What does Chop Suey mean?

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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...

  1. crade619
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    Feb 4th 2010 report

    I just want to clear up some things that might be a little strange. Basically the first stanza talks about how people try (on there own) to hide there sins. In the part were he says "Why'd you leave the keys up on the table" he is only taking a simple form of a mistake and talking about how we make up fables or lies to get out of things that can be fixes very easily.

    The next few parts of the song talks about us (sinners) not believing in Jesus self righteous suicide (dying for us). The part were he says "I cry when angels deserve to die" he is implying that the angels are us, most of the time when we call someone angel we hold them in high value, or love them, as dose Jesus love us(the reason he died for our sins). This being said, he can't stand to see our souls die because we deserve it, so he saved us.

    The last part I want to explain is when he says "Father... I commend my spirit... why have you forsaken me?" this is almost the exact thing Jesus says to the LORD before he dies.(remember that when Jesus took human form he also has the same feelings and emotions we do)

  2. anonymous
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    Jan 15th 2010 report

    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 a 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 "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" is a reference to Jesus' death on the cross, as, according to the Gospels, it was one of the seven things Jesus said while dying

  3. anonymous
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    Jan 13th 2010 report

    It's father into your hands I COMMEND my spirit, not commence, not command, COMMEND

  4. anonymous
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    Jan 7th 2010 report

    This is my interpretation of Chop Suey:

    "I don't think you trust in my self-righteous suicide. I cry, when angels deserve to die." To me, I think this is what SOAD thinks Jesus' last thoughts were on the cross before he died because a lot of the lyrics come straight from the Bible. It says "self-righteous suicide" because Jesus didn't sin, according to the Bible. He was offering Himself for the sake of everyone else. When it says"I cry, when angels deserve to die", Jesus could've sent angels to protect Him at any time, since He was the Son of God, so this is saying that angels should've died in His place.

    "Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit. Father, into your hands, why have you forsaken me?" These words right here come directly from the Bible. That is pretty much self-explanatory.

  5. heyreyrey
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    Dec 26th 2009 report

    I think the songs lyrics is about his mother abusing him that is ware the "hide the scares that fade away the shake up" and it could be y he is calling out "FATHER! FATHER!" and it could also be the reason of him saying y have you FORSAKEN ME ...... I'm am not saying he could not be calling out to ChRIST just my INTERPRETATION... ALSO THAT IS MY OPINION

  6. Orion
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    Dec 20th 2009 report

    I would have to agree with what the top-rated interpreter has stated. I would just like to add my two cents-granted, it may be the same.

    I pick parts of the song out of order. Mainly, in the order that they came to me.

    I agree, this song is about hiding, to be polite as can be, "problems." How, day in and day out, there are select people who hide their problems, even from friends and the ones they love. This reason could be as complex as inferiority...or just not feeling as if one is worth the time others would give you for your problems. As such, these people hide it.

    I would think that the "putting on make-up" symbolizes the hiding. Many turn to a form of self-mutilation for relief- replacing physical pain with emotional/mental pain. The "make-up," so to speak, hides your scars. (As mentioned in the top-rated interpretation.) However, I would also believe that the "make-up" could mean how you put on a different face in front of others to convey the illusion of "happiness." (I do believe this is also mentioned)

    "I don't think you trust in my self righteous suicide." I would believe this to be the one who is hurt speaking to either him/herself or to a friend. I would interpret this to be a mere conversation. I would think of it to be along the lines of the one who is hurt stating that she/he does not think you would trust or believe in how he/she feels. (Which may be suicidal). That maybe it is too much for another person to handle. The one who is hurting is in denial of others believing in him/her.

    "I cry when Angels deserve to die." I would put this, as stated before, as a friend/family member point of view-crying about, possibly, how this person feels. That, possibly, this person feels that he/she deserves to die. The one is who is listening, finds this person to be an "Angel," so to speak-just held back by their troubles. Hence, crying over their thoughts of deserving to die.

    "Why'd you leave the keys upon the table?" I would interpret this a little differently than the top-rated interpretation. That's not to say that it is a bad interpretation-I think it's great-but mine is a little different. I believe this question is being asked to the one who is hurting. I believe it is a question that is being asked self-consciously, but obliviously. I believe this symbolizes a question of "Why did you do such a thing?" By which I mean, "leave the keys upon the table" means to give up on life. "Why did you give up on life?" one would ask, because they are unaware this person had problems dragging them down. The kind of ignorance that is sad to hear.

    "Here you go create another Fable." I would interpret this to mean the lesson that is being taught. The lesson that people have problems, and, though many talk about them, some do not. I would interpret this to mean the lesson that is being taught by the one who (to my interpretation) committed suicide. The lesson that ignorance is bliss, for the lack of a better term.

    Now, about the touchy part. Where others hear this part and say, "Oh! This is about the Bible!" Jesus may be mentioned, but this does not convey that it is about the Bible. If that is the only interpretation you take from this song, then it is best to expand your horizons. Take a few steps back and think for a few minutes. We most certainly do not live in a perfect world.

    I would have to agree with the top-rated interpreter. I would interpret the "forsakens" that have been mentioned as how the one who is hurt feels. He/she feels forsaken out of every aspect of others lives. In every way. "In your heart." "In your eyes." That this person just wants to feel wanted and to know that he/she is in the mind and hearts of those who he/she cares about--or in those who care about this person.

    However, an opposite view would be that this person has already committed suicide...and is questioning why he/she has been "forsaken" from the hearts of those who "cared."

    In fact, a whole different interpretation could be taken from the point of view that this person has already committed suicide...and is questioning all that has been said in the song. For instance, this person is questioning about why others are asking why he/she hid his/her problems. ...If that makes sense.

    In summary, this is a great song. However, if you may feel as if someone is in a similar situation, especially a friend, or someone even closer, talk to them. Do not be shy. The first reaction is to pull away and lie...but keep on it. You may become a little agitated, but that's exactly what he/she wants. Do not give in to anger or frustration. They want to know that you (or someone in general) cares. Do what it takes to show that to him/her.

    Just my two-cents. Enjoy!

  7. clary93
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    Dec 16th 2009 report

    All right ever1..this is my essay I've handed in a month ago in school and I got a 9 out of 10 for it..check it out (:
    “Chop Suey” is a song written by Seri Tankian (21.08.67) and by Daron Malakian (18.07.75), singer and guitarist of the famous Armenian-American band “System Of A Down”, and apart from all the various interpretations that have been given to it, the song was mainly written from two different points of view: it has in fact both a personal and a world wide meaning.

    In the first verse the writers show us how someone everyday (“Wake up”) wants to cover up his problems in order to hide them from everyone around him (“Grab a brush and put a little make up, Hide the scars to fade away the shake up”). This person is going through hard times and he knows his problems will never leave him if he keeps hiding them from everyone else: this is shown in the fifth line “Why'd you leave the keys up on the table?”, which tells us how the person has given up with his life, how he wants to stop lying to his friends and to his family so that they think he is fine (“Here you go create another fable”), and how he wants everything to be over without facing his real problems (this anticipates his suicide which will be later explained in the song).
    The worldwide meaning of this stanza is very simple: Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian suggest that we, as human beings, tend to quickly hide ourselves instead of facing our problems, and line 5, “Why'd you leave the keys up on the table? ”, means “Why did you leave your true identity behind?”, the two musicians are asking why humans hide and forget themselves instead of being brave and strong.

    Verse 2 consist of the repetition of the sentence “You wanted to” plus the repletion of 3 lines already found in the first stanza. In fact lines 2, 4 and 6 of verse 2 correspond exactly on both words and meaning to lines 1, 2 and 3 of the beginning of the song.
    Lines 1, 2, 5 and 7 of this second verse consist, as we said, of 3 words only, “You wanted to”: with these words the musicians show us their suggestion that this person is suffering and wanted to give up; he had the possibility to avoid all his problems and to talk to someone to feel better, however he decided to take the easiest way out (which in the next verse will be the suicide), hiding behind his difficulties instead of facing them: now it’s only his fault if it is too late (this underlined by repeating 4 times the same sentence) and he can not change his mind anymore because he did “leave the keys up on the table” ( the keys give you access to your house and the act of leaving them behind means you do not care about your life anymore and you defiantly left yourself fall down giving up on everything).

    The third stanza of this song is the first which proves us that this person has defiantly given up with hi life, and this is the verse which shows us the real feelings of the victim because it tells us how desperate he is and how he does not fear the death anymore.
    The first thing we notice by reading this part of the song is the changing of how Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian write: in fact since the first verse the musicians wrote as if they were the ones who were talking and scolding the victim, however now the song is written as if is he person who is talking: he suggests that no one can understand him and his actions, like the suicide which he is about to do.
    Anyhow he is conscious of the big mistake he is going to make and he also knows why nobody understands his suicide: it is because he is hiding his “scars” with some “make up” and with “another fable”, and therefore he is covering up his problems in order to avoid that everyone understands the consequences of his “shake up”.
    The line which says “I cry when angels deserve to die” refers to Kurt Cobain (ex Nirvana’s singer who died of suicide in 1994): in fact the image of the “angels” recalls him because in one of his tour with his band he was represented with wings, like an angel. Moreover System Of A Down did not appreciate the unfair opinions of many people on his suicide, the two musicians want to underline the band’s attitude on Cobain’s death.
    All the band members “cry” when angels like Kurt Cobain die, when good and talented people are forced to commit suicide because they were not strong enough to face their problems and because nobody was that clever to understand that there was something wrong and that this angel desperately needed some help.
    However, as a very talented band, System Of A Down wanted to show the world something else than just Kurt Cobain’s reasons of committing suicide: in fact in Daron Malakian’s opinion this song, and especially this verse, “is about how people will be regarded differently depending on the way the pass”.
    Moreover System Of A Down was a very politically focused band and they hated the idea of innocent people dying of accidents, terrorist attacks and suicide just power and the greed of their government.
    A good example of the band’s opinion is the death of Jesus, unfairly crucified because of a ruler’s will, and the two musicians use this idea to write the two penultimate verses.

    Stanzas 4 and 5 are repetitions of the first and the second verse of the song. The tone changes again and from a desperate request of help found in the previous verse, we are now facing one more time the scolding of the singer and the feelings of pain of the victim.
    Repeating these two verses shows us how much Tankian and Malakian want us to understand that it is all the person’s fault if now he has refused God: the line 6 of this verse (“Why'd you leave the keys up on the table?”) explain us this statement in a very good way: in fact the keys are related to God. God and Jesus give us the keys to their kingdom, therefore, as the victim has left them on the table, the speaker wants to know why he has not taken this opportunity to go to heaven, why he has refused God, and keeps repeating him, as if to avoid him to forget that now it is too late to change things and to go back to the past.

    The 6th verse is formed once more of a repletion, however this time the two members of the band reuse verse 3 and adds the lines “In my self-righteous suicide I cry when angels deserve to die”. The add of these two lines at the end of the stanza shows us the fact that the victim is now at the edge of committing his confident suicide (“self-righteous suicide”) and that he is ready to die: this statement is then confirmed by the next two verses.

    Stanzas 7 and 8 are the proofs that the victim is about to commit suicide and the musicians use the last words of Jesus to perfectly explain this statement: “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 heart forsaken me”.
    The first verse of this verse (“Father, father, father, father”) consists of the repetition of the same: “Father”. By saying it for times Tankian and Malakian underline both the victim’s desperation and bravery to face God, and his fear of not being accepted by God. He knows everything is soon going to be over and this helps him push away all his fears: he is finally handing his spirit to God (“Father into your hands, I commend my spirit”) in hope he will bring him the peace he did not have during his life.
    The musicians are using the quote from Jesus to show us how the victim is mad at God, however he is apologizing for the action he is soon going to do. He knows that if he commits suicide he will not go to heaven but he can not stand his life anymore, he wants the peace he has never had and that’s why he is asking God to understand him, to forgive him and to let him in his reign.
    He is completely desperate and now he is literally on the edge of committing suicide, however he is still strong enough to ask God why he brought him so much misfortune and why he could not be brave enough to get over his problems: he is asking God to accept his action, he wants to show him that even though he knows that what is going to do is wrong he is sorry and he wants to die with exactly the same words of Jesus in his mouth.

    The last stanza consists once more of a repetition “Trust in my self-righteous suicide
    I cry when angels deserve to die, In my self-righteous suicide, I cry when angels deserve to die” recalls the previous verses of the song, like verse 3 and verse 5: however this time the victim is directly asking God, instead of asking all his friends, to “trust” and believe in his “self-righteous suicide”.
    He seriously wants everything to be over, but first he wants to be sure God will forgive him and will give him access to heaven. He wants to tell God he knows it should not be him the one dying, just like it should have been Satan and the fallen angels to pay for all the curses they brought upon the creation, instead of Jesus and all the other people who unfairly died or who committed suicide: “I cry when angels deserve to die".

  8. anonymous
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    Dec 15th 2009 report

    I believe that the song has to do with the kamikaze pilots of WWII and the the scars are the lost soldiers and that "FATHER" "why have you forsaken me" is because of the kamikaze pilots expecting to be glorified because they've sacrificed there lives but when there god does not allow eternal life they want to know why he has forsaken them and and not let them have eternal life for killing them selves

  9. anonymous
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    Nov 24th 2009 report

    One key thing everyone has missed so far. "Father into your hands I commend my spirit" & "Father, Why have you forsaken me!" These statements are both quoted as Jesus' last words. Not to be confused with the notion that Jesus said both of them. The gospel of Mark, the first of the synoptic gospels, quotes Jesus' last words as, "father why have you forsaken me!" Matthew repeats this same line. Also, in Mark & Matthew, we find Jesus terribly distraught and begging God not to make him go through with it, "Will you take this cup from my hands". Mark's gospel, again the original, has a neurotic Jesus who is always going around working in secret, almost afraid for his life, and he is constantly predicting that he will have to suffer.

    The Gospel of Luke takes Mark's account and tries to make it rosier. He changes Jesus' lines. In the Garden where he is praying, Jesus only suggests that if God wants to he would be more than willing to skip the crucifixion. This is in contrast to him sobbing and begging God 3 times to not make him go through with it. Then, Luke tells us of Jesus talking to women who are weeping while he is on the way to be executed, and he tells them to not worry about him. He talks with the prisoner on the cross and tells him that he will be in heaven with him today. None of this takes place in Mark or Matthew's Gospels. In Mark's gospel, Jesus is silent the hole way through the procedure until he shouts, "my god, why have you forsaken me." Luke gives us a Jesus more than happy to die. He also changes the last words to "father into your hand I commit my spirit." He has essentially "created another fable" he's hidden the scars. He's buried all the pain and suffering under bullshit.

    Also, Mark's original gospel ends with Jesus' demise. In the 2nd century, early Christians added a resurrection account to the story, just another attempt to hide the scars.

    There's much more to this song than just the biblical references. As with all their songs there are multiple meanings, so this is just one that I've spotted.

  10. anonymous
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    Nov 17th 2009 report

    I think the song can be interpreted in many ways. I believe each individuals interpretation is made by the problems in their own life or the lives of their loved ones. It can be said that SOAD was trying to say how turkey is hiding the fact that they led the genocide against the Armenians in 1915. That seems to be the meaning to me because of System's political standings on the issue. SOAD is a great band and has alot to say through their music. Its our responsibility to understand what the songs mean to us as individuals.

  11. anonymous
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    Nov 10th 2009 report

    I think the angels that deserve to die are satan and his minions.

  12. jernelle1
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    Nov 7th 2009 report

    I believe chop suey is a song about a girl abuse by a significant other. She blames god for the wrong doing because she is catholic and believes she is being punished for some past wrong doing. So instead of leaving her significant other she blames god in her mind but is in a paradox because she know she has done bad in the past and like all women blame someone else for their problems.

  13. anonymous
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    Nov 6th 2009 report

    I think that this song has to do with abortion. the self rightous suicide is the abortion. i used to think it was about Jesus, but then i studied it more and saw the meaning.

  14. anonymous
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    Oct 23rd 2009 report

    I hve a little to say.....wht I come to know is this song is all bout a MAN,his WIFE and FATHER....relationship between married WOMEN and her FATHER IN LAW....HER HUSBAND came to know this relationship...before he is committing suicide he is telling those words to his FATHER...

  15. blueninja
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    Oct 17th 2009 report

    In my opinion, this song refers to domestic abuse. The verses seem to be from the abusers perspective, and the chorus from the abused. Hiding the scars with make-up, leaving the keys on the table (something trivial that sets the abuser off), the abused "making up" fables (either as explanations for things that set off the abuser, or telling other people "fables" about how the person is being abused).
    The chorus, which is from the abused person's point of view, talks about suicide, and the lyrics "I cry when angels deserve to die," could be lamenting the fact that death would be preferable to being in such a situation.
    In the next part, I believe "Father" is referring to God. "Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit" would be referring to the person's impending suicide ("I commend" sounds intentional, so it's a choice). And the "Why have you forsaken me" section would be about how god has forsaken the person, and left them to whatever fate they now have.

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