Needles by System of a Down Lyrics Meaning – Delving into the Depths of Dependency and Control


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for System of a Down's Needles at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

I cannot disguise
All the stomach pains and the walking of the canes
When you do come out
And you whisper up to me in your life of tragedy

But I cannot grow
‘Til you eat the last of me, oh, when will I be free?
And you, a parasite
Just find another host, just another fool to roast

‘Cause you
My tapeworm tells me what to do
You
My tapeworm tells me where to go

Pull the tapeworm out of your ass, hey
Pull the tapeworm out of your ass, hey
Pull the tapeworm out of your ass, hey
Pull the tapeworm out of your ass, hey

I cannot deny
All the evil traits and the filling of the crates
When you (you) do come out (out)
And you slither up to me in your pimpin’ majesty

But I cannot grow
‘Til you eat the last of me, oh, when will I be free?
And you (you) a parasite (-site)
Just find another host just another stool to post

‘Cause you
My tapeworm tells me what to do
You
My tapeworm tells me where to go

Pull the tapeworm out of your ass, hey
Pull the tapeworm out of your ass, hey
Pull the tapeworm out of your ass, hey
Pull the tapeworm out of me

Out of me

I’m sitting in my room
With a needle in my hand
Just waiting for the tomb
Of some old dying man

Sitting in my room
With a needle in my hand
Just waiting for the tomb
Of some old dying man

You
My tapeworm tells me what to do
You
My tapeworm tells me where to go

Pull the tapeworm out of your ass, hey
Pull the tapeworm out of your ass, hey
Pull the tapeworm out of your ass, hey
Pull the tapeworm out of your ass, hey

Hey
Hey
Hey
Fuck me

Full Lyrics

System of a Down, a band heralded for its raucous energy and sharp political commentary, often melds the provocative with the profound. ‘Needles,’ a track from the critically acclaimed album ‘Toxicity,’ continues this tradition, unabashed in its raw delivery and symbolism.

The lyrics of ‘Needles’ reel listeners into a darkly twisted hall of mirrors, reflecting a spectrum of interpretations from addiction to systemic control. It’s a full-throttle assault on the senses that compels a deeper contemplation into the human condition.

Unraveling the Tapestry of ‘Needles’: An Allegory of Addiction?

A cursory glance might dismiss ‘Needles’ as a straightforward outcry against drug abuse, encapsulated by the imagery of ‘a needle in my hand.’ But to the discerning ear, there’s a confluence of metaphor and literal affliction at play. The song journeys through the visceral pain of ‘stomach pains’ and the crippling dependency symbolized by ‘the walking of the canes.’

This merging of the physical and the psychological sets the stage for a poignant exploration of the helplessness experienced by those caught in the relentless grip of addiction. The ‘parasite’ mentioned may be the addiction itself, sapping the protagonist’s will to grow and flourish until it consumes what’s left of their essence.

Proxy Decisions: Who Holds the Reins of Control?

The recurring theme of a tapeworm dictating one’s actions is as unsettling as it is illustrative. It begs the question: Who, or what, is the puppeteer in our lives? System of a Down propels this inquiry to the forefront, playing on the unnerving idea of an internal saboteur, coaxing us down paths we might not otherwise choose.

In ‘Needles,’ the tapeworm is not just a literal parasite; it’s a metaphor for any external influence that commandeers our autonomy—be it societal pressures, government, or even personal relationships. The band’s lyrical prowess forces listeners to consider the insidious ways in which our decisions can be hijacked by forces unseen.

The Anthem of Rebellion: ‘Pull the Tapeworm Out of Your Ass’

This indelicate refrain isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s the visceral punch that System of a Down excels at delivering. The ferocity of this line encapsulates the rage against being subjugated and controlled, serving as a raw battle cry for liberation.

More than just a shock tactic, it’s the urgent call to excise the influences that burrow into our lives, draining us of vitality and agency. In true System of a Down fashion, the line is both abrasive and cathartic, granting a voice to the internal struggle for autonomy.

Decoding the Melancholy of Mortality and Meaning

The haunting repetition of waiting ‘for the tomb of some old dying man’ is a stark reminder of mortality’s looming presence. But it’s also illustrative of a resignation to the cycles of life and the patience required to endure until freedom from addiction or control arrives.

In this bleak scenario, the ‘needle in my hand’ takes on an existential weight, probing whether the end of one’s suffering is simply a byproduct of time or a conscious effort to sever the shackles of parasitic entities. This line sends shivers down the spine with its somber acceptance, capturing a piece of the human condition that resonates universally.

The Song’s Hidden Meaning: A Reflection on Society’s Ills

Beyond personal affliction, ‘Needles’ can be interpreted as symptomatic of a wider societal malaise. The band, known for their outspoken views, might be presenting a microcosm of a parasitic society where individuals are no more than hosts to the consuming demands of a consumptive culture.

If the tapeworm is read as a cipher for societal ills, then the systemic disequilibrium becomes clear. The imagery of ‘filling of the crates’ and ‘pimpin’ majesty’ conjures up the excesses of capitalism and the exploitation that often accompanies it. In this light, ‘Needles’ is a searing indictment of the institutions and ideologies that prey on humanity’s vulnerabilities.

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