"Prayer Of The Refugee" as written by Joseph Principe, Timothy Mcilrath, Brandon Barnes and Christopher Chasse....
Warm yourself by the fire, son
And the morning will come soon
I'll tell you stories of a better time
In a place that we once knew

Before we packed our bags
And left all this behind us in the dust
We had a place that we could call home
And a life no one could touch

Don't hold me up now
I can stand my own ground
I don't need your help now
You will let me down, down, down!
Don't hold me up now
I can stand my own ground
I don't need your help now
You will let me down, down, down!

We are the angry and the desperate
The hungry, and the cold
We're the ones who kept quiet
And always did what we were told

But we've been sweating while you slept so calm
In the safety of your home
We've been pulling out the nails that hold up
Everything you've known

Don't hold me up now
I can stand my own ground
I don't need your help now
You will let me down, down, down!
Don't hold me up now
I can stand my own ground
I don't need your help now
You will let me down, down, down!

So open your eyes, child
Let's be on our way
Broken windows and ashes
Are guiding the way

Keep quiet no longer
We'll sing through the day
Of the lives that we've lost
And the lives we've reclaimed

Don't hold me up now
I can stand my own ground
I don't need your help now
You will let me down, down, down!
Don't hold me up now
I can stand my own ground
I don't need your help now
You will let me down, down, down!

Don't hold me up
(I don't need your help, I'll stand my ground)
Don't hold me up
(I don't need your help)
No! No! No!
Don't hold me up!
(I don't need your help, I'll stand my ground)
Don't hold me up!
(I don't need your help, I'll stand my ground)
Don't let me down, down, down, down, down!


Lyrics submitted by ThisismyUsername

"Prayer of the Refugee" as written by Christopher Chasse Brandon Barnes

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Prayer Of The Refugee song meanings
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107 Comments

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  • +11
    General CommentI think this song is about war and revolution. There was once a better world where government had yet to corrupt.

    You will let me down down down

    to me this is like, saying fuck authority. We've trusted you in the past and you've let us down. We're tired of your table scraps you fucks.

    It's good people trying to have a life and get fucked over by politicians with hidden agendas.

    Time to rise.
    Pocketmoonlighton June 10, 2006   Link
  • +7
    Song MeaningThis song is in direct relation to the WalMart incident. It was discovered that WalMart was buying items from foreign countries and stamping Made In American on them. These items were made using child labor. Naturally people were pissed and so Rise Against wrote this song. The video clearly depicts a WalMart-esque store and it also clearly depicts child labor.
    Xilonianon September 20, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis song to me, is him talking to his father... His father says "Warm yourself by the fire, son, And the morning will come soon. I’ll tell you stories of a better time, In a place that we once knew."

    The son knows of this place.. but as we get older, we see how hard things can really get. His dad is trying to protect him, but in the process is holding him down. The son proves he is unafraid of the future lying ahead, knowing how rough it can get and how to deal with it. "We are the angry and the desperate, The hungry, and the cold, We are the ones who kept quiet, And always did what we were told.

    But we’ve been sweating while you slept so calm, In the safety of your home. We’ve been pulling out the nails that hold up Everything you’ve known."

    He is just telling his 'father' OR an authority figure, that he doesn't need their help, and that he can make it on his own and that he is beyond them. To be brave and get through the things (that held down the ones he's known) and not be afraid from ever knowing the truth in his eyes.
    sanuxon September 11, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentMany of you have very nice interpretations of this song, but I believe the video makes it very clear.


    This song is about America not needing slave labor/cheap alternatives for anything. They are saying that we are strong enough to provide all of our own materials and creations.


    "Warm yourself by the fire, son,
    And the morning will come soon.
    I’ll tell you stories of a better time,
    In a place that we once knew."

    Be patient for us to turn our society back into a self-sustained country as we were when we started.

    "Before we packed our bags
    And left all this behind us in the dust,
    We had a place that we could call home,
    And a life no one could touch."

    The self-sustained lifestyle we had and loved is gone.

    "We are the angry and the desperate,
    The hungry, and the cold,
    We are the ones who kept quiet,
    And always did what we were told."

    We aren't getting the support of our own society, everyone has to rely on themselves, even if it means working for severly low pay and living without the nutrition and warmth we all deserve.

    "But we’ve been sweating while you slept so calm,
    In the safety of your home.
    We’ve been pulling out the nails that hold up
    Everything you’ve known."

    The majority is ignoring the fact that people are still being used as slaves and aren't provided with essiential needs. Some of the rest of us realize that most people don't live life happily or comfortable and are trying to undo our society's way of thinking into being more generious and giving, whether through higher pays, benefits, donations, etc.

    "So open your eyes child,
    Let’s be on our way.
    Broken windows and ashes
    Are guiding the way."

    The third-world countries and uncivilized living conditions are proof enough that we need to re-prioritize, adding each others welfare into higher considerations.

    "Keep quiet no longer,
    We’ll sing through the day,
    Of the lives that we’ve lost,
    And the lives we’ve reclaimed."

    After learning of these conditions, they are asking you to spread the word any way possible, speaking of the good and the bad; the lives we have lost from non-generosity and the lives we have restored from generosity.

    "Don’t hold me up now,"

    Don't use cheap labor, unsafe conditions, or exploit another country to help your bank account.

    "I can stand my own ground,
    I don’t need your help now,"

    We, as a country, are powerful enough to provide all of our own materials and don't need to rely on anyone other than for stuff that isn't native to us.

    "You won't let me down, down, down!"

    Don't exploit other humans for your own benefit, don't let our species down.
    Flicon January 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI listened to this song alot while I was learning about tha holocaust.

    "Before we packed our bags
    And left all this behind us in the dust,
    We had a place that we could call home,
    And a life no one could touch."

    It's like tha Jews being sent away.

    We are the angry and the desperate,
    The hungry, and the cold,
    We are the ones who kept quiet,
    And always did what we were told.

    Keep quiet no longer,
    We’ll sing through the day,
    Of the lives that we’ve lost,
    And the lives we’ve reclaimed

    I don't know but that's what it reminds me of.
    i-love-giron October 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the video of the song is pretty self explanatory to what the song means. It's about Corporations (Wal-Mart) buying cheap and selling high. About american companys going around child labor laws or even normal labor laws just so they can save a buck or two per product made. The government, the media, the people constantly say we live in a free country, but that's only what they tell us to keep us blindly and ignorantly happy. We're not free! Hell we're barely a democracy!

    Things have to change! We obviously can't rely on our leaders anymore cuz they seem to be ok with the fact that we're stealing other people's own lives and libertys. It's up to us the people to do something about it.

    I for one don't shop at Wal-Mart, Zellers, Sears or any other huge corporation focused solely on money over human life. Once I'm older and a little more financially prosperous (cuz I can't do much with 700$ in my bank account), I'll do whatever I can to change things! And I think the purpose of this song is to open people's eyes to what's really going on. God Bless America? No, God Bless Rise Against!
    Mac98on April 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIn my mind, I think it's about the Holocaust. Like a survivor telling his son of it.
    take for example.

    "We are the angry and the desperate,"
    "The hungry, and the cold,"
    "We are the ones who kept quiet,"
    "And always did what we were told."


    Basic description of those in concentration camps.

    Then:

    So open your eyes child,
    Lets be on our way.
    Broken windows and ashes
    Are guiding the way.


    Broken Glass = Kristallnacht, Ashes = Human ashes

    And as for the parts like the chorus, I think it's the fathers interpitation of anger towards the Nazi's, maybe the people who pretended that claimed that they didn't know and tried to show him pity.


    Thats my opinion.
    xBluexBarracudaxon February 19, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhenever I hear this song I suddenly think of the Fallout universe.
    TeddyPicker1015on April 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe video clearly shows how marketing leads to child labour in many poor countries
    grungeboyon June 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningIf you've ever read kite runner, this will much much more sense.

    This song is legitimately about a refugee speaking to his son after a migration (As stated by Tim himself)

    The refugee lashes out violently towards anyone that tries to help him achieve his ends because after leaving everything he had behind, believing in himself is all he has left, as everyone who's ever "helped" before has let him down.

    After being reduced to a humble laborer, the refugee works to change the world that he has become a part of - nail by nail.

    He then tells his son to do the same, and break the quiet that the previous generation needed to maintain to survive, and change the world for the better.
    Nullroxon December 10, 2013   Link

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