"Rats" as written by and Melora Creager....
Very many years ago, the Bolivians were starving so,
They had rats as big as ponies there. They asked the Pope
To declare them fish.

We thank the Pope for granting us this wish.
When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish.
We catch them with a net, kill with the gun.
We'll call it all forgotten when we're done.

They didn't look like rats at all, but like some horrendous horse doll.
Still they had to eat this thing.
In gratitude, the Pope-they kissed his ring.

We thank the Pope for granting us this wish.
When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish.
We catch them with a net, kill with the gun.
We'll call it all forgotten when we're done.

We'll call it all forgotten when we're done.


Lyrics submitted by LilBowieGirl

"Rats" as written by Melora Creager

Lyrics © SONGS OF VIRTUAL, Songtrust Ave

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Rats song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentSpecifically, this song is about the capybara, which is the largest living member of the rodent family. Found in South America, they live on land but also spend a lot of time in the water. In the 16th century, the Pope said that they could be considered fish. This was because of the fact that they were semi-aquatic AND because Catholics aren't supposed to eat meat during lent. After that, since capybara were considered fish, people could eat them all year round, despite the fact that they're actually mammals.

    So this song IS about something that really happened. There are many possible meanings behind it, though.
    Metatronison January 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis supposedly happened with capybaras in Venezuela, not Bolivia, but apparently it has also been claimed to have been other large water dwelling (hence "fish") mammals, like beavers. (Try looking up capybaras on wikipedia.com) The story's credibility isn't exactly something to stake your life on.
    zwei_02on April 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not sure if this really happened, but the song is about people starving in Bolivia and asking the pope to declare rats fish so they can eat them on Friday because you weren't supposed to eat meat on Fridays if you were a Catholic. In declaring rats to be fish, the pope was helping with the hunger problem and the rat infestation. Again, I'm not sure that this is based on something that really happened.
    stellamavison July 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought it was more about them being overrun by rats and starving, but still having qualms with eating such "dirty" things. To help them with that, anything the Pope says must be law, even if it makes no sense at all, so rats "became" fish and problems solved!
    ClioMouseon May 11, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me, it seems that this song is a reference of how people overrun their morals and pressure their leaders into swaying toward antimorals in order to survive. thus, people care more about their lives than their morals...
    though, i could be utterly, utterly wrong.
    sicanonymon June 10, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsometimes God gives you a pile of shit, but you must learn how to turn it into a butterfly.

    could be
    wayne*on July 03, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with sicanonym. I also think it's about corruption in the catholic religion. The pope is calling a rat something else. Rat as in a sneaky, lying, dirty person.
    "We'll call it all forgotten when we're done."

    Meaning, we'll look the other way I guess. We'll call rats something else because the pope allowed it, and we'll just forget about it.
    foxxycottonon November 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think its a negative judgement on the Catholic church. its just having some fun with the idea of the Pope being a living representative of an omnipotent God. also it says "In gratitude, the Pope, they kissed his ring." this amuses me.
    Hazharon December 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere is actually some sort of water rat in the USA that DOES substitute fish on fridays, or atleast in did a long time ago. The food network is funny sometimes.
    lsdeimoson March 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I also think it's about corruption in the catholic religion. The pope is calling a rat something else. Rat as in a sneaky, lying, dirty person.
    "We'll call it all forgotten when we're done."

    Meaning, we'll look the other way I guess. We'll call rats something else because the pope allowed it, and we'll just forget about it."

    I couldn't agree more. Like lots of Rasputina songs, they will use themselves as the irony. I think it's a lot about corruption or more like "looking the other way" corruption.
    jillflash1289on August 02, 2007   Link

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