What does Prayer of the Refugee mean?

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Rise Against: Prayer of the Refugee Meaning

Prayer of the Refugee Lyrics

Warm yourself by the fire, son,
And the morning will come soon.
I’ll tell you stories of a better time,
In a place that we once knew.

Before we packed our bags
And left all this behind us in the dust,
We had a place that we could call...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Jul 9th, 2007 7:13am report


    This song could be a refugee talking to his child. He starts off telling him about how they once had a home and a perfect life. In the next verse he talks about how refugees often stay in the background of world affairs, but they quietly are trying to change the world in whatever ways they can. In the next verse he stops telling the story, and they have to meve on. He tells the child to fight with whatever he's got, which is actually slightly similar to the message of their song, "Behind Closed Doors." The chorus is the refugee's inner feelings: he doesn't want anyone to help him because he is trying to cling to his lost ability to defend what is his, and has been betrayed and let down by others so many times. It could also be a cry to the rest of the world, as the first poster said.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Jan 21st, 2007 1:58am report


    First of all, this is a great site, very unique- I didn't expect this kind of site. (great for people that have PASSION for music and literal art) Also, great song and video. From emphasizing their political views, great voice, genuine message of the song, and to tempo changes in the chorus.

    I'm going all out in this interpretation because I love this song, I'm a nerd about this, and it's my first analysis. Haha.

    As many people knows about this band, their songs have strong political views. They have anti-government and libertarian views. The video is produced and represented straight from the lyrics, so it's easy to understand.

    "Warm yourself by the fire, son,
    And the morning will come soon.
    I’ll tell you stories of a better time,
    In a place that we once knew
    Before we packed our bags
    And left all this behind us in the dust,
    We had a place that we could call home,
    And a life no one could touch."
    Easy-This simply tells us that the issues in present day are no longer what it used to be..... which isn't good. It basically expresses their despairing feelings.

    "Don’t hold me up now,
    I can stand my own ground,
    I don’t need your help now,
    You will let me down, down, down!"
    Everyone's favorite part. This lyric is really zesty when put together with the tune. Coinciding with the video, this excellent chorus expresses toward the anti-liberal politics by literally screaming at their ears that. "The world does not need anything like YOU!" "You're letting foreign people who are also in poverty (child labor involved) make all of our material possessions??? How Dare You!!" "you lying about that our Air Jordan Sneakers that costs $200 were actually made in poor countries by little kids that work for like 5cents a day??? yet you post 'Made in USA'" ... yeah... That's practically wut they're saying.

    "But we’ve been sweating while you slept so calm,
    In the safety of your home.
    We’ve been pulling out the nails that hold up
    Everything you’ve known."
    This part tells the public about their pathetic unawareness and ignorance about the outside world, while people working in shadows toil to let you live comfortably.

    "So open your eyes child,
    Let’s be on our way.
    Broken windows and ashes
    Are guiding the way.
    Keep quiet no longer,
    We’ll sing through the day,
    Of the lives that we’ve lost,
    And the lives we’ve reclaimed."
    Now here's the positive message to us(mostly toward the general fans of this band- young listeners who have the potential and the future to change the world). This simply tell us to "Hey, wake up and change the world, you're young and able and you could be influential to this progressing goal." and they express honor and praise to people who died for their passionate beliefs- martyrs.

    well, there you have it... See, the lyrics really have a deep message that you may not be aware of. and Yes,... I'm ridiculous about this song, but who cares... I love it. Rise Against all the way. I'm totally buying their new album tomorrow. Haha.



  3. 3TOP RATED

    Punx912
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    Jan 24th, 2009 1:54pm report


    I think the chorus has been slightly misinterpreted. I think it's addressing the claim that some make about child labor: Western corporations are providing these people with a job. In many places the corporate factories of companies like Nike are the sole source of income, the only means by which these people can earn a living. Due to this fact, many people believe that these companies are "holding up" foreign economies. In actuality, however, these companies are simply inhibiting the development of local business due to the locals' inability to compete with the corporate giants. If these corporations would pull out, then foreign economies would develop on their own and the overall situation would be substantially better. Thus in the song, the Refugee is telling people that he doesn't need Western corporations to hold him and/or his country up, he can take care of himself, and it'll all work out.

    Also "You will let me down" is referring to the fact that corporations, as a general rule, cause much more harm than good when meddling with foreign economies. Especially when (not if) they pull out.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 30th, 2012 1:36pm report


    I think it`s not really about a refugee more about third-world countrys and the child- (and of course other) labour under horrobil conditions (like in the music-video). Of course it`s Rise Against it`s all about politics.


    The seconde verse of the song also make clear that the strong coutrys abuse the weak one for there own advantages, instad of helping them.
    And who has to suffer the most for this are the childern.
    "But we’ve been sweating while you slept so calm,
    In the safety of your home.
    We’ve been pulling out the nails that hold up
    Everything you’ve known."

    The beginning is very interesting too because it shows off that industrial revolution made a bad turn to these weak(poor) countrys and that the would be better of without.

    "Warm yourself by the fire, son,
    And the morning will come soon.
    I’ll tell you stories of a better time,
    In a place that we once knew
    Before we packed our bags
    And left all this behind us in the dust,
    We had a place that we could call home,
    And a life no one could touch."

    About the refrain I`m not sure either but i think it`s about the relationship of the poor countrys to the rich ones. The third-world countrys want to be indepentent preyed by the others that they are better up allone that "they can stand there own ground" and don`t need "help" like this.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 4th, 2011 8:10am report


    Well my interpretation might be a bit weird but anyway....

    So judging by the chorus of the song, there's a refugee screaming at the authorities about how he/she is not a pathetic worm that can be pushed around, that he/she in a human being, a person that was once like everyone else. "We had a place that we could call home, and a life no one could touch"



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 10th, 2011 4:43am report


    Ich finde in dem Lied geht es darum, dass ein Vater oder Flüchtling einem Kind von seiner Vergangenheit erzählt und ihm zeigen will dass er alles zurücklassen soll und neu anfangen soll.



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 2nd, 2010 10:25pm report


    I think this is a very strong song and tells the truth about out nation



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 1st, 2010 6:08pm report


    I think the guy took 'refuge' inside a factory, because he had to, for money. New show shops (cooporations running factries) took place of the old ones. Factories have been built.
    But he has a prayer to return to the old traditions again.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 22nd, 2009 10:11pm report


    Alot of these are VERY great interpretations. What i think of in this song, not generally the main meaning, but i think this song was writed to change people's thoughts. tht a song can still be very strong to change a life. also if you watch the video, at the end it says "fair trade" so what i thought then was how the USA CLAIMS to have "fair trade" and the chorus "dont help me up" is what most of the world should say.



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 13th, 2009 2:28am report


    I have to agree with punx912 now. At first (before I saw the video) I was thinking it was talking about welfare enabling people to live like in poverty like refugees and how it is hurting them more than helping them. I now (after watching the video) see the meaning that punx912 was talking about.



  11.  

    crk416
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    Dec 1st, 2008 12:03pm report


    I think because it has the word prayer in the title it is obosly about refugee's saying like "what the hell god?" (Holocost)



  12.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 16th, 2008 11:22am report


    The song could be literally interpreted for refugees, but if you watch their music video, you'll see that it's meant to show their political views.



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 7th, 2008 11:12pm report


    By liberal, I think that he means social liberalism.



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 23rd, 2008 10:37pm report


    Yeah, maybe everybody is looking too deep into it.

    Did anybody ever think that this MIGHT actually be referring to refugees? That maybe they wrote a song about how "life happens, and sometimes it sucks"? Maybe they got the idea from hurricane Katrina, I mean nobody knows. Well that's my opinion...



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 5th, 2008 9:47pm report


    It's about how instead of protection, acceptance and aid, the refugee meets prejudice and hatred everywhere he goes, but ultimately that prejudice is the downfall of the host society at which the refugee can and should have the last laugh if he meets his own needs at the expense of the wealthy and powerful



  16.  

    Serioussam
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    Apr 24th, 2008 4:10am report


    Maybe it's about a mother talking to her son after she was left by her husband/partner.



  17.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 21st, 2008 2:08am report


    I agree with the provbs the song is from the point of view of the refugee.

    The song and the music video are about sweat shops and how refugees are taking refuge in the usa because of it's bad business ethics. our government signed a GATT (tarif) for legal sweat shops in south america and mexico (NAFTA) and then our politicians scare the public with the immigration "problem"



  18.  

    Ukraine
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    Dec 24th, 2007 12:21pm report


    I agree with X georgie. This song is about refugees in general. "Broken windows and ashes are guiding the way," is representative of any set of refugees that have had to leave due to hardship. It could symbolize Kristalnacht, an invading Roman Army, the turmoil in Africa right now, or even the Mexicans sneaking across the border into the U.S. In order to find better work.



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