morals will be found is like a moral to it
    halfpunkhalfjockon February 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is the priest reflecting on the execution of kezia but i never really understood the story in the first place, so i dont know for sure. possibly and the exectioner and priest together (Don't ever ask us, only proof that I have, If I had a gun, If I believed).
    maybe its the band reflecting on their story?
    hara-kiri is suicide btw.
    Cpt_Blood_Sausageon March 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentok i think i got this down...

    everyone knows this is the big all encompassing outro, so im pretty sure that this is all about why kezia's death was good in the end. The prison priest, the prison guard, and of course kezia eventually found out kezia's execution was wrong. It also talks about a letter alot in the other songs, i think kezia wrote her mom a letter, telling her that she was getting executed for helping some cause. The album is summed up in the last liine "I'd rather kill a stupid flower and spread its seeds Until a garden with our bullet-laden morals will be found" shows how in the end, kezia's fight lives on because of this letter. So now, even though everyone realizes kezia's execution was unfair, it was necessary to her fight, cuz she "spread her seeds" until a garden of people with her "bullet laiden morals" could be found
    gabbagabbaon May 10, 2006   Link

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