You gotta keep 'em separated

Like the latest fashion
Like a spreading disease
The kids are strappin' on their way to the classroom
Getting weapons with the greatest of ease

The gangs stake their own campus locales
And if they catch you slippin' then it's all over pal
If one guy's colors and the other's don't mix
They're gonna bash it up

Hey man you talkin' back to me?
Take him out
You gotta keep 'em separated
Hey man you disrespecting me?
Take him out
You gotta keep 'em separated
Hey they don't pay no mind
If you're under 18 you won't be doing any time
Hey come out and play

By the time you hear the siren
It's already too late
One goes to the morgue and the other to jail
One guy's wasted and the other's a waste

It goes down the same as a thousand before
No one's getting smarter
No one's learning the score
Your never ending spree of death a violence and hate
Is gonna tie your own rope


Lyrics submitted by sawg

Come Out And Play song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentThere's a lot more to this song than what you're just hearing. It's very in tune with the gang culture of California.

    "You gotta keep 'em separated!" - that's a play on the Mexican gang OGs. They run the gangs on the street level, that's how the Mexican bangers talk. It's pretty much an exclusive accent to the West Coast. You probably won't hear that out in Colorado or West Virginia. It's also funny because it's the same mentality used in the penitentiaries, separated by race.

    "Take him out" - that's also a play on the gangs. As I mentioned previously, there is social pressure from the gangs for kids to do shit. So "take him out" is like an order. I've lived in shitty areas and I've literally seen a kid laying in his own blood from getting shot - a Mexican lowrider was blocked off by the police - it was next to a notorious local gang club - where all the MS13 hung out at. The older guys give the kids orders. The kids all fight each other too, even within the gang. "You're under 18 you won't be doing any time" is something the older guys that have been to prison tell the younger kids - even without the older guys, it's the mentality among the gangs.

    "Come out and play!" - Sometimes the gangs will literally go to someones house, to their front yard and call them out. The lifestyle is called "a game", but it's not a game, it's real life. So this is how these kids are playing, by killing each other.

    I actually lived in the murder capital of the US in 1993, which was San Bernadino. People got shot there all the time. The early 90's was the height of Southern California gang violence. It's spread though, now, up North more - so now it occupies almost every major city on the West Coast.

    "Getting weapons with the greatest of ease" - in areas like this, it's so easy for kids to get guns.

    "The gangs stake their own campus locales" - that's the gang turf. Don't go there if you're not part of the gang.

    "And if they catch you slippin' then it's all over pal
    If one guy's colors and the other's don't mix" - if the gangs sense any sort of fear in you, or think that you don't belong in the area, you're going to get hurt. If you so much as look at someone wrong, you're being disrespectful. So many people get killed for being mistaken as rival gang members. A lot of the times for the gangs it's just about seeking out that thrill. I've known people that were unaffiliated, walking home at night, a car pulls up on them while they're on the corner, rolls down the window, and blows their head off. I've heard of innocent girls getting shot too, just by poorly aimed bullets. I've almost been shot myself walking home from work.

    It's a huge cultural difference between these areas and the rest of the United States. It's almost normalized, but you would all know the difference like night and day if it were suddenly one day injected into your community.

    It's a great song, but really sad.
    KidsOfTheBlackHoleon September 09, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song is just simply about Tide detergent and bleach like so you don't mix the whites with the darks... gotta keep em separated. that's all.
    pairanoydaon May 16, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard this song on the radio many times before I actually payed attention to the lyrics. I just think this is completely not what you'd expect. The song sounds so upbeat and happy, but...nope.
    Phyxiuson April 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's not so much about gang violence nowadays anyway... this was written a while ago...

    although it definitly makes referances to gang violence "colors"... it also really hits home if you think about it in terms of school violence. " iThe kids are strappin' on their way to the classroom " ... look at it that way, and thought it was wierd how this song was around long before the recent waves of school violence.

    the best part in the song goes..."One goes to the morgue and the other to jail
    One guy's wasted and the other's a waste" it's so true.
    ibejocoolon May 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the Offspring's best songs. They are not afraid of writing songs about serious issues like most pop-punk bands are.
    IanoDublinon June 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    rockerchick5on July 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti always thought that this song was about violence in school...
    lala5fenderchikon August 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"By the time you hear the siren
    It's already too late
    One goes to the morgue and the other to jail
    One guy's wasted and the other's a waste"

    So true...killer song
    Gentle_Demon17on August 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWierd, this is the biggest that ever has (and probally ever will) happen to offspring. Not to say it is the best, but it is infact the most famous, as far as airplay and sales go. I'm suprised that the song Crossroads which the average fan has no clue exists due to the fact that most don't know anything before smash(and probally after) has over 10k views and plenty of comments. This one only has 10 comments counting this one and roughly 600 views. Very strange. Nice song though, catchy lyrics and nice riffs.
    zps2on September 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wanna say this: this song reminds me of Original Prankster. My reason? Serious subject matter, with a fun cathy tune. My question: why do you people love this song, but hate the other? Just because the one is new, and came out on a major label is my guess...
    fuckyouallon May 13, 2003   Link

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