"Cold War" as written by Brad Germain and Ian Alexander Smith....
So you think that I'm alone
That being alone is the only way to be
When you step outside
You spin like fire for your sanity

This is a cold war
You better know what you're fighting for
This is a cold war
Do you know what you're fighting for

If you want to be free
Feel on the ground is the only place to be
Cause in this life
You spend time running from depravity

This is a cold war
Do you know what you're fighting for
This is a cold war
You better know what you're fighting for
This is a cold war
You better know what you're fighting for
This is a cold war
Do you know what you're fighting for

When wings to the weak
And bring grace to the strong
Make our legal stumble as it applies in the world
All the tripes come and the mighty will crumble
We must brave this night
And have faith in the world

I'm trying to find my peace
I was made to believe there's something wrong with me
And it hurts my heart
Lord have mercy ain't it plain to see

That this is a cold war
Do you know what you're fighting for
This is a cold war
You better know what you're fighting for

This is a cold,
This is a cold war
You better know what you're fighting for

Do you know?
Is a cold
Do you?
Do you?
Ah ah ah ahhhh
Ah ah ah ahhhh

Is a cold,
You better know what you're fighting for


Lyrics submitted by dejavula, edited by zatcheryt, smallwonderrobot, LivingInAStateOfDreaming

"Cold War" as written by Ryan Kinder Bob Dipiero

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Cold War song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +10
    General CommentI think the "cold War" that she's singing of is with society and all it's facets. The media is filled with bullshit designed to inhibit our creativity and keep us asleep while hypnotizing us to reject real artistry....The robotic persona comes from what the industry and the mainstream expect of her. It's expected that as an "artist (robot)" you conform to what's been programed and if you question or rebel against that, you're immediately labeled as strange or dis-functional. Miss Monae is one of the few real artist who clearly understands what side of the war she's fighting for.
    DeeG33zyon August 10, 2010   Link
  • +8
    General CommentI think this song speaks to the experience of being an outsider, especially being part of a minority group. The lines "When you step outside/You spend life fighting for your sanity" and "If you wanna be free/Below the ground's the only place to be" speaks to trying to live your life as who you are, as a kind of resistance. I think cold war is a metaphor for the subtlety and pervasiveness of the messages and power structures that tell groups of people that there is something wrong with them. The cold war was long and unique in that there was not a lot of direct conflict between the two main antagonists. It was mostly carried out through covert means which is a great metaphor for the class/culture/race conflicts that happen in this country. They are not always obvious but they are devastatingly painful for the people who live with the brunt of it, as Monae's music video heartbreakingly portrays.

    It's an amazing song. Simple, catchy and powerful. Lady Gaga could learn a thing or two from Janelle Monae.
    ShoshiRosieon February 15, 2011   Link
  • +7
    General Commentas ShoshiRosie said- it is definitely about being a minority. monae says in an interview: "Heavily inspired by Fritz Lang’s 1927 German expressionist film Metropolis, which used an urban dystopia to berate capitalism, she too has invented a not-too-distant future in order to comment on the confines within she is expected to perform and present herself as a black female artist. “As an African-American woman, as an immigrant, wherever I am, I’m always the minority,” she explains. “So I came up with the concept of the android as the ‘other’ in society. I’ve been studying the theory of technological singularity, which predicts that as advances in technology become faster, there will come a point when robots will be able to map out the brainpower of humans and recreate our emotions. I’m posing the question — how are we going to live with the ‘other’? Are we going to treat them inhumanely, teach our children to fear them?”"
    killstaron July 19, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIMO, "Cold War" is a message to the audience she addresses in "Dance or Die."

    In "DoD," she sends the message to stand and speak up for oneself, instead of becoming a "zombie." In "CW," she warns the same people to "know what you're fighting for" and have a clear destination and purpose, instead of arguing for the sake of arguing, just like America & Russia in the Cold War.

    Great song, & lots of emotion in her voice.
    tyakon October 20, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Comment2nd line should be "But being alone's the only way to be"

    10th line should be "You spend time running from depravity"

    Further on "May all evil stumble as it flies in the world" rather than "Let all legal..."
    And that's followed by "All the tribes come and the mighty will crumble. We must brave this night and have faith in love" which you've missed.

    Anyways, best song on the album I think anway.
    Pentecoston June 23, 2010   Link
  • +3
    Lyric CorrectionLove this song...

    but in the lyrics here, all the "what your fighting for" lines need to be changed to "what you're fighting for"
    rjdon September 28, 2010   Link
  • +3
    Lyric CorrectionSo you think I'm alone?
    But being alone's the only way to be
    When you step outside
    You spend life fighting for your sanity!

    If you wanna be free
    Below the ground's the only place to be
    Cause in this life
    You spend time running from depravity

    Bring wings to weak and
    Bring grace to the strong
    May all evil stumble as it flies in the world
    All the tribes come & the mighty will crumble
    We must brave this night & have faith in love

    I'm trying to find my peace
    I was made to believe there's something wrong with me
    And it hurt my heart
    Lord have mercy ain't it plain to see
    baumsqgodon October 10, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti fully agree to all the interpretations! just wanted to add, that to really understand how intense this song is you must watch the video. it was taken in one shot and it's perfect! at the line 'i was made to believe there's something wrong with me..' she gets overwhelmed by her emotions and starts crying but they keep on shooting the video. it's such a strong and great song and she is a unique artist!
    barbelieon December 01, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"I was made to believe there's something wrong with me"

    This theme runs through the album - that she is strange, that she was doing something wrong, and she's trying to reconcile why that's not such a bad thing. In the context of the album it's that she is a robot who likes a human... what is it in real life? The quality of this album speaks to her having some type of drama in real-life... anyone have any ideas?

    I imagine it was some relationship with someone who her family/friends did not approve. Saying she's a robot implies she was acting without thinking, that it was a programmed response she was having to this person.

    She also touches on race issues. Could she be in love with a guy who's not of the correct race? It doesn't seem quite like that...
    funkboyon June 28, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentits basically someone coming to the terms that she is a proper individual, and that she fears it
    Baphomet-Lordon May 05, 2011   Link

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