She always brings me what I need
Without I beg and sweat and bleed
When we're alone at night
Waiting for the call
She feeds my skin

Sixteen and on the run from home
Found a job in Times Square
Working Live S&M shows
Twenty-five bucks a fuck
And John's a happy man
She wipes the filth away
And it's back on the streets again

Spreading the disease
Everybody needs
But no one wants to see

Father William saved her from the streets
She drank the lifeblood from the savior's feet
She's Sister Mary now, eyes as cold as ice
He takes her once a week
On the alter like a sacrifice

Spreading the disease
Everybody needs
But no one wants to see

Religion and sex are power plays
Manipulate the people for the money they pay
Selling skin, selling God
The numbers look the same on their credit cards

Politicians say no to drugs
While we pay for wars in South America (Saudi Arabia on tour)

Fighting fire with empty words
While the banks get fat, the poor stay poor
The rich get rich
The cops get paid
To look away
As the one percent rules America

Spreading the disease
Everybody needs
But no one wants to see
The way society
Keeps spreading the disease

Lyrics submitted by Ice, edited by digitalmanMKII

Spreading The Disease song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment

    Actually, if you want to be literal, yes, it introduces Mary. But the song stands on its own and it has a message. Do you hear it?

    boxermom1004on March 17, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Quite frankly, nothing on Mindcrime "just advances the story". That's what makes it so great, the different layers of meaning.

    I really love the working-class revolutionary theme that the album develops, and this song in particular focuses on the commodification of sex and religion in our capitalist society.

    ThirdRevolutionon October 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This is a great song about how things are not always what they seem. Under the thinly veiled appearances lie the ugly truths.

    boxermom1004on April 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I hear it. It's plain as day really, saying that this song "just advances the story" is kind of ridiculous.

    Muzzyon April 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Yes it furthers the story of the album, but one cool thing about the singles released is that they can be stand alone stories. If you listen the non singles, nothing makes any sense at all unless you listen to the album in its entirety

    Snatcher7on April 16, 2009   Link
  • 0

    This is song is why I couldn't listen to this album as a kid. It made it really worth while though when I finally did get listen to it.

    digitalmanMKIIon September 15, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaning

    This song is literally about Mary and her prostitution phase, I am not seeing much hidden until it actually gets into the low beat with no guitar. The disease I believe is sexually transmitted and everyone pays Mary. Maybe I'm being superficial but I thought of it as just her being paid to do it and how she was used her whole life. I mean come on, "spreading the disease that everybody needs" an STD, but "no one wants to see" what they've become as well as public sex

    Rushedon November 30, 2022   Link
  • -1
    General Comment

    Actually this song just advances the story, introducing Mary

    hellarack99on February 07, 2006   Link

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