and to love: a god
and to fear: a flame
and to burn a crowd that has a name
and to right or wrong
and to meek or strong
it is known, just scream it from the wall

I've willed, I've walked, I've read
I've talked, I know, I know,
I've been here before

hey, now we won't be raped
hey, now we won't be scarred like that

it's the sun that burns
it's the wheel that turns
it's the way we sing that makes 'em dream

and to christ: a cross
and to me: a chair
I will sit and earn the ransom
from up here

Lyrics submitted by Caverna[RR]

Selling The Drama song meanings
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  • +9
    General Comment

    Wow, all this deep analysis and apparently nobody has hit on the obvious meaning of this song. The title says it all: "Selling the Drama". Here's another big hint. Right beside the written lyrics in the Throwing Copper CD insert there is a little stick figure cartoon. The cartoon depicts a person standing at a pulpit above a crowd. The person is screaming through a megaphone. Get it? The Bible is the drama and Christian leaders are the sellers. This song is about how religious leaders capitalize and cash in on the beliefs of the faithful.

    The songwriter takes three voices in this song: 1. The preacher selling the myth. 2. The songwriter himself and his own religious views 3. The parishioners who are being exploited. In the first verse the preacher explains the how religion is sold, with a carrot and a stick. The love of a benevolent father figure is the carrot. The fear of eternal flames is the stick. Good or bad, meek or strong, the book is written and just about everyone knows and believes the story. There is no need to reinvent the wheel in order to cash in. All one needs to do is "just scream it from the wall(s)" to use an old expression.

    Then the songwriter uses his own voice to tell us about his own beliefs. "I've willed, I've walked.... I've been here before" refers to his apparent belief in reincarnation. The beautiful song "Lighting Crashes" makes strong reference to reincarnation as well. "Oh now feel it comin' back again... forces pullin' from the center of the earth again... presents the circle..."

    In the line "we wont be raped... we won't be scared like that" he speaks for the parishioners who, when snapped out of their spell, reject the exploitation. Then in the last two verses he reverts back to the voice of the preacher. The sun burns, the wheel turns, we sing, we dance, whatever it takes to keep them under our spell. Armed with the story, symbol and authority of Christ on the cross, the preacher sits back at the pulpit collecting his ransom for the souls of his parishioners.

    The irony of this song, that I imagine the songwriter doesn't even realize, is that he rejects one brand of superstition while he exposes is own brand of superstition. It's astonishing how many people can have the good sense to rid themselves of such deeply ingrained nonsense, yet they easily fall right into a new flavor of nonsense. It's a flawed song. But the flaws make me like it all the more!

    turantualon June 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i love this song, but they are kinda crazy lyrics aye? i think it may be about choices and beliefs : what you chose to love, what you chose to fear, what you chose to believe in(christ: a cross, or even if it's only a chair-it's your choice and your belief, despite what everyone else thinks of it) and whether or not they are right, wrong, meek or strong, they are the choices that you've made, and you'll stick by them even if you have to scream them out loud to let everybody else know that.

    "i've willed, i've walked..."etc is like saying "i've lived this much of my life, and all my experiences have led me to this conclusion. i've been here before, i've already made this choice."

    we wont be "raped" ie we wont have other peoples ideas and choices forced apon us. we wont let them scar us with their overbearing views.

    im not too sure about the next bit, perhaps saying that the choices and beliefs you have are what are acting on your life (sun burning. wheel turning) and that your actions (the way you sing) is what lets other people know what you are all about, and lets them see this whole new way of living (their new dream).

    im not sure about the last line either, but perhaps its saying that they'll stick to their choices and beliefs further, even if it seperates them from other people (up here) and that they'll earn people's respect or acceptance of those beliefs and choices from their seperated point, because they aren't gonna change them.

    sharzayon July 21, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i think its about the difference between religion and reality.

    dollsteaktestmeaton August 15, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I think this song is about an apostate from a mind-controlling cult, specifically someone who has left a fundamentalist Christian group.

    "I've willed, I've walked, I've read I've talked, I know, I know, I've been here before"

    He's saying that he wanted to believe (willed), he "walked the walk" or Christian beliefs, he's read the Bible, and he's either preached or "tongue-talked". He was a Christian at one time; he's been there before.

    "hey, now we won't be raped hey, now we won't be scarred like that"

    Many people who leave cults say that they feel that they were "spiritually raped" by the cult. Apostates from fundamentalist Christianity (which is basically another cult) often say the same thing.

    "it's the sun that burns it's the wheel that turns"

    He takes the world for what it is rather than trying to see "God's hand" in everything. The sun shines and the world turns on their own, it's not God doing it.

    "it's the way we sing that makes 'em dream"

    Cults use repetitive music to hypnotize/brainwash their followers.

    Also, many Christians feel a kind of euphoria while singing worship music and they attribute this feeling to God's presence, but it's really just a property of the music they're singing.

    renosianon March 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i always thought the reference about the chair, was him sitting at church or whatever, maybe reading his bible or thinking, and trying to learn for himself what's right and earn his ransom. not saying its a complete backing of the church, it just seems to me that he's trying to find out for himself how to earn the ransom.

    i also like the lines "and to right or wrong, and to meek or strong" and especially "it is known, just scream it from the wall" it seems like he's saying that anyone can find what he's looking for (i thought god, but that can be interpreted as a number of different things), everything you need is there, and its for anyone who's willing to try for it.

    that's just what i thought from those verses, i liked what ascribe said, it really makes me think deeper about it and i could be wrong

    Seki-samaon October 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Alright, it is....

    Obviously, the theme of the song is religion. The lyrics are a little disconnected (intentionally) so you have to look at the verse's seperately:

    /and to love: a god /and to fear: a flame /and to burn a crowd that has a name /and to right or wrong /and to meek or strong

    Here he's just going over some common religious themes and imagery, basically just introducing the theme of the song.

    The first two lines mean that religion attaches imagery to emotions, i.e., love is symbolized by god, fear is symbolized by hell. The third line refers to preachers who incite or energize their church members. The "name" of the crowd is whatever religion he happens to be preaching. The last two lines don't mean anything, they're just some common religious themes.

    /it is known, just scream it from the wall

    Here he's saying all the specifics of all these various religious themes aren't important, but the religious feeling in general, "it", is what's important. "scream it from the wall" (a reference to the wailing wall, sacred place where jews go to pray).

    /I've willed, I've walked, I've read /I've talked, I know, I know, /I've been here before

    Here he's expressing some frustration with the religious experience, that he's been through all these themes he mentioned earlier time and again and isn't finding the answers he wants (you can't tell the frustration from the words alone, you have to hear the emotion in his voice).

    /hey, now we won't be raped /hey, now we won't be scarred like that

    Now his frustration has grown to full-blown anger. His fruitless search for god has hurt him, it has "raped" and "scarred" him and now he (and, presumably others) won't take it anymore.

    /it's the sun that burns /it's the wheel that turns /it's the way we sing that makes 'em dream

    Here, the anger and frustration have passed, and a new insight is born: Life goes on...everything is basically OK...and finally, more personally, it's his songs that make them (his fans) dream. (a line that represents a return to "reality" or "his reality" in his thoughts.

    /and to christ: a cross /and to me: a chair /I will sit and earn the ransom /from up here

    At last, he's figured it all out, and this is his answer: Christ had to pay a ransom for his life (a new-age, alternative understanding of the Christian story), and he did so by dying on the cross.

    However, that was Christ's life. The singer's life is different, and he must earn his ransom in his own way. In this case, he'll earn it with a chair (That is, sitting at a chair, singing to the crowd).

    The moral of the song is that a person doesn't have to live in a particular way, or follow a particular religion, to find redemption. Rather, you earn redemption simply by accepting and living the life that was given to you.

    elpresidenteon May 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    All I know is I attended a church one time that re-enacted what hell was like I wanted to love a God, but I didn't enjoy fearing the flame of hell.

    I won't be raped like that anymore. I go to church, but I have my own mind. I don't believe everything they tell me about how people will burn.

    Only the sun can burn me. And, the wheel of time heals all wounds in my eyes.

    I don't know if this is what he is talking about in his song, but this is what it means to me.

    In the Christian religion, many are taught we will sit on our chair and have all these treasures for believing while we sit on our chair and watch the sinners burn - -what hipocrites.

    We won't be raped like that - You are taught you will sit on your chair and earn treasures for believing, but some people make it seem like they are above all others and can't wait to watch those beneith them suffer - - how sick.

    There is some verse in the bible that says I will sit up in heaven and claim my treasures or some shit like that. People take it out of text.

    TinaBadinaon August 31, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    And to Christ: a cross And to me: a chair I will sit and earn the ransom From up here

    There's a lot of debate about what this chair is (electric chair? church pew?), but I think the clue is in the word "up". This is an image of someone sitting in heaven because Christ paid the ransom on the cross. Whether the songwriter considers that a true image or a false one, I'm not sure.

    But the lines before that suggest to me the songwriter sees religion as fake:

    It's the sun that burns It's the wheel that turns It's the way we sing that makes 'em dream

    The sun, the wheel, these are tangible things that operate with no need for God. But the singing choir and the vocal preacher make people dream there's a God orchestrating these things.

    And to right or wrong And to meek or strong It is known, just scream it from the wall

    He's saying we don't need religion to tell us right from wrong - it is known. Therefore, he is saying the "dreams" religion sells us serve no good purpose.

    BeautyUntamedon June 08, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i have been looking for this song for SO LONG download it or buy it now if not for the lyrics then for the sound it is amazing.

    gl0ws in the darkon July 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i agree. its demonstrated through the lines: and to christ: a cross and to me: a chair

    sexysoccerchicon August 15, 2002   Link

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