System of a Down: Jet Pilot Meaning
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Jet Pilot Lyrics
One that smiled when he flew over the bay,
Wired were the eyes of a horse on a jet pilot,
One that smiled when he flew over the bay.
My horse, is a shackled old man,
His, his remorse, was that...
anonymous Jul 13th, 2015 7:32am report
The song is about heroin, something that has been referred to as a horse time and again. The shackled old man is the addiction that goes with it. The whole song is a big euphemism, which falls in line with the rest of SOAD's amazing poetry.
anonymous Nov 17th, 2009 11:20pm report
I think this song is about transportation... The horse is a means of transportation in the past. Now we have jet planes and cars and all that.
'Wired were the eyes of a horse on a jet pilot
One that smiled when he flew over the bay"
The people were shocked seeing a horse flying. The horse smiled as he had never flew before and is happy.
"My horse is a shackled old man
His, his remorse, was that he couldn't survey
the skies, right before
right before they went grey
my horse and my remorse
flying over our great bay"
The horse is a method of transportation people hardly ever use and had been used for a long time. He is sad that he could not fly to see how the sky is like. The skies went gray after cars and other vehicles pollute the sky.
"My source, is the source of all creation
Her, discourse, is that we all don't survey
The skies, right before
Right before they go grey
My source, and my remorse
Flying over our great bay"
She(the source) is sad as even though we can fly, we don't look outside the window and see what a beautiful thing God has made for us.
I'm only thirteen please rate.
anonymous Sep 5th, 2019 9:22am report
I think the horse refers to the P51 Mustang fighter/bomber planes used in WW1. These planes were often painted with wild eyes and aggressive open mouths with sharp teeth on the nose of the plane.
In 1914 The Turks became involved in the war and in 1915 initiated the Armenian genocide. The horse flying over the bay is somewhat literal, shackled old man is the mechanic nature of the machine.
The grey likely depicts the conflicting sense of pride/duty of the pilot or maybe a simple desire to see the world’s beauty rather than visiting foreign and beautiful places only to destroy them and fill the skies with the fog of war. I think he even references creation’s sadness from this viewpoint as the band often does.
That’s my two cents anyway. I love that SOAD songs can be interpreted in so many different ways.
anonymous Feb 3rd, 2019 2:11am report
I always thought it was eerie, almost like a portent of the immediate future after listening to this album right before the events of September 11th. I thought of the horse as being a metaphor for the white horse of the apacolypse having glowing eyes and thought it could be alluding to the planes on 911 as if Serg were some sort of brilliant lyricist/psychic precog or something but i never considered the Bay Of Pigs reference, interesting.. as a side note, the BOP invasion failed primarily because Kennedy wouldn't approve ordering in air support... add that to the Cuban Missile Crisis, his amphetamine use and addiction to chicks like Marilyn Monroe who, for anyone could've known then, might have been a state actor for a hostile nation and the fact that he broke some agreements with union bosses and pissed of the mob. Then, on top of that, this mother fucker also wanted to dismantle the intellegencia agencies and basically all other powerful global organizations. One may start to think that God only knows what else the dude may have been up to back then, when things were waaaaaaaaaaay fuckin different than now as far as common attitudes and beliefs go.. Then, to top it all off, he goes and get himself shot in the head right in front of like, literally everybody and absolutely ruined his wifes dress and he goes and picks a total prick for VP to boot! Dang, I'm beginning to wonder, was he a revolutionary, or maybe just a massive fuck up? Sorry, too soon? Somebody had to say it..
anonymous Jan 9th, 2016 1:07am report
It's from a movie. I cannot remember the title, sadly. I think it was stated in an interview or report..
anonymous Sep 13th, 2014 9:53am report
the similarities with 9-11 are just too much of a coincidence for me. Its kinda eerie if you think of the song that way. I however like soad. An I want to point out that they are Armenian NOT Iranian.
anonymous Jul 20th, 2014 7:48pm report
The lyrics are actually:
Wild were the eyes of a horse of a jet pilot
When they smiled when he flew over the bay
The jet pilot's eyes were wild as they smiled.
Analyzing his analogy now, Serj defines his horse as a shackled old man (an old man flying a jet, shackled to his duty permanently by the government). His remorse was that we didn't all look out at the skies and enjoy life before going back to work and wasting our bodies, and possibly the environment (right before the skies go gray).
When he goes to define his source, he refers to the source of all creation as a 'she', presumably Mother Nature. Mother nature has the same dismay that no one stops to enjoy life.
The lyrics later change to:
Where were the eyes of a horse of a jet pilot
When they smiled when he flew over the bay?
He is wondering what kind of happy place the jet pilot had mentally reverted to in his final moments of life, to have such a stunning realization that even his eyes were smiling as he was about to die.
anonymous Mar 27th, 2013 3:16pm report
I've been conflicted as to how I could interpret this song.
A "horse" is of course quite literally a beast of burden, yes, or slang for transportation, but it can also be slang for a device that does work. It could mean that the horse was the targeting and weapons system of an attack fighter, which would work for the "wired" part. I thought perhaps that it "smiled" as it flew over the bay meant it was achieving a target lock on an aircraft or ground based target.
Not sure how to analyze the rest of the song. Of course multiple entendres are hallmark of musicians anyways, but it definitely fits in with the overall theme of the band's lyrics too. The 'horse' isn't accountable for its actions if it is indeed a weapon, and is bound (or shackled) to the whims of the pilot.
anonymous Mar 7th, 2013 3:17am report
This song was available before 9/11.
The horse is War as in the
4 horses of the apocalypse.
Shackled old man represents
time. The reason why time is
shackled is to represent the
fact that mankind has resorted to
war, time and time again.
The grey clouds represents
the aftermath of a battle.
Apparently in one WW1 battle
there was a grey/black cloud over
the battle field. They were flies
from the maggots that had
eaten from the slay.
anonymous Oct 29th, 2012 10:04am report
People people.. this song is about midlife crisis.. "My horse, is a shackled old man,"
"His remorse is that he could not survey the skies anymore".. he's thinking of all the things he could/should have done when he could.. when he was a jet.
anonymous Jul 26th, 2012 7:34am report
anonymous May 5th, 2012 5:11am report
This song could have not meant anything about 9-11 because it was released with Toxicity on sept 4th. It is about Pearl Harbor and the Japanese invasion on dec 7th 1941. The horse that it speaks of are the battleships in the harbor on that morning. Their eyes would have been wired on the jet pilots, because they believed that the attack wouldnt have happened. My main basis of this theory is because the jet pilot "smiled as he flew over the BAY" Pearl Harbor being the only possibility of being a bay
anonymous May 1st, 2012 5:37pm report
wow the Bay of Pigs Early in the presidency of John F. Kennedy, an invasion of Cuba, sponsored by the CIA, landed at the Bay of Pigs in an attempt to overthrow Castro.------------------------------------On April 17, 1961, 1400 Cuban exiles launched what became a botched invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba. The Bay of Pigs Invasion was an unsuccessful action by a CIA -trained force of Cuban exiles to invade southern Cuba, The CIA history of the Bay of Pigs operation in 1961, originally classified top secret, based on dozens of interviews with key operatives and officials and hundreds of CIA documents. The four volumes include information never before released and comprise (I) Air Operations, March 1960-1961; (II) Participation in the Conduct of Foreign Policy; (III) Evolution of CIA’s Anti-Castro Policies, 1959-January 1961; and (IV) The Taylor Committee Investigation of the Bay of Pigs.
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