"Boot Camp" as written by and Cornell....
I must obey the rules
I must be tame and cook
No staring at the clouds
I must stay on the ground
In clusters of the mice
The smoke is in our eyes
Like babies on display
Like angels in a cage
I must be pure and true
I must contain my views
There must be something else
There must be something good
Far away


Lyrics submitted by jt, edited by RedHotPearlJammer, SGNIN15

"Boot Camp" as written by

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Boot Camp song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI actually thought this song was about boot camp...

    How the generals (army leaders, whoever runs the thing) forces these thoughts inside your head, until that is all you believe in...

    Great song, really shows their evolution, from the heavy riffings of Badmotorfinger to the chilling, beautiful music of "Boot Camp".

    If there is a problem with the song, it's that it ends too quickly...
    T-Crashon August 09, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSoundgarden is (was) truly one of the best bands ever to record music. Cornell has a great voice.
    I feel this song is expressing a feeling of being captive to life and it's norms (or rules). 'there must be something else... something good'. Indeed.
    al1003on September 27, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe best thing about this song to go along with the lyrics is how Cornell interprets it. The "conformity" verses he sings in a very repressed and controlled manner (especially for him!). Then when he starts thing about "far away" he starts to unleash a little bit. The variance makes the song a masterpiece, IMO.
    cosmicatomicon October 03, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSeems fairly obvious, at least to me, it's about conformity, and its dangers, and how Cornell doesn't want to conform (assuming Cornell is the 'I' in the song)
    ytsejamfanon February 01, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCan anyone identify the soundbite running in the left channel at the song's beginning?
    presidentandceoon April 30, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEasily one of Soundgarden's best songs...clearly underrated.
    SndGrdnon June 18, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI must obey the rules
    I must be tame and cool
    No staring at the clouds
    I must stay on the ground

    ----------The pysche of a person assimilating to Military Boot camp. This song hits the nail on the head with my and my friends experiences, the loss of being an individual free thinking person.---------


    In clusters of the mice
    The smoke is in our eyes
    Like babies on display
    Like angels in a cage

    --------- Being in formation, marching, tear-gas chamber,most of us babies at 18 yrs old.---------


    I must be pure and true
    I must contain my views
    There must be something else
    There must be something good
    Far away

    ----------Something good is what you dream about when the night comes. When you let your guard down. Kindness, self-expression, love. It doesn't exist in bootcamp. You can only fantasize about it in the sleeping hours. Much like the way this song sounds like a dream, a lullaby for the bootcampers.----
    Cornellianon January 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's probably about living life in a way that you feel constantly depressed and trapped - like there's no way out. It's about longing for a change that you can't seem to grasp. It's such a beautiful song, and it's a great last song on the perfect last album of a the great Soundgarden. This band was too incredible for words.
    GrungeRock1991on November 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI must obey the rules ( Conform to government )
    I must be tame and cool ( Conform to society )
    No staring at the clouds ( head in the clouds Dreamers frowned upon )
    I must stay on the ground ( Be average, Do not pursue dreams, rise and
    inspire others by building up potential talents )
    In clusters of the mice ( Don't rock the boat, apathy/Let others lead )
    The smoke is in our eyes ( Daily propaganda, vote for approved others )
    Like babies on display ( Discouraged growth of our true potential )
    Like angels in a cage ( Stay Down )

    I must be pure and true ( Have to follow what's in my heart )
    I must contain my views ( Yet, I'm accomplice to my own oppression)
    There must be something else ( must be another way for us to do this )
    There must be something good ( A better way )

    Far away, far away from here X4 ( Space and time are the same, so...
    "Far away from Here" could mean 'Future'
    A long time coming )
    And I'll be here for good ( Whenever that may be, I look forward to it.
    For good For the good of us all, I'd support it. )
    _____________________________________________________________

    I don't believe it's JUST about a soldier, any particular government, Jesus, or a woman being objectified. It's about ALL of us in the insecure throes of a tribalistic bondage meant to control each other. Many have already stated the obvious foundation of this song. Conformity. Is there a motive to support this behaviour? Hmmm.

    It CAN be interpreted to fit just about anyones' {insert personal situation here}. But if you must put an individual in this interpretation, try Chris Cornell. Notice the pronoun "I" throughout the song, sharing his own perspective of this conformity in groups of 4 lines. But in the 2nd group, lines 5-8, he addresses ALL of us. He does this with ONE line.

    In line 6 he says "The smoke is in OUR eyes"

    That's my take on it.
    OH... Soundgarden has the most soulful grooves on the planet!!!
    ANiMuSoon November 29, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe last few lines express a wanting to get away from your current life into something better
    treestumpon May 09, 2002   Link

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