Riddle me this, brother can you handle it
Your style to my style, you can't hold a candle to it
Equinox symmetry and the balance is right
Smokin' and drinkin' on a Tuesday night
It's not how you play the game, it's how you win it
I cheat and steal and sin and I'm a cynic
For those about to rock we salute you
The dirty thoughts for dirty minds we contribute to

I once was lost, but now I'm found
The music washes over and you're one with the sound
Well, who shall inherit the earth, the meek shall
And yo I think I'm starting to peak now Al
And then the man upstairs I hope that he cares
If I had a penny for my thoughts I'd be a millionaire
We're just three M.C.'s and we're on the go
Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego (Shadrach, Meshach, Abednago)

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, yeah
Only twenty-four hours in a day
Only twelve notes that a man can play
Music for all and not just one people
And now we're gonna bust with the Putney Swope sequel
More Adidas sneakers than a plumber's got pliers
Got more suits than Jacoby & Meyers (well)
If not for my vices and my bugged-out desires
My year would be good just like Goodyear's tires
'Cause I'm out pickin' pockets at the Atlantic Antic
And nobody wants to hear you 'cause your rhymes are damn frantic
I mix business with pleasure way too much
You know, wine and women and song and such
I don't get blue, I gotta mean red streak
You don't pay the band, your friends and that's weak
Get even like Steven, like pulling a Rambo
Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego (Shadrach, Meshach, Abednago)

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, yeah
Steal from the rich and I'm out robbing banks
Give it to the poor and I always give thanks
Because they got more stories than J.D's got Salinger
I hold the title and you are the challenger
I've got money like Charles Dickens
I've got the girlies in the Couple like the Colonel's got the chickens
And I always go out dapper like Harry S. Truman
I'm madder than Mad's Alfred E. Newman
(Never gonna let them say that I don't love you)
Well, my noggin is hoggin' all kinds of thoughts
Adam Yoggin is Yauch and he's rockin' of course
Smoke the holy chalice got my own religion
Rally round the stage and check the funky dope musicians
Just like Jerry Lee Swaggert or Jerry Lee Falwell
You like Mario Andretti cause he always drives his car well

Vicious circle of reality since the day you were born
And we love the hot butter on what, the popcorn
Sippin' on wine and mackin'
Rockin' on the stage with all the hands clappin'
Ride the wave of fate it don't ride me
(Being very proud to be an M.C.)
And the man upstairs well I hope that he cares
If I had a penny for my thoughts I'd be a millionaire
Amps and crossovers under my rear hood
The bass is bumpin' from the back of my Fleetwood
They tell us what to do, hell no
Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego (Shadrach, Meshach, Abednago) hey


Lyrics submitted by shut

Shadrach Lyrics as written by Adam Nathaniel Yauch Adam Horovitz

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Shadrach song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

6 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General Comment

    Quite possibly the Greatest Rap song with a Biblical reference ever written, possibly the only one. Shadrach Mesach Abednago is a story from the Bible where Three Men refused to bow down to a king and praise him as a god so he threw the other 3 boys in a kiln so they would die but they didn't and they lived and they were the original 3 Bad Brothers you know so well........

    Badfish64on May 06, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Badfish64, i think the main part of the whole Shadrach Mesach and Abednago story is that they were pulled out of the fire by angels and proceeded to dance above it.

    Lonsdale_londonon June 07, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    those three names are indeed the key to understanding the song. Sadrach mesach and abedagno where three pious jews who, according to the bible, lived under the reign of nebukadnezar. They refused to bow before the golden statue he had made of himself.

    in this song the beasty boys identify themselves with those 3 jews and king nebukadnezar stands for the music industry. The bosses of the major labels. the song expresses the desire to stay true to theirselves.

    the songs is from the 1989 album Paul's Boutique. that album was disliked and vilified by their label (ironically capitol records) (no need to say the king stays in the capital) because it was not commercial enough. Guess they got the message trough.

    JayWalkeron January 12, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Let's face it...the Beastie Boys were not the typical hip hop artists - and I don't mean just because they're white (ahem Vanilla Ice). They were party guys. They still are. They experimented with production, and they didn't give a flying f*ck what corporate said about they're music. They were rebel rappers by style, personality, and music. That's exactly what this song is about. They did their thing, despite what King Nebukadnezar (hip hop corporate) tried to force them to do. They are the Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednago of hip hop. Sick song, sick meaning...gotta love the Beasties!

    And they said the Sh'ma!

    LehighAlanon May 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Shadrach is classic, timeless hip hop.

    Mushmouth Joeon June 25, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is my all-time favorite Beastie Boys song. Who else understands the decadence of "smoking and drinking on a Tuesday night?"

    D. Dodge Silveron November 08, 2019   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Light Up The Sky
Van Halen
The song lyrics were written by the band Van Halen, as they were asked to write a song for the 1979 movie "Over the Edge" starring Matt Dillon. The movie (and the lyrics, although more obliquely) are about bored, rebellious youth with nothing better to do than get into trouble. If you see the movie, these lyrics will make more sense. It's a great movie if you grew up in the 70s/80s you'll definitely remember some of these characters from your own life. Fun fact, after writing the song, Van Halen decided not to let the movie use it.
Album art
Mental Istid
Ebba Grön
This is one of my favorite songs. https://fnfgo.io
Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
Amazing
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran tells a story of unsuccessfully trying to feel “Amazing.” This track is about the being weighed down by emotional stress despite valiant attempts to find some positivity in the situation. This track was written by Ed Sheeran from the perspective of his friend. From the track, we see this person fall deeper into the negative thoughts and slide further down the path of mental torment with every lyric.
Album art
Page
Ed Sheeran
There aren’t many things that’ll hurt more than giving love a chance against your better judgement only to have your heart crushed yet again. Ed Sheeran tells such a story on “Page.” On this track, he is devastated to have lost his lover and even more saddened by the feeling that he may never move on from this.