"Working Class Hero" as written by and John Lennon....
As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty-odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

There's room at the top they're telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be
If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Working Class Hero" as written by John Lennon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing

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Working Class Hero song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentWhat i think this song mean's is that your parents (well, some parents) and teachers, governments, etc make you go to school to learn the things they want you too, so you can grow up to be just like them, so we can keep the system going, cause oh no we wouldn't want change would we, and they fill you with so much fear making you think your life won't be happy or full in some way, that you follow everything they say, without questioning them.
    "You think you're so clever and classless and free,
    but you're still fucking peasants as far as i can see"
    is simply saying that you live your whole life being told your something your not, being told to BE something your not, that that you forgot what you once were, and who you were.


    Lennon was right in saying all of this. But as right as he was, you have to let people make their own choices in life, even if their choice is to be like "All the folks on the hill" The main thing we need to do is to make people aware of what is happening with capitalism and oppression, etc , so they actually have a choice, and not just let them be brainwashed into a working class life.
    People need to see that there is more to life than possessions and wealth, and they need to speak up for what they believe in and not just go along with the crowd, because the government has them living in fear.

    that's basically all i wanted to say, please comment/correct anything i may have said! let me know your fucking opinions!!!!
    Skerratt911on September 04, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is great and portrays capitalism as it truly is. We're trained to be nothing more than what the bueracracy says we can be. We spend our whole lives miserable and in fear because of capitalism, and the only rewards we get are tv and religion.
    MrMojoRisin5552on May 06, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti think that phrase

    '...working class hero is something to be...'

    Lennon ment sarcastically. Like the only aim to the working class individual is to become a succesfull hero in capitalism`s vanguard. Working class hero i think is the man who has filled all the 'american dream' tasks - a career, house, big car, and some capital.

    The western society is permanently fucking your brain with this same old mantra - 'working class hero is something to be'. Youe are always reminded, that only respectable choise is to become a 'working class hero'

    And i dont think that this is some kind of anthem for working class, it is more like that Lennon in this song is not very kind towards working class..
    cikuuzison December 24, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentA song's meaning, although generally the same, vary by person, no one is wrong in their meaning because we each see things in a different light. Allow me to break it down the way I see it.

    "As soon as you're born they make you feel small
    "By giving you no time instead of it all
    "Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
    "A working class hero is something to be
    "A working class hero is something to be"

    -This first verse is about childhood, well the first two verses are. However this is saying our parents start the cycle of being a "working class hero". They themselves must work, and we are left at home, their work takes away the time they should be spending with us, and by not giving us the time we need as a child they prepare us for this life of pain, which we will live oblivious of because our parents trained us to simply nto feel the pain, by no fault of their own.

    "They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
    "They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
    "Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules
    "A working class hero is something to be
    "A working class hero is something to be"

    -Verse two. Now we are old enough for school. Still at home our parents hurt us, we still do not get the time we need, maybe they punish us with words or maybe it is physical. At school we are treated badly, which is generally true, they punish little kids for doing small deeds that ought only be forgiven. They hit you, force you into submission with their rules. These rules drive us crazy, I think this is Lenon saying our freedom is smothered by these rules meant to make us safe and free. The smart kids are hated because they are smart, I have seen it, the teachers respect them and all, but they are loathed, you can see it in their eyes. I know students, actually a lot of students, and they are far smarter than the teachers, teachers are not allows smart, they recite from a book. The dumb kids are hated because they are dumb. Why? They are seen as a burden, hated for this, I was in a low level HS class and I watched how the teachers just didn't care about their kids.

    "When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
    "Then they expect you to pick a career
    "When you can't really function you're so full of fear
    "A working class hero is something to be
    "A working class hero is something to be"

    -After twentey some years of school, if you go to college, and all the time we have been taught to obey these rules and we have been taught about the punishments, scared by them. Now these people, parents, teachers, the Government, Mr. President, Mr. Senator, they want us to pick a job that will only keep us down, 5x5 cubicle placed in effective rows, meant to maximize room. We don't function how we can or should, we do our job and what is meant, but there is so much more we could do, so much more potential.

    "Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
    "And you think you're so clever and classless and free
    "But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see
    "A working class hero is something to be
    "A working class hero is something to be"

    -This is from a very well known idea. Religion has been seen for thousands of years as a way to keep people down. It teaches them these rules they must obey or they will suffer in Hell. It requires them to worship images, to bow to men who are seen as higher than anyone else. TV, it slows our minds, that is known. Cartoons and sitcoms, and soaps weigh down our brains and keep us dumb, keep us content, but nto happy or fulfilled. These mediums, religion and TV, they show us that we are free and they make us feel smart and they make us feel equal and classless because they portray "normal" people. TV is about the middle class life and how great it is, we see this and assume it for truth when really it is a problem ridden class. Now Lenon is saying he sees this to be true, he knows we are chains and classed, he knows the truth and is striving for freedom.

    "There's room at the top they are telling you still
    "But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
    "If you want to be like the folks on the hill
    "A working class hero is something to be
    "A working class hero is something to be"

    -The greatest lie we are told is that we can all be President, we can all be Senators. It is a lie, most people will never do this, why? To be a politician requires the ability to sell yourself, sell your morals, and they know that and they train us to be moral, they train us to hate killing and to frown on backstabbing, and that is the truth these things ARE wrong, but the way to become a politician is by selling your morals, you need to kill, you need to backstab, and if we can do this, what we KNOW is wrong, than they will give us a job. To them it is a joke, they have no morals.

    "If you want to be a hero well just follow me
    "If you want to be a hero well just follow me"

    - Lenon is saying the way to be a hero, a real hero and not a politician is to work, to allow for this society they made for us, but DO NOT beleive the lies. We MUST work to live, but we can live free of mind, and that is what he is doing, he is living free of mind, he is speaking out against these injustices. To follow him we must throw down the lies, we must live on and work on, but we must live without the lies and we must speak the truth as we see it to be, share, and fight most important, fight the Man, the established power, because they are corrupt and have no morals.
    Pard68on April 30, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIf you want to be a hero you just have to be yourself. Speak your mind.
    dxmanon December 07, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is just a beautiful poem, that resonates so much in the working class north - my husband (working class south) says that it's badly dated, and that in England you get what you work for... But if you've gone to a sink school, lived in a council house and experienced what it is to be on the lower rungs of the class system, in the north you will get no further... Lack of expectation from all around you, lack or resources and poor quality education with teachers barely qualified to do the job (many these days are the ones who actually failed their degrees!) keep the intelligent kids down... It is nigh on impossible to move on... I moved away and got my degree - still earn less than those without degrees, but who attended better schools... At least I didn't get traped in a call centre though - the factories of the future!!!
    LadyStardust74on July 25, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about the working class, people who do labor work, people who work hard! To me the line
    "Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
    And you think you're so clever and classless and free
    But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see"
    means that we are so brainwashed by the media that we actually believe we have freedom, until everyone is equal there is no freedom.
    nayeligon August 29, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    based on the ideas of Cultural Hegemony from Antonio Gramsci

    zedpoxon September 12, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"By giving you no time in stead of it all". is one of the best lines written. This is something so essential but doesnt land at all. All other evils are an exponent of this. It takes time for wisdom and life can't be treated like a competition. Be the change you want to inspire and forget the MAN and remember the wise. You might make people besides yourselves happy along the way...
    bingibongoon November 07, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwell i agree that this does capture the true meaning of capatalismbut i dont agree with the 2nd person who said stuff about this song because if you really do like john lennon and try to be in the state of mind he was in you wouldnt think of your self as working class scum and i think no 1 is working class scum there r only 2 things important to me in my life and that is someday there being peace and god wich dosent sound much like anything john would say except the peace part but every 1s different so i hope u help and contribute to world peace because someday we will acheive it and 1 more things i bet none of u would guess this im only 14 and if you wanna chat with me my yahoo handle is workingclasshero_149 and if every 1 demanded peace instead of a new televison set there would be peace
    workingclasshero_149on August 04, 2002   Link

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