What does Wretches and Kings mean?

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Linkin Park: Wretches and Kings Meaning

Song Released: 2010

Wretches and Kings Lyrics

"At the time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious.
Makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part,
you can't even passively take part.
And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels,
upon the...


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    Dec 9th, 2010 12:30pm report

    I will break it down with how I believe it is...

    I think the beginning is pretty self-explanatory... but if you don't understand it, here: "There's a time, when the operation of the machine becomes so odious.
    Makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part,
    you can't even passively take part."
    I believe this is saying that rulers... rulers become so odious that the people can't listen to their rule, because it makes you so sick at heart. You can't take part... you can't be a part of the ruler's mad judgement.

    And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels,
    upon the levers,
    upon all the apparatus. And you've got to make it stop.
    - You have to put your body upon the gears and upon the wheels, means, you must take action. You must start what you want to change.

    I believe Mike's raps is the ruler talking down to those whom he over rules.

    The chorus I believe is Chester is the people who were ruled over by these kings. (The wretches is what they refer to the king as).

    And you've got to indicate to the people, run in to the people on it.
    And unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!
    -I believe this is saying you must help guide others so that they may be aware of the false dictation. And if you don't stand up and get others to stand up the machine (overthrowing the wretches (kings))then you are going to have to live under the wretches' rule.


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    Sep 5th, 2010 9:22pm report

    From my point of view, I believe this song is about the citizens of a society doing all the work while their King sits back and controls the whole place.

    The Intro of this song reminds me of obviously states that the "machine" must be stopped by aka. The people overthrowing a king/leader.

    Just my personal opinion, yours could be completely different.


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    Mar 7th, 2011 3:56am report

    The song doesnt say "Wretches, we come for you King"...They say "Wretches AND Kings, we come for you". In my opinion, I think they are referring to Wretches as the working man and Kings as the upper class or "Rich" people.
    The whole speach at the beginning is about freedom and that unless the people who are being ruled are "free" the machine, in this case, the government, will be prevented from working.
    This song is about the current political climate. The government has grown too large and is actually invading the lives of the people they are supposed to be serving. If we want the corruption to stop, if we want the government usurption of power to end, WE, the people, must stand up and fight for our rights. It's not about class warfare anymore...the rich and the poor alike need to come together and say NO MORE! And that is what I think this song is about...but maybe I'm reading too much into it.


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    Aug 27th, 2012 8:46pm report

    This is about "genetic superiority" on the part of the elites. He refers to us as the animals as a way to mock the elites' view of us. Due to this elitist mentality we the " animals" are enslaved through corporations, with money, false home ownership, media brainwashing, etc. However if we come together to claim our proper place in a free society we will avoid the tyranny of the machine... created by the elites
    (my addition to the story next)... and questionable other entities which may not even be human. Genetic engineering of Aryan race has been the goal of these secret societies dealings with demonic or alien entities. Ancients called them nephilim or different variations as with the Giants in legends. we are being systematically weakened and unarmed by an invisible world government through "vaccinations", genetically engineered food, and smart chips in our phones computers to monitor our thoughts by reading our brain waves or cranial vibrations, and the newly installed smart meters on our sdg&e meters, controlling our access to knowledge and info. as well... look up 'battle of dulce 1979"


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    Aug 23rd, 2012 8:41am report

    The first thing which comes in our mind while listening to this song is that the things which are affecting the lives of the whole world i.e politics/government/kings.This is a revolutionary song telling people not to ignore whats happening around them and to accept it and finally stand up for what they believe in! It can't be Done alone! Mike Shinoda uses this revolutionary feeling to help the people who are in confusion or are in need to be guided whether to fight or not into this song. This song is all about the misuse of power and fighting for our rights. After All if we Backed down once we gonna be backing down our whole lives..
    Peace Out .
    Linkin Park Rocks!


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    Apr 13th, 2012 4:30am report

    I agree with most of you saying that the song is about fighting the government...We just have to stop putting up with corruption and stop letting people with power take advantage of us anymore...But I don't think it wants to bring both,,rich and poor,,to the same side...It's known that rich people also have power over the system..They will never be a part of the revolution because they obviously have nothing to gain from it..And that's all they care about..Cause they're part of the system...
    Who ever is reading this probably knows the situation in Greece..It's the same thing,,just a lot worse here..I'm a teen from Greece, about to go out in this corrupted society and I have already learn not to trust people in power..You shouldn't eather..They'll do anything to cover up the government..Like the media,,the newspapers..It's not a coincidence that you won't listen to songs like that on the radio...Especially here...Personaly I hate Greek music..I love LP..Great concert in terra vibe Athens guys..:-)


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    Mar 14th, 2012 3:42pm report

    when i first listened to this song, i coulda sworn they sai "steel unload, fire blow". obviously that gave me a diffrent idea about what the song meant. but makes more sense knowing lp to say "still alone fight our blow". thanks for the clear up, much obliged.


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    Dec 18th, 2011 12:47pm report

    I believe this song is about oppression and all the things other people are saying but there is one point people are missing; its Wretches AND kings we come for you. which points out that we should stand up against all forms of oppression from the upper class (kings) and the lower class (wretches) alike.


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    Dec 13th, 2011 12:37pm report

    I think this song can go a few different ways and it was covered a few times in here. 1 people effing you over is one. People who want to control or bring you down. It's basically throwing the middle finger up to them.
    2. of course the obvious... the government.

    There are SO many ways this song can go... It is a hard one to analyze which is odd for Linkin Park to do. Because their songs are easily analyzed


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    Nov 23rd, 2011 11:11pm report

    No one probably else does, but this song reminds me of those african warlords


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    Sep 13th, 2011 9:40am report

    Right now, we are fighting a pointless war, and i think lp has also noticed, and they came out with this song. right after the 9/11 attacks, it was reasonable to go to war against terrorrism, but now? its been 10 years and we are stil over therwe and people are getting sick and tired of it. that is what i think.


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    Aug 5th, 2011 8:53am report

    Feel alone, final blow
    We, the animals, take control
    Hear us now, clear and tall
    Wretches and kings, we come for you

    -American Revolution

    Still alone, fight our blow (blow=government WE CHOSE, our blow)
    Filthy animals beat down low
    Skin and bone, black and blue
    No more the sun shall beat down for you

    - Our Sad Current State

    The front of the attack is exactly where I'm at.
    Somewhere in between the kick and the hi-hat
    The pen and the contract, the pitch and the contact
    So get with the combat, I'm lettin' them know
    There ain't shit you can say to make me back down, no.
    So push the button, let the whole thing blow.
    Spinning everything outta control, now everybody go.

    -sounds like he just got threatened and won't back down don't it? also sounds like he just said "get with the combat" and "im lettin em know". literally.

    and an FYI they have lots of songs about this sort of thing, this one is just a tad more blunt.


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    Jun 21st, 2011 6:04pm report

    I believe it means "animals" (citizens) should stand up and fight the "Wretches and Kings" (goverment) for freedom.


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    May 18th, 2011 5:54am report

    The thing is Capitalism or any other type of system that eventually oppresses the common people. Its very clear.

    Its not necessarily about freedom of speech, although that is part of it. Its about people oppressing others, as so often happens in capitalistic societies. They are talking about the types of systems that tend to favor a small group or an individual and give them power over the vast majority of the population. When the people up top push the people down low, the people have the right to push back (as I think is why they used the mario savio reference, that if the upper classes and elietes control the people too much, the people will stop them and the corrupt government that is ruled by them from working until the oppression stops)

    The conservative up there states "We punish those who are successful and codle and make excuses for those who refuse to make a better life for themselves. Blaming someone with money for all of those who do not have money is ridiculous but it's happening every day, and so many are passively allowing it to happen because they believe that their own security is worth more than their freedom."

    This assumption is completely wrong and does not do any justice to what the liberals are trying to do, even if it they are going at it the wrong way. The people with money ARE the ones pushing the people without money down low. While there are those who genuinely do not try to make their situation better, there are millions of americans who work their ASSES off, much harder than any rich person ever has, and they STILL can't make it because it is so often taken from them by those who know that the system allows them to.


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    May 17th, 2011 5:41am report

    I was kind of thinking that the machine could be Capitialism.


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    Mar 8th, 2011 3:15am report

    I can't believe anyone would put a liberal spin on this song. First of all, the opening speech by Mario Salvo was about human rights, specifically freedom of speech, being violated. Had this speech not been included in this song, I think the lyrics could be interpreted many different ways, but since the speech is in the song, I am going to say that this song is giving voice to the human rights violations of today. We have a government that is corrupt and greedy and the people are the ones left paying the bill for it. We are a nation divided, fighting over who should pay for what and for whom. We punish those who are successful and codle and make excuses for those who refuse to make a better life for themselves. Blaming someone with money for all of those who do not have money is ridiculous but it's happening every day, and so many are passively allowing it to happen because they believe that their own security is worth more than their freedom.
    Places less free than the U.S. are fighting to overthrow their oppressive governments and yet we stand idley by and allow our government to dictate what we eat, what we see on TV, what we say and think (ie. political correctness).
    I think this song respresents a growing awareness that we are no longer a "free nation" anymore and that it's time to wake up before it's too late.


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    Mar 7th, 2011 3:42pm report

    I think that they don't mean to treat Wretches and Kings in the same way. When they say "Wretches and Kings we've come for you," it means that they've come to help one and to fight the other. The "and" does not mean that they have to treat them the same. They will have different fates, and the beauty of this song is that it is a rallying cry for wretches, for the poor and oppressed, to stand up against the kings who rule them against their will.


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    Mar 7th, 2011 3:04pm report

    It's about not "standing passively by." It's about activism, not sitting there and taking it but "stopping the gears" and ending the oppression by any authoritative body, be it government, corporation, or even your boss at work... powerful song. I love it.

    I think it'd make a great theme song for Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, etc.

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