So you’re the man, and you’ve been told what that means. Now you need to control,
To fit the social role that’s been issued to you by our culture.
So spread out, tradition bound, and find in time you’ll grow no more.
Reverse that way and you will see the true point of thought before speech.

You are no better, and she is no less.
You’re no born leader, and she is not your bitch.

We’ve got to work to make a community of individuals,
But we can’t build on what they made. We’ve got to make your own place with a base of truth.
Base that portrays equal says, with due respect and strength to break,
Or cut down the lines that falsely divide one body from another and fuck the pride.


Lyrics submitted by skacore_dude

Tradition song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis is about anti-capitalism. We need to completely redo the system before it can work.
    Jadenon July 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt’s been a while since I first considered Hot Water Music to be my favorite band. However the same cannot be said for this song. Only until recently has this song really stood out as something more than just a song. Something changed in my mind, something clicked, changing this song from ordinary to extraordinary.
    The message of the song is clear: Men and women are equals. Never is this more powerfully demonstrated than in the chorus line: “You are no better, she is no less—you’re no born leader, she is not your bitch.” Tradition is a calling out against such domestic violence and the common misconception that women are objects, or lesser than men.
    The song gets its title from the first verse which describes how acts based on the belief that women are lesser than men have been transformed into a tradition: “So you’re the man, you’ve been told what that means, now you need to control,” The song also addresses society as being the roadblock towards sexual equality. The reason some men are abusive to women is “To fit the social role that’s been issued to you by our culture.”
    This is a very strong message, one which is mirrored in the construction of the song. The song’s vocals, which alternate by verse between the band’s two front men Chris Wollard and Chuck Ragan, are terse and concise which demonstrates the need for immediate action to be taken. Another example of how the song’s message reflects the song’s structure is how the focus on guitar and vocals alternate between Wollard and Ragan. As the first verse starts the focus is centered on Wollard’s vocals, while his guitar confined strictly to the left channel, so that it can be heard in only the left speaker. When the second verse follows, the vocals are then given to Ragan, whose guitar also takes focus in the right channel. The chorus then pursues and Wollard and Ragan’s guitar parts are united, both at the same volume. When the guitar parts meet, the song’s purpose is displayed, announcing to the listener that women and men are equal.
    After the chorus, the third verse starts with Wollard again where he declares that, “We’ve got to work to make a community of individuals” and that we have to work together to clear the slate and start over. In the fourth verse the focus is sent back to Ragan where he proclaims the base of this new slate needs to be built from honesty and respect, and “with due respect and strength” we can “break or cut down the lines that falsely divide”. He then sings that pride should not get in the way of promoting equality: “One body for another and fuck the pride”. The sing the chorus again and then end the song with a guitar riff and four “Respect!”s where Wollard says “Re—” and Ragan finishes “—spect!”, again symbolizing that they must both work together, as equals, to succeed.
    alachuaon February 19, 2007   Link

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