"So American" as written by and John Baldwin Gourley....
If pain was a color to paint on you
Your heart would be the color blue
Be a gradient from there Until your body met your hair
Which remained a silver

You are the one they call Jesus Christ
Who didn't know no rock n' roll
Just a mission, and a gun to paint rainbows in Vietnam
And a heart that always told you

There's madness in us all
There's madness in us all

So, who wrote the rules?
Who wrote the rules, who wrote the rules?

They said, every one of you will never try to lend a hand
When the police men don't understand
Boys, all you boys, you think it's so American
Girls, all you girls, yeah, you're so American

He may not be born of this land
But he was born of this world
He was born of all the mothers and the colors of our brothers
And the love that was started

You are the one they call Jesus Christ
Who may not know no rock n' roll
And there may not be a Heaven
Or a place of which to send you
But you know in the end

There's madness in us all
There's madness in us all
There's madness in us all
There's madness in us all

So, who wrote the rules?
Who wrote the rules, who wrote the rules?

They said, every one of you will never try to lend a hand
When the police men don't understand
Boys, all you boys, you think it's so American
Girls, all you girls, yeah, you're so American

There's two eyes for every one of us
But somebody got there first and took them all
There's two eyes for every one of us
But somebody got there first and took them all

Man, oh man, you think it's so American
Man, oh man, yeah, you're so American
Man, oh man, you think it's so American
Man, oh man, yeah, you're so American

There's two eyes for every one of us
But somebody got there first and took them all
There's two eyes for every one of us
But somebody got there first and took them all


Lyrics submitted by DrShinLoungKim

"So American" as written by John Baldwin Gourley

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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So American song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentThis song has dick-all to do with Obama. It's about the way that the band sees reality. There are many people that literally believe that all is one. We're all just incarnations of an infinite, perfect being experiencing itself subjectively so that it can understand imperfection. This belief gives a rational basis to many of the things that Jesus said and did. "I and the Father are one" - since oneness is the nature of all reality this makes perfect sense. When PTM sing of "you are the one they call Jesus Christ" they are talking to you; literally. You and the Father are one also - you just don't realize it. Jesus did. Whether or not this is true of not is basically unprovable "there may not be a heaven or a place in which to send you buy you know that end the end there's a madness in us all."

    Now take this worldview and idea of Jesus and compare it to what gets passed around as Christianity in America nowadays. To be a "Real American Christian" one need only be white and say the words "praise Jesus" - actually acting like Jesus is hippie-liberal bullshit. The singer sees so many Sarah Palin-style Christians (they are from the same town ya know) glorifying war, despising the poor and using their faith in Jesus as justification to hate people. The whole tone of the song isn't one of anger though - it's one of bemusement and pity. "You think you're so American." He's seeing people who are not seeing. "There's two eyes for every one of us, but someone got there first and took them all." He's saying that the ability to become realized, to feel that love and connection that comes with it is within us all if we could just see, but we're raised to conform to a culture that has lost its way.
    ghosttrainhoboon October 12, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIf pain was a color to paint on you
    your heart would be the color blue
    it would be a gradient from there till your body met your hair
    which would remain a silver hue
    you are the one they call Jesus Christ
    didn't know no rock and roll
    just a mission and a gun to paint rainbows in Vietnam
    and a heart that always told you there's a madness in us all
    there's a madness in us all

    so who broke the rules?
    who broke the rules?
    who broke the rules?

    they said every one of you will never try to lend a hand
    when the policemen don't understand

    boys, all you boys
    think it's so American
    girls, all you girls
    yeah, you're so American

    he may not be born of this land
    but he was born of this world
    he was born of all the mothers and the colors of our brothers
    and the love that was taught to
    you by the one they call Jesus Christ
    he may not know no rock and roll
    and there may not be a heaven or a place of which to send you
    but you know in the end, there's a madness in us all
    there's a madness in us all
    there's a madness in us all
    there's a madness in us all

    so who broke the rules?
    who broke the rules?
    who broke the rules?

    they said every one of you will never try to lend a hand
    when the policemen don't understand

    boys, all you boys
    think it's so American
    girls, all you girls
    yeah, you're so American

    there's two eyes for every one of us
    but somebody got there first and took them all
    (x2)

    man, oh man
    you think it's so American
    man, oh man.
    yeah, you're so American
    (x2)

    there's two eyes for every one of us
    but somebody got there first and took them all
    (x2)
    myherson July 21, 2011   Link
  • +2
    Lyric Correctionif pain was a color to paint on you
    your heart would be the color blue
    it would be a gradient from there till your body met your hair
    which remained a silver hue
    you are the one they call jesus christ
    didn't know no rock n roll
    just a mission and a gun to paint rainbows in vietnam
    and a heart that always told you there's a madness in us all
    there's a madness in us all

    so who broke the rules
    who broke the rules
    who broke the rules

    they said every one of (you) would never try to lend a hand
    when the policemen don't understand

    boys all you boys
    think it's so American
    girls all you girls
    yeah you're so American

    he may not be born of this land
    but he was born of this world
    he was born of all the mothers and the colors of our brothers
    and the love that was taught to
    you by the one they call jesus christ
    he may not know no rock n roll
    and there may not be a heaven or a place of which to send you
    but you know in the end there's a madness in us all
    there's a madness in us all
    there's a madness in us all
    there's a madness in us all

    so who broke the rules
    who broke the rules
    who broke the rules

    they said every one of (you) would never try to lend a hand
    when the policemen don't understand

    boys all you boys
    think it's so American
    girls all you girls
    yeah you're so American

    there's two eyes for every one of us
    but somebody got there first and took them all
    there's two eyes for every one of us
    but somebody got there first and took them all

    man oh man
    you think it's so american
    man oh man
    yeah you're so american
    man oh man
    you think it's so american
    man oh man
    yeah you're so american

    there's two eyes for every one of us
    but somebody got there first and took them all
    there's two eyes for every one of us
    but somebody got there first and took them all

    [lyrics taken from the inside vinyl cover]
    Singaporeon July 26, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning"just a mission and a gun to paint rainbows in vietnam
    and a heart that always told you there's a madness in us all"

    I think that the first verse has to do with americans thinking that the american way must be spread. we go in thinking yeah, we're so american we're badass everybody wants to be like us and if they dont want to be we'll show them how awesome we are with our guns and tanks till they want to be just like us.
    we invade countries and try to pass on the american way.

    "he may not be born of this land
    but he was born of this world
    he was born of all the mothers and the colors of our brothers
    and the love that was taught to
    you by the one they call jesus christ"

    the second verse goes deeper than obama as thefoxkyle suggested. this verse is saying that america is a multinational nation. yet each of us has been guilty of hating our fellow brother due to his skin color, his nationality. we see somebody with dark tan skin and think 'is he a terrorist?' we look at foreigners with hateful eyes. we dont look at them as we look at ourselves, as human beings. however we know this to be false as they were born on this same planet of the love that is universal in every home.

    "they said every one of you will never try to lend a hand
    when the policemen don't understand"

    i believe this has a personal, and group message in it. on a personal level, its saying that when we see for example, the police beating a homeless man to death, we wont stop the police. nobody will object or help. who will speak up against the police? maybe not the best example, its saying when we see our brother from india being hassled by an officer, being unfairly searched, just because of his pigment, that we will just let this slide, and chock it up to this is america. thats the american way.


    "there's two eyes for every one of us
    but somebody got there first and took them all"

    we all have the ability to see these truths, but somebody blinded us in our childhood, taught us hate, and prejudice, taught us that our brothers were not our brothers because they believe differently or love differently or even just look differently. taught us that america is #1!!! and that we should push our ideals everywhere else we walk.

    this song is just an attempt to wake a few people up. its a slap in the face at american idealism. and an attempt to remind you that jesus christ taught you to love everybody and that not one of us here in america remembers the parables we learned in sunday school

    morningson August 20, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthanks myhers and singapore, your interpretations seem accurate. Here is a breakdown of the guitar if anyone is interested...

    Key of C

    (Verse : note proper theory is a em for C major scale though E major sounds like what they play)
    C - E - Am - D

    theres a madness in us all - theres a madness in us all
    - F -C -F -C
    Pre chorus
    So who broke the rules - who broke the rules - who broke the rules, they said
    C - E - Am

    everyone of you will never try to lend when the policemen dont understand
    F - C - E - D

    Chorus (boys all you boys)
    C - E - Am - G
    wooleymothon April 15, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation__You are the one they call Jesus Christ.
    __Who didn't know no rock and roll.
    __Just a mission made of guns that they give boys in Vietnam
    __But they always told him

    Really love this one, being called by them "Jesus Christ" would imply a martyr, savior, leader by example to virtue and righteousness. To not know rock and roll, implies a contradiction or disconnection to the "youth" in a broadstrokes kind of way.. you didn't know how to "get down" be cool, roll with it. But you did know the mission, the calling, to war, destruction, conquest.. They always told you of the madness that is within you, within all of us. This is how you come to know your agression. evil side.

    __There's a madness in us all.
    __There's a madness in us all.

    __So who broke the rules?
    __Who broke the rules?
    __Who broke the rules? hey

    Looking for a fall person, the empirically wrong individual, someone must have broken a rule.. for this situation to come to fruition.. that where The Messiah has become a man handing out guns to children in Vietnam (in this example). Something here has created a major point of confusion.

    __They said
    __Every one of you will never try to lend a hand
    __When the police men don't understand.

    When the individuals that ought to be assumed to know the law, right from wrong, good from bad, are without the enlightenment -understanding- direction, "you" will remain frozen, and not willing to attempt to provide the direction, the law, the framework for that which is correct, virtuous.

    __Oh tell your boys, all you boys
    __Think you're so American.
    __Girls, all you girls
    __They're so American.

    Historically Americans stand for much of that which is just, free, and virtuous (this is what the girls and boys think they are). But perhaps we are only American now in the most contemporary form, a confused, corrupt, misguided power, one of imperialism, greed, self love, lack of diplomacy.
    aaronron June 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf anybody wants to help me figure out some of the ?'s in there please feel free to drop some suggestions as to what you think they are.

    "There's two eyes for every one of us
    But somebody got their purse(?) and took them all"

    It sounds like he's saying exactly this, but for some reason I don't think he's saying "purse". He very well could be.

    There's a couple lines that I just had zero idea what he was saying, hence the ?'s. This is all based off of live recordings of the song.
    DrShinLoungKimon July 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim not sure but i hear "just a mission made of guns that they give boys in vietnam"

    but damn what an album! definitely up there as one of there best.
    Polaroidskieson July 12, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAwww Chingy Chang Chong!

    Aaaa thaaaankkk you vedddy much! I love the Portugar The Man. But I WILL NEVA BUY CD. MY FATHA ALWAYS TELL ME "SHIN YOU NEVER BUY CD". So I never buy cd EVA AGAIN.

    DrShinLoungKimon August 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think buying the album is showing support. if you buy it from them directly, its giving them support, not itunes or something.
    dm.tymon August 12, 2011   Link

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