"Without A Face" as written by and De La Rocha/commerford/morello/wilk....
Uh! Got no card so I got not soul
Life is prison, no parole, no control
Tha jura got my number on a wire tap
Cause I jack for similac, fuck a Cadillac
Survive one motive no hope
Cause every sidewalk I walk is like a tightrope
Yes I know my deadline sire, when my life expires
I'm sendin' paper south under tha barbed wire
Tha mother of my child will lose her mind at my grave
It's my life for their life so call it a free trade
"Por vida" and our name up on tha stall
I took a death trip when I tried ta cross tha white wall
Walk unseen past tha graves an tha gates, born without a face
One motive no hope ah, born without a face
Walk unseen past tha graves an tha gates, born without a face
One motive no hope ah, yeah, born without a face
Without a face

Yeah, I tried ta look back ta my past long lost
A blood donor ta tha land owner holocaust
Pops heart stopped, in came tha air drop
Flooded tha trench he couldn't shake tha toxic shock
Maize was all we needed ta sustain
Now her golden skin burns, insecticide rain
Ya down wit DDT yeah you know me
Raped for tha grapes, profit for tha bourgeois (?)
War tape boomin' path is Luminoso
I'm headed north like my name was kid 'Cisco
To survive one motive no hope, ah
It's hard ta breathe wit Wilson's head around my throat
Strangled and mangled another SS curtain call
When I tried ta cross tha white wall
When I tried ta cross tha white walls

Walk unseen past tha graves an tha gates, born without a face
One motive no hope ah, born without a face
Walk unseen past tha graves an tha gates, born without a face
One motive no hope ah, born without a face

You say fortify, reaction, you divide
And you say fortify, reaction, reaction
And you say fortify, reaction, reaction
You say fortify, reaction, you divide


Lyrics submitted by piesupreme, edited by Hampurius

Without A Face song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThis is one of my absolute favourite rage songs. just reading the lyrics is amazing in itself then when you listen to how they fit them into such a banging tune. Just sums up everything rage are all about.

    As written above the song is about the story of a mexican immigrant trying to send money back to his family, and the circumstances that meant he was'nt able to provide for them in his own country. The first verse seems reasonably well explained so i'll just talk about the second.

    I tried ta look back ta my past long lost
    A blood donor ta tha land owner holocaust
    Pops heart stopped, in came tha air drop,
    Flooded tha trench he couldn't shake the toxic shock

    -hes talking about how the migrant used to have a history in farming in mexico before the 'land owner holocaust' where the US dropped large amounts of DDT ( a drug to kill mosquitoes a attempt to lessen malaria in the US.) The side affect being that all mexicos crops were ruined.) Previously the mexicans had this self sustainable farming but after the DDT drops the land owners could not pay the bills with no crops to show and the land was bought by american vineyards 'raped for the grapes'

    Maize was all we needed to sustain, now her
    Golden skin burns, insecticide rain
    Ya down with DDT, yeah you know me, rapped from tha
    Grapes, profit for tha bourgeois
    War tape boomin' path is luminoso, I'm headed
    North like my name was kid cisco

    - luminiso means 'shining' in spansish. However it is a reference to Sendero Luminoso, a Maoist organisation founded in Peru in the 80's. Its goal being a cultural revolution to overthrow a government it felt was only looking after the bourgeois and the common workers. Zacks basically saying that that seems to be he only option left to the mexicans.
    Kid cisco was a fictional charchter that headed north from mexico into the US.

    To survive one motiveno hope, it's hard ta
    Breathe wit Wilson's hand around
    My throat

    -reminding us that all these problems were caused by the US's actions.

    Strangled and mangled another SS
    Curtain call, when I tried ta cross
    Tha white wall

    obviously, comparing the wall to the berlin wall.

    hope that helps. love this tune.
    andoni10on July 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song was written in response to the building of a wall, constructed as soon as the Berlin wall fell, between the border of the US and Mexico. there is a history of conflicts along this border concerning immigration. 'wilson's hand round my throat' refers to the republican governor who campaigned entirely on an anti-immigration platform. there are various references here to Latin history &culture, like 'path is Luminoso' which refers to the Shining Path, a revolutionary group in Peru, or Kid Cisco, a Mexican cowboyish type of hero among others.
    deltajoyon January 25, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"They say that as soon as the wall in Germany fell that the US government was busy building another one at the border between the US and Mexico. Since 1986 as a result of a lot of the hate talk and histeriam that the government of the United States has been speaking, 1500 bodies have been found on the border. We wrote this song in response to it. It's called Without a Face."
    -Zack de la Rocha (Live & Rare album)
    blind_rockstaron November 16, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is a great example of Rage lyrics at their finest. The song's about an illegal Mexican immigrant working in the US to send money back home to his family.

    The lyrics are fucking amazing in this song. "I jack for Similac, fuck a Cadillac" refers to not even being able to think about owning a car and having to steal for something as basic as baby formula.

    One of my favorite lyrics of all time is "It's my life for their life, so call it a free trade." Free trade referring to a free market or capitalist economy, but he uses word play to point out that the immigrant is trading his life to keep his family alive (at the same time pointing out that illegal immigrants, as well as lower class people, remain in poverty in order to maintain class systems that keep capitalist societies afloat).

    Pure fucking genius.
    NoUse4AUsernameon January 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow you know a lot. i love the drums in the chorus of this song.
    killsforpieon August 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is definetely about the holocaust," Strangled and mangled another SS ",an SS was a nazi soldier in a concentration camp,"Walk unseen past tha graves and tha gates",walking past the crematories and the gates out of the concentration camp,trying not to be seen in fear of death, and when ur in a concentration camp,you have absolutely no say,"born
    Without a face "...
    asshole24on May 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno, delta joy is right, because if you had "Live and Rare" that's exactly what he says before they play it. well, more or less
    NotoriousGREGon June 11, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentya it isnt bout the hollocust but the line refering to the SS is prb comparing naiz to republicans, capitalist etc.
    Op Ivy Skankeron May 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnouse4ausername is rite about it being about an illegal mexican "got no card so i got no soul" and i think the free trade bit is about nafta and how mexican framers are losing their land because of nafta
    unfranchisedon February 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is not about the holocaust or Berlin.....it is about mexican migrant workers and illegal aliens. All of the lyrics below point to this......

    "Got no card so I got no soul, life is prison no"
    -Obvious green card reference

    "So I'm sendin' paper south under tha barbed wire"
    -Concerns sending money back across the border to family

    "I took a death trip when I tried ta cross tha
    White wall"
    -Mostly white americans live behind the "white" wall of the border.....Master state vs. Slave state....US vs. MX

    "Maize was all we needed to sustain, now her
    Golden skin burns, insecticide rain"
    -Maize was a staple, pre-european, grain crop in mexico, i.e. corn......mexican skin tone, ecological problems of mexican expansion

    "To survive one motiveno hope, it's hard ta
    Breathe wit Wilson's hand around
    My throat"
    - Reference to then govenor of California Pete Wilson
    elton34on September 27, 2006   Link

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