40 million refugees with no place on this earth to call their home. one for every aimless graduate with nothing else to show for it but loans. and those of us who make our mark use someone else's blood. our western stain won't wash away; it won't vanish in the flood, as it's deeper through each hurricane and tidal wave and war. oh whoa oh oh. we want everything we see, and once it's gone, we just want more.

atlas had those shoulders. we've got ambien and jameson's and blow to bind us in a bubble, keep the newsprint nightmare distant and remote. but when we wake in guillotines and pitch our screaming fits, when the governor strikes up the band and gags our parted lips, when the worst case shows up dressed and dazzling ready for the ball, oh whoa oh oh. boy, that bubble's bound to burst, and what a tragic way to fall.

the tabloids tell us hate, the rat who strikes those subways closed and puts you out. forget those 50 hour tunnel weeks inhaling steel dust poison through his mouth. well, if he don't deserve a pension that makes his family feel secure, if we're now so disconnected, it's our reflections we ignore, and if our constant choice is skimming past the writing on the wall, oh whoa oh oh. then i'm sad to say we're lost and i'm embarrassed for us all.

so most days i can't put to rest the burning city smoking in my mind. and i play pretend the principals are nothing more than actors running lines. and i stumble through a movie set where tortured victims laugh and embedded journalists who juggle knives and daggered glass, while they entertain a mob of heads of state and CEOs. oh whoa oh oh. i stagger past anarchist extras through saloon doors painted gold.

so i turn and i see uncle sam outside of wardrobe ready for the shoot. so i walk right up and talk to him. i tell him that i'm scared and i'm confused. and while they test the cameras out and get the lighting right, while catering fills coffee cups and carves up apple pie, and while the stylists trim his beard and straighten those lapels, oh whoa oh oh. i ask his empire eyes what made him drive us straight to hell. and as my daydream ends, he stands ashamed, a shocked and shattered shell. but there's never any answer for my starving tongue to tell. 'cause the director shouted "action", but from offset, it's just as well.


Lyrics submitted by charcoalsketch

Refugees song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commenthere are the parts you left blank...

    -the tabloids tell us hate. the *rat that* strikes those subways closed and puts you out.

    -and if our constant choice is *skimmin' past* the writing on the wall, oh woah.

    -i stagger past *anarchist extras* through saloon doors painted gold.
    devinelynewon July 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentuhhhhh isn't this song called "the burning city smoke"?


    at least that's what it says on the version i have.
    audreywon June 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's called "the burning city smoking" .
    deuxiemechanceon April 23, 2008   Link

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