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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    Jun 20th 2007 report

    Well I personally interpret the song to be about pride. Everyone has it to start with, and it blinds you. You don't see things clearly until you learn to humble yourself.

  2. I_love_my_kid
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    Jun 3rd 2007 report

    I think that the meaning doesn't even matter cause all you guys are doing is agreeing that if Daron said it meant anything or if Serj lies or not. So why don't you guys go get a life and get of you asses and go out and get some exercise and stop making america obese. Just thought you wanted to know.

  3. anonymous
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    May 19th 2007 report

    I think this song is about doing whatever it takes to fit in,until one day you are so much like everyone else that your barely even a person,and more like a big shell of armor that houses nothingness.

  4. anonymous
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    Apr 29th 2007 report

    This is funny so many interpretations of this song, most of which a fair interpretation from most people general knowledge but sadly people are not educated enough on the references sourced. Despite the stronge references discussed below the only people that can answer this a SOAD.

    However this song takes many Buddist references.

    "We’re one in the river
    And one again after the fall"

    The Zen teaching of Interdependent co-arising and the concept of emtpiness is often compared to as a water fall, with the river being buddha nature existing at the ground of being in all things and the human existence trying to duelise reality represented by the drops of water separated from the river which finally returns to the ground of being again on death or enlightenment

    "Swimming through the void
    We hear the word
    We lose ourselves
    But we find it all...."

    The "Void" is a Zen concept much like that of the emptiness which costitutes all things. Swimming through the void would indicate the presence of Buddha nature in things behaving in a duelist or non-buddha way i.e even things that are obviously non buddha are in fact always buddha. The Word is the Dharma (buddha's teaching), losing ourselves is the acceptance in "non self" and find it all is the subsequent 8 fold path of the Dharma towards enlightenment.

    "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"

    This is a comment on human nature and "letting go" or the first nobal truth thatt all suffering comes from desire or want. You and not sad because you crash your car or lost you job or split up with your girl friend. You are sad because you want your car, because you want your job. Because you want things to be other than they are.You always want to play but never want to lose.

    "When you lose small mind
    You free your life
    Aerials, so up high
    When you free your eyes eternal prize "

    Small Mind is a Zen term Being the opposite to Big mind. Small mind says you are you, I am I, I think in my head and the world exists outside me and separate. Big Mind says I exists as apart of everything, you are me, I am you, there is no boundary between me and the rest of the world. Big Mind encompasses all things. Enternal Prize is the resulting enlightenment from Big Mind.

    If you would like to confirm my claims as more then intellectual chitter-chatter than I suggest to visit your local library and read some of the Buddhist material there. I can recommend "the heart of the Buddha's Teaching" by Thich Nhat Hanh, "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind" by Shunryu Suzuki and fro beginners "buddhism without beliefs" by Stephen Batchelor.

    Thank you for reading

    Matthew Dorrell

  5. anonymous
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    Apr 27th 2007 report

    NORMALLY, I don't add my two cents into these things,
    but it seems somewhat necessary at this point.

    If you guys want to quote things band members said, look past the most obvious meanings, and read in between the lines.

    One thing I will quote, however, is when the band clearly said they'd never specifically tell what any song was about, because they didn't want it to come easy to the fans, they wanted to MAKE them think about the lyrics rather then just reading an interpretation.

    Second, they always say random bullshit that doesn't make sense but in the end has a hidden meaning, not in songs necessarily, but when they speak mainly in interviews.

    The song isn't about nothing, the song isn't about aliens.

    Learn your shit, and think for yourselves instead of forcing your decisions and ideas on others and arguing about it.

    -rant over.-

  6. ynitsed
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    Apr 11th 2007 report

    This song is about how people today are all selfish and greedy hence the song "we drink from the river then we turn around and put up our walls" meaning everybody takes from life and thinks they can own it.

  7. oscarfish16
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    Apr 5th 2007 report

    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 lost ourselves,
    But we find it all?

    This is about becoming mature, not physically, but in the mind. When we are young we are one with ourselves. All we worry about is when we have another day off school or work or when we are going to get laid again, and we are content with that. We are basically uneducated in the struggles of life, because others have made the tough decisions for us. But in that void in life, where you begin to start thinking about greater things like your future and what is happening in the world, you seek knowledge (hear the word), whether it is religion, politics, or sociology. At this point we change into someone new, and we learn so much, but do we truly find all we were looking for?

    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.

    We, as Americans, want to play politics, or play religion, or play sociologist. We want to go spread our views, not just stay and live by them. We want to be the ones to choose the right way of living. We want to spread our views, but we never want them to be rejected by the people we are trying to spread them to. This is evident in the wars we fight. We try to spread democracy by force, but we never want to lose this struggle to people that want to live a different life.

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

    The only link to the waterfall theme I can come up with is the aerial maneuvers the water goes through as it falls. He could also just be jumping to a completely different metaphor, still sticking to a nature theme (this is what I think). Ill skip the “Aerial” meaning for now, as it will be more understandable at the end. When you begin to think about the big picture (lose small mind), you free yourself from the ties of others’ thoughts. When you are younger you rely on the interpretations of other people to teach you. For example, you see a story on the news about a terrorist attack, and you ask your father why someone would do such a thing. You rely on his interpretations of things to understand. But when you begin thinking for yourself, you are free to analyze things and come to your own conclusions. You have then freed your life.

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

    By drinking from the river, he means learning, or consuming knowledge. We find a resource and put up walls to keep others away, as if it’s OUR river, OUR knowledge. This is a weird part of human nature. We try to spread our views on how to live; yet we block our resources from others.

    Aerials, so up high,
    When you free your eyes,
    Eternal prize.

    This is the same thing. Think big and you will have eternal knowledge. Aerial has a definition of “lacking substance,” or lacking meaning. I think that by saying “Aerials, in the sky” and “Aerials, so up high” he means that we hold things that have no meaning in high regard, such as material possessions. When you free your eyes from looking at meaningless things, you will be able to look deeper into the meaning of more important things, like life itself

    This song is a relation of human nature to things in mother nature. When Daron said this song is about nothing, he is further emphasizing the point of this song. Here is this guy telling me this song is about nothing. Here is this other guy telling me that it’s about a retarded kid watching a trapeze artist.

  8. anonymous
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    Mar 10th 2007 report

    This song is about an aerial on your house that fell of and hit an elderly woman on the foot !

  9. anonymous
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    Feb 15th 2007 report

    I think when the song refers to "we drink from the river, then we turn around and put up our walls" can refer to the way we use the Rio Bravo with Mexico since we tend not to make it ours even though it's an international boundary, plus the song does allude to aliens which could indeed refer to illegal immigrants.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  10. anonymous
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    Feb 5th 2007 report

    I just want to say that just because the video has an alien guy in does not mean that's what the song is about... rarely do rock videos have the same meaning as their songs its just to give cool visualization to their song... and as for anyone who thinks it's about the government... not everything SOAD does is about the system... you mite need some medication if you think that every song is about that... other than that I do not know what this song is about

  11. anonymous
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    Jan 26th 2007 report

    welll I thought it was about a guy who does a crime (we lost ourselves) and put on trial (one again after the fall). He wants to be free (cause we are the ones that want to play..), he loses his court case (but you never want to lose). on the way to jail after being found guilty he looks up and sees helicopters following the vehicle (aerials....in the sky)..while he is in jail (put up our walls) he wants to get the freedom back so he escapes, and as he is escaping they find out and send helicopters out to find him, which he sees overhead and he "frees his life" after he out of jail and learns from the experience.......ionno but it could be a tight music video

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  12. anonymous
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    Jan 2nd 2007 report

    Daron wrote this song. Someone already said this, but it's about a disabled boy watching a trapize artist, wanting to be up their but knowing he can't. Shavo said this during an interview in 2002.

  13. anonymous
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    Dec 31st 2006 report

    System always try to confuse us, to make uns think...If they say that there is no meaning, it's because the want us to make us ask ourselves "Wait, there can't be no meaning...Any lyric has no meaning.It's the essential part of a lyric". If you've been listening to soad for years, you would appreciate that.

    What I really wanted to say is that this song, like most of you think,is about existentialism, about life itself. Look, an Spanish poet said once "nuestras vidas son los rios, que van a dar a la mar, que es el morir" (Our lives are the rivers, that flows to the sea, where we die). That is exactly what the song says. We are the waterfall.

    And the other thing is, why aerials? My little brother told me something that impressed me...So we are the wind, and just imagine yourself winding through aerials...That's life my friend, you can avoid them, or take them down...

    There are lots of nuances that I cannot appreciate in this lyric, but we can learn a lot from the songs in this album.
    Remember...That EVERYTHING is important..Always

  14. anonymous
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    Dec 22nd 2006 report

    To all of you who is saying the song has no meaning-SHUT UP NOW! System is all about free thinking, if you haven't noticed. You have to be a free-thinker, act alone, because that's how you will always be, alone.

  15. anonymous
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    Nov 17th 2006 report

    This is for ryan
    i like your interpretation
    but go into more detail about the symbol of the river and water in general
    water represents life and purity; it is an essential part of us. Yet, we put up a wall to block the water we must drink to live? This is illogical. We must not be truly living life.
    Also, consider the void more. How can you swim through a void? We cannot. We struggle to do so. It is in this struggle that our minds are disillusioned and the truth is revealed. The truth is not free because truth is not valued until you earn it. Truth is hidden because the truth is unsettling. If you truly swim through the void you become free. Gravity, like society, is not longer limiting your ability, in this case, to know the truth.

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