"Settle For Nothing" as written by and De La Rocha/commerford/morello/wilk....
A jail cell is freedom from the pain in my home
Hatred passed on, passed on and passed on
A world of violent rage
But it's one that I can recognise
Having never seen the colour of my father's eyes
Yes, I dwell in hell, but it's a hell that I can grip
I tried to grip my family
But I slipped

To escape from the pain in an existence mundane
I gotta nine, a sign, a set and now I gotta name

Read my writing on the wall
No-one's here to catch me when I fall
Death is on my side....suicide!

A jail cell is freedom from the pain in my home
Hatred passed on, passed on and passed on
A world of violent rage
But it's one that I can recognise
Having never seen the colour of my father's eyes
Yes, I dwell in hell, but it's a hell that I can grip
I tried to grip my family
But I slipped

To escape from the pain in an existence mundane
I gotta nine, a sign, a set and now I gotta name

Read my writing on the wall
No-one's here to catch me when I fall
Caught between my culture and the system....genocide!

Read my writing on the wall
No-one's here to catch me when I fall
If ignorance is bliss, then knock the smile off my face
Yeah!

If we don't take action now
We settle for nothing later
Settle for nothing now
And we'll settle for nothing later

If we don't take action now
We settle for nothing later
We'll settle for nothing now
And we'll settle for nothing later

If we don't take action now
We'll settle for nothing later
We settle for nothing now
And we'll settle for nothing later

If we don't take action now
We settle for nothing later
We'll settle for nothing now
And we'll settle for nothing later


Lyrics submitted by piesupreme

Settle For Nothing song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI give another vote for your average gang member.
    "To escape from the pain in an existence mundane
    I gotta 9, a sign, a set and now I gotta name "
    To get out of the average life, I've joined a gang, and it's given me respect and recognition. The "9, a sign, a set" is a dead giveaway.

    "No-one's here to catch me when I fall
    Caught between my culture and the system....genocide!"
    No family/values to stop me from falling victim, caught between the gang culture and the law system. The police vow to stomp out gangs/gang violence, it's essentially attempting genocide on the gang culture.

    "Having never seen the colour of my father's eyes
    Yes, I dwell in hell, but it's a hell that I can grip "
    I think that first line refers to how many inner city kids never know their father, and this ties into how these kinds of kids get caught up in the wrong thing. And the second line is saying that even though it's a bad way of living, it's what he can relate to. Almost self-destructive...
    anon_azon February 14, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think ive figured it out, This song is about someone from the slums in a bad family who joins a gang because he has nothing to lose, for example I got a 9 (a gun) a sign (gang symbol). Read my writing on the wall (graffiti) and the last part about if we dont take action now is that we have to fix that problem about gangs and kids who join them
    Darkdrummer1on February 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo props for settle for nothing huh?
    Oh well here's mine

    I'm interested in the progression in the chorus ('read my writing...') the end line of each moves from suicide (killing self) to genocide (killing others) to just plain depresion towards like found in opening ones eyes to the reallity. My drawn conclusion is that the bulk of the song is an example of the wrong way to live. The message pushed entirely by the end stanzas of
    If we don't take action now
    We settle for nothing later
    We'll settle for nothing now
    And we'll settle for nothing later

    So pretty Much... Take Action
    Surfsouthbayon May 08, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentif its not about politics then what aobut the line Caught between my culture and the system....genocide!
    Darkdrummer1on December 31, 2004   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song tells us about the singer past or something and about our world being an dangerous and evil place you know.... there are so many problems in our world! This song is full of hate! >.<
    Brollyhero99on November 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgood song....i enjoy it
    sporkifyon October 22, 2001   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti THINK, but don't quote me, that this song is about Zack's childhood. i read that when he went to stay with his father, who was estranged from his mother, he was locked in a room for days on end and beaten by his father, so maybe its a song about abuse, saying we have to do all we can to stop it happening
    hugh_jasson June 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAn excellent song wich maybe shows this "hatred is the only thing that is constant in my life and my main source of power" point of view. In a certain way, it (hate) is a quick and dirty way to gain some power, only the consequences are another thing. "Yes, I dwell in hell, but it's a hell that I can grip. I tried to grip my family. But I slipped."

    Wow! What great lyrics.

    Cheers...
    Mijoon August 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song...this song isn't just another political dealings Rage song...this song is pretty much about how his father tortured him and his retaliations...
    seansports811on August 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI would like to point out that I think when he keeps repeating the last four lines:

    "If we don't take action now
    We settle for nothing later
    We'll settle for nothing now
    And we'll settle for nothing later"

    ...I think the first two lines mean that if we don't do something about the problems in our society, then we'll just take them for a given later. But the second two lines are saying that we should settle for nothing, as in no settling, but instead taking what we want, our freedom. I'm not sure if any of that made sense. Hope so though.
    bmlabouton September 29, 2005   Link

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