What does Chop Suey mean?

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System of a Down: Chop Suey Meaning

Song Released: 2001

Chop Suey Lyrics

We're Rolling Suicide

Wake up(wake up)
Grab a brush and put a little makeup
Hide the scars to fade away the shakeup
Why’d you leave the keys upon the table?
Here you go create another fable
You wanted to
Grab a brush...


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    Dec 31st, 2006 12:36pm report

    I have read a lot of interpretations on this song, and many off them are deep and logical, but I have yet to find a single explanation that covers every aspect of the lyrics. I tried to take the song very directly and make conclusions on what I heard. Here goes nothing.

    The beginning of this song talks about a person who is trying to cover up their problems so that everyone else thinks that they are totally fine. We know that the person is going through hard times because they talk about how he wants to hide "scars" to fade away the "shake up" (fight). We see that the person is trying to hide it on the outside (grab a brush and put on a little make-up, hide the scars...)but, of course, the problems, whatever they may happen to be, won't go away. Now, the speaker states that others don't understand his self-righteous suiside. Of course they wouldn't understand, they just see his outside, not his cold, troubled inside.

    Now for the "father" stanza. Apparently this is a quote from Jesus before he died for us on the cross, but I don't think that this stanza actually refers to Jesus. First off, I m positive that the speaker is talking to God, not his dad, because if he is going to die, why and how could he command his spirit to his dad, it just doesn't make any sense. Anyway, I think that the the speaker is angry at God for bringing him so much misfortune, hence the "Why have you forsaken me..." bit. Think about it. Living day in and day out having to hide a secret from the rest of the world that keeps bitting him in the rear end. Sounds like a pretty sad life if you ask me. I think that he is handing over his spirit to God now in hopes that God can bring him a sort of peace.

    For the "Why'd you leave the keys up on the table" line, I think that this symbolizes that the speaker (although I don't know if he is the one who actually quoted this)has given up on his life. You see, keys give you access to your home, to that vast majority of you. Leaving them somewhere kind of hints that he doesn't care enough to keep track of his own lifeline, that he has left them for someone to find. Lastly, the "I cry when angels deserve to die" line symbolizes his death, how sad others will be when a "perfect, happy, carefree" guy kills himself


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    Apr 3rd, 2006 4:45pm report

    I think the song has to do with suicide bombings. The whole "wake up ..." is this person getting ready for their final day, how people look nice for their final day. "why'd you leave the keys up on the table?" - because they aren't coming back home. The whole "self-righteous suicide" is him trying to convince god and himself it's what he has to do (maybe for his country; he could have even been forced into it). And perhaps the "angels deserve to die" isn't himself, but all the innocent he has to kill. and the whole "why have you forsaken me" part is that he knows what he has done is wrong but he wants god to understand why he is doing this. That's why he sings about "trusting in his self-righteous suicide". all-in-all this person is going to do a suicide bombing, and is trying to convince god that he shouldn't be judged, its what he has to do. its confusing maybe, but it matches everyline


    soad interpreter
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    Aug 26th, 2005 8:49pm report

    This song is about Jesus on the cross. "Self-righteous suicide" is referring to him dying but having the ability to save himself. "It's a suicide" and "Angels deserve to die" is Jesus being an "angel" that must die.

    "Father father into your hands i commend my spirit why have you forsaken" me was taken from the Bible its Jesus' exact words taken from the original Hebrew to English hide the scars to fade away the shake up is God's forgiveness through Jesus' death.

    I've studied a lot on this song to find true meaning, I hope you enjoy the post.


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    Oct 6th, 10:20am report

    The suicide bomber interpretation is definitely out of the window in my eyes. I feel that this whole song is about Jesus and how the artist thinks the bible was invented while being untrue. My interpretations are as follows:

    A) The verses that portrays a person leaving keys and putting on make-up because they 'wanted to' explains the artist's idea of why religion was created. Meerly because someone wanted to.

    B) "I don't think you trust in my self-righteous suicide" and "I cry when angels are suppose to die" is explaining his disbelief in the whole idea of religion and confusion on why Jesus had to die respectively.

    C) commend my spirit, why have you forsaken me?, is just some added words from the scriptures that depict what Jesus said on his final day.

    overall, I think it's just a song about not believing in religion, specifically Christianity and Catholicism. The suicide bomber, hell no. This song was made before 9/11. Although it could still be plausible, I doubt those were his motives behind this song.


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    Sep 25th, 9:39am report

    This song is called Chop Suey because it was originally going to be called Suicide (hence the beginning saying, "we're rolling suicide"), but they did not want to call it that, so instead, they chopped (got rid of) suey (suicide). It's a play on words.


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    Sep 3rd, 9:12pm report

    There are a lot of good interpretations of this song - the three top rated ones (as at the time of writing) being: (1)Someone going through a hard time/depression, ending up with suicide; (2)a suicide bomber trying to explain himself; and (3)Jesus on the cross.

    I will second the 'suicide bomber' theory. My reasoning for that being the title of the song.

    As you may or may not know, Chop Suey is a Chinese style dish actually created in America (USA), meaning, it is something we see as foreign but that we have indeed created ourselves. I think this is how we (the west) look at suicide bombings/terrorism, as a foreign fenomenon whos origin we have nothing to do with, when infact, we are the ones responsible for its creation.

    The suicide bomber in the song knows that what he is about to do is wrong, that the victims will be innocent ones, and that God does not approve of it. But he has no choise.


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    Aug 17th, 8:05am report

    I think that the song is called chop suey like the japanease food cuz the song has a lot of meanings and the lyrics... So, first meaning: The beggining is about a person with a problem they tell him to wake up cuz he is beaten up then grab a brush and put a little make up to hide the wounds hide the scars to fade away the shake up (the fight) and why you left the keys up (in his home maybe building cuz there is UP) on the table and not on the key holder. Then its you want it to thats because he wanted to do that and he deserved that they beaten him up. Then why dont take a trust in my selfrighteus suicide is that he wants to suicide for all of that problems and then father for the dear hands... is that he is asking god for some peace and for the dear hands its directly taken from the bible is one of the seven words jesus yelled on the cross before he died, so that means that he is searching for little peace from god and then when angels deserve to die it means that he thinks that he is an angel himself and he deserves to die now. So, the second meaning: This song could be about the christianity and humanity too and for their country Armania and for the genocide, most of their songs is for the armenian genocide and i respect these guys for loving their country. The lyrics about the humanity are in the whole song except the refrain where there are a meanings of christianity like i said the word that jesus said and that he cries when angels deserve to die and thats because i loves the angels and christianity and that kind other lyrics are about the humanity full of problems and the refrains are for the christianity like god why have you forsaken me that means that god forsaken the christianity that he didnt sankcionated the people for what kind of world is our planet now. So the third meaning is about selfbombing suicide when he wakes up he grabs and brush and puts a little make up that he was crying in the night then he hides the scars then he leaves the keys on the table coz he knows that he will dont come back home and the other is that god forsaken him and he prays to god and that kind of things. And the fourth (last) meaning is about drug addiction, so if you get this song like the drug addiction meaning you will see this satanistic and that the members of the band are drug addicts (in my opinion they arent, they are the best band.) GOTTA LOVE SYSTEM.


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    May 11th, 5:17pm report


    i'm from turkey, and i just wanted to tell you guys an interesting fact, chop suey used to be incredibly popular in turkey, and probably gets listened to still today even it's a very old song now. I remember being in primary school and this song was heard a lot. even years after it was first released, like up to 2007 it was on everybody's mp3 players, or burned CDs.

    from 2001 to 2006 it got the system of a down became more and more popular, however than some photos from a slayer & SoaD concert surfaced with a sign that said "dogs and turks cannot enter", after which significant number of people stopped listening to system of a down etc, the band later claimed that it was some armenian fans that did this and it was not sanctioned by the band. after this clarification, turkish fans were once again happy, until one of their songs came up with an anti-turkish video, and again many fans were unhappy, people were telling each other to not to listen to "these guys" anymore etc, later an interview with serj by a turkish rock magazine was printed, where he said that they never shot a video and that video was fan made etc; but after many happenings, it's still unclear to many fans, SoaD is no longer prominent as their hit song is too old now, and none of their later songs became hits in the last years. even today when we hear chop suey somewhere, 2 out of 5 people would say "i used to like these guys but they turns out, they hate turks", 2 out of 5 would say "i don't think they do", and 1 out of 5 would say, "i'd listen anyway".

    music is music ;)


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    May 6th, 5:23pm report

    The band's ethnicity is armenian and the armenian mountains is the birth place of the 2nd creation where noah's ark is said to have settled on Mount ararat. Also the armenians were converted to Christianity by saint George about 300 a.d. So the band's point of view of Christ would obviously be unique.
    When i hear this song I can't help thinking about jesus and lucifer. Jesus, most perfect and blameless sent as the word of god n to bear our sins and lucifer, most beautiful angel and most clever of all angels cast out of heaven for refusing god when he said to serve n bow to humans. One is life n one is death. It is said when lucifer was cast out became Satan, an angel who died or ceased to be an angel and, before Christ came, held the keys to the underworld but when Christ died on the cross n rose to heaven Satan was bound and chained to earth forever(but also granted immortallity) and the keys to heaven and hell were given to jesus Christ our savior who did what his father asked of him unlike lucifer. Interesting though that like it or not Satan dwells beneath us in hell(bowing) n serves us everyday by testing us. Also in order to talk to god we must do so through jesus at the same time lucifer can no longer communicate with god. The key is trust and the cross is the key. I don't know if the band is Muslim but I must say although suicide bombing, dying for god, is a Muslim theme. Muhammed said to follow jesus that jesus was the word of god and jesus said walk in life not in death. Faith is trust.Faith is the key.dont leave faith on the table.


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    Apr 24th, 2014 4:22pm report

    "Grab a brush and put a little makeup
    Hide the scars to fade away the shakeup
    Why’d you leave the keys upon the table?"
    This is just talking about abuse, it says put on more makeup to fade away scars that he shook up. It also says, "Why'd you leave the keys up on the table" I think that he is mad at said person for putting them there and that is why she needs make up. "Here you go create another fable" This is saying that she needs to tell a lie to make people think she is not being abused.


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    Apr 15th, 2014 4:19pm report

    Wow lots of outlandish interpretations out there that rely on lots of speculation.

    What I do know is that. That regardless of what the band says. Starting from "Father" down is basically the final death of Jesus and what his thoughts might have been based solely on how most Christians interepret its meaning. Most Christian doctrine teaches that God the Father turned his eyes away from Jesus as he was the a sacrifice for all of our sins and could not look upon him. And thus God the father turned away. The part of commending his spirit and being forsaken is direct from the bible.

    The band obviously believes it was a self righteous suicide instead of what Christians believe was the will of God. The reference to angels deserve to die is most likely a reference to the devil and the other fallen angles. The bible states a third of the angels were cast out of heaven.
    I think the first part of the song is about how most people only give lip service to the gospel and don't really trust in the Jesus. So its Jesus talking about them not trusting in his suicide for them....as they go through life in such a mundane unhappy way.


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    Feb 2nd, 2014 2:40am report

    The song is about a morning routine that has been made for some chick's life and her abusive relationship. You see she needs structure cause as we all know women are stupid and need to be given clear instruction. So he tells her to wake up, grab a brush and put on a little bit of make up, hide the marks for having left the keys on the table when there is clearly a key holder mounted on the wall. Had she not left the keys up on the table she would not have the scars and bruises that she deserved. All the suicide lyrics and what have you is this guy asking God why he is with this dumb girl who can't even remember to put the keys on the damn key ring mount. He cries when angels deserve to die is where he kills their young child cause he wanted the money from the Gerber life insurance policy he took out on it right at the child's birth, which also is okay cause the child was a girl and as we all know, women are stupid.

    OR the song is just a stupid ass song written by some fucking Armenians who mainly write political driven songs bashing on American society and government. Had the Armenian genocide been successful these fucking no talented dipshits would not exist and this would thankfully never been written and their would be no Kardashians either. If only we could rewrite history eh?

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Dec 31st, 2013 12:02pm report

    One theory is that the song could be construed as domestic abuse. The brush and makeup part could be to hide the bruises of domestic battery out of fear and embarrassment. Then the part about leaving the keys on the table could be symbolism for giving up on your life as your keys are means to accessing everything you own. And then the line about 'creating another fable' refers to people fabricating stories to hide the truth to keep face. The 'you wanted to' part suggests the abuse is their fault as seen through the eyes of a violent partner as 'they provoked them'. The self righteous suicide part could mean the abused partner actually believes it is their fault after years of abuse. The lyrics about 'why have you forsaken me?' refers to the person's confusion at why they are in an abusive relationship when they are a 'good' person themselves. The 'when angels deserve to die' lyrics highlights the true innocence of these people.


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    Nov 13th, 2013 11:51pm report

    I thought that the song was about an abuse victim, forced to hide their true selves. The victim cries out to God, asking why he has done this to them, and asking for forgiveness for committing suicide, as it seems justifiable. I also think this could be a microcosm of Armenia, a country that is a victim of abuse, with many people taking their own lives.


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    Feb 25th, 2013 2:51am report

    Im going to fart upon all of humanity!
    All shall INHALE MY NASTY GAS!
    It smells better than these guys, and to be honest, it sounds better too...

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Feb 25th, 2013 2:48am report

    Here is what I think of this song...
    Its a group, where the main singer cant really sing, hate on this if youd like, I'm not holing you back, I dont personaly enjoy to someone trying to sing while he can't, and that he yells, maybe get someone whos good at singing and can yell? Thats a good idea I think.
    The song is just... Well, not exactly considered normal among most people, sorry, but I agree with that, I don't mean to ring your bell all of the System of a Down fans...
    Go ahead and keep listening to these guys if you really do enjoy people trying to scream/yell because they can't do so in a ordinary manner.
    But to those that have an open mind, try and look for another group, that CAN sing and sound GOOD.
    Thank you

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Oct 31st, 2012 10:18am report

    First of all, I will refer to the words of Daron Malakian who once said that the song is about how others interprate the death of a person according to the kind of it for example if he abuses drugs and "he deserves it" and so it goes "I cry when angels deserve to die".

    Of course, the other lyrics are actually like any other lyrics by SOAD: making little sense because they deal with multiple things at a time and lack cohesion. Probably the verses in the beginning are refering to the ordinary lifes of people while behind them a secret is held uncovered (apparently deppression since the person wants people to understand why he wants to end his life).

    The part with the words of Jesus is actually not only a way to show the dramatic situation of the person but also to show religious people that even the Son of God that they praise suffered and just wanted to end this (through death). That way he seeks the approval of them to end his own life without being marked as a sinner or quitter.


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    Jul 27th, 2012 7:49am report

    Initially I thought it was about free will and it's relationship to blindly giving your spirit to God without questioning the crucifixion of Christ. The statements of " you wanted too" repeated after actions of hiding signs of having the keys or path to heaven but choosing to "leave them aside and pretend to be ok. We hide sin and conform instead of trusting our feelings and acting on them, which could shake up or create conflict. Additionally we may not relieve our souls of sin by giving it over to God. Maybe it is about free will or the terrorism and genocide of Armenians or any other people in the name of religion. It is interesting to see so many personal interpretations, thus means many things to all. Awesome band

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