"Black Gold" as written by and David Pirner....
Two boys on a playground
Tryin' to push each other down
See the crowd gather 'round
Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd

Black gold in a white plight
Won't you fill up the tank, let's go for a ride
I don't care 'bout no wheelchair
I've got so much left to do with my life

Moving backwards through time
Never learn, never mind
That side's yours, this side's mine
Brother you ain't my kind

You're a black soldier, white fight
Won't you fill up the tank, let's go for a ride
Sure like to feel some pride
But this place just makes me feel sad inside

Mother, do you know where your kids are tonight?

Keeps the kids off the streets
Gives 'em something to do, something to eat
This spot was a playground
This flat land used to be a town

Black gold in a white plight
Won't you fill up the tank, let's go for a ride
Sure like to feel some pride
But this place just makes me feel sad inside

Black gold in a white plight
Won't you fill up the tank, let's go for a ride
I don't care 'bout no wheelchair
I've got so much left to do with my life


Lyrics submitted by chronoso

"Black Gold" as written by David Anthony Pirner David Pirner

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Black Gold song meanings
Add your thoughts

18 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +3
    General CommentI believe this is a song about the Gulf War. It seems th be from the perspective of a disabled soldier, a black soldier in a white fight. Meaning he felt he was an under privilaged means to line the pocketbooks of the rich with even more money.... and for what? To fill up the tank and go for a ride. He'd like to be proud of the work he did as a soldier of this country, but he in hindsight realises the ends don't always justify the means (this spot was a playground, this flat land used to be a town) And further trivializes the dispute to the likeness of children fighting on a playground. I believe it is about someone who feels that they were used, and is kinda pissed about it.
    funkthagrideon September 14, 2007   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI always interpreted it as being about the Gulf War. Seemed obvious to me. While bombast's interpretation is interesting, and I always enjoy looking at songs in a new light, I definitely don't look at the song as being about that.
    zimdelinvasoron January 12, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYep, Oil and the Gulf War..."2 kids on a play ground...tryin to push each other 'round...see the crowd gather round...." is USA and Iraq.
    Custerfluxon December 25, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYes, this is an incredible song. And I had always thought about it as a gulf war song. I don't think the lyrics above are exactly correct. It seems to also be about racism, black soldiers fighting a racist war for oil. And there seems to be a wounded vet in a wheelchair who functions as the conscience of the song.
    LAXileon February 19, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe meaning of the song has been the topic of many debates. Some fans state that it simply is about racism and/or black soldiers fighting in a war ("You're a black soldier, white fight"). Other disagree and claim it is about the greed for oil (Black Gold is another term for oil). One other theory maintains that it is about the Gulf War and the obvious references to the Persian Gulf in the music video supports this theory. Dave Pirner is shown in the reflection of a pool which mirrors the shape of the Persian Gulf. Many lyrics from the song do match this idea. The lyrics "Two boys on a playground/trying to push each other down" could possibly mean the USA and Iraq fighting over "Black Gold". It has been theorized that the lines "Keeps the kids off the streets/gives 'em something to do, something to eat" could mean young men and women ("kids") joining the military. And there is the fact that at about 1:56 various noises are heard: ambulance sirens, screams, cries, and what appears to be a news cast, which could represent the war. Pirner himself stated that the song was about war at the Dogwood Festival in Fayetteville, NC on April 24, 2010. He also stated that he was against war.
    Read more at songmeanings.net/songs/view/51471/
    esmjlm080507on January 03, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOnly one other comment!!! Damn, this song has become a lost treasure.
    Foundation4lifeon February 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe songs meaning is simple. Its about the gulf war. Its just a political song. Think!!! black gold is another word for oil. Morons!!!
    philibustahon May 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBest Soul Asylum song. This band is sooooo underrated. Pirner is a genius.
    ebowtheletteron May 30, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGulf War? A change in someone's life? I thought it was about racism...and oil and...I have no idea dude.
    Alyssa_Jones37on February 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is a great song. Kind of weird that I find this is a perfect road trip song, yet its meaning is a tad depressing.
    gocubsgo708on December 07, 2008   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain