System of a Down: Chop Suey Meaning
Song Released: 2001
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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...
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:anonymous Dec 31st 2006 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
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:anonymous Jan 9th 2012 report
Wow actually nobody has the correct understanding of this song. System of a down is a band of Armenian descent and made their songs about the Armenian genocide that happened in 1915 when the Turks slaughtered over 1.5 million people. No one really talks about it because World War I was happening, and the media didn't focus on that. All the songs are all about getting recognition. It is an important ambition for them, the Armenian population, and the diaspora to gain world recognition, especially in the United States because its a super power.
"Wake up, Grab a brush and put a little makeup" is referring to the turkish government and how their crimes are so obvious, yet they're trying to cover it up, hence the reference to the makeup. System of a down is also making a reference to them being young girls and running away from their problems, not facing the truth of what they did.
"Why'd you leave the keys up on the table" is referring to the Armenian people not being able to have what is theirs, the homeland. Eastern Turkey is Western Armenia. The "key" was left in the house not letting them inside. All their churches lay in ruin to this day. Its Armenia's belongings.
"Here you go create another fable" is once again in reference to the Turkish Government making up stories about the genocide. They say that Armenians killed their people. Yet they also said no such genocide occurred. System of a Down is basically saying "Wake Up" and realize what your doing and saying.
"In my, self righteous suicide" does not literally mean that they think suicide is justifiable, but that the turks make it seem like the Armenians killed themselves and their own people for attention. They say "I cry when angels deserve to die" because how could the Armenians, a nation that did nothing wrong (the angels), be killed in such an awful way for no reason? Essentially, this line is sarcasm for the Ottoman Empire's foolish actions.
"Father, into your hands, why have you forsaken me" Although this line is an allusion to Jesus before he died, this line is speaking for the Armenian people as a whole. During the time of the genocide many Armenians lost their faith in God. They thought to themselves, if God was with us, he wouldn't let something so tragic happen to our people. So they're asking "why have you abandoned us father?"
Now tell me, doesn't this song make a lot more sense now?
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous Aug 22nd 2011 report
Sure, I agree with #1 Top-Rated, but I think that he's also singing about his girlfriend or wife or whatever wanting an abortion. "I Cry When Angels Deserve To Die": "Angel" being the unborn fetus, and he's sad when they deserve to die; "You Wanted To": she does all these things because apparently she wanted to, so he just wants her to do just ONE thing she doesn't want to do, he wants her to NOT have the abortion, and with the other stuff in those lines, he might be saying she's kind of a bad person; " I Don't Think You Trust In My Self-Righteous Suicide": I guess that means he'll kill himself if she goes through with it. But Serj Tankian himself would have to explain the song for any of us to be sure.
anonymous Jun 27th 2018 report
This probably isn't correct, but I always interpreted this song as an abusive relationship. The first lyrics "Wake up, Grab a brush and put a little make up, hide the scars to fade away the shake up" has always made me thought whoever the speaker is, is telling the person suffering the abuse to cover up the bruises or scars so no one knows, or what the victim is thinking. Then "why'd you leave the keys up on the table, here you go creating another fable" is the abuse victim trying to walk out on them and tell someone what the speaker is doing to them, but they insist that the victim is lying.
Then the lyrics "I don't think you trust in my self riotous suicide" is the speaker threatening the victim that they're in the right and maybe they're threatening to kill them self if they leave. "I cry when angles deserve to die" I feel symbolizes how the speaker sees their partner as perfect or beautiful but deserves what ever they do to them.
"Father, Father into your hands, I commend my spirit, Father into your hands, Why have you forsaken me? In your eyes forsaken me? In your thoughts forsaken me? In your arms forsaken me?" Is the speaker manipulating the victim more by trying to convince them they only do the things they do because they have a rough life.
I'm pretty sure they explained it in an interview somewhere, but that's just how I think of it.
anonymous Jan 3rd 2016 report
When he asks why have you forsaken me it could be a literal reference to the one of two sins Jesus Christ committed in his lifetime. On the cross Jesus spoke to god and said eloi eloi lama slavakia rough translation Is my god,my god why have you forsaken me he also mentions these lyrics after referring to his ascending spirit. This is the only time Jesus ever doubted god and the same doubt seems to be expressed in the artists voice
anonymous Sep 18th 2015 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 2015 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 2015 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 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 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."
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