Uh! Ya too rude!
Uh! Eh! Oh what a rat race!
Oh, what a rat race!
Oh, what a rat race!
This is the rat race! Rat race!
(Rat race!) (Rat race!)

Some a lawful, some a bastard, some a jacket
Oh, what a rat race, yeah!
Rat race!
Some a gorgon-a, some a hooligan-a, some a guine-gog-a
In this 'ere rat race, yeah!
Rat race!

I'm singin' that
When the cat's away
The mice will play
Political violence fill ya city, ye-ah!
Don't involve rasta in your say say
Rasta don't work for no CIA

Rat race
Rat race, rat race yeah!
Rat race, I'm sayin'
When you think is peace and safety
A sudden destruction
Collective security for surety, ye-ah!

Don't forget your history
Know your destiny
In the abundance of water
The fool is thirsty
Rat race
Rat race
Rat race

Rat race!
Oh, it's a disgrace
To see the human race
In a rat race, yeah

Rat race!
You got the horse race
You got the dog race
You got the human-race
But this is a rat race
Rat race!


Lyrics submitted by spliphstar

"Rat Race" as written by Rita Marley

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.,

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Rat Race song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThe song is about the political race that politicians engage in to achieve power. It is a dirty, self-interested and totally inhuman, not philosophical, not spiritual, not intellectual quest for power. Politicians fight for power, but forget that it should be for the good of the people they will lead and serve.
    ROon February 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentat the end i think bob is comparing all these races to show that anything would be better than the type of race that humans are in. like it would be better to be some kind of animal than to continue in the rat race we are in. the whole song is awesome tho.
    supermarleyfan1on February 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe humans have great potential and Marley knew it. If we'd stop fussin' 'n fightin' we might get a chance to develop ourself, yes, in the spiritual sence.
    Info_Don February 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about them watching over use making sure we don't dissent. They know exactly which way we are headed, like watching rats in a maze from the cutaway top. Political violence causes dissent. Vietnam, the civil rights era, current issues. But "Rasta don't work for no CIA". I'm gonna tell them what I want. My favorite line.
    pellacanon March 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRO is completely right about the politricks and the just inhuman disrespect they have towards mankind.
    This song proves that Bob knew that the C.I.A. was watching him. The C.I.A. during that time was heavily active in the J.L.P. and was doing everything in their power to make sure Edward Seaga was going to get elected (even if it meant silencing Bob and any other opposing force)

    "Rasta Dont Work For No C.I.A."

    R.I.P. Robert Nesta Marley
    Steppingrazoron December 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe song has much deeper meaning especially if you are someone who believes in the coming kingdom of God. The first verse addresses the leaders of military juntas and corrupt democracies, the ones some call the 3rd world. The line "when the cat is away, the mice will play" carried the same meaning as the verse in the book of revelations that call Christ "the prince of the kings of this world". All men in political power work for Him but as He is away at the moment they just act the way they please, acting like animals. Like rats in a rat race; fighting,killing,oppressing.


    The second verse addresses the leaders of the so called developed world with their treaties and alliances and all the trappings the think guarantees their national security. The line "dont forget your history, know your destiny" is to remind them that all great and mighty empires of the past have fallen and if they will be honest with themselves their nations will fall too. It is far better to look forward and work for the coming kingdom of God that will last forever for "when they cry peace and safety a sudden destruction overtakes them"

    It is a very deep song pointing all men to things greater than themselves.
    ScribbledInk1975on August 23, 2017   Link

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