"Not a Crime" as written by Eliot Ferguson, Eugene Hutz, Oren Kaplan, Yuri Lemeshev, Sergey Ryabstev and Rea Mochiach....
Drop the charges!

The fire and the power, you know

In the old time it was not a crime, drop the charges
You people don't you realize the sun rises?

(Drop the charges, man! Drop the charges)

(Right you are! And this time, let the people know)

In the old time, in the old time
In the old time it was not a crime (what are you talking about?)
In the old time, in the old time
In the old time it was not a, not a crime

Not a crime!
(It's all nonsensical)
Not a crime!

In the old time, in the old time
In the old time it was not a crime
In the old time, in the old time
In the old time it was not a, not a crime

Not a crime
(Drop the charges)
Not a crime
Not a crime
Reality

Spices, creation, realization, naturalization
What are you talking about? It's all about time 'cos today you go to nature

(Not a crime)
In the old time, in the old time
In the old time it was not a crime
In the old time, in the old time
In the old time it was not a crime

(Not a crime, not a crime)
Not a crime
Not a crime
Not a crime

Drop the charges
Not a crime

Not a crime

Not a crime

(It's not a crime, it's legal, perfectly natural)


Lyrics submitted by sloathy, edited by rahvii

"Not a Crime" as written by Eugene Hutz Eliot Ferguson

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Not a Crime song meanings
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41 Comments

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  • +3
    My InterpretationI find that most of you aren't reading into this enough.
    While drugs are an element to this piece, through the way "Not a Crime" is written it's evident the meaning of this song isn't hinged on narcotics alone. The intention of this song is a push for the right of every human being to live as an individual. It is about we, as people, having the power to decide for ourselves who we are, and who'll we become from the independent decisions based of a personal consciousness--an innate knowledge, of what is right and wrong. While this probably wouldn't include, say, murder, it would encumber:

    Drug use,
    Homosexuality,
    Prostitution,
    "Inappropriate conduct" - like, say, walking around naked, or something along those lines.
    Freedom of Speech,
    Freedom of Expression,
    Freedom of Religion
    Freedom of Press
    The "seatbelt" law.
    The "cell phone" law.
    Income Tax
    Owning a gun
    Killing someone for self defense

    There are millions of examples. Basically, not a crime is about the obstruction of basic citizen's rights, and how he's against such unconstitutional laws. ((now do not interpret this to mean that I think he's american and reply with "OMG YOU STUPD, HOW COULD HE THINK THAT HE'S NOT FROM THE US STUPID!" I'm well aware the band is Ukrainian. I'm using mostly american examples to produce a more ubiquitous understanding of my interpretation.)

    While I've never truly looked this up, I've concluded that the lead singer of the band is an anarchist, due to his constant or semi-constant references to the political philosophy in his songs. That leads me to believe, therefore, that "the old time" would represent the time far back in human history-before the dawn of christ, probably sometime during the origin of Paganism, in fact, when laws were virtually non-existent. At a time in which there are no laws, there is no government, and therefore, no crimes.

    "in the old time [none of the above, nothing at all] was a crime."

    I believe politics comes to play in this song because of the second opening prologue-type lyric: "The Fire, and the Power, huh?" This lyric itself could be interpreted many ways but because "fire" could represent "fire-arms," it suggests a speak softly, and carry a big stick mentality-- if you are a threat, people will listen to you. The government, having military dogs to back them up, is a constant threat to a civilian, keeping them inline with law and order.

    Spices creation realization naturalization are the examples I listed above metaphorically.
    spices = drugs
    creation = religion
    realization = thought process (expression, speech)
    naturalization = natural instinct (homosexuality, the ability to decipher between right and wrong.

    "man" -> it seems like a completely unimportant article just thrown into the song, but had it been added for a reason, it could refer to the "hippie" generation filled with drugs, and anarchist, anti-government movements. (Government = man in hippie days.)

    Drop the charges man -> government should "loosen up". Government should be weaker. The government shouldn't have the power to arrest me for one of the many examples listed so many times.

    "Sitting and dangling my foot without desire to work" -> Working is something expected of you. It is also an environment in which you are practically hypnotized into a routine. A refusal to work is a refusal to both accept a societal norm, and a refusal to submit your mind to "the man."

    I think I've made my point pretty clearly... :D.





    leokidon June 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit could be about drugs, it could also be about homosexuality? or about the modern conception of certain human beings as "illegal"?
    adamndirtyshameon August 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt isn't about drugs.

    Sidel nogoy boltal
    Rabotat ne hotel

    Sitting and dangling my foot
    Without desire to work
    DaLocoBraton October 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Sitting and dangling my foot, Without desire to work"
    Maybe he's simply referring to the frenetic pace of modern life... everyone's rushing around trying to make more money to buy more (ultimately meaningless) stuff - remember the programmed robots who are buying and buying?
    I'm just trying to think outside of the obvious... something I think Eugene would appreciate. But who know, maybe it is just about drugs - that would be disappointing.
    FijiGirlon December 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt was illigal in the USSR not to have a job. Gypsies were often prosecuted for this reason. This is what "Sitting and dangling my foot
    Without desire to work" russian part refers to.

    I guess the song is more about the mordern state imposing laws that limit human freedom (drugs,sex,etc.) -

    No cant do this,
    No cant do that,
    What the hell can you do my friend?
    In this place that you call your town.
    a_kuntzon August 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti hate to say it but your all wrong
    don't get me wrong when i heard this song i thought it was about drugs to
    buuuuuutt it i was listening to am interveiw with Eugene Huntz (the lead singer) and he said it was about the bird man of Alcatraz, sorry
    gogolfanon October 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningEugene Hutz doesn't even do drugs, he only drinks alcohol.


    I get the feeling that Ras Kush, the guest MC on the song, thought it was about marijuana though. If it weren't for his lyrics then I think most people wouldn't be confused and think the song is about something so trivial as pot.
    Fuchi900on November 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIf this is about the Birdman of Alcatraz, as a comment above said they heard Eugene Hutz claim in an interview, then the "crime" would be revenge -- "Birdman" Robert Franklin Stroud was found of guilty of manslaughter for shooting a man who had badly beaten Stroud's girlfriend. The Ivanovich/Gogol/Belinsky references make no sense in this context, though, nor does it seem clear why Hutz would care that much, based on his usual topics, which are often freedom of pleasure and movement. I share the hunch of many above that it's about drugs, immigration or consensual sex between adults and biologically mature minors. But who knows, and of course a writer's own claims of "meaning" are often not definitive. Once an artist releases art to the public, anyone may claim to know what it's about, and public reception can change meanings. In any event, I'm glad to see such spirited discussion over these lyrics. I thought it was just me and I was missing something obvious.
    schweitzitoon July 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhile the "it's legal, perfectly natural" lyrics would suggest it's marijuana, I believe it's immigration. In the old time, anyone could emigrate anywhere (almost), as immigrants built the USA. But now, things are far more strict. Yay or nay?
    BallinStalinon October 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust me then? I wonder what that clip is at the beginning. It seems to refer to Nikolai Gogol.
    sloathyon July 13, 2006   Link

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