Up there on the platform
He is speaking to the people
The people are responding
With clapping and a'cheering
But the meaning of the message
Not revealed to those assembled
They're taken for a ride
Taken In his stride

When the Generals talk
You better listen to him
When the Generals talk
You better do what he say

There's a rumor in the ranking
Someone's talking insurrection
So the General has a purge
Cause he wants to win elections
With the certain satisfaction
That the people are appeased
Long live the revolution
The General's very pleased

Sitting on the fence both ears to the ground
The fat cats still push the thin cats around

Lyrics submitted by Golgotha, edited by Sunnyhill

When the Generals Talk Lyrics as written by Martin Rotsey James Moginie

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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When The Generals Talk song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentExposes how manipulative the government/army is in selling war
    midnight_laboron December 28, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOils on the Water performance of this song - unbeatable. Wish I'd seen it live but I was only 8 at the time! ha ha.
    kateemma22on December 15, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGeneral Electric, General Insurance, etc. Also about the soveriegnty of corporations apart from government. Oppressive capitalism.
    Wonder Nedon August 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of midnight oil's best. awesome live.
    monster36604on April 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfat cats pushing thin cats around? is it saying that big corporations are driving the small firms out of business? coz that kinda is a problem of capitalism.

    hmm also mentions appeasement of the people, gathering support etc.

    anyway its a great song. im suprised more people haven't commented on the midnight oil songs.
    sebkoolon September 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMilitary industrial complex
    PhatCat456on October 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis doesn't look like a complete set of lyrics, as the spoken part is missing. (This is where they say "We have General Motors... General Foods corporation... General Insurance... they're the worst generals of all you know!") I have to wonder if that part exists.
    quampon March 08, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt starts with the more obvious generals around.
    The military dictatorships which will do anything to stay in power.
    Purging is a nice way of saying killing.

    Further on in the song the more hidden "generals" of modern society are reveiled, the big business cooperations which will do exactly the same. And if you think they will stop short of killing, you're wrong.
    As said: they are the worst kind of generals.
    bverhon December 13, 2019   Link

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