"The Biggest Killer in American History" as written by and Greg Graffin....
You have got your stranglers and prowlers in soft shoes. Furniture makers,
Carpenters too
Bombers and commandos, all with some lost cause
Disgruntled workers, immersed in "veritas"
But stealthily, in the land of the free, he's lurking there
Most are unaware of
The biggest killer in American history
And god shed his grace on thee
Business institutions universities

Both are quite the circus where the killer wants his way
I think of Edward Teller and his moribund reprise
Then I look to Nevada and I can't believe my eyes
It's time for him to die!

Most cannot remember minutia learned in school
It's not there on the blackboard, it's what they don't tell you
We have got a problem, it starts and ends right here
It can be defeated but you've got to face your fear

We'll join and unite and steady our sight
Then we'll put it right 'cause it's time to fight
The biggest killer in American history
And god shed his grace on thee


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"The Biggest Killer in American History" as written by Greg Graffin

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The Biggest Killer in American History song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentYes, the Edward Teller/ Nevada Lines of the song clear out the main point of the song, to understand it.

    tying it to the H-bomb. You need to know Edward Teller was very imperative and infatuated when it came to the use of the Bomb, which was indeed his creation. like a power trip, in a perspective.

    He was insistent on the use of the bomb on Japan. He highly supported the use of it.

    and you have to look at the underlying factors... the bombs just tie the song together


    The biggest killer in American history is rascim.


    this is how the lines -

    "business institutions, universities
    both are quite the circus when the killer wants his way"

    -make sense-because these lines would be really random and off the subject if the killer was the bomb.

    to ensure of this, see the lines

    "most cannot remember minutia learned in school
    it's not there on the blackboard, it's what they don't tell you
    we have got a problem, it starts and ends right here
    it can be defeated but you've got to face your fear"

    its widely iconic, especially back in the 50's and 60's that it was ambiguous for the first time how
    school children looked upon Race...

    cuz by that time, the masses of adults were rascist and brought up that way, but it always was an uncertainty in school at the time. still is, less so now. Unity! almost not quite.

    The fact the that Teller was a genius scientist .. is great and all... but that doesnt undermine what the impetus of desire was to be so insistent to proceed the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    which can be seen arbitrarily as rascism, through Tellers eyes, preconcieved judgments(rascism) along with intellect

    Rascism is the biggest killer in American History. Not the case for the word as much as religion, and ist constituents being rascism.

    Rascism caused the civil war

    this song is a difficult riddle.

    pinkfadeon May 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI Believe the right title for this song is "The Biggest killer in American history"
    blenderheadon July 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe you are right blenderhead...and it's an awesome song too!
    Hardcore_Slackeron October 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is saying that religion is The Biggest Killer in American History because so many die/kill for their religions IMO.
    Regultionon May 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song makes an allusion to edward teller, a member of the Manhatten Project and one person who has been considered the father of the atomic bomb. Not only was he imparative to its creation but also one very adament on its use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He has been a great proponent for building ever bigger bombs since, especially during the nuclear escalations of the Cold War with Russia. He is a man of the school of thought that greater nuclear force means greater safety.

    This allusion is very apparent but I don't think that Greg is suggesting that Nuclear Bombs in large or those that were dropped on Japan are the biggest killer in american history, though they certainly killed more people in two moments than anything other single action man kind has taken.

    I think the lines:
    "we have got a problem it starts and ends right here,
    it can be defeated but you've gotta face your fear"
    are very literal in the sense that it is not some particular person or entitiy (i.e. stanglers, prowlers, bombers...commandos, etc..) but rather our own fears (individually and collectively) that are the biggest killer in American history. That we are not taught to face them, and so we submit to them creating a monster of our society.

    Edward Teller is a man that is driven by fear to create greater fear in the hope that we can suppress threat.
    enforcedanarchyon June 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, considering that the US government has invaded many countries I may suggest that there are MANY "The Biggest Killer in American History" since the end of World War II according to international laws (yes, in lowercase) due to the invasion of almost every country in the world. So it would be like every president since Truman to our behated Commander in Chief.
    I would like to know the exact date of the release of the album... but what if The Biggest Killer in American History could be about US government policy about nuclear weapons?
    TheSamePersonon November 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know if this is about religion. If there were no religions in the world then there would still be war. The UAA and the AAA would still be fighting...those damn Otters.
    Topher1178on October 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes the correct title is "The Biggest Killer in American History". Referring to gambling.

    "I think of Edward Teller and his moribund reprise
    then I look to Nevada and I can't believe my eyes"

    And obviously Nevada is known around the world for
    Las Vegas, the gambling capitol of the world.
    BnothingPon January 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's saying the biggest killer is anyone who justifies killing with God blessing the nation. This relates to the atomic bomb as how the bombings were done for country and justified as protecting it.
    Krusnik02on July 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor me this song is about waging war out of fear:

    The first verse is about that ordinary people become killers when they go to war. "veritas" is latin for truth, but I think he means "the american truth", as an "absolute truth" which just isnt tue.

    The second verse is about all the social change a war brings with it. And as someone mentioned Edward Teller is one of the forefathers of the nuclear bomb. And havent they tested nuclear weapons in the nevada desert? (Moribund means "close to death" I think. So the line "I think of Edward Teller and his moribund reprise" means that the nuclear bomb was developed in the nick of time, or close to an american loss of the WWII.)


    Third verse is about the fear part.

    Im sorry for my bad english, it´s not my native language.
    appleseedsweon September 23, 2008   Link

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