White ants runnin'
Black ants crawlin'
Yella ants dreamin'
Brown ants longin'
All those people longin' to be free
Uhuru, ant, man, bee, Uhuru, ant, man, bee
All the ants in God's garden, they can't get along
War still runnin' on
It's that one lump of sugar, that they won't leave each other alone

Why do you have to do this, you've got to let us free
Why do you have to do this, you've got to set us free
Why do you have to do this, you've got to set us free
Why do you have to do this, you've got to set us free

Uhuru, ant, man, bee, Uhuru, ant, man, bee

Now, the bee takes his honey, then he sets the flower free
But in God's garden only
Man and the ants, they won't set each other


Lyrics submitted by distopiandreamguy

"Ant Man Bee" as written by Don Van Vliet

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Ant Man Bee song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentWe're the ants. Only we and the ants work, and only we and the ants fight each other. And we fight the ants.
    futatoriuson July 08, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentbut what about the bee? is the bee a revolutionary? a great innovator? Captain Beefheart himself even? perhaps anyone who seeks peace etc. is considered a bee? (60's remember!) I think this is implying that there are two kinds of people, I don't think it is Van Vliet himself, but rather that he is undecided, perhaps the bee is a hypothetical person
    StClarenceon August 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMaybe "bee" is just a corruption of "be"?
    Israffelon February 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIsn't 'bee' just 'free'? So you have Ant - whose whole life is to work; Man - who enjoys more freedom; Bee - who (in Beefheart's mind) enjoys the most freedom.

    My interpretation is that he sees ants squabbling and running over each other constantly (and black ants and red ants don't seem to mix), then he sees man engaged in regular wars, then bees who never seem to fight.
    grazbosson April 21, 2010   Link

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