"I Won't Say Anything" as written by and Greg/gurewitz Graffin....
He looked just like a zookeeper in a human zoo
So I said hey man how the hell did they get to you
Don't you know us animals need something to
Then he flew
That's when he said

Hey, I can't deny it, but I won't say anything
Hey, I can't deny it, but I won't say anything
Hey, I can't deny it, but I won't say anything
Unless you ask it right

So I took my mean machine to the sacramental post
Some kid had spilled his wine on the holiest host
And I said ain't it funny that machines need a ghost
He made a toast

Hey, I can't deny it, but I won't say anything
Hey, I can't deny it, but I won't say anything
Hey, I can't deny it, but I won't say anything
Unless you ask it right

Riding to the cemetery in a righteous limousine
I plied the grim proprietor with milk and tangerines
And I said so you're short but are you brutish and mean
Then he screamed
That's when he said

Hey, I can't deny it, but I won't say anything
Hey, I can't deny it, but I won't say anything
Hey, I can't deny it, but I won't say anything
Unless you ask it right


Lyrics submitted by BatteryLegion

"I Won't Say Anything" as written by Greg Graffin Brett W. Gurewitz

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., MOTHERSHIP MUSIC PUBLISHING

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I Won't Say Anything song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    Song MeaningTo be fair, I think it's a 'stab' at several of the major powerholders of the earth.

    The zookeeper in the human zoo is a politician - he knows society's gone to hell, but can only say it if asked right. If he simply claims stuff has gone wrong, he'll lose his voters and position with that.

    The part about the sacramental post would be about religion/the church - "ain't it funny that machines need a ghost" would mean "isn't it funny that people in modern society need some kind of 'god' to believe in to pull through". The bishop/religious figure in this instance replies as well that he can't deny it, but that he can't speak out, as he too would cause a political scandal by claiming so.

    The grim proprietor, I'm not sure about. My guess is that he'd represent the CEO of a big company. The I-figure plies to him with "milk and tangerines" which is probably a metaphor as well, just one I don't get. This 'CEO' would scream when the I-figure suggested he weren't 'brutish and mean' since that's what you need to remain at such a position. Then he too ends up singing the chorus and in it admitting he knows society's gone to hell but can't freely admit it in fear of causing a riot or losing his position.
    Mozaredon October 02, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI might agree with the first two of the previous post.

    The third is perhaps modern philosophy. The line "so you're short, but are you butish and mean?" is, I believe, a reference to Thomas Hobbes, who in his book "Leviathan" postulated that the lives of humans are "Solitary, poor, nasty, butish and short" due to a condition called state of nature.

    Google it if you're interested.
    JohnnyTutoneon October 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmm idk what on earth their singing about

    probly a reference to a book or something. Thats their usual fad
    splitdissonanceon October 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation1. Desmond "The Human Zoo" 2. DesCartes - "Ad Homine" 3. Hobbes "Leviathan"

    What I take from it is really the literal meaning of the chorus "I can't deny it. But I won't say anything, unless you ask it right" -- Everything referenced in the song is linked to some form of existence, whether it be animal, the symbolic machine with or without a soul (living or living ghost) or a monster such as The Leviathan. None of these levels of existence are able to be communicated without human intervention and interpretation. So, " I can't deny it. I won't say anything. " literally means the subject cannot speak. And I think the song is about programming and non-existence without cues to act, by a trainer or authority role etc.... "Unless you ask it right" could be a mindless question or could be as simple as a dog only knowing "to sit, roll over" after it is communicated by a master. Or in the case of a monster, "And then he screamed" - Showing it knows only that and asking it a question is just ironically behaving like the master has trained by using language. "Bribed the grim proprietor with milk and tangerines" - A middle ground understanding/offering of goods that are obvious to any level of thing that eats or symbolically (Mothers milk to Paradise) as that line is definitely a human funeral scene "righteous limousine" ---- just my takE.
    BrandonJamesHollowon March 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was just reading an article called "The Scandal at the Zoo" for a class and it occurred to me that this song is probably about that. The article is about a man named Ota Benga who was placed in the monkey house at the bronx zoo in the early 1900's. Seeing how Greg Graffin teaches about evolution, I am led to believe that the song is based on that event.
    hiphopcreeon February 24, 2015   Link

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