Punk's not dead
It just deserves to die
When it becomes another stale cartoon
A close-minded, self-centered social club
Ideas don't matter, it's who you know
If the music's gotten boring
It's because of the people
Who want everyone to sound the same
Who drive bright people out
Of our so-called scene
'Til all that's left Is just a meaningless fad
Hardcore formulas are dogshit
Change and caring are what's real
Is this a state of mind
Or just another label
The joy and hope of an alternative
Have become its own cliche
A hairstyle's not a lifestyle
Imagine Sid Vicious at 35
Who needs a scene
Scared to love and to feel
Judging everything
By loud fast rules appeal
Who played last night?
"I don't know, I forgot.
But diving off the stage Was a lot of fun.
So eager to please
Peer pressure decrees
So eager to please
Peer pressure decrees

Make the same old mistakes
Again and again,
Chickenshit conformist
Like your parents
What's ripped us apart even more than drugs
Are the thieves and the goddamn liars
Flipping people off when they share their stuff
When someone falls are there any friends?
Harder core than thou for a year or two
Then it's time to get a real job
Others stay home, it's no fun to go out
When the gigs are wrecked by gangs and thugs
When the thugs form bands, look who gets record deals
From New York metal labels looking to scam
Who sign the most racist queerbashing bands they can find
To make a buck revving kids up for war
Walk tall, act small
Only as tough as gang approval
Unity is bullshit
When it's under someone's fat boot
Where's the common cause
Too many factions
Safely sulk in their shells
Agree with us on everything
Or we won't help with anythng
That kind of attitude
Just makes a split grow wider
Guess who's laughing while the world explodes
When we're all crybabies
Who fight best among ouselves

That farty old rock and roll attitude's back
"It's competition, man, we want to break big."
Who needs friends when the money's good
That's right, the '70s are back.
Cock-rock metal's like a bad laxative
It just don't move me, ya know?
The music's OK when there's more ideas than solos
Do we rally need the attitude too?
Shedding thin skin too quickly
As a fan it disappoints me
Same old stupid sexist lyrics
Or is Satan all you can think of?
Crossover is just another word
For lack of ideas
Maybe what we need
Are more trolls under the bridge
Will the metalheads finally learn something-
Or will the punks throw away their education?
No one's ever the best
Once they believe their own press
"Maturing" don't mean rehashing
Mistakes of the past

The more things change
The more they stay the same
We can't grow
When we won't criticize ourselves
The '60s weren't all failure
It's the '70s that stunk
As the clock ticks we dig the same hole
Music scenes ain't real life
They won't get rid of the bomb
Won't eliminate rape
Or bring down the banks
Any kind of real change
Takes more time and work
Than changing channels on a TV set


Lyrics submitted by Ice

Chickenshit Conformist Lyrics as written by Jello Biafra


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Chickenshit Conformist song meanings
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  • +4
    General Comment

    This song is not about "posers ruining the scene." At least not in the manner of which everyone here has mentioned. It is discussing how the punk scene, at the time, went from a group of people who wanted to get together and speak intellectually about the world and government and ect. and make an earnest statement against it. As the years progressed, "punk" just turned into a fashion statement, a fad. Punk originated as an intellectual state of mind where alternative ideas were appreciated and fighting the ignorance and cruelty of the modern society were at the utmost importance. It then turned into groups of people who personified just as much hate, i.e. everyone here who has said anything in regards to "posers" and how much they hate them, as they originally cried out against. Also being yourself started to slip more and more into a very common fashion sense and mental state. No original thought was brought forward, as far as Jello was concerned, and thusly, this movement he so much deeply believed in turned into a standstill of sheep following the alternative herd.

    A last little bit, if you know anything about the band, near the end Jello hated the punk scene because of it: A. turning into a fashion sense B. turning into another ignorant trend to control people C. caused more violent crimes than actual benefits for humanity and D. was turning into a hardcore scene lead by skin head racists.

    purplebic3on July 30, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I'm so suprised this song hasn't recieved any comments. This song is, in my opinion, the greatest Dead Kennedys song ever. These days it works even better. I'm so sick of all the suburban rich white preps getting into the punk 'scene' and act like they're the shit, with their Republican agenda and brand new sports cars. It's fucking ridiculous, they're the same kind of people the punk scene started against, and now it's all just melting together and making one huge mess of shite. Also, according to these new 'punks', I'm not punk because I don't buy into the latest Hot Topic crazes.

    shakes his head I'm ashamed, really.

    scawton May 12, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I have to agree with scawt, I also think this is the best Dead Kenndys song they made. It's about how you have all these people supposedly being themselves, but they all conform at one point or another because they think they need to "fit in" in society.

    TheAntiPunkon May 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    sounds like a typical prep.

    i wish i could see things from their point of view for a little while, but i can never manage to get my head that far up my ass.

    a scar in the skyon May 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i think that the craze will evaporate soon enough and go the well beaten path of pogs and beanie babies. punk is about music, and should be about music, not the image or the clothing. too many preppy rich little snobs like to turn on mtv and watch dashboard confessional, blink 182, and sum 41 and tell themselves that they're misunderstood and punk ... it kinda makes me sick to think that such a great genre and such great music is squandered on little 13 year old girls who go to good charlotte concerts and think they have credibility. id like to see these kids go to a hardcore show in their $80 hot topic bondage pants and little pre-ripped t-shirt that says rebel.

    :) ... such a sweet picture

    rachypoo6on May 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Agh...I hate hot topic, I never have, and never will shop there. Salvation army all the way!

    P.S. I used to play with pogs when I was younger...hehe..

    TheAntiPunkon May 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Pogs Rule haha I agree with rachypoo6 and scawt is about the music not the way u fucking look or dress

    DeadKennedys18on June 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Hey, i tottaly agree with all of you. punk is a a type of music! i always here people saying whats "punk" and whats not. it pisses me off so much, and also, hot topic sucks, with all its "punk" clothing

    onkidon June 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Punk was never supposed to be a form of dress. When it first started out Punk was the music for the little guy(or girl :p), the poor working class that could truely see the flaws of society at the time and were rising up against the government and other things they belived to be wrong. Punk music was a very 'in-your-face' way to get the message across and be heard. Also, becasue many poor and working class seemed to be the only ones with these ideas of society they had always had a torn, wornm looking form of dress.

    rudetteon June 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Punk was never supposed to be a form of dress. When it first started out Punk was the music for the little guy(or girl :p), the poor working class that could truely see the flaws of society at the time and were rising up against the government and other things they belived to be wrong. Punk music was a very 'in-your-face' way to get the message across and be heard. Also, becasue many poor and working class seemed to be the only ones with these ideas of society they had always had a torn, wornm looking form of dress.

    rudetteon June 21, 2002   Link

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