"Drones" as written by Joseph Principe, Timothy Mcilrath, Brandon Barnes and Christopher Chasse....
Deep inside these burning buildings
Voices die to be heard
Years we spent teaching a lesson
We ourselves had never learned

And if strength is born from heartbreak
Then mountains I could move
And if walls could speak I'd pray
That they would tell me what to do

If you see me, please just walk on by, walk on by
Forget my name and I'll forget it too.
Failed attempts at living simple lives, simple lives
Are what keep me coming back to you

No signs of life here, save the embers, the occasional flame
We know the way but can't remember, conception to the grave
Shout confessions from the greatest heights, where no one can hear
All my fears, my insecurities are falling like tears

If you see me, please just walk on by, walk on by
Forget my name and I'll forget it too
Failed attempts at living simple lives, simple lives
Always keep me coming back to you

The drones all slave away, they're working overtime
They serve a faceless queen, they never question why
Disciples of a God, they neither live nor breathe, (I won't come back)
But we have bills to pay, yeah we have mouths to feed! (I won't come back)
I won't come back!

And if you see me, please just walk on by, walk on by
Forget my name and I'll forget it too
Failed attempts at living simple lives, simple lives
Always keep me coming back to you

I'm coming back to you!


Lyrics submitted by ThisismyUsername, edited by Belgarion262

"Drones" as written by Christopher Chasse Brandon Barnes

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Drones song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentI think people are taking their song lyrics way too literally, although I think most people have the right idea about what the song is about. If you like Rise Against and their message, read a book called Ishmael because this heavily influences their work (and they say so in the booklet with their album). I happened to come across it in my Bio class, and was well worth the read. Anyways.

    This song refers to Mother Culture (pointed out in Ishmael, read it) and how it is going to ruin the world. I firmly believe this because of this:

    The drones will slave away, they’re working overtime,
    -we work so that we don't starve
    They serve a faceless queen, they never question why.
    -"they" is actually everyone, the faceless Queen being Mother Culture, and we don't question why things are like they are, going all the way to the basis of our culture and the way it works
    Disciples of a god, that neither lives nor breathes,
    -we listen to mother culture blindly because it’s all we know
    (I won’t go back!)
    - to simpler lives that is, that of the Leavers (Ishmael)
    But we have bills to pay, yeah we have mouths to feed!
    -the reason why we CAN'T go back now, mother culture prevents this
    (I won’t go back!)

    Too make a long story short - in today's world you work because if you don't you starve. But Mother culture tells us that if somebody is starving, send them food (such as places in Africa), yet this only makes the problem worse because they reproduce and require even more food in the future. How do we grow more food? We destroy the forests and make more room for agriculture. In effect, we’re destroying the world and all of nature simply so that we can have more people, simply to keep anyone from suffering. But in the end, if things continue as they are and our own technology can’t save us, then everyone will suffer.

    Again, I urge any devoted Rise Against listener to read Ishmael. You’ll see the connections in every song and hopefully become a little more aware, as this song calls for.
    Nemopbon July 31, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti agree with the non conformity angle. also i think the lines:

    If you see me please just walk on by, walk on by,
    Forget my name and I'll forget it too.

    seem like the speaker is ashamed of not being able to stand out and break the cycle because he "bills to pay" and "mouths to feed" so they keep working with their head down.

    also liked that line cos when i first heard the song i didnt know all the lyrics nd it sounded like how i felt about a girl i used to date. but thats not what its about.

    one more thing, the lyrics should read:
    Diciples of a god THAT NEITHER LIVES NOR BREATHES.
    great line about blind faith
    olp89on January 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI personaly think that the song is about how today's society conforms. The more you conform
    the more likely you are to lose yourself.

    "Failed attempts at living simple lives, simple lives, all will keep me coming back to you."
    This to me is saying that you can try to be different, but if you fail, you will come crawling back
    to what you know.
    Non-Conformity is the answer, at least in my world it is.

    "The drones all slave away, their working over time, they serve a faceless queen
    they never question why, Diciples of a god that neither lives nor breaths
    but we have bills to pay, yeah we have mouths to feed"
    This is sorta like saying America is full of workaholics and yeah, they'll work the
    9 to 5, but they are only doing it to get by. The goverment is the faceless queen and
    also the god that neither lives nor breaths. Society are the diciples that serve
    both. Society turns to the gov't for answers. DON'T CONFORM!!!
    MoshingMooseon May 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMay I bring one thing to light? It is a follow-on from Prayer of the refugee so it continues that story e.g. the chgaracter has arrived, but life isn't the freedom that he expected doesn't exist. They don't know what to do, and so they follow their "programming" and follow the "faceless queen" they've forgotten what its like to really live, "if walls could speak, I pray that they would tell me what to do". In the later part, after he has "left" the colony he just wants to forget his time there. the failed attemp at living a simple life is just that. hive creatures rely on groups and alone are much weaker so the character has no choice but to return to work for the controlling power.
    learningtolistenon July 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"the drones all slave away" the "drone" is the military units. "they serve a faceless queen" the "faceless queen" must mean the government. "they're working over time they never question why" this means how the military units stay in combat longer than they should and they don't get any word to leave. and the part "failed attempts at living simple lives" means that how the solders are suffering from PTSD and go insane with themselves.
    genkarityon January 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionLyric corrections:

    "many mountains i could move" should be "then mountains i could move"
    "always keep me coming back to you" should be "are what keep me coming back to you"
    "jump confessions..." should be "shout confessions..."
    "disciples of a god, they neither live nor breathe" should be "disciples of a god that neither lives nor breathes"

    By the way, I have the album & have read the lyrics.
    MetalHead101on July 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favorite song off their new album.
    absentiaon June 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAll about the general working population. The person in the song is trying to break the cycle, forget the old person and reinvent him/herself - "forget my name and I'll forget it too".

    The comparisons in this song work well, "The drones will slave away, they’re working overtime,
    They serve a faceless queen, they never question why.", comparing big companies to a faceless queen. The "drones", i.e. workers, know what they have to do, but don't know why they do it.

    However, it seems as if the storyteller is saying that he/she cannot break away from the grasp of large organisations, and in the end he keeps coming back.
    Climber_boyon June 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA lot of this song seems to deal with conformity to me. People going along saying nothing just getting by, the line "If you see me, please just walk on by, walk on by.
    Forget my name and I’ll forget it too" to me seems along the lines of the more that they aren't reminded of who they are, the more they assimalate, the more they forget who they are or were for that matter.

    Using trying to live simple, uncomplicated lives as excuse for not speaking out if there is something that might be wrong. But it does also seem to follower the lines of what Climber boy said as well.
    dazedbysoundon July 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with dazed.

    very good song.
    shinksteron September 06, 2006   Link

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