Milgram's 37

We do what we're told
We do what we're told
We do what we're told
Told to do

We do what we're told
We do what we're told
We do what we're told
Told to do

One doubt
One voice
One war
One truth
One dream

Lyrics submitted by Golgotha

We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37) Lyrics as written by Peter Gabriel

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

We Do What We're Told song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about the dangerous tendency to disregard your own ethical values, just to be obedient.

    "Milgram's 37" refers to the experiment, in a series of experiments of psychologist Stanley Milgram, with the worst results. In this case 37 of 40 participants went to the full extent of the experiment, and delivered (without knowing fake) electric shocks to another Test-Subject (who was indeed an actor, btw.) without stopping when the Subject begged for mercy.

    This was a sing-along-song in many concerts (see the irony?).
    Germon June 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, it was an experiment provoked by the American additude that Americans wouldn't blindly submit to the will of their government if it was wrong, like the Germans had done in World War II.

    Interestingly enough, this all came together for me in sociology class...we were talking about Milgram, and I was like "Woah! I get it know...Gabriel is a genius."
    llowellon November 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority."…

    My only comment is in regards to having people follow idiotic orders from clueless leaders (ie, Dubya Bush!) Pretty scary when you stop to think about it!!!
    Themactatoron February 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI recently saw a BBC documentary where one of the 37 was tracked down and asked about the experiment. He bravely admitted his moral compass went out the window during the experiment (although he did protest and enquire after the "subject"). Worth a watch if you can find it, I can only find the original experiments on Youtube (he's the guy at 6:52 on the second link, that goes on to the third link). Here's the links:………
    ANorthernSoul76on February 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I was a kid I thought Milgrams 37 was a beer brand. Now I have no idea where that came from! Kids think the darndest things!
    gobeyinstraineron April 30, 2011   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