What does Testify mean?

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Rage Against the Machine: Testify Meaning

Song Released: 2000

Testify Lyrics


The movie ran through me
The glamour subdue me
The tabloid untie me
I'm empty please fill me
Mister anchor assure me
That Baghdad is burning
Your voice it is so soothing
That cunning mantra of killing
I need you my witness


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Aug 4th 2005 report

    The song Testify was written out of the band's anger. The song is about how our government is selfish and careless. The verses "Mass graves for the pump and the price is set..." refer to how we sacrifice our soldiers, and send them into Iraq to get oil, even if it means war. It is saying how we Americans are so greedy and suicidal. The verse "I'm empty, please fill me.." is quoting that you burned the gasoline, and you want more. "I'm choking in the smoke that fills my home..." is referring to the diesel that trillions of cars our burning, and this is causing deadly pollution.

    This song is very political and true. RATM really is very open eyed to the world. If we don't start taking action... a very bad ending will surely happen.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Oct 5th 2006 report

    Dude, no wars are successful. And besides that,we didn't even kill sadam/bring him to justice during his invasion of kuwait. And think about this: we (america) aren't much better than any other regime, whether you want to admit it or not. Our government isn't necessarily killing us outright, but they are leading us to a point where we can't think for ourselves, and we all believe that the system is our friend, when it actually only serves the rich. By the way, you guys should read more on the gulf war from different sources other than your f**king history book at school.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Feb 15th 2007 report

    "Mr. Anchor assure me, that Baghdad is burning"

    I don't necessarily believe that this song is solely about the Gulf War. Having been written in 1999, the United States had already carried out airstrikes against Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 1997. We also had sanctions in place, which Saddam used to starve over 500,000 people, and RATM was incredibly aware of that. I think this more related to our repeated and drawn out attempts to secure Iraqi oil fields for the world market. The United States continued it's aggression against Iraq throughout the 1990s, and the second Gulf War was on the planning table since 1997. It shouldn't have been difficult to predict that the United States would find a way to wage for in Iraq for control of its oil. Therefore, this song is about the past, it was about contemporary US foreign policy and it was prophetic. Stripped down, it's about the US's lust for control in that region. Citing the city of Baghdad could have meant a few things. It could very well be a song about Iraq, or Baghdad could have been used to represent US interests in the region as Iraq would surely be the first stepping stone to any US military action in the Middle/Near East.

    And about the Aussie. I have an Aussie friend from college so let's get that out of the way. Americans are not little Bushes, we're not little Clintons, or Reagans, or Roosevelts either. Americans generally do not care about politics and this is the result of an economy based on mass consumerism. Americans are more worried about earning money and buying new cars, houses, iPods, jet skis to worry about the meddling our government might be doing in foreign countries that most people don't know exist. The media will decide who wins elections in this country as most people are not political thinkers and lack the historical insight to be so. I'm really sick of all of these myopic stereotypes of Americans being gung-ho and all pro-war because Australians descend from the English, and like the great George Carlin once said, "All English people deserve to die". Now of course I mean that lightly for our trans-Pacific brethren, but look, some of our largest critics are Europeans...the people that gave us nationalism, fascism, eugenics, the Holocaust, Social Darwinism. Europeans are among the greatest hypocrites on Earth, and yes, "American Democracy" isn't all it's cracked up to be either...by a long shot, but it's like a thief accusing another thief of thievery.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 6th 2009 report

    the words "who controls the past now controls the future, who controls the present now controls the past" refers to the book 1984 by George Orwell. it means that the controlling party at the present time can control the past. they can change the past in a second by using censorship and putting it in the history books in school. and vise versa.

  5. anonymous
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    Mar 28th 2008 report

    Guy from Australia, you're right, we do see them as a bunch of George Bushes and we are unfairly stereotypically treated. We don't have fucking snags on barbies there called sausages. We don't have kangaroos on our streets only in a zoo or far in the out back. BTW, are you blind the meanings in the title?

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  6. anonymous
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    Sep 6th 2007 report

    Wars are fought over petty arguments. And, I recall a quote about arguments:
    An argument is like special Olympics. Even if you win, you end up being retarded.
    Also, most of the Americans aren't smart enough to use their critical thinking skills, and end up believing every shit that the news channel spit out. And, if anyone has a view different from the majority, he is labeled unpatriotic. But, remember Majority of stupid is guaranteed - Einstein


  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 16th 2007 report

    I think RATM is the Best Band I ever heard, and well every one of you guys know that WAR is not GOOD, the World needs to understand that every single Congress Government are corrupted with dirty money Drugs greedy tuxedo Fuckers, so lets raise our fists and....

  8. anonymous
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    May 24th 2007 report

    I think that the first part of your comment is well thought outm and quite likely accurate.

    On your second comment however.. While it is fair that all Americans are not gun toting Yankee cowboys out to 'save' the world from itself and enforce the American way.. You only have to look at the basic facts of what they have done (and continue to due) around the world to see that (while not alone, true) they take the lead in profiting form the exploitation of most of the worlds developing countries in order to feed the consumerist USA. It is the fault of the Govt, and big business.. but the unfortunate ignorance and refusal of the US citizens to take issue and be informed of what their govs do is on their shoulders. The US is not the only country with this problem. It is however the worst for it. Mostly because it is culturally isolated and insular. (I have lives in Australia, Europe and the US). Educated Europeans criticize the US (along with the rest of the educated world) because they can see more clearly the big picture and the way things are going. This is a result of having to recognise they are part of a world community and must deal with other cultures every day - and a re affected by them. They also see the growing power of US media, brands and way of life intruding ever more.. We in Australia don't notice it unless we are over 35 years old or so. All governments are thieves.. most normal people are kind and mean well. The problem is education - That is where RATM help us all to consider the bigger picture and stop believing the lies. Peace.

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 28th 2007 report

    the anonymous person who posted at 2006-07-28 13:27:58 is exactly right with the 1984 ordeal. rage expresses it that our government likes to give us a bunch of shit and say its real....just like big brother in 1984

    "prying open my third eye"
    (take a look around)

    P.S. fuck yea australia dude

  10. anonymous
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    Nov 28th 2006 report

    Alright, I'm going to set the record straight. The stereotype of Americans that the Australian guy said is generally true(and I'm an American, so I would know), but not completely true. There are those of us that are completely ignorant and don't realize that we're being fed nice,warm spoonfulls of shit thru the media and support Bush/the war. Then there are those of us who have had our eyes opened to the truth, via bands like Rage, who hate the war, Bush, the corporate-owned medias, taxes, etc. These are the people who you see rioting sometimes. I wish there were more riots/protests, but America is full of pussies who do what they're told.

  11. anonymous
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    Nov 25th 2006 report

    well I am from australia and let me say the whole world hates your country because everyone thinks you r a bunch of george bush's. I however, think because I have been a loyal rage fan for years and go to skool wid this american dude that this is not the case.

    but yeah your government and mine suck

    also, yes, we say dude as well and not always mate and we live on a civilised continent with electricity and next door neighbours that are not 10 Miles (as your system goes) away, but over your fence, rather.

    and I have never seen a fuking kangaroo before except in a zoo.

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 22nd 2006 report

    I'll just point out:

    America bombed Baghdad in 1998, in response to Saddam Hussein's non-compliance with U.N resolutions to allow weapons inspectors into the country.

    The mass graves aren't of the American soldiers, they're of the Iraqi people who have been murdered as part of the means to control their oil. How many U.S soldiers have been killed in Iraq? A few thousand. How many Iraqis? Hundreds of thousands you ignorant fuckhead!!!

  13. anonymous
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    Oct 2nd 2006 report

    Zacks lyrics are immortal... They somehow fit with every fucked up situation that comes... Let it be the gulf war or iraq...

  14. anonymous
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    Jul 28th 2006 report

    This song compares america to oceania one from 1984 by george orwell. It picks out similarities in that they are both constantly at war, and each country they're at war with is portrayed to the public as scum. The line (and quote from 1984), "who controls the past now controls the future/ who controls the present now controls the past" means that governments act as if they'd always hated the countries they're at war with.

    Interestingly, both ratm and george orwell were heavily influenced by karl marx and were both outspoken left wingers.

  15. anonymous
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    Jun 27th 2006 report

    but then you realize that I guess RATM was just wrong in this one...kuz the war in kuwait was a success and you can't deny it. RATM are a bunch of radical pinkos who also made excellent music.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 1st 2006 report

    Really, it is about the god damn gulf war. If you fucking knew anything about history, you might have heard of it you dumbass. You know, the invasion of Kuwait? Fuckin' retards, go back to middle school.

  17. anonymous
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    Apr 16th 2006 report

    OK you fucking twats shut the fuck up if you don't know what your talking about it was writtin in '99 and it was talking about the fucking gulf war dipshit.. listen to the man who gave you the interpretation, he knows what he's talking about.

  18. anonymous
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    Apr 12th 2006 report

    Yeah, Moron. The war in Iraq did not start in 2003 it's been going on long before that. The Gulf war didn't even end. We have always been at war. It is just like 1984

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