System of a Down: Chop Suey Meaning
Song Released: 2001
Chop Suey Lyrics
We're Rolling Suicide
Wake up(wake up)
Grab a brush and put a little makeup
Hide the scars to fade away the shakeup
Why’d you leave the keys upon the table?
Here you go create another fable
You wanted to
Grab a brush...
anonymous Dec 31st, 2006 12:36pm report
I have read a lot of interpretations on this song, and many off them are deep and logical, but I have yet to find a single explanation that covers every aspect of the lyrics. I tried to take the song very directly and make conclusions on what I heard. Here goes nothing.
The beginning of this song talks about a person who is trying to cover up their problems so that everyone else thinks that they are totally fine. We know that the person is going through hard times because they talk about how he wants to hide "scars" to fade away the "shake up" (fight). We see that the person is trying to hide it on the outside (grab a brush and put on a little make-up, hide the scars...)but, of course, the problems, whatever they may happen to be, won't go away. Now, the speaker states that others don't understand his self-righteous suiside. Of course they wouldn't understand, they just see his outside, not his cold, troubled inside.
Now for the "father" stanza. Apparently this is a quote from Jesus before he died for us on the cross, but I don't think that this stanza actually refers to Jesus. First off, I m positive that the speaker is talking to God, not his dad, because if he is going to die, why and how could he command his spirit to his dad, it just doesn't make any sense. Anyway, I think that the the speaker is angry at God for bringing him so much misfortune, hence the "Why have you forsaken me..." bit. Think about it. Living day in and day out having to hide a secret from the rest of the world that keeps bitting him in the rear end. Sounds like a pretty sad life if you ask me. I think that he is handing over his spirit to God now in hopes that God can bring him a sort of peace.
For the "Why'd you leave the keys up on the table" line, I think that this symbolizes that the speaker (although I don't know if he is the one who actually quoted this)has given up on his life. You see, keys give you access to your home, to that vast majority of you. Leaving them somewhere kind of hints that he doesn't care enough to keep track of his own lifeline, that he has left them for someone to find. Lastly, the "I cry when angels deserve to die" line symbolizes his death, how sad others will be when a "perfect, happy, carefree" guy kills himself
anonymous Apr 3rd, 2006 4:45pm report
I think the song has to do with suicide bombings. The whole "wake up ..." is this person getting ready for their final day, how people look nice for their final day. "why'd you leave the keys up on the table?" - because they aren't coming back home. The whole "self-righteous suicide" is him trying to convince god and himself it's what he has to do (maybe for his country; he could have even been forced into it). And perhaps the "angels deserve to die" isn't himself, but all the innocent he has to kill. and the whole "why have you forsaken me" part is that he knows what he has done is wrong but he wants god to understand why he is doing this. That's why he sings about "trusting in his self-righteous suicide". all-in-all this person is going to do a suicide bombing, and is trying to convince god that he shouldn't be judged, its what he has to do. its confusing maybe, but it matches everyline
soad interpreter Aug 26th, 2005 8:49pm report
This song is about Jesus on the cross. "Self-righteous suicide" is referring to him dying but having the ability to save himself. "It's a suicide" and "Angels deserve to die" is Jesus being an "angel" that must die.
"Father father into your hands i commend my spirit why have you forsaken" me was taken from the Bible its Jesus' exact words taken from the original Hebrew to English hide the scars to fade away the shake up is God's forgiveness through Jesus' death.
I've studied a lot on this song to find true meaning, I hope you enjoy the post.
anonymous Sep 18th, 9:51pm report
I'll try to do this interpretation verse by verse and try to cover it all.
In the beginning it talks about hiding scars. I don't see it as literal but as pretending to be ok and hiding their mental illness or simply problems behind "makeup", a smile maybe, pretending to be fine.
The "Why’d you leave the keys upon the table?" I view in a more literal way, since the person the song refers to is most likely depressed, they are referring to how they left the house keys behind because they will commit suicide and won't come back, thus, won't need the keys anymore.
The part "You want to" and "Here you go create another fable" is the singer referring to suicidal people want attention, even if only after death, thus the "fable", but they also talk about how this people feel guilty and divided between wanting attention and feeling like they don't deserve or truly need it. The "I don't think you trust, in, my, self righteous suicide" is kind of self explanatory, they don't think the people around them understand what they are feeling and why do they want to commit suicide or maybe they think they don't have enough reasons and don't think it's their right to do it.
The "I cry when angels deserve to die" is maybe how society perceived him (after his death) as someone happy and good and how they didn't expect it or maybe (another interpretation) is that he is depressed and the people he loved and cared died and he cries to how good people are the ones who died (maybe that "deserve" thing is how he thinks god sees it, that those people deserve to die, in a positive way, going to a better place sooner for being good).
The "Father" part is actually something Jesus supposedly said when he was on the cross. Being a suicidal person saying is maybe him blaming god for all his misfortune (thus the "why have you forsaken me" because god forgot about him, ignored his suffering) and how, because of all that happened he is trusting, sending, his spirit to god (committing suicide).
Hope that made sense to you.
anonymous Jun 22nd, 6:23am report
i interpret the song as a short film telling a story. i think the band is talkin about an armenian woman who got tortured with heavy facial scars(years ago) and whos a christian believerin. (a man would not put on a "make up"). as woman she is committed to hide the scars. moreover shes traumatized. she cant forget the tortures of the past which make her the will to die.but as believerin, she cant suicide. she crys to god, ask him why she had such a fate, ask him to suicide.but the faith to god and the suffer of his son gives her the power to hold on.(the song dont tell the end) but its not only the dialog between her and god. i think shes talkin to her husband either, shes married and she got a hard dispute with him. He said "Chop Suey" to her and "let the keys on the table".
("why u left the keys on the table? (do u want to leave me?)) Without him, she is lonely again with the secret of her torture and the will to die returns again. the title of the song "chop suey" could be the bad nickname of the torturers given her because of her cutten face and her husband is the only one whos know this bad nickname. disputes in marriages could be very hard....
anonymous Apr 22nd, 4:47pm report
It is a mixture of all of the above. Amazed at all the very good explanations. I believe he has been enlightened. He has transcended the need for earthly comforts. But as long as he dwells here, he has to play the part.The only way out is death to yourselves. Self righteous suicide. The scriptures explains that you must "die" to "live". At some point in life everyone realize that we are nothing big in this reality. Dust in the wind. Just sit back and learn the hard way just as everyone before you did as well as after you. Just let our creator steer the ship. Let the past be the past. I trust you God to lead us to the promised land.
anonymous Apr 4th, 2015 4:03pm report
If you really listen to the song is about the life of a drug addict. I used to do drugs and can relate to this song so well. In the beginning when he talks a about the make up and brush he is talking about the different ways drug addicts hide their addiction. Leaving the keys is giving up on life. In the beginning he says I don't think you trust in my self righteous suicide meaning society would not think it's okay to kill yourself besides of being on drugs. Where a drug addict can relate that dying is a better life than the way you are living. When angels deserve to die mean society would say you deserved to die you were doing drugs. Most people don't understand addiction is a disease just like cancer. When I hear of someone overdosing I can relate to that sadness and they did not deserve to die. When he talks about the father and the forsaken part he is anger at God. He screams the words father. He talks about handing his spirit over to God saying he is giving up and can't live like this anymore. Then he begins asking God why he forsakened him why did God grant him this life of addiction and is so blind to the pain he is going through and God is not helping him through it. Lastly, instead of him saying I don't think you trust in my self righteous suicide he says trust in my self righteous suicide meaning he made the choice to kill him and to believe it was self righteous for him to do he seen it as not being wrong and the best thing to do. This is the best song I've heard relating to addiction and how society views addiction. If you ever get where I was on drugs and listen to this song it makes so much sense.
anonymous Jan 20th, 2015 1:48am report
The album Toxicity was number one on the charts during the week of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the controversy surrounding the popular single, especially the line 'I don't think you trust in my self-righteous suicide', at the time led to Clear Channel Radio placing the song on a list of post-9/11 inappropriate titles. Although it was never actually banned completely from the air, Clear Channel Radio stations were advised against playing any of the songs on the list.
The song was included on Blender magazine's "500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born" list.
In an interview, Daron Malakian explained, "The song is about how we are regarded differently depending on how we pass. Everyone deserves to die. Like, if I were now to die from drug abuse, they might say I deserved it because I abused dangerous drugs. Hence the line, ' 'I cry when angels deserve to die'. The lyric passages 'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit' and 'why have you forsaken me?' are a reference to Jesus' death on the cross, as, according to the Gospels, it was one of the seven things Jesus said while dying."
anonymous Dec 31st, 2014 12:14pm report
Entertain the thought that maybe this may be system of a downs concept of Lucifer. Wake up hide the scars.That may be saying Lucifer upon being granted authority over the world by God. Lucifer seen the disorder that was to come. Instinctively adapted and reacted like God giving all to creation. I cru when smells deserve to die.In turn is what is know as a power struggle was mearely a portrayal of creation following creator. Lucifer in theory created another table meaning level of adaptation that was ackwnoledged. Due to the revelation of creation (self righteous suicide system of a down). Unknowingly at the time bringing forth revelation before it's time and disguise to the true cross through a desire to be like God creator. Realizing the terror the end of the song Father God's firm hand forsook Lucifer. In attempts to cry out Lucifer is in a place where father and creator are obscured,due to a selfless instinct. Lucifer being of God is it's mere reflection out of order. This in truth crying for self. Christianity points to being human and the need to have a derrivitive.Marisa
anonymous Dec 12th, 2014 12:17pm report
Good song. The Interpretation of this song ( lies ) within your own eyes.
anonymous Oct 6th, 2014 10:20am report
The suicide bomber interpretation is definitely out of the window in my eyes. I feel that this whole song is about Jesus and how the artist thinks the bible was invented while being untrue. My interpretations are as follows:
A) The verses that portrays a person leaving keys and putting on make-up because they 'wanted to' explains the artist's idea of why religion was created. Meerly because someone wanted to.
B) "I don't think you trust in my self-righteous suicide" and "I cry when angels are suppose to die" is explaining his disbelief in the whole idea of religion and confusion on why Jesus had to die respectively.
C) commend my spirit, why have you forsaken me?, is just some added words from the scriptures that depict what Jesus said on his final day.
overall, I think it's just a song about not believing in religion, specifically Christianity and Catholicism. The suicide bomber, hell no. This song was made before 9/11. Although it could still be plausible, I doubt those were his motives behind this song.
anonymous Sep 25th, 2014 9:39am report
This song is called Chop Suey because it was originally going to be called Suicide (hence the beginning saying, "we're rolling suicide"), but they did not want to call it that, so instead, they chopped (got rid of) suey (suicide). It's a play on words.
anonymous Sep 3rd, 2014 9:12pm report
There are a lot of good interpretations of this song - the three top rated ones (as at the time of writing) being: (1)Someone going through a hard time/depression, ending up with suicide; (2)a suicide bomber trying to explain himself; and (3)Jesus on the cross.
I will second the 'suicide bomber' theory. My reasoning for that being the title of the song.
As you may or may not know, Chop Suey is a Chinese style dish actually created in America (USA), meaning, it is something we see as foreign but that we have indeed created ourselves. I think this is how we (the west) look at suicide bombings/terrorism, as a foreign fenomenon whos origin we have nothing to do with, when infact, we are the ones responsible for its creation.
The suicide bomber in the song knows that what he is about to do is wrong, that the victims will be innocent ones, and that God does not approve of it. But he has no choise.
anonymous Aug 17th, 2014 8:05am report
I think that the song is called chop suey like the japanease food cuz the song has a lot of meanings and the lyrics... So, first meaning: The beggining is about a person with a problem they tell him to wake up cuz he is beaten up then grab a brush and put a little make up to hide the wounds hide the scars to fade away the shake up (the fight) and why you left the keys up (in his home maybe building cuz there is UP) on the table and not on the key holder. Then its you want it to thats because he wanted to do that and he deserved that they beaten him up. Then why dont take a trust in my selfrighteus suicide is that he wants to suicide for all of that problems and then father for the dear hands... is that he is asking god for some peace and for the dear hands its directly taken from the bible is one of the seven words jesus yelled on the cross before he died, so that means that he is searching for little peace from god and then when angels deserve to die it means that he thinks that he is an angel himself and he deserves to die now. So, the second meaning: This song could be about the christianity and humanity too and for their country Armania and for the genocide, most of their songs is for the armenian genocide and i respect these guys for loving their country. The lyrics about the humanity are in the whole song except the refrain where there are a meanings of christianity like i said the word that jesus said and that he cries when angels deserve to die and thats because i loves the angels and christianity and that kind other lyrics are about the humanity full of problems and the refrains are for the christianity like god why have you forsaken me that means that god forsaken the christianity that he didnt sankcionated the people for what kind of world is our planet now. So the third meaning is about selfbombing suicide when he wakes up he grabs and brush and puts a little make up that he was crying in the night then he hides the scars then he leaves the keys on the table coz he knows that he will dont come back home and the other is that god forsaken him and he prays to god and that kind of things. And the fourth (last) meaning is about drug addiction, so if you get this song like the drug addiction meaning you will see this satanistic and that the members of the band are drug addicts (in my opinion they arent, they are the best band.) GOTTA LOVE SYSTEM.
anonymous May 11th, 2014 5:17pm report
i'm from turkey, and i just wanted to tell you guys an interesting fact, chop suey used to be incredibly popular in turkey, and probably gets listened to still today even it's a very old song now. I remember being in primary school and this song was heard a lot. even years after it was first released, like up to 2007 it was on everybody's mp3 players, or burned CDs.
from 2001 to 2006 it got the system of a down became more and more popular, however than some photos from a slayer & SoaD concert surfaced with a sign that said "dogs and turks cannot enter", after which significant number of people stopped listening to system of a down etc, the band later claimed that it was some armenian fans that did this and it was not sanctioned by the band. after this clarification, turkish fans were once again happy, until one of their songs came up with an anti-turkish video, and again many fans were unhappy, people were telling each other to not to listen to "these guys" anymore etc, later an interview with serj by a turkish rock magazine was printed, where he said that they never shot a video and that video was fan made etc; but after many happenings, it's still unclear to many fans, SoaD is no longer prominent as their hit song is too old now, and none of their later songs became hits in the last years. even today when we hear chop suey somewhere, 2 out of 5 people would say "i used to like these guys but they turns out, they hate turks", 2 out of 5 would say "i don't think they do", and 1 out of 5 would say, "i'd listen anyway".
music is music ;)
anonymous May 6th, 2014 5:23pm report
The band's ethnicity is armenian and the armenian mountains is the birth place of the 2nd creation where noah's ark is said to have settled on Mount ararat. Also the armenians were converted to Christianity by saint George about 300 a.d. So the band's point of view of Christ would obviously be unique.
When i hear this song I can't help thinking about jesus and lucifer. Jesus, most perfect and blameless sent as the word of god n to bear our sins and lucifer, most beautiful angel and most clever of all angels cast out of heaven for refusing god when he said to serve n bow to humans. One is life n one is death. It is said when lucifer was cast out became Satan, an angel who died or ceased to be an angel and, before Christ came, held the keys to the underworld but when Christ died on the cross n rose to heaven Satan was bound and chained to earth forever(but also granted immortallity) and the keys to heaven and hell were given to jesus Christ our savior who did what his father asked of him unlike lucifer. Interesting though that like it or not Satan dwells beneath us in hell(bowing) n serves us everyday by testing us. Also in order to talk to god we must do so through jesus at the same time lucifer can no longer communicate with god. The key is trust and the cross is the key. I don't know if the band is Muslim but I must say although suicide bombing, dying for god, is a Muslim theme. Muhammed said to follow jesus that jesus was the word of god and jesus said walk in life not in death. Faith is trust.Faith is the key.dont leave faith on the table.
anonymous Apr 24th, 2014 4:22pm report
"Grab a brush and put a little makeup
Hide the scars to fade away the shakeup
Why’d you leave the keys upon the table?"
This is just talking about abuse, it says put on more makeup to fade away scars that he shook up. It also says, "Why'd you leave the keys up on the table" I think that he is mad at said person for putting them there and that is why she needs make up. "Here you go create another fable" This is saying that she needs to tell a lie to make people think she is not being abused.
anonymous Apr 15th, 2014 4:19pm report
Wow lots of outlandish interpretations out there that rely on lots of speculation.
What I do know is that. That regardless of what the band says. Starting from "Father" down is basically the final death of Jesus and what his thoughts might have been based solely on how most Christians interepret its meaning. Most Christian doctrine teaches that God the Father turned his eyes away from Jesus as he was the a sacrifice for all of our sins and could not look upon him. And thus God the father turned away. The part of commending his spirit and being forsaken is direct from the bible.
The band obviously believes it was a self righteous suicide instead of what Christians believe was the will of God. The reference to angels deserve to die is most likely a reference to the devil and the other fallen angles. The bible states a third of the angels were cast out of heaven.
I think the first part of the song is about how most people only give lip service to the gospel and don't really trust in the Jesus. So its Jesus talking about them not trusting in his suicide for them....as they go through life in such a mundane unhappy way.
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