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
anonymous Mar 20th, 2006 3:52pm report
I believe the part about the leaving the keys on the table is about whoever tried to hide the scars (hide the bad things in the world, done to them, or done by them), like the Turks in the Armenian Genocide, or the Media covering certain events, or someone abused by another. They tried to hide whatever it was, but they left some kind of clue to the truth in the open, the key to the secret and truth, and that line is asking why they leave the key to the truth out if they are trying so hard to hide it.
I think this song is left open for interpretation on many levels. I think it has a basic theme of fakeness, or lying to cover something up. This could refer to the Genocide, Media, or someone abused by another or themselves. Chop Suey is a fake chinese dish, as it was created in the US, and it represents that basic theme. I also beleive it relates to religion in covering up certain things that make them look bad, and how religion plays in the world today. If someone commits a self rightious suicide, in whichever way you wish to take that, they can either be considered as a maryter to some, or a statistic to others. Their death could be used to prove the point of others, making it self rightious in a sense.
But that's just my opinion. This has very open possibilities for interpretation as I said before, and that's what SOAD tries to do. They don't want to explain everything to you, it's more important to them what the song means to you then what it means to them.
anonymous Jul 5th, 2016 7:10am report
What kinda dope brought you to that conclusion? The song is about Jesus Christ. Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best. Ever heard that?
anonymous Jan 3rd, 2016 1:09am 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 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, 2015 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, 2015 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.
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