Rage Against the Machine: Bulls On Parade Meaning
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Song Released: 1996
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Bulls On Parade Lyrics
Come wit it now!
The microphone explode, shattering
Ya eighter drop tha hits like de la Ho or get tha
Fuck off tha commode
With tha sure shot, sure ta make tha
Drop an don't copy yo, don't call...
Know_Your_Enemy Apr 12th, 2006 4:37pm report
I believe it is about the American government's willingness to use force at any opportunity (Bulls On Parade = Invading Army?). Zack also says how every single information outlet (Internet, Library etc, etc.) has been taken over by pro-war propaganda (I walk tha corner to tha rubble that used to be a Library). So yeah I'm sure there's some other anti-American, anti-capitalism stuff in there, Rage got that message across so well. Too bad they broke up.
anonymous Apr 10th, 2011 4:27am report
i would say the libary getting destroyed is the metaphor for destruction of knowledge and instead the stupidness of war takes its place and all that took its place is more dead.
anonymous Dec 15th, 2010 12:21am report
The song is a metaphor for the arms dealers and war being a profitable business in our current society(bulls on parade= war pigs, as in they are both violent and blatantly destructive and unconcerned with the damage they cause) and war being viewed as a necessary aspect of our lives. How murder and destruction of other countries can be taken advantage of from a business and political view point. How the government almost needs an enemy to unite the public and keep them fired up and distracted. Also how the government continues to focus time and resources on war as apposed to domestic issues. Then they also reference propaganda being taught in our schools and media.
anonymous Sep 8th, 2009 9:00am report
the song is basically about US involvement in war all the damn time. bulls on parade refers to the military. one verse goes, "that five sided fist-a-gon" which is refering to the pentagon. pocket full of shells means pocket full of bullets
anonymous Oct 9th, 2008 10:26pm report
You guys really have no idea what is going on now do you?
My suggestion is to look really really hard at your surroundings and if you look hard enough you may see what has been going on under your noses for the past 4.000 years,
and yes I said four thousand.
It's very simple yet ever so complex and I mean this with all due respect but you all need to WAKE UP, Because it is all downhill from here.
anonymous Sep 15th, 2008 9:41pm report
Most of you have certain aspects of interpretation however it involves a bigger picture and cannot neccessarily be interpreted as a only one meaning. The song mensions many aspects of the evil of our system (that of the United States and other Western powers). The fact that we are aggressively attacking "terrorism"(defined by the american government as the attacking of innocent people "BY THE ENEMY" for a specific ideological or political purpose) and destroy entire countries are for several reasons. Many people think that the main reason is to provide more money to buisinesses either by oil, weaponry, or reconstruction contracts. Here the line, Terror rains drenchin, quenchin the thirst of the power dons is important. Either way you interpret it whether it is us doing the terrorism or the enemy (whether we both do it is a fact and not conspiracy or anything, you just have to dust off the surface, by our means it is called state terrorism), there are powerful people in the buisiness world that do infact make money off these wars and they need it because they are consumed in greed.
Although this is true, another more principle reason is also to provide fear to any other country or movement willing to defy the American government/military power, thus keeping them in line. Here is where the line Rally round the family, with a pocket full of shells is important. The United States attempts to use its massive military infrastructure to install its own world order and is successful in may occurrences, their failures are usually erased from history, "they don't gotta burn the books they just remove em". They often block sanctions which help bring in humanitarian aid to countries in their operations to further destroy the hopes of the people, the system that does this sounds similar to the lines "weapons not food, not homes, not shoes, just feed the war cannibal animal.
The song is open for a variety of interpretation but this one has the most meaning for me. The world has to stand up to these oppressive regimes such as our own by increasing the voice and opinions of the world population. This isn't the middle ages anymore, and we now have the information to see what is really going on. These people responsible should be tried the same way the Nazis were at Nuremberg, for they are responsible for the same war crimes.
anonymous Apr 21st, 2008 4:25pm report
They don't gotta burn the books they just remove em
reference to Fahrenheit 451. where fireman burn books instead of putting out fires. no one remembers when fireman actually put out fires.
the kids break things beat kids up for entertainment. one girl talks to a fireman and plants a seed in his head that what he's doing is wrong.
this book is anti-consumerism (his wife buys t.v. walls and watches people, doing nothing LITERALLY. when asked she doesn't know any of the characters names or why she watches it.)
AMAZING BOOK READ IT!!
you will understand what I mean.
much <3 for RATM
anonymous Feb 5th, 2008 2:15pm report
The song is about the Military Industrial Complex and propaganda that rallies support for war.
By the way, "Bulls" is a slang term for police. It is used in prisons mostly. Look it up.
anonymous Nov 13th, 2007 11:13pm report
The line "weapons not food [...] feed the war cannibal animal" is talking about how the government would rather give someone that needs help a gun instead of what they really need ("not need, just feed the war"). The line "terror rains" is a double entendre for "terror reigns." The "mind cemetary" bit is as most people have already said: the government is only allowing what they want us to read into the mainstream. If we wanted to, we could read just about anything, but that book will never be a mainstream hit, and thus read by more people, once the govt is involved. This is finished with "they don't gotta burn the books, they just remove 'em." "Arms warehouses fll as quick as the cells" is pretty self-explanatory...
anonymous Oct 16th, 2007 10:50pm report
Well also, Bulls on parade Symbolizes the Stock market. Bull market or bear market. The song is partially meaning that the United States Gov is willing to trade lives and liberties for a good economy. awesome song.
This song is about how governments use propaganda to their people into supporting whatever they want.
"Terror rains, drenching, quenching the thirst of the power dons," I think this line is about the fear of terrorism and how it's used to manipulate people to support wars.
anonymous May 2nd, 2007 5:59pm report
To me I feel like this is the opposite of what you guys are saying. I think this song is about Iraq but not anti-american but anti-terrorist, mainly because of the line:
"Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes. Just feed the war cannibal animal."
The quote wasn't exact but you get the point. I think it's about how poor they are in Iraq but instead of trying to make things right again they buy weapons and join the terrorists. Hope that made sense to someone.
anonymous Apr 30th, 2007 4:23am report
i think the line:
"I walk tha corner to tha rubble that used to be a Library
Line up to tha mind cemetery
What we don't know keeps tha contracts alive an movin
They don't gotta burn tha books they just remove em"
is talking about schools. they don't gotta burn the books the just remove em, meaning that they teach us what they want us to know. the books are out there, but nobody takes it upon themselves to learn things they don't think they need to know. the first and fourth lines are tied together in that meaning. line up to the mind cemetery, saying in schools we are taught things like dates and facts that do not teach us to think, just know things. rendering our minds useless. and what we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin means that if everyone did know the things "they" don't want you to, people would not stand for the way "they" do business. very very powerful song, as are all ratm songs.
anonymous Feb 15th, 2007 2:17pm report
It's about the Military Industrial Complex in the United States. That pretty much rounds up, in general, what everyone has alluded to in their posts. Willingness to start/perpetuate war because of profit.
anonymous Feb 11th, 2007 2:12am report
Yes like everybody else stated this track is just taking on the military. and how when ever an army invades a country. The people of that country being invaded are the ones to suffer. building being destroyed such as schools libraries and homes. well that's just what the lyrics are saying to me....
imsweetasallheezy Jan 22nd, 2007 1:57am report
This is about the way the government takes from and/or tricks the people to help themselves...they keep our minds on things not important such as sports, movies, books, and especially the news while they concentrate on things they don't want us to know.
inthinking Oct 13th, 2006 10:14pm report
It's about america's willingness to start war, particularly it's semi invasion of iraq in '91. The chorus "bull's on parade" along with "rally round the family, pocket fulla shells" is a refernce to rebellion and staring a revolution. The entire song is an outcry for acton against any form of invading army, the libray became a minded cemetery, the explosive mines symbolizing destruction and the cemetery symbolizing the lives lost there. However ratm's songs are open for much interpretation so I'm just as wrong as the next guy I guess?
anonymous Aug 16th, 2006 8:37pm report
Bulls on Parade is clearly about the take over of an opressive government. A military dictatorship is in control and has restricted information by removing books and substituting them with their propoganda. Tanks are rolling down the streets to get rid of opposers and show off power, as they are the "bulls on parade".
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