What does Bulls On Parade mean?

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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!
Come wit it now!
The microphone explode, shattering
The molds
Ya eighter drop tha hits like de la Ho or get tha
Fuck off tha commode
With tha sure shot, sure ta make tha
Bodies drop
Drop an don't copy yo, don't call...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Sep 15th 2008 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.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Apr 12th 2006 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.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Oct 13th 2006 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?

  4. anonymous
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    Feb 9th 2021 report

    "You rally 'round the family
    with a pocket full of shells."

    This is painting a picture of resistance.
    The images of one's family member being "disappeared" is widely know in authoritarian regimes, so a picture is being painted of unorganized desperate resistance.
    "With a pocket full of shells" references a shotgun, which has been known as one of the least expensive, least fancy, most common household firearm. Shotguns are described as using "shells," not "bullets." Contrast this with a box magazine fed rifle that holds a great number of bullets.
    Put these together and the image arises of a family being afraid of forces in power that could be coming at any time, "so you rally round your family (call the family together to try to defend yourselves) "with a pocket full of shells."

  5. anonymous
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    Feb 10th 2018 report

    The song is in my opinion is about "Cronie Capitalism" aka. corperate infiltration into government. Bulls on parade=bull market, destruction of the library=through advertising driven towards the endless pursuit of higher and higher profits weve been robbed of our own intelligence. And yes it also refers to the military industrial complex aka the harm standing armies can cause to the mentality of war. That being said the writer/s of the song obviously are unclear to the underyling cause of the msg they were going for or they just did not put that part in the song. Stupid is as Stupid does, as the saying goes, I wonder how many people they swayed with this skewed opinion, whomever the writer may be?

  6. anonymous
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    Dec 16th 2017 report

    "Rally round the family, with a pocket full of shells" is talking about politicians, primarily the Republican party using the platform of being the party of family values while funding the killing of poor people through the military industrial complex. This is both through the funding of wars, and arms, as well as cutting of funding to vital social programs.

  7. anonymous
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    May 7th 2017 report

    My favorite lyrics from this song is : "rally round the family, with a pocket full of shells!" I love it. It's basically a threat to the gov. Get the family together. Meaning the us citizens all get together with there pocket full of shells, to use against our enemy. The U.S. government! Very powerful.

    Power to the people, is the just of it.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. anonymous
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    May 16th 2014 report

    Sounds like the old saying "you can't bullshit a bullshitter".

  9. anonymous
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    Apr 10th 2011 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.

  10. anonymous
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    Dec 15th 2010 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.

  11. anonymous
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    Sep 8th 2009 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

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 9th 2008 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.

  13. anonymous
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    Apr 21st 2008 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.)
    you will understand what I mean.

    much <3 for RATM

  14. anonymous
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    Feb 5th 2008 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.

  15. anonymous
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    Nov 13th 2007 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...

  16. anonymous
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    Oct 16th 2007 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.

  17. YourFan
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    Oct 3rd 2007 report

    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.

  18. anonymous
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    May 2nd 2007 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.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
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