"Culture War" as written by Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, Tim Kingsbury, William Butler, Jeremy Gara and Richard R Parry....
Now the future's staring at me
Like a vision from the past
And I know these crumbs they sold me
They're never going to last
Though we know the culture war
We don't know what it's for but
We've lived the southern strategy
You know it's never going to last
So keep it in the past

These are different times that we're living in
These are different times
Now the kids are growing up so fast
Paying for our crimes

You left while I was sleeping
You said, "It's down to me"
Oh I've read a little Bible
You see what you want to see
Oh, we know the culture war
We don't know what it's for but
We've lived your southern strategy
You know it's never going to last
So keep that shit in the past

These are different times that we're living in
Cause these are different times
Now the kids are growing up so fast
They're paying for our crimes

The dominos they never fell
But bodies they still burn
Throw my hand into the fire
But still I never learn
Will I ever learn?

That these are different times
Now the kids are growing up so fast
And paying for our crimes
We'll be soldiers for you, mommy and daddy
In your culture war
We'll be soldiers for you, mommy and daddy
But we don't know what it's for

We're soldiers now in the culture war
We're soldiers now, but we don't know what it's for
We're soldiers now in the culture war
We're soldiers now, but we don't know what it's for
So tell me what's it for

You want it? You got it, here's your culture war
You want it? Now you've got it, so tell me what's it for


Lyrics submitted by kateidoscope

"Culture War" as written by Regine Chassagne Jeremy Gara

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Culture War song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentgood song

    one thing i think it's "the dominos they never fell", maybe referencing the rationale for America's Vietnam intervention ("if one SEA country falls to the communists all others will fall like dominoes"); bodies burning could be both the Buddhist monk who self-immolated in 1963 and all the napalm victims

    culture war is imo about this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    Fatzerson May 30, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionReceived my copy of The Suburbs Deluxe Edition today, here are the official lyrics from the booklet:


    Now the future's staring at me
    like a vision from the past,
    and I know these crumbs they sold me,
    they're never gonna last.
    Though we know the culture war,
    we don't know what it's for but
    we've lived the southern strategy.
    You know it's never gonna last,
    so keep it in the past.

    These are different times that we're living in.
    These are different times.
    Now the kids are growing up so fast.
    Paying for our crimes.

    You left while I was sleepin'.
    You said, "It's down to me".
    Oh I've read a little Bible.
    You see what you want to see.
    Oh, we know the culture war,
    we don't know what it's for but
    we've lived your southern strategy.
    You know it's never gonna last
    so keep that shit in the past.

    These are different times that we're living in.
    'Cause these are different times.
    Now the kids are growing up so fast.
    They're paying for our crimes.

    The dominos they never fell
    but bodies they still burn.
    Throw my hand into the fire
    but still I never learn,
    will I ever learn?

    That these are different times.
    Now the kids are growing up so fast
    and paying for our crimes.
    We'll be soldiers for you, mommy and daddy,
    in your culture war.
    We'll be soldiers for you, mommy and daddy,
    but we don't know what it's for.

    We're soldiers now in the culture war.
    We're soldiers now, but we don't know what it's for.
    We're soldiers now in the culture war.
    We're soldiers now, but we don't know what it's for.
    So tell me what's it for.

    You want it? You got it, here's your culture war.
    You want it? Now you've got it, so tell me what's it for.
    kitkat129on July 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation'Now the future's staring at me
    like a vision from the past,'
    Now that we are on the cusp of environmental / political / economic disaster, it's reminiscent of all the times in the past we thought idly about how terrible humanity's future will be.
    'and I know these crumbs they sold me,
    they're never gonna last.'
    With such a disaster ahead, we now know that all our worldly possessions aren't going to help us.
    'Though we know the culture war,
    we don't know what it's for'
    Although we are fed politics through the media, and everyone has conflicting opinions on how the world should be run, with such tragedy ahead, what does this all mean? It's not like choosing the right political party will save us.
    'we've lived the southern strategy.
    You know it's never gonna last,
    so keep it in the past.'
    The Southern Strategy is the policy of the Republican Party in the United States to gain political support in the Southern section of the country. This means that although government fights for our approval, this no longer matters, and we are in our own hands now.
    'These are different times that we're living in.
    These are different times.'
    We live in different times. We can no longer coast through life achieving personal goals, oblivious to the problems in the world.
    'Now the kids are growing up so fast.
    Paying for our crimes.'
    The first line can have more than one meaning. My preferred meaning is that the narrator feels that life is moving by him too quickly. He is disturbed that it felt like only yesterday 'the kids' were babies, and he lived in simpler times. However, the more obvious meaning is that the new generation live in times of such turmoil that they have to grow up faster to survive. The second line seems more obvious. The narrator's generation and those before it have screwed up the planet, and now the children will have to deal with it.
    'You left while I was sleepin'.
    You said, "It's down to me".
    Oh I've read a little Bible.
    You see what you want to see.'
    The narrator regrets his actions in the past. The Bible may or may not be a metaphor, depending on your religious beliefs. The narrator's former lover left him, because he / she wasn't content to sit around and let the world die ('You said, "It's down to me"). However, the narrator relied on the comfort of the 'Bible' (may represent some other form of comfort) firmly believing that God would never forsake him. But now that the world is screwed up, he realises he is deluded, just seeing what he wanted to see.
    'The dominos they never fell
    but bodies they still burn.
    Throw my hand into the fire
    but still I never learn,
    will I ever learn?'
    I agree with Fatzers that this is a reference to the Vietnam War. The dominos they never fell, meaning that South-East Asia was not dominated by communism. But then he goes on to say that the bodies still burn. Even though communism didn't consume SEA, this is not enough of a victory to distract us from the atrocities of the war. The bodies are still burning, and even if our hands our thrown in to the fire (our eyes are opened to just how bad the war was), we are still capable of turning a blind eye. We never learn.
    'We'll be soldiers for you, mommy and daddy,
    in your culture war.
    We'll be soldiers for you, mommy and daddy,
    but we don't know what it's for.'
    Mommy and Daddy represent government / political power. They are shown as 'mommy and daddy' as we are so submissive and accepting of their indefinite control over us. We are but little children being spoon-fed by the media. We are also depicted as soldiers, another reference to how submissive we are towards our leaders.

    This is just my opinion, but I think the meaning in this song is much less cryptic in this than other Arcade Fire songs.
    Syaoranonion September 29, 2013   Link

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