"Robin Hood in Reverse" as written by Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz....
Here is the church
There is the steeple
Open up the door
Corporations are people
Wait what did he say?
What the fuck did he say?

It couldn't last
They had to crash
Some parties are just made that way
But when the bell rings
The boys will sing
Swing low sweet precariat

Let's say we try to get this right
Said the plutocrat to Jesus Christ
And when the old fox fearing the worst
Made his entrance in a hearse
Then the nine in black robes all went berserk
This is a tale of robin hood in reverse

Citizens united
I was excited
When the kids are united they can never be divided
But that was yesterday
There's a brand new sham to today

Let's say we try to get this right
Said the plutocrat to Jesus Christ
And when the old fox fearing the worst
Made his entrance in a hearse
Then the nine in black robes all went berserk
This is a tale of robin hood in reverse

Let's say we try to get this right
Said the plutocrat to Jesus Christ
And when the old fox fearing the worst
Made his entrance in a hearse
Then the nine in black robes all went berserk
This is a tale of robin hood in reverse
This is a tale of robin hood in reverse


Lyrics submitted by MIKERUPTION

"Robin Hood in Reverse" as written by Brett Gurewitz Greg Graffin

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

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Robin Hood in Reverse song meanings
Add your thoughts

8 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentEveryone has already posted the obvious financial meaning behind the song, but am I the only one who thinks when he says the "old fox", he is referring to Robin Hood, who was portrayed as a young fox in the classic children's cartoon? Remember the Robin Hood cartoon where they were all animals? Robin Hood was a young literal fox who robbed from the rich to give to the poor. Now the "old fox fearing the worst" is witnessing the rich stealing from the poor? Robin Hood in reverse as I see it...
    Marskelletoron September 11, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOpen up the door
    Corporations are people
    Wait what did he say?
    -Citizens United Decision 558 U.S. 310 (2010)

    It couldn't last
    They had to crash
    Some partys are just made that way
    But when the bell rings
    The boys will sing
    Swing low sweet precariat
    -Sounds like this is referring to the collapse of the Keynesian style global economy, and the last part sounds like it's referring to the poor/economically exploited as the precariat, who are the driving force of all industry but also the most helpless to change or benefit from it.

    Citizens united
    I was excited
    When the kids are united they can never be divided
    But that was yesterday
    There's a brand new sham to today
    -Seems like a comparison between the citizens united decision, and the early "equality" philosophy that punk rock embraced and how they're just vehicles for people with far less nobel intentions, also maybe how good ideals are often exploited by people with insidious agendas?

    Let's say we try to get this right
    Said the plutocrat to jesus christ
    Snd when the old fox fearing the worst
    Made his entrance in a hearse
    Then the nine in black robes all went berserk
    This is a tale of robin hood in reverse
    -I'm less sure about the specifics of this one outside the obvious reference to the supreme court, I'm not sure if the plutocrat is someone specific, or just a reference to how those in power use religion to attain their goals. I can't really decide if the
    old fox" is specifically a reference to ..maybe ron paul or some other older proponent of austrian economics, or just a reference to the older ideas of sound money, and maintaining wellbeing through economic equality and forgoing all the war profiteering, propaganda, political dogma over reason, etc
    travymurdron February 03, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Then the nine in black robes all went berserk." Ringwraiths are coming, quickly, get off the road!
    JakkStanon February 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaningfirst of all, great song, and a very 'signature' Bad Religion song

    I think travymurdron has most of the key themes laid out pretty well. I'd just like to add the following:

    the passage that goes:

    "When the kids are united they can never be divided
    But that was yesterday
    There's a brand new sham to today"

    is more a nod to the past and clever wordplay more than anything...the first line is a famous lyric from a Sham 69 song. and then of course he notes that it is (unfortunately) not THAT kinda sham today that we face today

    the part that goes:

    "Let's say we try to get this right
    Said the plutocrat to Jesus Christ
    And when the old fox fearing the worst
    Made his entrance in a hearse
    Then the nine in black robes all went berserk
    This is a tale of robin hood in reverse"

    the first two lines he is echoing/reinforcing the sentiment from verse one...a plutocrat is one who obtains political power thru sheer wealth...it could well be a refernece to Mitt Romney or simply a more general comment on how horribly twisted and intertwined religion, politics and money have become in American politics. The 'old fox' I dunno, I thought of Rupert Murdoch (Fox News creator/owner and a corrupt piece of shit) but that might be a reach. The '9 in black' are the supreme court and the robin hood reference is obvious (but very apt) I think. Great song
    snurkleon March 23, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThe line about the old fox arriving in a hearse was driving me nuts, so, I did some reading up . . .

    Citizens United is initially talking about Obama's campaign (where GG says he's excited) but then that term was co-opted by the Citizens United group that sued the Federal Election Commission about corporations being "people" - obviously then the later comment of it being a "sham" today.

    "Citizens United" also believes that God should be brought back into American politics. They funded the two movies with Gingrich about such an atrocity. So, when GG refers to the old fox fearing the worst, he's got to be talking about "Jesus" (and I mean Jesus in the organized religious version, not the historical/ philosophical one) and that line directly follows the reference to Jesus.

    I'm left with the idea that this is the religious right (as Jesus, posthumously) rearing it's ugly head fearing that they will be left out of American politics so they "show up in a hearse" to make the Supreme Court go beserk thereby making this crazy ruling of corporations being people.

    Just my two cents, but the entirety of the song made much more sense to me once I looked at it through that looking glass.
    marysbon May 01, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me this song is mainly about the bail-out of private banks in the recent financial-crisis.

    In the first verse, the church is the state, the steeple are the people and the corporations are made to people, which the state now have to care for. (other poster also stated that it was made into law) It's a sign that certain corporations/ banks are connected to the state.

    The next verse refers to the bubble the financial sector created; party means, they benefited from it. "When the bell rings" means when it finally comes to an end - but I am not sure if the boys are a specific group of people. I guess they are a protesting part of the steeple, who wants the corporations/ banks to be humble.

    In the chorus the plutocrat is .. a plutocrat, who says to Jesus Christ, which is either the (head of) state or a metaphor for that the plutocrat is trying to exculpate from the mess he has created. (the expiation can be meant real or not ("Let's say we get ..."))
    The old fox is a bankrupt company. Old fox means it once seeked profit without carying for casualties. It then fears to get no help from the state, but tries to convince/ shock them by appearing dead.
    The nine in black robes are the U.S supreme court, which then allowes help for them.
    The title is Robin Hood in Reverse, because the robbers were helped/ rescued by the victims of their actions.

    The citizen united verse is about how the public today is divided and don't fight against the harm the state and the "robbers" commit on them.
    Brand new sham can be also related how the state/ robbers create other topics to distract the people and have them the bail-outs soon forget.


    Sorry for bad language/ wording.
    Nyimon May 12, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about Obama destroying our nation with his plan to be the hitler of today's this age. We are all slaves of the government
    Cartymanon September 13, 2014   Link
  • -2
    General CommentMitt Romney and super pacs 'nuff said.
    DrQuorgeon February 02, 2013   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain