Lunchbox – Unpacking the Anthem of Angst and Rebellion


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Marilyn Manson's Lunchbox at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Armored with a Lunchbox: More than a Meal’s Carrier
  5. Dreams of Rock Stardom: Escape and Identity
  6. Currency of Power: The Lyrics’ Hidden Commentary on Violence
  7. Playground Politics: The Microcosmic Battlefield
  8. Pow Pow Pow: The Unforgettable Sound of Resistance

Lyrics

Next motherfucker’s gonna get my metal

“I bring you”

Bring you down

On we plow

The big bully try to stick his finger in my chest
Try to tell me tell me he’s the best
I don’t really give a good goddamn cause

I got my lunchbox and I’m armed real well
I got my lunchbox and I’m armed real well
I got my lunchbox and I’m armed real well

I want to grow up
I want to be a big rock and roll star
I want to grow up
I want to be
So no one fucks with me, yeah

“Fire”

“I bring you, fire”

“Fire”

“I bring you”

I got the pencils in my pocket, try to put me down
Want to go out, gotta get out to the playground
Gonna throw down at the playground
I want to go out

Next motherfucker gonna get my metal
Next motherfucker gonna get my metal
Next motherfucker gonna get my metal
Next motherfucker

Pow Pow Pow, Pow Pow Pow,
Pow Pow Pow, Pow Pow Pow

I want to grow up
I want to be a big rock and roll star
I want to grow up
I want to be
So no one fucks with me, yeah

Yeah
I wanna grow up
I wanna be a big rock and roll star
I wanna grow up
I wanna be
So no one fucks with me, yeah

I wanna grow up
I wanna be a big rock and roll star
I wanna grow up
I wanna be
So no one fucks with me, yeah

Full Lyrics

At first glance, Marilyn Manson’s ‘Lunchbox’ may simply resonate as an abrasive anthem of teenage rebellion—a cacophony of aggressive guitars and pounding drums set against the snarled declarations of a young Manson. Yet beneath the surface snarl and crunch of electric angst, there is a sophisticated interplay of social commentary and personal aspiration. The song skates on a thin ice of vulnerability, camouflaged by industrial-strength distortion and a showcase of audacity.

Released in 1994 as part of Manson’s debut album, ‘Portrait of an American Family,’ ‘Lunchbox’ quickly became an emblematic track for the band, encapsulating the early ’90s blend of metal, punk, and industrial sounds. But more than that, it speaks to a universal undercurrent of power struggles, dreams, and defiance that characterized—and still resonates with—youth culture.

Armored with a Lunchbox: More than a Meal’s Carrier

It’s easy to overlook the significance of something as everyday as a lunchbox, but in Manson’s narrative universe, this object is transformed into a symbol of empowerment. When the protagonist equips himself with his lunchbox, it’s as though he’s donning his battle armor, ready to face the ‘big bully’ and the trials of the playground—presented here as a microcosm for a world fraught with confrontation and aggression.

The lunchbox represents a personal space of sovereignty, an artifact of childhood innocence that paradoxically is used as a shield against the forces that threaten that innocence. It’s an ironic yet poignant metaphor for preparing oneself to face the adult world and its myriad challenges.

Dreams of Rock Stardom: Escape and Identity

‘I want to grow up / I want to be a big rock and roll star’—the lyrics form a repetitive mantra throughout the song, signifying an escape route from the oppression of mundane realities. Manson taps into the timeless fantasy of music as salvation, using the rock star persona as an emblem of ultimate freedom and unassailable power.

Beyond escapism, this allusion to rock stardom serves as a bridge between youth and adulthood, an aspiration that harbors the transformative potential to lift the protagonist out of his subjugation. It’s about crafting an identity so formidable that it silences detractors and secures autonomy.

Currency of Power: The Lyrics’ Hidden Commentary on Violence

Amidst the defiant screams and thrashing instruments, ‘Lunchbox’ delves into a meditation on the currency of power. ‘Next motherfucker’s gonna get my metal’ is not just a threat but a commentary on the cycle of violence—one where perceived strength is often gauged by one’s capability to wield power over others.

Manson’s not advocating physical violence; rather, he uses it allegorically to discuss empowerment in a world that respects force. The metaphorical ‘metal’ is the ability to push back against power structures, to assert one’s place in a hierarchy that would otherwise suppress individuality.

Playground Politics: The Microcosmic Battlefield

The invocation of the playground as a battlefield is a potent image, encapsulating the dynamics of power, hierarchy, and struggle. The playground is where the social constructs of dominance and submission are often first encountered and where lines are drawn that sometimes extend into adult interactions.

Manson’s ‘Lunchbox’ captures this rite of passage, the conflict and camaraderie, the vying for place and acceptance, and turns it into a theater of war, where the battlegrounds of our youth are haunting precursors to the challenges we continue to face as we ‘grow up.’

Pow Pow Pow: The Unforgettable Sound of Resistance

One cannot discuss ‘Lunchbox’ without nodding to its auditory assault of ‘Pow Pow Pow.’ This simple yet potent punctuation embodies everything about the song’s intensity. It’s both the sound of retaliatory firepower and a verbal mimicry of the punchy, percussive beats that drive the song forward, a bold underscore to the theme of confrontation.

This explosive interjection serves as a rallying cry, a visceral manifestation of the song’s defiant heart. It’s as memorable for its fury as for the sense of unity and camaraderie it evokes among those who have ever felt the sting of marginalization and dreamt of a day when no one would dare ‘fuck’ with them.

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