Teacher, bring me to heaven or leave me alone
Why make me work so hard when you know I work slow
Don't make us watch you scrape more powder on the walls
Show us a laser, take to space, or let us go
We got violent games on pause at home

You've seen this angst take shape
Don't hide those guilty eyes
You gave us guns for toys
We trained with cross-hair scopes
Then in the name of peace we make war

Sergeant, I don't remember how you said to deal with guilt
I'm haunted by families grieving, even soldiers' kids
Is it god against god and the pawns are people?
If they're both the same god then the battle's over
Details

Preacher, am I going to make it? Am I going up?
Am I forgiven for the humans I dropped?
It's not like a game once the guilt piles up
If I knew what I know now, it's easy to say I wouldn't go
I had violent games on pause at home

You know how hate takes shape
Don't hide those guilty eyes
You gave us guns for toys
Imposed beliefs then pride
We were taught that God prefers the U.S.A.
Just like the billboard sign: "This is God's country"
If it's true that God roots for the U.S.A.
Is every bomb we drop in God's name?


Lyrics submitted by onethinwallaway, edited by shaungrady

A Battle Hymn for Children song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentActually I was wrong I mixed your lyrics and my correction- The correct line is :

    Just like the billboard sign, "This is God's country"
    sigma722on July 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA couple lines I couldn't understand.
    But this is obviously about how kids growing up with violent videos games about war and later in life join the army only to find out it's nothing like the video games.
    Chainsaw Armon July 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat Song!

    It says "Desipite the billboard signs, "This is God's country..."

    I cannot wait to purchase this album!
    sigma722on July 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is so far my favorite song off the new CD. I think the meaning is pretty straight forward. Kids growing up with violence in violent times and the crazy kind of logic people use to fool them into believing what is wrong is right.

    In the Name Of Peace We Make War.
    Bluestarson July 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI almost feel like this is a b-side to "Violent" on Danse Macabre, or at least that it stems from the same vain.

    Looking to people who are supposed to have answers, only to find out they don't. It breeds pure ambivalence toward our country.

    I'd also like to throw out that, since their other three albums had album-spanning themes, i.e. Sex with blank-wave arcade, Death with Danse Macabre, and Life/Creation with Wet from Birth, that this one is the Future.
    Seahighsteron August 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI hope this song doesn't get criticized too much for possibly being one of their most politically driven/straightforward songs. It's a great song though, definitely a great album closer.

    I liked what Seahighster said, about looking to people, expecting them to have answers, them leading you astray and just breeding "pure ambivalence towards our country." I'm not a big American spirit kind of person, so, needless to say, I agree with the last verse immensely.

    The switching of names that the narrator refers to each verse allows for the idea that no one has the real answers to shine through: not the teachers, the army sergeants, or the preachers. I love the fact that the preachers don't have the answers either, since the church these days is so corrupt. Ironically, the people designated to lead us in battle, to serve "God's country" have no idea why they're even there.

    What baffles me most if what gave the USA the right to think that WE are God's country, when there are over 120 countries throughout the world. I'm not looking to get into any heated debates, though. Just wanted to make that little point and move on.

    The line "We have violent games on pause at home" is perhaps one of the most striking in the whole song, filled with double meaning as well. Children/the rest of the world can learn about violence through their mass-produced, mind-driveling video games at home and less people would have to be killed in the process of that learning. But at the same time, should we be learning of violence in any kind of way like that, especially being given "guns for toys". That's how the USA really runs things: make the enemies scared by making them think we're really strong and ready - put this gun in your hand and stand up straight. Not the way to go about things, really.

    I like how you can read the line "If they're both the same god, then the battle's over/details" in two ways. The first is reading "Details" as the narrator's dismissal of the battle, plagued by nonchalance and disregard, or as the end of the sentence before it, that the battle itself is over nothing but trivial details, not larger matters that were supposedly what brought us into battle in the first place.

    Then in the name of peace we make war. The USA's real motive: make war when it needn't be made, or isn't expected. That'll show 'em. Yeah...sure.
    OKRadiohead97on August 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"in the name of peace, we make war"

    i really love this line. i am not a politcal person, and i realize that this song is probably not intended to be as metaphorical in the way that i am interpreting it, but really, can you have any kind of peace without making war? the conservatives want peace too, people tend to forget that, but their way of pursuing that peace is by declaring war -- which blatantly seems contradictory. but when you set out to pursue any kind of peace -- whether it be politcal, personal, in a relationship, what have you -- you are going to have to do some damage to get there. you are going to have to tear down what was hindering the peace before, and tearing anything down is a war of sorts. i don't think that you can have peace without war, and i don't think that you can have war without a desire for peace. they go hand-in-hand unexpectedly, yet familiarly, the way that love and hate go together. it's like a yin and yang.
    staygoldgreenon August 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment**vein
    Seahighsteron September 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI completely agree with OKRadiohead, and emphatically disagree with staygoldgreen. I don't quite understand the logic of having to make "war" in order to have peace in any aspect of life. You are defining war as violence that stems from disagreements it looks like. When you disagree with anyone in your life you are saying that you need to make war before anything can be settled? Calm before the storm type deal. Why not just have a discussion regarding what is bothering either or both sides? There does not need to be any "war." I do understand that you are only dissecting one line from the song, and then voicing your own personal belief. I would just like to argue the other side since I feel differently.

    In addition, I truly don't believe that conservatives want the same peace as liberals. Liberals want unanimous world peace, which will happen in the future by the way due to our continued evolution, without having war. Conservatives use war as a vail for profits and boosting the American economy. Sorry, but thats not the same thing to me. There are more lines in the song that back up this theory of conservative America manipulating the public to believe and follow blindly. Case in point, the entire last verse:

    You know how hate takes shape
    Don't hide those guilty eyes
    You gave us guns for toys
    Imposed beliefs then pride
    We were taught that God prefers the U.S.A.
    Just like the billboard sign: "This is God's country"
    If it's true that God roots for the U.S.A.
    Is every bomb we drop in God's name

    That is clearly about how the "powers that be" try to manipulate the population by turning war into a sport or contest, and do so KNOWINGLY. It's my god against yours. How childish. Also, in the future humans will evolve from god-fearing creatures and follow science.

    Please don't help them turn us into a Fasciinatiion...
    CHANDMANon March 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentActually, I think that in the second to last line, 'prefer' is actually 'roots for',so that the line is ' If it's true that God roots for the USA, then is every bomb we drop in God's name? That's what it sounds like, anyway.
    Baugrilvolon October 08, 2009   Link

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