The future teaches you to be alone
The present to be afraid and cold
"So if I can shoot rabbits then I can shoot fascists"

Bullets for your brain today
But we'll forget it all again
Monuments put from pen to paper
Turns me into a gutless wonder

And if you tolerate this then your children will be next
And if you tolerate this then your children will be next
Will be next, will be next, will be next

Gravity keeps my head down
Or is it maybe shame
At being so young and being so vain

Holes in your head today
But I'm a pacifist
I've walked La Ramblas but not with real intent

And if you tolerate this then your children will be next
And if you tolerate this then your children will be next
Will be next, will be next, will be next, yeah will be next

And on the street tonight
An old man plays with newspaper cuttings of his glory days

And if you tolerate this then your children will be next
And if you tolerate this then your children will be next
Will be next, will be next, will be next


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If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next Lyrics as written by Nicholas Jones James Bradfield

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentBefore WWII communism was very popular with the left leaning intellectual elite. They saw fascism as a huge threat and thought that by joining the communists in the Spain civil war they could prevent fascism from spreading, help the world, build a utopia, etc.

    Needless to say, they were fairly naive. Many went to fight the fascists without any concept of how horrible it would be. So you had these left leaning university grad intellectuals (like Austin) who had only fired rifles when hunting, enlisting to be fighters and ambulance drivers in Spain. Hence the
    "if I can shoot rabbits
    then I can shoot fascists".

    Only once they got there did they start to realize that the communists were just as much puppets controlled by Russia as the fascists were controlled by Germany & Italy (in fact maybe even more so).

    They were young and vain and thought they could win. The fascists were much better equipped and organized and probably had more local support. Many returned to England and America broken men.
    Hence the line
    "Gravity keeps my head down
    Or is it maybe shame
    At being so young and being so vain".
    Notice how they had to keep their heads down to avoid being shot.

    Many had been pacifists in college, they were idealistic and unprepared. The war wasn't real to them, until they arrived and saw their friends killed.
    Hence,
    "Holes in your head today
    But I'm a pacifist
    I've walked La Ramblas
    But not with real intent"

    The war became a prelude to World War II, in which oddly enough, the victorious Spanish fascists remained neutral.
    “Bullets for your brain today
    But we'll forget it all again”
    gongozoloon November 27, 2004   Link

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