Joe spoke no english but he had a dream
And he saved up most of his pay
To bring his wife and six kids from Lebanon
And settle down here to stay

You could feel the prison of his loneliness
Cause he wouldn't see them for years
He kept brandy behind the compressed air tanks
And he gulped it when the coast was clear

Nick the Greek collected tropical fish
But he had to be a character too
So he smuggled in Pirhana just to break the law
And he fed them on kangaroo

And Bob's pride was his handlebar moustache
And he said he still combed out sand
Pushed a tank through the Sahara desert
So they made him the leading hand

The summer night shifts were long and cool
And Charlie chain smoked cigars
Young David sweated in his speckle paint mask
As he gazed out at the stars

Crazy Charlie was a Yugoslav
His old straight eight Chevy could move
His ambition was to live on a hippie commune
When Dave told him about free love

Fred had been a farmer and a heavyweight champ
He had hands like a stump jump plough
Move the earth with a thrust of his arm
He was loading on the paint line now

And the boys made a noise every Friday night
At the bar of the Hilton Hotel
Downing pints and chewing the fat
Till the ten o'clock closing bell

It was only rumour until the foreman came
And hiding his shame with a cough
He said "They're cutting back down to one shift now
They're gonna have to lay you off"

Joe held his gaze and gulped at brandy
Then spat it out at his feet
Bob stood bolt still looking thunderstruck
Nick swore for an hour in Greek...

But their anger was spent in a rush of fire
And then smouldered out of mind
When they shook hands on that last grey day
Each was in his way resigned

A few days later I saw old Joe
And he looked like he'd aged ten years
Drunk on the tiles at the State Hotel
And he couldn't hold back the tears

Fred had talked of his grueling heavyweight bouts
I remembered what he'd said
There's no giving up on that killing floor
If you don't fight you're dead

If you work with your hands for your livelihood
Some day you might have to choose
When the class war rages on the factory floor
If you don't fight you lose
If you don't fight you lose...


Lyrics submitted by blood is thin

Killing Floor song meanings
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