System of a Down: Sugar Meaning
Song Released: 1998
Sitting around all day,
Who can believe you,
Who can believe you,
Let your mother pray, (sugar)
I’m not there all the time you know
Some people, some people, some people,
Call it insane, yeah they...
anonymous Dec 16th, 2006 12:10pm report
It has nothing to do with drug addiction most of the posts are wrong the few who mentioned aspartame are correct, aspartame is found in sweeteners found in sugar free foods such as diet cola and most chewing gum these days. The russian roulete part is saying everyday we play russian roulette when we eat, comsume apartame, it causes brain damage and other things (read back people mentioned them) and the kicking his girl and I've killed everyone is about him going crazy from aspartame and killing everyone, finally, this song is telling you to eat sugar, not sugar free foods, hence the line "more sugaaarr!!!!"
anonymous Sep 16th, 2006 9:48pm report
In the video it does say aspartame kills. I also looked it up on google and found that aspartame is found in most diet soda and it also has been related to causing brain tumors and diabetes. When they say the kombucha mushroom people sitting around all day I think they mean that people know there is a problem with aspartame but no one is doing anything about it....If my sources were correct it got banned in china but we still use it in a lot of stuff. I like the line about playing russian roulette everyday with a bullet called life....When you play russian roulette you have a 1 in 6 chance of dying....If the bullet is life then you only have a 1 in 6 chance of having life....Im guessing that is when you have aspartame you are risking your life to brain tumors or w/e. They also think it is linked to homicidal tendencies...Which is probably where kicking his girlfriend and at the end when he says he's killed everyone.
anonymous Jan 7th, 2006 1:59am report
If this song is about anything, this song is about drug use, as its lyrics feature a number of major drug references. Startign with the title, 'Sugar' is a common nickname for methamphetamines (crystal meth), even recognised by (for example) Utah's Attorney General (http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/Meth/methterminology.htm). One of the undesirable side-effects of prolonged use of crystal meth (sugar) is amphetmine psychosis. The lyrics of the song suggest a range of psychotic behavior (for example, the lines "My girl, you know, she lashes out at me sometimes/ And I just kick her", "I got a gun the other day from Sako/ It's cute, small, fits right in my pocket/ Yeah, right in my pocket, (sugar)" (note though that the 'gun' may also be interpreted as the 'sugar' which will fire the bullet called life), "I sit, in my desolate room, no lights, no music/ Just anger!/ I've killed everyone", etc.), and its denial (for example "and then she's O.K., she's O.K.". Mixed in with these are the delusional hallucinations associated with amphetamine psychosis (for example "People are always chasing me down/ Trying to push my face to the ground/ Where all they really want to do/ Is suck out my mother f**king brains/ my brains (sugar)", "You know that every time I try to go/ Where I really want to be/ It's already where I am/ 'cause I'm already there", and even the chorus line "The kombucha mushroom people/ Sitting around all day/ Who can believe you/ Who can believe you/ Let your mother pray" - is the person using the sugar deluded into seeing 'mushroom people'?).
Another undesirable side-effect fo prolonged methamphetamine use is death ("I play Russian roulette everyday/ a man's sport /with a bullet called life /yeah called life,(sugar)". Clearly, the song equates 'sugar' with playing 'russian roulette' (a game where players take turns at putting a gun loaded with a single round up to their head and pulling the trigger).
As for the rest of the song, according to Wikipedia, "Kombucha is the Western name for a fermentation of sweetened tea using lactobacilli and yeast cultures." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombucha). Now we can either - like I said earlier - interpret this as the singer deluded into fantasies of witnessing people made up of Kombucha mould sitting around doing nothing, or alternatively a reference to consuming narcotics mixed with kombucha tea and then (either stoned or depressed - a symptom of prolonged amphetamine use is depression) sitting around all day doing nothing (i.e. The singer is the kombucha mushroom person).
The song could be interpreted as a narrative of a person in a delusional state recounting how they were at first cautious about the 'sugar' ("Well I'm not there all the time you know/ Some people, some people, some people/ call it insane, yeah they call it insane"), moving on to the psychotic fantasies and delusions, the person being locked in an assylum or jail ("I'm away forever") - perhaps receiving treatment ("but I'm feeling better") - after they have committed violent acts while lashing out at these hallucinations, and perhaps committing suicide ("In the end it all goes away") at the end.
"Let your mother pray" for them.
anonymous Sep 12th, 2014 9:11am report
I don't see this song as literally being about aspartame but rather aspartame as a metaphor for being fed "artificially sweetened" information by the media but then that doesn't explain the violence and anger in the song really so it really could be either way or some of both. Either way great song
anonymous Dec 16th, 2012 12:13am report
Sugar is an allegory for sensationalism. The clip at the beginning of the video isn't there by chance. Both the song and the video suggest that "sugar" turns you batshit crazy as if it were a drug. People eat up reality tv shows and dramatic news stories regardless of their value or validity. The "aspartame kills" flash in the video probably reinforces the idea that this sugar is fake, as aspartame is an artificial sweetener. This is ironic because aspartame has been proven to be harmless, but was the center of a massive media scare in the 90s. Hell, half the people on this page still seem to think it causes cancer. System is telling you to open your eyes.
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous Jun 25th, 2012 6:50pm report
As a lot of people say it does have to do with aspartame. Aspartame is a well known carcinogen, it literally destroys cells. It can cause severe depression, aggression, and anxiety. The government and corporations know this. SOAD are very liberal, they know that corporations and the government are aware of this. The point of this song is that corporations use aspartame and other artificial and genetically altered sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup to make their products. These altered/artificial sweeteners cost more then sugar, thus is cheaper to make their products. These companies do not care about health concerns as long as they have capital gain. That is the true meaning though some people are right in a sense, but their point is these companies are knowingly feeding us poison. As for kombucha mushroom people, they are talking about those health nuts who think they are drinking/eating healthy with their "Fat free" and "Sugar Free" beverages and food, when in fact they are eating worse than they really know. Kombucha is a tea-culture drank in Asian cultures. It is thought to healthy but has no proof of being healthy in fact it has been known to be toxic. Therefore explaining the "healthy" people being kombucha mushroom people.
anonymous May 23rd, 2012 5:14pm report
I think another main theme to this song is about people always taking the easier way out and never eliminating their problems but just putting off until later. When someone says something isn't right no one WANTS to believe him. All we have left to do is let our mothwers pray. When the problem finally catches up with you and puts you in a corner you ask "how do i feel, what do I say" and what do I do now?! we use violence as refuge to make our problems "fuck off and go away" until next time.
thehiltonater Apr 1st, 2012 4:14am report
Okay, so I have been looking for the explanation for the song for a long time, but just recently watched the music video. If you haven't seen it, you really should. It explains pretty well everything, with a little help from you.
In the song, Serj begins with, "The kumbucha mushroom people, sitting around all day!" As a kumbucha maker, I can tell you that,(one) Kumbucha is a mushroom, mushrooms are edible bacteria, and (two), I believe that he is referencing people who recognize the risk with eating deadly food, specifically aspartame. Why aspartame, you might wondering? In the video, twice across the screen the words "aspartame kills" flash backwards. For those of you who don't know, aspartame is a, artificial sweetener that has been shown to cause brain tumors, holes in your brain (WTF right?) and general insanity. In the song he talks about beating his girlfriend and killing everyone. So, he likely is slowly falling into madness, and is becoming more and more violent.
When he talks about "playing russian roulette everday...with a bullet called life", I believe that he is talking about how he is playing the odds by ingesting aspartame despite knowing the risks.
In the video, it also shows him being interrogated by the police during the, "I sit. In my desolate room. no lights. No music." part of the song. My theory is that he killed a lot of people with that cute little gun he got from Sako, and is now locked away forever. He has to live with the insanity eating at him, leading him to not know whether or not he is actually there (go listen to One by Metallica, many similarities).
In the end, the song is not about drugs, nuclear bomb victims, the media, or society in general. It is a song about the slow descent into insanity and mayhem that aspartame can lead to, and why it is important to give a flying fuck.
Disagree? Then start up a fight, let's see where this will lead.
anonymous Mar 7th, 2012 3:04pm report
Ok there are some great connections made on here so I just wanted to add my own connection. When Serj says 'the Kombucha Mushroom people sitting around all day, who can believe you, let your mother pray', I think hes referring to organic and health enthusiast people who try to reveal the dangers of chemical toxins in food supply and get ridiculed by the public who will label them 'conspiracy theorists' or 'paranoid.'
anonymous Jan 6th, 2012 1:32pm report
This song has three meanings. This song is about aspartame, when I looked up Kombucha, it is usually mixed in drinks, and is thought to cuase boosts in health. This means that we all think we're perfectly healthy and we can eat what we want and it won't matter (like aspartame.)Another meaning is about all the corruption in the world, and no one is fixing it. We "sit around all day" while there domoestic violence "My girl, you know, she lashes out at me sometimes,
And I just f*****g kick her." People need to carry guns to feel safe "I got a gun the other day from sako,
It’s cute, small, fits right in my pocket" And some people just snap and murder a bunchn of people. "Just anger, I’ve killed everyone" And we just leave our "Mothers" to pray for everything to be fixed. Finally, we wander in circles through everday life. So whenever we think we know what we want to do, it turns out it's what we're already doing and it's just endless repitition. We don't know how to feel or what to say, so we just say f*** everything and we believe that just fixes it.
anonymous Jan 3rd, 2012 1:26am report
"people sitting around" refers to a life without much work out and all, which leads to obesity and diabetes... then they begin using artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which risks their lives (Russian roulette) and leads to various other psychological problems...
motherfuckeryeah Sep 23rd, 2011 9:53pm report
all of you are stupid, this song IS about the kombucha drink, as when you make it yourself it is a russian roulette cuz its never 100% sure to be a good brew, you have to make a "Kombucha Mother" which feeds off of SUGAR, anyone who has ever made their own kombucha would totaly get this song. anyone who thinks its about drugs or anything else has done too many drugs and just dont know how to interpret a song.
anonymous Jul 7th, 2011 7:53am report
"KOMBUCHA should NEVER be fermented with raw honey, Stevia, Xylitol, Lactose, High Fructose Corn Syrup or any artificial sweetener such as Erithritol, ASPERTAME, SUCRALOSE or Saccharin."
On Wikipedia about the Kombucha Recipe
Maybe it's make you crazy and you die :O
Anyway there's many ways to view it.
Aspertame is not good for the health and should not be mixed with Kombucha either.
"...WHO can believe you
WHO can believe you
Let's your Mother pray"
They know things that not everyone know and anyway no sheeps(Stupid ass corrupted people)would believe them. THat's what I think.
Knowledge can make you crasy too and what is the song before... ;)
Out of context(?), Do you know that Natural Almond (Non-Grilled) Contain Arsenic and can be poisonous. =P
I'll end this text now X_X
could be longer... Bye bye!
anonymous Jun 17th, 2011 6:53pm report
Aspartame is a silent killer commonly found in sweeteners labeled "sugar". It prove something so sweet can kill you, like the news. They sugar coat everything they say so we dont get scared or worrie, but by doing that we dont know the truth and its killing us.
Theres my 2 cents.
anonymous May 15th, 2011 5:30pm report
This is not a song about aspartame or drugs; on the surface, it is a song about people blithely sucking down poison because it is sweetened. Aspartame symbolizes any poison that goes down sweetly: the news, for example. Sweetness is a distraction from what's really going on. Headline news doesn't show families devastated by our bombs. Rather, the news is sweetened with euphemism, strategic story placement and distracting feel-good fluff. This song is aimed at you and me. SUGAR!
anonymous May 5th, 2011 5:02pm report
Kombucha mushroom culture is developed with sugar..also, i think its trying to get at the additives in foods i.e a russian roullette meaning we are taking in foods with no idea of how or when they will eventually kill us.
Also who can believe you, may refer to trying to warn/educate people of the dangerous effects of substances such as aspartame msg etc with it having little impact on them.
Then I'm not sure about the end, I think it's his (serj's) on personal feeling/emphasis towards the topic he has wrote about???
that's just my thoughts anyway.
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