"Killing In The Name" as written by and De La Rocha/commerford/morello/wilk....
Killing in the name of

Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses

Killing in the name of
Killing in the name of

And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
But now you do what they told ya
Well now you do what they told ya

Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites

Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses

Killing in the name of
Killing in the name of

And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya

Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Come on!

Yeah! Come on!

Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Motherfucker


Lyrics submitted by piesupreme

Killing In The Name song meanings
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222 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentI advise anyone who is trying to figure out lyrics to listen half speed before jumping to conclusions. Another good trick is to watch some live video of the song and actually read their lips. Not always correct, as they sometimes change lyrics live, but useful. An example. The lyric is definitely "Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses". Live, he sometimes says "Some of those that burn crosses, are the same that hold office". "Wearing the (also "a" and "you're") badge and you've chosen white". "Wearing a badge and you're clothed in white".

    My interpretation... be wary of authority. It can be immoral. Bigots can be anywhere. In political office, in the fire and police departments, schools, etc. Wearing a badge, of course, denotes authority (police, FBI, DEA, whatever). Clothed in white alludes to the cross-burning Ku Klux Klan. Chosen white is a metaphor for choosing the "good guys" or societal norms. Engaging in bigotry because you embrace the laws and rules which are inherently bigoted, without questioning their morality. The protagonist announces he can see through the deception. He's enlightened, and disagrees with the injustice he sees. He's going to play by his own rules.
    twistedcrosson June 18, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentOk, no offense, but everyone here is wrong. It is not "burn crosses" it is "bore crosses". The lyrics are "some of those that were forces are the same that bore crosses". The song is not about police brutality or the KKK or anything like that. It's about people killing in the name of god, or religion. It is saying that some of those that were forces (in the military) are the same that wear crosses (subscribe to Christianity), and how it's hypocritical for someone who claims to be a Christian to kill people. And when they die, their cross acts like a badge, proclaiming them to be the "chosen whites", and so the whole thing is considered justified. It's really pretty easy to figure out, too bad the site has the wrong lyrics.
    flamebroiledchickenon July 01, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is saying so no to the gov, and how the white man controls. you think gov as our best intrest think again, because behine close doors there ploting evil. destorying or civil rights. ( fuck you i won't do what you tell me).
    spanishrockon June 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDid anyone hear this song for the first time, stop, and go 'Whoa. What/who the fuck is that ?'. (I was in a record store during my lunch hour in early 1993). This song had a bigger impact on me the first time I heard it than any other song I've ever heard (and it's not even close to my favourite song, even tho it's a great one & I do like it a lot).

    It just made you stop & listen. So much simmering anger at the start, culminating in a definitive & defiant "No".

    Powerful.
    MistahBungleon December 18, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song is about how members of the KKK are also working for the police/government. There are white power racist bigots in positions of power. They can kill black men and get away with it because they are white and wearing the police badge. Similarly, if they get killed in the line of duty by a black man, society automatically sides with them because they are white and wearing the police badge--so they must be justified, right?
    livelikeiton November 13, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentActually, the line a few of you are referring to says:

    "Some of those that WORK forces, are the same that burn crosses".

    Like deltajoy said, it's not just about police brutality either. White supremists are everywhere including the police force, the military, etc etc.
    Mermaidtreeon April 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about how cops ignore and even cover-up hate crimes, because they either agree with, or collaborate with, the murderers.
    Jigokusabreon April 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdelta joy i agree with you on the idea of what the song is about, but on a rather political note, what the fuck are you talking about... with mumia abu jamal, he is a convicted cop killer, there is nothing else to it, where was the police brutality or discrimination in that?
    LiveUrLifeon April 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI completely agree with Mermaidtree on the meaning of this song...very well put...and the lyrics you can clearly hear him say those lyrics in the song
    thanks
    KOOLKRISon April 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song appears under two different names. Depending on whether you look at the album tracklist, the single or compilations etc, it is either Killing in the Name, or Killing in the Name Of.
    randygophron April 30, 2002   Link

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