What does Aerials mean?

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System of a Down: Aerials Meaning

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Song Released: 2002


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Aerials Lyrics

Life is a waterfall,
We're one in the river,
And one again after the fall.

Swimming through the void
We hear the word,
We lose ourselves,
But we find it all?

Cause we are the ones that want to play,
Always want to go,
But you never...

  1. anonymous
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    Feb 7th 2011 report

    I know it has been quite a while since this song has been released but I wanted to take a quick note and reiterate what the top rated poster had said.

    I think he has the general idea of the meaning and of course everyone has their own interpretation, but I think the actual outlook the writer had was a more general sense of life. A very very general outlook, not really the actual embodiment of living life but the choices in life between "Good" and "Evil". But anyway let me explain by stanza.

    Life is a waterfall,
    We're one in the river,
    And one again after the fall.

    Now here is the simplest yet most complicated stanza of the whole lyric. The writer true intention here is shown that he wants to create an analogy of a waterfall to life which of course if painfully obvious but I don't believe that he is comparing the waterfall scenario to loss of innocence, or an actual falling waterfall. I think he is comparing the scenario to the fall of man and a pendulum of falls that mean his "waterfall" is actually something that you could fall back to the top, a paradox of sorts. And no not the fall of man in a biblical context but in a more human oriented way. I think us being one in the river is the persumed conscious thought that all people have or should have a want to do good in this world and this is what unites us. If you are a chrisitan follower then you could relate this to being "one with God". Now him stating the fact that we all fall down the waterfall and become one again means he believes that we, again if you follow christianity, live in "sin" and that is where his "story" per se begins.

    Swimming through the void
    We hear the word,
    We lose ourselves,
    But we find it all?

    I think this is us at the bottom of the waterfall living life hearing all of the temptations out there and listening to society's perspective of what our life is supposed to be. So instead of wanting to live life to be a good person and raise a good child, we listen to society's perspective and make life centered around materialistic things such as a good job or a big house or car and discard the want for the "goodness" of a human life. That is why he says we lose ourselves and think we find it all, which by common logic would say we havn't because material things are not everything thus explaining the ?.

    Cause we are the ones that want to play,
    Always want to go,
    But you never want to stay,

    This stanza is actually the easiest because I pretty much explained it in the previous explanation. You see he is explaining here why we lose ourselves, and the fact that humanity or "we" always want to delve into these temptations and reap the benefits no matter what we must do our sacrifice to get them. And us not wanting to stay is the common fault of humanity, which is accepting and admitting a mistake. I think the writer thinks that people lose themselves in this material world but always try and say they have good reason or there is good intention when in fact there is none or maybe it is misguided.

    And we are the ones that want to chose,
    Always want to play,
    But you never want to lose.

    This stanza is pretty much repeating the cause for us being lost in this void of "evil". Saying that we are so eager to choose and we choose but never want to accept the consequences.

    Aerials, in the sky,
    When you lose small mind,
    You free your life.

    Now here is the reason why I believe this song is about the "Good and Evil" theme. You see no writer titles their song about something completely away from the meaning. That is why I believe the top rated poster is just a tad off. You see he put a very well thought out explanation of the song and it makes since but there almost no way you can tie Aerials to any of it. Just that it is an object in the sky, which I believe is actually not correct. I think that the writer trying to be vague and creative decided that an Aerial or object in the sky, if thought about, could be compared to Angels which most people think with a "good" connotation. And the lyric is actually saying that Good is there but you have to lose your small perspective mind and grasp the big picture to fully "free your life" which would be returning to the "good" river. This is where the Paradox comes in because I think he means to look up to climbing back up the waterfall, or falling down to it if you will and thus the river becomes 2 set places of good and evil. Letting the Aerials guide your way or letting the angels guide your way to freeing your life.

    Life is a waterfall,
    We drink from the river,
    Then we turn around and put up our walls.

    Now remember I said that the river has become a paradox or a contradicting source. So now we need to find out which river he is actually talking about. Which is you read one more stanza I think you can find out which one he is talking about in this one. I believe he is saying that us as humanity exists in the "bad" river and when he says we drink from it here I think he's saying that we drank from the "good river" but still existing in the "bad river". I think this because not only does he make a very important change of word usage from swimming to drink but also in the next stanza he proclaims us already lost. Now the putting up our walls part has me torn between 2 possibilities. Either the writer thinks we close ourselves off from the "good" river and choose to exist in "evil", or he thinks we pretend to swim in the "good" and act like if we have never done any "evil". Either way both possibilities are cohesive to the fall of man theory. But if we look at the rest of the song I think we find that the first is a more appropriate theory.

    Swimming through the void
    We hear the word,
    We lost ourselves,
    But we find it all?

    Now here he states again that we are swimming in the void which I presume is the "evil river" and says that we hear the word. Now here is the change again, or paradox. I think this time he is talking about the word as in the word of "good" and he is saying that we are already lost but because we heard the word of "good" we found all we need.

    Cause we are the ones that want to play,
    Always want to go,
    But you never want to stay,

    And this stanza is explaining why we are lost even after hearing the word of "good" and think we are ok. He is saying that we always want to make it look like we are trying to be good and have no problem giving the front but we never make it our goal we always go back to the materialistic possesions.

    And we are the ones that want to chose,
    Always want to play,
    But you never want to lose.

    And again he further reiterates that we want to chose to be good but we always want to take a chance on those temptations without any repercussion.

    Aerials, in the sky,
    When you lose small mind,
    You free your life.
    Aerials, so up high,
    When you free your eyes,
    Eternal prize.
    Aerials, in the sky,
    When you lose small mind,
    You free your life.
    Aerials, so up high,
    When you free your eyes,
    Eternal prize.

    And the final note of his piece is a statement of sorts. He is telling everyone again if you lose your small mind and follow the aerials in the sky you can free your life up the waterfall. And when you look up you have to look high and free your eyes from any earthly temptation or "bad river influence" you find your eternal prize which is to be one with the "good" again or again if you believe in christianity on with God again.

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 3rd 2011 report

    Think of what the Band wanted the song to mean , not what you WANTED it to mean !!

    Now let's think logically , why would they say it has no meaning ??
    because usually artists tend to hide their intentions when it's anti-mainstream.

    The song sang of the mouths of all people , showing the past , the present and future from the breaking point between them ( the waterFall ) , the moment when we ( lose ourselves and about to find it all ) .
    It speaks of freeing the mind and thought of the tyrants that rule them .
    when I said it is anti-mainstream I meant : anti religious ( we all know they're anti religious ) , against almost all political parties because they are " almost " communists .
    So , they want us all to think for ourselves and look to the big picture , to realize how they control our lives .
    And then ,, we lose ourselves , for we finally know that all we ever knew was all wrong , that life isn't what we thought it to be . And we ( find it All ) and we find the porpose , the way to freedom . But we are NEW men ( men and women ofcourse ).

    And they name it an eternal prize , this life when we know it all , when we know the truth , that FREE life.

    And by the way , the part about ( the ones that wanna play always wanna go but never wanna stay , the ones that wanna choose always wanna play but never wanna lose ) ,
    it's about the people before they know it , the people with the thoughts implanted in them , thoughts of greed , ungratefullness , and seeking power and destructions for all others ( we drink from the river than we turn around and put up our walls ) .

    So Free your eyes people , for there's an eternal prize , A free life , not an imaginary garden , but a true Eternal prize .

  3. lala
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    Jan 2nd 2011 report

    Long and short, this song is about tolerance. Don't judge those you know nothing about.

  4. anonymous
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    Dec 27th 2010 report

    Could it be about mass media control turning us into faceless gluttonous consumer guinea pigs? Take off the media-rented goggles and think and act towards peace and love not material and monetary.

  5. anonymous
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    Dec 22nd 2010 report

    i dont know how to say this but the person at No1 is the greatest one ive read from on the internet. i agree with everything he said years ago and this song needs to be taken as a lesson for our lives more than anything else... thanks for posting that my friend

  6. rainwolf1
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    Oct 9th 2010 report

    I heared Serj say in an interview once that most of their songs have double meanings. I think Aerials could be one of them. To me, I think Aerials could be about suicide.
    "Life is a waterfall,
    We're one in the river,
    And one again after the fall."
    That could say that life is like a waterfall, we're one when we're alive, and we're one again after we die.
    "Swimming through the void
    We hear the word,
    We lose ourselves,
    But we find it all."
    That could mean that in life, you could want to end it. You lose your mind, but you find it all when you die.
    "Cause we are the ones that want to play,
    Always want to go,
    But you never want to stay."
    That could mean that there are people who want to die, but when they do kill themselves, they want to be alive again.
    "And we are the ones that want to chose,
    Always want to play,
    But you never want to lose."
    That part could be saying that there are also people who want to live and never want to die.
    "Aerials, in the sky,
    When you lose small mind,
    You free your life."
    This part could say that when you lose your mind, you free your life (you kill yourself).
    And then,
    "Aerials, so up high,
    When you free your eyes,
    Eternal prize."
    This part I think means when you "free your eyes" (When you end your life) your "eternal prize" is seeing (I think) just one thing forever.

    I don't know if that's correct, but that's what I came up with.





  7. anonymous
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    Aug 15th 2010 report

    Some of it is up for interpretation but to me its about UFO's. IF your a believer listen to the lyrics like there telling us Aerials are the UFO's that are witnessed.

  8. anonymous
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    Aug 2nd 2010 report

    I think that this song is about people’s choices - about choosing the easiest way that leads to perdition or the hard one which in the end makes our life valuable, it is also a kind of appeal to look at our lives with our minds and hearts rather than eyes that very often are mislead by the tricks of the world like easy money, fame, life in the limelight, people that seem so cool to spend our time with, everything that pleases our eyes but in reality doesn't make us happy. And if we don’t know how to “utilize” our life in a good and worthwhile way we end up as worthless losers. We should always listen to our hearts and close our eyes to see the real beauty and values.
    Adding the interpretation of the video to the song:
    I think that the kid looks like an alien because he feels that way. He is torn apart and doesn't know what to choose: this pathetic shallow life of a star or leave it to humble innocent life. Maybe in his heart he knows he doesn't fit this celebrity world but pretends to be cool about it and he feels alienated not having real friends but the ones that love him because he's rich and famous. He feels that there's no one to help him, only he can choose the right way. And the kid doesn't necessarily have to be a child, it's every person that enters celebrity world and is treated like a kid with all those "advisers" that tell him what to do, how to look, how to act, what to say, etc.

  9. anonymous
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    Jul 24th 2010 report

    like the anonymous said


    (Well I think that The song is about kids not being kids and spending so much time being important that they can't be kids. (The music video showing an unhappy kid being surrounded by paparatzi). The music video also shows the band playing in a circle which I think represents a target and in the end of the video the kid lies down in the target. I think this means that he is a target for society and publicity
    This is just my opoinion.)

    he really has a point because kid's are the target now cant you see subminal messages in childrens cartoons like sex,naked woman and representing the devil BE CAREFULL WHAT YOU'RE KIDS WATCH... and remember this great band because there gone now and there not going to sing again there songs are the biggest treasures in this life. I THINK ALL THE SUBMINAL MESSAGES IN CARTOONS AND BRAIN WASHES IN ADVERTS ARE THE FREE MASONS :(

  10. anonymous
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    Apr 4th 2010 report

    I personally think that this song is about the restlessness that exists in people. "Always want to go but you never want to stay" is just one example of this. "Life is a waterfall" Life is adrenalin. Life is a log ride. We have our slow start, exciting middle, and steady end. We need to do everything. Because of life's transitions, we change who we are, and if we get to much, we will always look for more. Aerials in the sky are probably things that people want but can't have. It also says that the only escape from this is looking at the big picture.

  11. anonymous
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    Apr 1st 2010 report

    Is it only me that recognizes the sound of sacred harp when I hear it? The sound of the song is identical to the deep meaningful and soulful sound of the minor hymns contained in the book Sacred Harp. Check it out sometime. I realize a lot of rock sounds a little like it but this song just blew my mind when I heard it b/c it so much sounds like the male vocals I've heard since childhood at singings and stuff.

  12. some_random_kid
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    Mar 14th 2010 report

    From what i heard of this song it's a religion type destiny. most of u got the life is downward like a waterfall but where he says we're one in the river and one again after the fall talking of how we are all one person in god which is somewhat a transcendentalist thought. Swimming through the void we hear the word = going through life we always hear the word of god and jesus and we lose ourselves but we find it all is talking about when we die we lose ourselves on earth but find out if there is an afterlife. "We are the ones that want to choose, always wanna play but you never wanna lose" refers to people saying they are going to heaven or try to say they are and life has temptaitions that may make you stray from your religion or you are the person that wants to live well and try to go to heaven , but you don't want to go to lose or go to hell.

  13. anonymous
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    Jan 28th 2010 report

    I'm sorry to all of you but the first post has to be the best description of this song I've ever herd

  14. anonymous
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    Nov 24th 2009 report

    This interpretation goes with the video.
    "Life is a waterfall we're one in the river and one again after the fall" No matter what it is every man for himself
    "swimming through the void we hear the word we lose ourselves but we find it all...." When going through normal life when we here about something new we do anything to get it and "we find it all"
    "cause we are the ones that want to play always want to go
    but you never want to stay and we are the ones that want to choose always want to play but you never want to lose" You always want to get or do some thing but never want to lose or commit to something.
    "life is a waterfall we drink from the river then we turn around and put up our walls" When we get a glimpse of something not normal, new or strange to us we want to get all that we can from it and won't give to anyone else, that explains the strange looking chlid and it being famous and people getting money off of him.
    "aerials, in the sky when you lose small mind you free your life aerials, so up high when you free your eyes eternal prize aerials, in the sky when you lose small mind you free your life aerials, so up high when you free your eyes eternal prize" This just says how greedy and selfish people are, " when you free your eyes eternal prize" all you have to do is use your mind to get what you want.
    Thanks for readin.





  15. Dreamterpreter
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    Sep 16th 2009 report

    This song is simple and explicit in its meaning. It is about the simplicity of staying In Christ throughout the course of life. The meaning is simple, profound, clear, and reiterated throughout the song.

    Life is a waterfall
    Were one in the river
    And one again after the fall
    Swimming through the void
    We hear the word
    We lose ourselves
    But we find it all.

    All of us, together, are on a spiritual journey (the river), floating through life. As we drift through life, we hear the word of God. We lose ourselves, and find salvation, or at least what salvation is--we discover it.

    Cause we are the ones that want to play
    Always want to go
    But you never want to stay
    And we are the ones that want to choose
    Always want to play
    But you never want to lose

    However, we want to do our own thing and stray from the word. We want us to live our own lives, instead of living them the way that the Holy Spirit directs us. We want to choose our own path, our own river, yet we don't want to lose our salvation; not wanting to stay close to god, but to make our own choices without consequence.

    Aerials, in the sky
    When you lose small mind
    You free your life

    When you open up your mind, and yourself to god, you free your (true) life, which is your spirit.

    We drink from the river
    Then we turn around and put up our walls
    Swimming through the void
    We hear the word
    We lose ourselves
    But we find it all..

    A reiteration. We drink from the river-- we hear the word again of god. We feel the presence of the holy spirit. Then, we turn our back on him. We wall ourselves off from the holy spirit. Again, we hear the word. We lose ourselves, we die, and are born again in the spirit; in finding it all, we find the holy spirit and salvation.

    The song then reiterates, "when you lose small mind you free your life," again, your spirit.

    "When you free your eyes, eternal prize." Again, reiterating that if you open your mind, and open yourself to God (much harder than putting up walls), you will be filled with the holy spirit, and granted the eternal prize of salvation.




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