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System of a Down: Deer Dance Meaning

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Circumventing circuses
Lamenting in protest
To visible police
Presence sponsored fear
Batallions of riot police
With rubber bullet kisses
Baton courtesy
Service with a smile
Beyond the staples center you can see america
With it’s tired...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Sep 4th, 2006 9:10am report


    The title of this song refers to the saying "shooting deers in cages" (beating up on inferiors). “deer dance” is an excellent example of a song with profoundly insightful lyrics. The approach is unvarying and rather satirical, clearly aimed at the influx of police brutality—particularly with respect to the los angeles police department.

    Serj tankian, the front man for system of a down, is recognized for clever political criticism through his lyrics (often disguised within vague metaphors and images). In “deer dance,” he reveals his distaste for the propaganda supplied by the government to deal with the “malcontents” in society—political ramblings and promises backed up by an imposing and brutal police presence.

    In the first verse, serj describes how the government outwits the masses using fear incited by a visible police presence. The “battalions of riot police” provide “service with a smile,” merely doing their jobs to restrain public outrage. However, serj presents a rather interesting idea when he labels the wounds as “rubber bullet kisses”—a satirical euphemism to mock the supposed indifference and fairness supplied by the police.

    In the pre-chorus, mention of the staples center (which is a sports stadium in los angeles) paints the scene to be L.A., and the police to be L.A.P.D. Here he addresses his sympathies with the malcontents, describing them as “peaceful, loving youth” who are merely resisting “the brutality of plastic existence”—a mask they refuse to wear any longer. In referring to a plastic existence, I believe that serj simply means a ‘fake’ existence: one of supposed content, but obvious discontent
    in the chorus, he presents a very powerful image of the police “pushing little children” around with fully automatic weapons. Clearly, the stark contrast between the powerful and the powerless reveals the extent of the brutality—these inhumane police treat little children as if they’re threatening. Unfortunately, this may be a drastic view and not necessarily reality.

    Serj also addresses the political propaganda of the government in the second verse with his description of official statements as a “rush of words” merely “pleading to disperse” the malcontents while a “fall guy” is called upon to take the brunt of the blow (or responsibility). He then denounces the idleness of the american people with regard to these brutality issues, telling them “we can’t afford to be neutral on a moving train.”
    in the bridge, serj brings reference to the “deer dance”—a metaphor with various interpretations. Clearly disgusted, serj sarcastically sings, “the little boy smiled, it’ll all be well.” this comment reflects directly upon the political propaganda used to satisfy the masses. However, we all know that pleasant images don’t address a problem—they merely shroud it in lies.



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 7th, 2014 7:54pm report


    Clearly this talks about police brutality. Police use fear as a primary weapon (worked in police force for 15 years and many of my co-workers scared the shit out of people). It also talks about the staples center and the protest and how many were beaten brutally with batons and rubber bullets. I quit my job because my co-workers were just too cruel. The police use ALL forms of brutality and it clearly says that in the song...



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 22nd, 2014 3:09am report


    Its about how people are like deer using the same tackticks to train terrorist cells then the lil more smile is the coping mechanism these sleeper cells use to avenge the way they were taught . staples center and our spoiled youth references how the down trodden and religiously persecuted feel towards the children that led a plastic existance while their people were robbed of dance and fun. So when it comes time a little more smile and it will all be well is a mantra of sorts as they see all authoritarian brutes. as cut from the same cloth. people they new that 911 was going to happen . They mock religion bible based .. and those disproportioned malcontents that die in their opinion justly due to their own self righteous. suicide killings . avengeing their own disgrace as a battle cry the deer dance is a dance of death with those would be killers of all the heards.. they feel distaste for so much that it kinda becomes a sickness of its own as they themselvs begin to push back against america in a sad but defiant sort of justification . i belive that the first album is system of a down . with the right hand given to the cells that would follow the teachings of their prophet. the left hand is to wipe the right to eat . if you remove the right hand what you have left is a man that is going to choose to graze or eat unclean. People just dont get it. That whole first album is a check list pf how to control crowd in the planes and im sure it was the second one to x i city . that reafirms the suicide cells of their eventual. fate . thus he crys when angels .. or perfect devoute followwers of shite muslim ways .. deserve to die .. u watch there is more to this hypnotize. mesmerize attack is next . filler material annd a cool off period is needed so these talented musicians can go under the radar and begin the next phase of thier jihad . money funneled directly through the band to beruit and lebanon go to teaching the new terrorist sleeper cells .. like what happebed in boston . they were cogs in a hiarchy that has decided to try and get chinas funding. so a global war will return the cedars of lebanon and the garden of eden back to the serians . Anti jewish and anti american
    .. still brilliant and as surge says at the end of spiders. dreams are eventually made winding through his hands . Hes a brilliant computer analysis guy. The v chip gives the government ways to spy so they had to think outside the box or peephole. one again after the fall .. means they will all be together when its over . drugs are the fuel for their holy war and they sell suga at the highest prices on the streets .. as they ride their hannibalesque elephant.. Hint that india is helping.. over the mushroom like fungus that has sprouted all over their perfect existance. "U cant afford to be neutral on a moving train will be a battle cry when the war starts . christ died for our sins and theres to subvert these kinds of thinking we need to be sober and ready to fight the new guns .. . hes waiting on his girl.. is a reference to how woman are going to be the next wave . put on some make up brush your hair hide the scars of your genocide from american funded turks.. and man up . . or not .. they leave the keys on the table cause we will snprt and slam it all .. system of a down..

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  4.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 27th, 2012 11:58am report


    he doesnt talk about armenia. In third world counties they dont have "plastic existance" or peaceful protesters, or staples centers. plus the most obvious clue is that America doesnt send riot police to 3rd world countries lol



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 30th, 2012 9:20pm report


    It's about the Armenian genocide how the turkish brutally killed off all of the armeanians and the Turkish seemed refuge to a place where they couldn't get prosecuted or have any retaliation towards them



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 20th, 2011 6:18am report


    interpretation isnt needed... read the lyrics its obvious what its about whether related to one event or the big picture!



  7.  

    anonymous
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    May 14th, 2011 5:59pm report


    The person who said this song had nothing to do with RATM missed the point. Anyone who was at the Democratic National Convention in 2000 that took place outside of the Staples Center knows that this song was written about it, especially, since Serj is known to protest. He was at this protest and experienced the brutality. So he wrote a song that specifically discusses this one protest but can transcend to any protest where the "peaceful loving youth" were brutalized.

    If you need it to be spelled out, here ya go:

    "Batallions of riot police With rubber bullet kisses"
    - At the DNC, there were hundreds, even thousands, of riot police who shot hundreds of rounds into the "peaceful loving" crowd.

    "A rush of words Pleading to disperse"
    -There was an announcement after they shut the power off on Ozomatli (not RATM) to disperse in 15 minutes. However they shot the rubber bullets in 7.

    "Beyond the staples center you can see america
    With it’s tired poor avenging disgrace"
    -These are the most undisputed lyrics that point directly to the DNC in 2000. When Rage played "Testify," we were screaming right at the Staples Center which is what this verse is discussing.

    The rest of the lyrics are talking about the protest but can be projected to any protest... however, if you were at the DNC 2000, you know exactly what Serj is talking about.

    This isn't really about the band's champion cause, the Armenian Genocide. This song is directly about the DNC and any other protest that resulted similarly. By the way, the band is not half Armenian, they are full Armenian.



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 30th, 2011 4:23pm report


    Its about the peace protest in the 80s (peaceful loving youth) and how there were police riots against these peacful people.and (rubber bullets) and lighter than bullet weopens were used.if you re read the lyrics you'll get the point.and peace riots were held in the staples center.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 13th, 2011 4:43pm report


    i think the lyrics may be referring to the native american deer dance or something similar to it. it makes sense in reference to this song.

    The deer dance "symbolizes the struggle between good and evil, through a confrontation between a sacred deer and aggressive coyotes and hunters, bringing to mind parallels of cultural, philosophical, and spiritual struggles as well."

    in the song it says "A deer dance, invitation to peace
    War staring you in the face, dressed in black
    With a helmet, fierce
    Trained and appropriate for the malcontents
    For the disproportioned malcontents."

    i believe it has something to do with the traditional deer dance.



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 29th, 2011 3:43pm report


    It's about a bunch of deer getting together and dancing, and how humans cant do that without fighting..



  11.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 1st, 2011 2:27am report


    In the "Beyond the staple Center you can see America..." I believe that whole statement is saying....Well look, the staple center holds all kinds of big entertaining events, like the X-games for example, Serj is saying that if you look past that, you can see Americas materialistic youth that are trying to fight the brutality of plastic existence, referring to material items. I do agree that the chorus is referring to police brutality, but in my opinion its against the youth. Again, I am only 16 so if something I have said is just completely wrong, excuse me. Email me if anyone has anything to comment to me about. Srg1109@gmail.com



  12.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 10th, 2010 7:00am report


    People this song has lots of meanings don't fight each other because all of your interpretations might be true



  13.  

    erokk
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    May 7th, 2010 5:06pm report


    this song is about the Democratic National Convention in 2000 they sing about the staples center where it took place "where the rubber bullet kisses baton courtesy service with a smile" refers to the brutality of the police when they broke up the riot that ensued after RATM finished their concert there.



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 26th, 2009 11:40am report


    when he says "we cant offord to be nutral on a moveing train" he's quoteing howard zinn, author of the peoples history of the united states.



  15.  

    anonymous
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    May 27th, 2009 5:55am report


    It is about police brutality that happen during the DNS at wich RATM played, you would know this if you where there. it was fuct up my friend got a rubber bullet kiss that night.



  16.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 27th, 2009 4:53pm report


    This song is about police brutality. Have you closley looked at the lyrics? "To visible police, present sponsered fear" hes saying that police are there to scare us into obeying."Battalions of RIOT POLICE with rubber bullet kisses" Hes talking about how they shoot rubber bullets at us (trust me, it hurts) "Baton coutesey, servise with a smile" he's saying how they smack us around with batons and may get a sick kick from it. okay, the chorus, i had some trouble with, but i think when he says "beyond the staples center you can see america" he's talking about a concert place called staples center, its real i looked it up, so perhaps they had a concert, and it got out of hand and the riot police showed up and shot rubber bullets into the crowd and hit em' with batons. thats my interpretation, who knows?

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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