We built this city, we built this city on rock an' roll
Built this city, we built this city on rock an' roll

Say you don't know me, or recognize my face
Say you don't care who goes to that kind of place
Knee deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight
Too many runaways eating up the night

Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio, don't you remember
We built this city, we built this city on rock an' roll


Someone's always playing corporation games
Who cares, they're always changing corporation names
We just want to dance here, someone stole the stage
They call us irresponsible, write us off the page

Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio, don't you remember
We built this city, we built this city on rock an' roll


It's just another Sunday, in a tired old street
Police have got the chokehold, oh, then we just lost the beat

Who counts the money underneath the bar
Who writes the wrecking ball into our guitars
Don't tell us you need us, 'cause we're the ship of fools
Looking for America, coming through your schools

(I'm looking out over that Golden Gate bridge on another gorgeous sunny Saturday, not seein' that bumper-to-bumper traffic)

Don't you remember (remember)

(It's your favorite radio station, in your favorite radio city
The city by the bay, the city that rocks, the city that never sleeps)

Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio, don't you remember
We built this city, we built this city on rock an' roll



(We built, we built this city) built this city
(we built, we built this city)...

Lyrics submitted by Boonechic_21

We Built This City song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentOK, guys -- a little hint. Marconi invented wireless radio. Marconi is being used as a personification of radio. Does that help?
    groupingon July 02, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commenthey now..this is a great song! ok, the lyrics may not be the best, but hey can't beat the ...i dunno, i still like it though. And who comes on here to just say how much they hate the song.. so much anger..
    jellybrickon April 19, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti rekon its about the growth of music radio (as opposed to boring talkback radio) and how it all began with rock and roll. "Who writes the wrecking ball in two wild guitars" - rock and roll dystroyed a lot of society's 'morals', 'values', and preconceptions of what "acceptable" music was. it was one of the biggest inspirations for the 1950-60's cultural revolution. so where we are today is all because of rock and roll, hence "we built this city on rock and roll"
    universalsolideron July 05, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHey there, I'm a long time reader first time poster, so here's what I reckn. The way I see this song is it's about rock an' roll (and successive musical devlopments) combined with advances in technology that bring music to more people than ever before (radio) and how that inspired generations to push the limits in all sorts of ways whether it's a teenager challenging authority or building sky skrapers or going into space. Now I'm not implying that all the architects and engineers that were responsible for the last two examples listened to rock an' roll but what they all share is the spirit of endeavour and boldness that seems inextricably linked to the spirit and achievements of America, particularly post WWII America. Anyway that's the good thing about songs with elusive meanings, they give you more room to find your own meaning in it, just ask At The Drive In fans.
    rockman_exeon July 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentoh my "richie valens" no longer a household name? God you people are rediculous..marconi: laid the basis for the radio, in the song is just a general reference to the radio. La bamba, a FAMOUS song written by richie valens, who later tragically died in a plane crash, and was an icon for teenagers of the 50's. The song is basically about the lifestyle of rock n roll teenagers (and teenagers who become famous rock n roll stars) from running away, getting arrested, THE Man and his corporations etc im 16 and i know what la bamba is...pathetic what the youth of today is becoming: wiggers who listen to their jay z and britney spears and garbage, learn your roots you noobs
    Shukeon February 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWe built this city on schlock & roll!
    SusanBassPlayeron October 12, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah the lyrics are odd...but the awesome thing about music is that you can interpret any song into what you want it to mean, so just put your own interpretation to the words and you'll still be right!

    PS, I like this song. Don't care what Blender or Rolling Stone say.
    eaglebyrneson October 28, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI actually enjoy this song.
    atemu1234on July 05, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Who writes the wrecking ball in two wild guitars"??? Shouldn't it be, 'Who rides the wrecking ball into our guitars' ???
    TheLuckyChickenon March 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDunno... I alway thought it was either " two fast guitars", or possibly "...and who parks the cars?"

    Crap lyric whichever way.
    butterfingersbeckon March 26, 2002   Link

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