"Vampires" as written by and Rob Garza Eric Hilton....
They'll gain the world but lose their souls
They'll gain the world but lose their souls

Don't believe politicians and thieves
They want our people on their bended knees
Pirates and robbers, liars and thieves
You come like the wolf but dressed like the sheep

If you go to Lagos what you find, vampires
If you go to Kinshasa what you find, vampires
If you go to Darfur what you find, vampires
If you go to Malabo what you find, vampires

Lies and theft
Guns and debt
Life and death
IMF

When the bank man comes to your door
Better know you'll always be poor
Bank loans and policies
They can't make our people free

You live on the blood of my people
Everyone knows you've come to steal
You come like the thieves in the night
The whole world is ready to fight

If you go to Lagos what you find, vampires
If you go to Kinshasa what you find, vampires
If you go to Darfur what you find, vampires
If you go to Malabo what you find, vampires

Lies and theft
Guns and debt
Life and death
IMF

They'll gain the world but lose their souls
They'll gain the world but lose their souls

You live on the blood of my people
Everyone knows you've come to steal
You come like the thieves in the night
The whole world is ready to fight

If you go to Lagos what you find, vampires
If you go to Kinshasa what you find, vampires
If you go to Darfur what you find, vampires
If you go to Malabo what you find, vampires

Lies and theft
Guns and debt
Life and death
IMF


Lyrics submitted by iNapper

"Vampires" as written by Eric Hilton Robert Manuel Garza

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Vampires song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentWhen I heard this song by Thievery on their album Radio Retaliation, I was stoked that Femi Kuti was the featured singer. Perfect choice to sing a song about the struggles for human rights, especially in war-torn countries of Africa. Femi Kuti is an amazing African musician who plays the afro-beat/high-life style of western Nigeria made famous in the 1970's by his late father -- Fela Kuti. A simple info search of Fela Kuti would turn up more than enough articles on how revolutionary Fela and his brand of music was in the face of unthinkable corruption and inhumanity. Afro-beat is becoming increasingly popular world-wide, and there is a new wave of Fela fans and works inspired from his life and music.

    Thievery Corp's Eric Hilton and Rob Garza are human rights activist outside of their confrontational and rebelious brand of music. Being a band from the US capital of D.C., they have an ultra awareness of political corruption at the cost of the people. This song fully represents thier ethos as a band, and choosing Fela's son -- Femi -- to sing it almost makes it feel like one of his songs. Alot of Thievery is Reggae/Dub, but this song is closer to Afro-beat in the style and rhythm of the drum beat, a beat that is very close to the reggaeton beat, but places the accent in a slighlty sharper part of the beat.
    So as soon as the song starts, you hear this beat and can identify that with African music.

    The opening verses are biblical, almost straight from the gospels of Matthew.
    (They'll gain the world, but lose their souls)
    Jesus was tempted by Satan on the mountain top, where he showed Jesus the world below and offered it to him in exchange for his soul. When politicians and corporations, corrupt governments and even religious organizations take the trust and money from good people and fund bad people while stealing the funds for their own pockets, robbing and killing and raping and all kinds of evil at the cost of the people, this is the gaining of the world, the losing of the soul.

    The next verses are straight forward and do not beat around the bush about their feelings towards so-called elected officials.
    (Don't believe politicians and thieves)
    (They want our people on their bended knees)
    (Pirates and robbers, liars and thieves)
    (You come like the wolf, but dressed like the sheep)

    In the next verse there is a list of places, where if you go, what you will find is the monstrosity of humanity. Genocide.
    (If you go to Lagos, what you find, vampires)
    (If you go to Kinshasa, what you find, vampires)
    (If you go to Darfur, what you find, vampires)
    (If you go to Malabo, what you find, vampires)
    Lagos is on the west coast of Nigeria off the continent of Africa. Kinshasa is in the Republic of the Congo also in western Africa, south of Nigeria. Darfur is located in the middle-east African desert in Sudan, south of Egypt. And Malabo is located on Bioko island off the western coast of Africa near Cameroon.

    As reported in an article by globalissues.org "There have been over 9 million refugees and internally displaced people from conflicts in Africa. Hundreds and thousands of people have been slaughtered from a number of conflicts and civil wars. If this scale of destruction and fighting was in Europe, then people would be calling it World War III with the entire world rushing to report, provide aid, mediate and otherwise try to diffuse the situation. This article explores why Africa has been largely ignored and what some of the root causes of the problems are."
    globalissues.org/issue/83/…

    The rest of the verse says this is what you will find in such places,
    (What you find, vampires, lies and theft)
    (Guns and debt, life and death)
    (IMF)

    IMF stands for International Monetary Fund. According to their website "The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world."

    They are comprised of a complex governing body of international and very influential people.
    In an interview with wired.com, Eric Hilton of Thievery spoke on the subject.
    "I think the greatest cause of the global food crisis is the displacement of large numbers of poor people for resource extraction. In order for us to live our relatively pampered lives, complete with iPods and air travel, we in the so-called First World consume more than our share of the world’s resources – oil, silver, gold, coltan, and more. To make matters worse, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) makes loans that generally line the pockets of corrupt leaders of poor countries and multinational corporations. The people pay the ultimate price through harsh structural adjustment policies and endless debt servitude" wired.com/listening_post/2008/08/retaliation-sta/

    I think this helps explain the next verse as well.
    (When the bank man comes to your door, better know you'll always be poor)
    (Bank loans and policies, they can't make our people free)
    This, to me is saying that you can't just throw money at a problem and make it go away. And it often creates more problems, more greed, more corruption, and ultimatly more poverty.

    I think the next verse is the most powerful because it really connects the Vampires title with the message.
    (You live on the blood of my people)
    (Everyone knows you've come to steal)
    (You come like the thieves in the night)
    (The whole world is ready to fight)
    Vampires are blood sucking monsters that can only come out at night. Not only do they kill, but they turn their victims into vampires as well. The myth echos real life here. In these war torn regions of Africa, entire villiages will be wiped out from a terrorist militia that have young children fighting and killing along with them. When they go into a villiage and take it over, they recruit all the surviving youth to fight for them, just like vampires. But the world is getting more aware and ready to fight back!

    I think the song offers hope and gives energy and motivation with a groove. It has a cool word-play on the title theme. After all, vampires are usually lead by a head vampire, and if you kill that one, the rest die so the myth goes.


    iNapperon February 23, 2011   Link

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