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You're happy all the time
I just don't understand why I can't be happy too
Your smiles are salt in the wound
A slap upon a back that's been toiling in the sun

When will I get mine?
Or must I be a god-fearing, white american?
Oh everything is fine
As long as you're a god-fearing, white american

Why should the thieves have all of the fun?
Selling us water by the river, they don't speak for everyone
I'm ready to run and you're making me crawl
Selling me water by the river, they don't speak for me at all

The man about the town
The beauty queen, the paragon of civilization
But shadows cling to us all
Even those convinced that they're sheltered and immune

When will I get mine?
Or must I be a god-fearing, white american?

Why should the thieves have all of the fun?
Selling us water by the river, they don't speak for everyone
I'm ready to run and you're making me crawl
Selling me water by the river, they don't speak for me at all


Lyrics submitted by abbnormal

Thieves song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +3
    My InterpretationWithout opening any cans of worms, I believe this is a democratic/liberal view or angle about the government and the people that run it. (Not that these are my personal views. I'm just trying to describe how I would explain it.)

    Initially, I thought this was about immigration being a problem, but then after a few more times, it sounds like it's coming from the other angle, in a sense. I think Incubus is trying to say that the people who work really hard or the most, get the most taken away, unrightfully and are waiting for their piece of the pie, by saying:

    "When will I get mine?
    Or must I be a god-fearing, white American? "

    In addition, we are being sold or offered things we already deserve or worked for in the first place. (I believe that it applies to people in all walks of life, not just a specific race/ethnicity within our country.) I get that from the verse:

    "Why should the thieves have all of the fun?
    Selling us water by the river, they don't speak for everyone
    I'm ready to run and you're making me crawl
    Selling me water by the river, they don't speak for me at all "

    This verse caught my attention the most, and I think that it means that there is good and bad in us all, even those 'in charge' or the people we think are so great and iconic that we look up to. Kind of like, we-all-bleed-the-same-color:

    "The man about the town
    The beauty queen, the paragon of civilization
    But shadows cling to us all
    Even those convinced that they're sheltered and immune."
    i4gotmysnon June 21, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song has a few parallels with While Oceana Sleeps by Sparta. Opening guitar & bass, similar track lengths & structure.
    Veloriumon May 08, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI think this song is about the proliferation of corporations in this country. If you look at the current political/economic situation in America, it is dominated by corporations and white Americans (the tea party crowd). The conservative crowd who is fighting for lower taxes for companies, cuts to social programs, less rights for LGBT, less rights for immigrants, etc., these are all "god fearing, white Americans".

    The anti-corporation lyrics "selling us water by the river, they don't speak for everyone" is about how corporations have such a large influence in American politics yet their interests are not in line with interests of most Americans.
    RHercikon September 24, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWow you people are slow. This song over your tiny little heads. This song is about white privilege and racism.
    HarveyBirdmanon June 04, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSong is about how they hate white people and think they all walk on clouds and steal shit all the time. Race baiting nonsense.
    Bullhonkeyon July 20, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGood call Velorium. I just listened to them back to back and was quite surprised. Love Sparta. Love Incubus.
    ZedLeppelinon May 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's pretty clear this is about Atheism and I suppose being it's a song you could kind of extrapolate a little bit farther and pull out the concept of anybody trying to push their thoughts and beliefs regarding whatever on anybody else. Seems to me the song focuses on religion but it can certainly apply to any exchange of ideas and how it seems sometimes we have no choice to buy into those "Selling us water by the river" and the unfairness it can bring when we don't buy into it but publicly acknowledging we don't gets us looked at different and/or passed behind.
    jenksedon June 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove this song. love this album.
    seahawks2231on August 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionYou're happy all of the time
    I just don't understand why I can't be happy too.
    Your smiles are salt in the wound
    a slap upon a back that's been toiling in the sun.
    Oh when will I get mine?
    Or must I be a God fearing, white American?
    Oh everything is fine
    as long as you're a God fearing, white American.

    Why should the thieves have all of the fun?
    Selling us water by the river, they don't speak for everyone.
    I'm ready to run and you're making me crawl
    selling me water by the river, they don't speak for me at all.

    You're the man about the town,
    the beauty queen
    the paragon of Civilization.
    But shadows cling to us all
    even those convinced that they're sheltered and immune.
    Oh when will I get mine?
    Or must I be a God fearing, white American?

    Why should the thieves have all of the fun?
    Selling us water by the river, they don't speak for everyone.
    I'm ready to run and you're making me crawl
    selling me water by the river, they don't speak for me at all.
    They don't speak for me at all.
    dolgolaeon December 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJewish Americans are the wealthiest and have the most influence. This song is simply racist.
    ejownz6on January 30, 2012   Link

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