i'm gonna drink more whiskey than brendan behan.
and i'm gonna send my belongings all to tripoli.
and i'm gonna ride home to california
with a banjo on my knee.

i'm never gonna turn off the television.
i'm just gonna let it run all night.
i'm gonna plant root vegetables out in the backyard
and come summer i am going to treat you right.

so put on your chairman mao coat
and let me clear my throat.
let's turn this whole town upside-down
and shake it 'til the coins come falling out of its pockets,
yeah put on your che guevara pin
call the troops on in
we're gonna sail through the night sky like a pair of bottle rockets.

i got a great big secret written down somewhere.
i got a rosary to protect us both from harm.
i got a storage locker full of cow figurines
and a laundry list of grievances longer than my arm.
and i am never going back to cincinatti.
all those bridges have burned down to the ground.
i got the jet pack strapped to my back
and i am waiting for you to come around.

yeah, put on your chairman mao coat
and let me clear my throat.
let's turn this whole place upside-down
and shake it 'til the coins come dropping out of its pockets.
yeah put on your che guevara pin
call the troops on in.
we're gonna sink through the night sky like a pair of bottle rockets.

Lyrics submitted by sarabroc

Commandante song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI've always taken it as a pretty earnest celebration of giddy teenage (or neo-teenage) love -- not so much a swipe at the people who wear Che Guevara T-shirts (although you're right, they're morons), but a total endorsement of that feeling of being in love when you think you and your special someone can take on the world, overthow governments, do anything because you're just so goddamn happy. A zillion pop songs have failed to get that feeling right, but this one does it, 'sfaras I'm concerned.
    kagion September 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcutest song ever.
    classact714on March 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of my favorite mountain goats songs. anyone have any idea what it means?
    darneeon March 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBrenden Behan was a drunk playwright, for starters. I think what the song means is sometimes you have to fight for love to work - like a dictator or freedom fighter. It may result in propelled satisfaction, even were the bottle rockets you've become to be explosive.
    mindsaleon June 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe changes a lot of the lyrics on live versions, but it all seems to be joking stuff, nothing too serious.
    Example: Put on your Che Guevara hat, you look real hot in that.
    death_list5on August 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd also: the title refers both to the Mao/Che imagery and the fact that the whole thing's written in the imperative mood.
    kagion February 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBrendan Behan was very drunk for most of his life, but he was also a revolutionary in his late teens. He was in the IRA but got nicked when he was sixteen for trying to blow up Liverpool docks and was sent to a borstal. After he got out he got nicked again when he was nineteen for trying to kill two english detectives and went to jail for a long time and came out disillusioned and cynical.
    one or clownon March 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"put on your chairman mao shirt
    and kiss me on the mouth until it hurts"

    is also a lyric he uses in some live shows. i love how many alternate verses there are.
    OODon March 05, 2011   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI take this song as a bit of a swipe at the type of retards who wear Che Geuvara t-shirts and the like but don't have a fucking clue who he is or what he represents.
    Alagemoon August 15, 2006   Link

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