"Bulls on Parade" as written by and De La Rocha/commerford/morello/wilk....
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Lyrics submitted by piesupreme

Bulls on Parade song meanings
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  • +15
    General CommentWow, you guys are way off. This song is about the military industrial complex in America today (of which both parties are equally to blame). Remember, this song was written in 1995, way before George W Bush became president and the whole warmongering label was applied to Republicans.

    "Bull" is in reference to the bull market, which the military industrial complex is supposed to feed.

    "They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells" - This is in reference to family value politicians, who then proceed to send us to war for profit.

    "Tha rotten sore on tha face of mother earth gets bigger" - This is to reference the military industrial complex growing as America influences more land through its military complex

    "Wit tha sure shot, sure ta make tha bodies drop
    Drop an don't copy yo, don't call this a co-op" - This is referencing CIA coups that were occurring during the 70s and 80s. The CIA would do a coup and then say it was a co-op with a local group and install a puppet leader.

    "They don't gotta burn tha books they just remove 'em" - How the victor changes the history and identity of the people to how they see fit

    "Either drop tha hits like de la O" - This is in referencec to Genovevo da la O, who was a Zapatista guerrilla leader during the Mexican revolution of the early 1900s
    coold00don January 30, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI'll start here since I can't make sense of the first few lines:

    "Terror rains drenchin', quenchin' tha thirst of
    Tha power dons"
    Equates politicians in power to "dons", a term for leaders of organized crime families, to liken them to criminals.

    "That five sided fist-a-gon"
    Clearly, a reference to the United States' pentagon, but using the word fist. The most obvious and likely intent is that we enforce our own laws, here and abroad, with war (the fist signifying bullying, further, violence).

    "Tha rotten sore on the face of mother earth gets
    This can be interpretted in two ways:
    1) America is the rotten sore, which grows; this seems to be popular
    2) The rotten sore is simply scorched land from wars

    "Tha triggers cold empty ya purse"
    First of all, "tha triggers cold..." makes it seem as if something is wrong. The speaker of this line would be the politician, stating that the trigger is cold, and we are obligated to warm it. And when we start beating the war drum, the nation's citizens will need to fund it.

    "They rally round tha family
    With pockets full of shells"
    As has been said, a lot of politicians talk about family values, yet are completely ready to send us off to war. Naturally, this points at their hypocrisy.

    "Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes
    Not need, just feed tha war canibal animal"
    Obvious enough, he's talking about how we spend money to fund war instead of helping feed, cloth, or house people.

    "I walk tha corner to tha rubble that used to be a
    Line up to tha mind cemetery"
    Again, like the last line. But this is a bit more striking because while food, shelter, and clothing are essential needs, education isn't requred for human survival. Instead, it is pivotal for our development. The allocation of resources to our wars in lieu of libraries (symbolic for education in general) causes us to progress in the wrong direction.

    "What we don't know keeps tha contracts alive an
    They don't gotta burn tha books they just remove 'em"
    This is similar to the last statement, though a bit more specific. By disallowing certain books, threats of simply thinking radically are severely hindered. You can't really oppose something if you don't know it's even there to be opposed.

    "While arms warehouses fill as quick as tha cells"
    Simply put, we're building weapons and incarcerating people at the same rate. Considering the song, up to now, has been speaking about how those in power are pouring so much effort into war (and, naturally, building weapons as well), it would follow that cells filling as quick as arms warehouses are filling... quite fast. Someone said something about political prisoners and people who disagree with the government. Sorry, but that is utterly moronic. People are simply being put in jail. I'm pretty sure that huge prison population of persons who were put in for smoking crack weren't exactly POLITICAL prisoners. This is just a statement about how ridiculous our prison system is. It is ridiculously easy to be sent to a prison in the U.S.

    "Bulls on parade"
    Bulls, throughout history and in many different cultures, have been a symbol of power. We're talking about those in power in America.
    nephoson February 21, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song is about war and the propoganda of war. the government trys to make war look good with the propoganda
    imajackasson August 01, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentInterpit how you wish, but it is clearly about the over population of the white and black bears or china...the dreaded pandas. Everyone knows that pandas must die, and thats what rage is trying to get across...Pocket full of shells... hello everyone knows pockets, as in the pockets pandas have, so we gotta shoot em down.
    fuzzbuster91on September 21, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFunny, I remember an interview with Morello where he states the inspiration of the song came from Ruby Ridge :
    neonsunnon May 25, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentcome with it now
    the microphone explodes, shattering the molds
    Ya eighter drop tha hits like de la o or get tha
    Fuck off tha commode

    Not quite a political statement, this is more of a rap-type intro.

    Wit tha sure shot, sure ta make tha
    Bodies drop
    Drop an don't copy yo, don't call this
    A co-opt

    This is how it's gonna be. Bodies will fall, don't believe us if you want, but don't call us liars.

    Terror rains drenchin', quenchin' tha thirst of
    Tha power dons

    Power dons. A Don is the title of Mob Boss with the Scicillians, and has been a position of authority in Feudal and later Italy. The power dons are lead government/military officials.

    That five sided fist-a-gon

    Pentagon. Headquarters to the military.

    Tha rotten sore on the face of mother earth gets

    Could be either the constantly ongoing conflict in the middle east, or more to an ecological level. How our environment's fucked and what not.

    Tha triggers cold empty ya purse

    We havn't bombed anyone recently, give the government more money, the triggers are cold from disuse.

    They rally round tha family
    With pockets full of shells

    First part could go back to the mobster mentallity of 'The Family' the family could just be the government heads, sticking together, etc..
    Pocket full of shells refers to a more urbanized way of fighting. Kind of like in the middle eastern conflicts, the militant village people might not always have a clip, so you go into battle with a pocketfull of shells.
    Or it could be just a warmongering person, so syked up he just goes out with his gun and a pocketfull of shells.
    Or just a metaphor for war itself.

    Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes
    Not need, just feed tha war canibal animal

    Government spending. 'Nuff said.

    I walk tha corner to tha rubble that used to be a
    Line up to tha mind cemetery

    Degeneration of conscious thought by the media. It wears away at our ability to think critically and for ourselves, and that's the government's whole point, to wear us down untill we're easily manipulated.

    What we don't know keeps tha contracts alive an

    See above. The gov't can continue their agenda while we're lead unbound like sheep to the slaughter.

    They don't gotta burn tha books they just remove 'em

    Keep us stupid, censorship. Read Faranheit 451

    While arms warehouses fill as quick as tha cells

    Rally round tha family, pockets full of shells
    Rally round tha family
    With pockets full of shells

    Bulls on parade

    Military leaders and political officials parading around, all cockey and acting like they're the shit. A weight lifting competition.
    BlackKettleon May 30, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou guys need to take a Political Science class or something, this song is about the Military Industiral Complex a system consisting of misplaced powers that create wars inorder to create large profits from people such as contractors. thus WEAPONS not food. not homes. not shoes....wikipedia MIT and you guys will learn in do time!
    JS1988on May 27, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"War does not determine who is right - only who is left."-Bertrand Russell.
    you win a war, you lose a truth.
    MechanicalEnemyon July 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMost of Rage's songs are about government as a whole. Like the Bush administration (and so I don't get attacked by sheeple, the Obama administration too), they rally around family matters (social issues), like abortion, while spending billions on bombs committing mass genocide all over the world. Really it makes no sense, why is abortion such a huge deal when it is only a fetus? It has not even seen the world or developed thought yet, but people who are alive, feel emotion, pain, sorrow.. they do not matter and we kill them and just look the other way.
    They (government) rally round the family, with a pocket full of shells.
    RaShockon October 29, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about the military industrial complex

    With the sure shot, sure to make the bodies drop (with the most advanced weapons on earth)

    Drop and don't copy yo, don't call this a co-opt(the countries taken over are not allowed to adopt the
    american system & are forced to take neo-liberal policies,/ it's done against the will of the people)

    Terror rains drenchin', quenchin' the thirst of tha power dons (the terror feeds those who are in power)

    That five sided fist-a-gon (the Pentagon being used for aggression)

    Tha rotten sore on the face of mother earth gets bigger (the modern capitalist system /the damage caused by war.)

    Tha triggers cold empty your purse (taxes to pay for war, or the use of the military to rob other nations)

    They rally round the family, With a pocket full of shells (They threaten families)

    Bulls on parade ( War profiteers & companies that benefit from the market of countries forced to take on these policies, comes from the phrase "bull market")
    Realitybites420on January 03, 2011   Link

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