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
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  • +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

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