The only good policeman is a dead one, the only good laws aren't enforced
I've never hung a darkie, even a big one I've never seen an Indian on a horse
And I live like this 'cause I like it, and seen too much to pretend
You can't ignore the beauty in the things that you love
Like you can't stand the hatred and the lies
Have you always hunted with your hands? Can you show me what you've done?
Have you always hunted with your hands? If you catch it, can you kill it?
You don't understand, see you don't understand
See, I'm like a murderer, see, I'm like a murderer
And I could rip you limb from limb, and I could rip you limb from limb
Great big thing crawlin' all over me, great big thing crawlin' all over me
See, I'm like a murderer, I kill what I eat
See, I'm like a, I'm a hunter-gatherer, see, I kill what I eat
See, I'm a steelworker, I kill what I eat
See, I'm, I'm a bricklayer, I kill what I eat
See, I'm a, I'm a murderer, I kill what I eat
See, I'm a, I'm a hunter-gatherer, I kill what I eat
See, I'm a steelworker, I kill what I eat
I'm a, I'm a bricklayer, I kill what I eat
Great big thing crawling all over me, great big thing crawling all over me,
great big thing crawling all over me
Have you always hunted with your hands? Can you show me what you've done?
Have you always hunted with your hands? If you catch it, can you kill it?
I live like this 'cause I like it
And I've seen too much to pretend
You can't ignore the beauty in the things that you love
Like you can't stand the hatred and the lies
See, see, see I'm a murderer, I kill what I eat
See, I'm, I'm a bricklayer, I kill what I eat
See, I'm a steelworker, I kill what I eat
It's a great big thing crawlin' all over me, great big thing crawlin' all over me, great big thing crawlin' all over me


Lyrics submitted by infotainment_lad

Steelworker song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI'm positive it's actually:

    "I've never hung a darkie, but i've fed one"

    It fits in better with the rest of the theme of the song, which I'm pretty sure is saying how people enforce stereotypes and exert their made up authority over someone else to make them feel more important or special, and that he considers himself one of the few people who work hard and dont' do those sorts of things.
    tomautyon July 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song seems like it's about vigilante justice. A guy, who can no longer "stand the hatred and the lies" is taking matters into his own hands.
    timothyrealon August 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI know I'm probably way off, but here's my crazy interpretation.
    On a whole, I think the song is about dumb people being proud of things they did not do, and enjoying the rewards of things they did not earn.


    'The only good policeman is a dead one, the only good laws aren't enforced' - Dunno. Yay, anarchy?

    'I've never hung a darkie, never seen an Indian'- This person was not actually there to participate in making his country what it was, be it good or bad (but mostly bad), and I think this is a statement against extreme patriotism.

    'And I live like this 'cause I like it, and seen too much to pretend' - Some people like to make excuses for their shitty behavior, but the singer is admitting to hedonism, plain and simple. He does what he does because he enjoys it, and he isn't going to dress it up with pretty lies like other people.

    'You can't ignore the beauty in the things that you love, like you can't stand the hatred and the lies' - I don't really know. Maybe defending the beautiful things (whatever you fight for) from the hatred and lies (shitty people, shitty ideals)? That's all I've got.

    'Have you always hunted with your hands? Can you show me what you've done?
    Have you always hunted with your hands? If you catch it, can you kill it?' - Most important bit of the song, I think. People are prepared to eat the flesh, but many are not prepared to make the kill. On a bigger scale, people are happy to reap the benefits (consume, consume, consume), but are not prepared to actually do any work.

    'You don't understand' - Self-fulfilling prophecy. >.>

    'And I could rip you limb from limb, great big thing crawlin' all over me' - No idea, but it sounds cool, no?

    'See, I'm a steelworker, I kill what I eat etc.' - People who actually lay the foundation for his country, people who actually contribute and build, who do the dirty work (again, be it good or bad). People who hunt with their hands and kill what they eat.


    That's what I always think, anyway. It's absolutely my favorite Big Black jam. It's just too cool for school. >.>
    andromeda1on February 23, 2016   Link

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