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Killing in the Name
Rage Against the Machine Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning | Line by Line Meaning

Killing in the name of

Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Uh

Killing in the name of
Killing in the name of

Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
But now you do what they told ya
Well now you do what they told ya

Those who died are justified
For wearing the badge
They're the chosen whites
You justify those that died
By wearing the badge
They're the chosen whites
Those who died are justified
For wearing the badge
They're the chosen whites
You justify those who died
By wearing the badge
They're the chosen whites

Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Uh

Killing in the name of
Killing in the name of

Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya

Those who died are justified
For wearing the badge
They're the chosen whites
You justify those that died
By wearing the badge
They're the chosen whites
Those who died are justified
For wearing the badge
They're the chosen whites
You justify those that died
By wearing the badge
They're the chosen whites
Come on

Uh
Yeah
Come on
Uh

Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Motherfucker
Uh

Overall Meaning

The song "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine is a fierce critique of authority and police brutality. The lyrics speak to the idea that those who hold power and form part of the government or police force may be the same people who perpetuate racist and violent acts against marginalized communities. The repeated lines "Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses" drives this point home, with the suggestion that those in positions of power can also be white supremacists.


The chorus "Killing in the name of" is a call to action for people to reject authority and not blindly follow orders. The line "Now you do what they told ya" is repeated to emphasize the message that people must break free from the control of those in power. Additionally, the lyrics highlight the idea that the police are not above the law and should be held accountable for their actions. The line "Those who died are justified for wearing the badge" refers to instances where police officers have used excessive force and claimed they were simply doing their job. By saying "you justify those that died by wearing the badge", the lyrics challenge this defense and argue that being a police officer does not give a person carte blanche to commit violence.


Overall, "Killing in the Name" is a powerful protest song that speaks to issues of police brutality, racism, and authority. Its repeated, aggressive lyrics reflect the anger and frustration of marginalized communities who have been fighting oppression for far too long.


Line by Line Meaning

Some of those that work forces
The people with authority and power can also be the ones who propagate hatred and discrimination.


Are the same that burn crosses
The people who are supposed to protect and serve can also be racists and be involved in hate crimes against a particular community.


Uh
An expression of frustration and anger towards the situation.


Killing in the name of
The act of killing is sometimes justified in the name of religion or politics, but it is wrong and unacceptable.


Now you do what they told ya
People under authority are expected to blindly follow orders and not question the morality or legality of their actions.


And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
By obeying orders without question, people surrender their agency and identity to the authority, who can then control and manipulate them.


Those who died are justified
People who died in the line of duty or for a cause are often glorified and celebrated, but their actions and the system they supported might not necessarily align with justice.


For wearing the badge
The badge represents the authority that is often abused and corrupted by the people in power.


They're the chosen whites
The white community is often privileged and protected by the system, even when they are involved in hate crimes and injustice.


Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
An expression of rebellion and resistance against the authority that tries to control and manipulate the people.


Motherfucker
An insult directed towards the authority figure that is abusing its power and hurting people.




Lyrics © Wixen Music Publishing, Downtown Music Publishing
Written by: Timothy Commerford, Thomas B. Morello, Zack M. De La Rocha, Brad J. Wilk

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Abel Aybar

[Refrain]
Killing in the name of
Killing in the name of

[Pre-Chorus]
Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
But now you do what they told ya!
Well, now you do what they told ya

[Chorus]
Those who died are justified
For wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died
By wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Those who died are justified
For wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died
By wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites

[Verse]
Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces
Are the same that burn crosses
Uh!

[Refrain]
Killing in the name of
Killing in the name of

[Pre-Chorus]
Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
(Now you're under control) And now you do what they told ya
(Now you're under control) And now you do what they told ya
(Now you're under control) And now you do what they told ya
(Now you're under control) And now you do what they told ya
(Now you're under control) And now you do what they told ya
(Now you're under control) And now you do what they told ya
(Now you're under control) And now you do what they told ya

[Chorus]
Those who died are justified
For wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died
By wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Those who died are justified
For wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died
By wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Come on!

[Guitar Solo]
Ugh!
Yeah!
Come on!
Ugh!

[Outro]
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Motherfucker!
Ugh!



All comments from YouTube:

Agustín Fandiño

I love when BBC asked them to play this live without swearing.
Spoiler alert: they didn't do what was told to them

yo_asian_boi

Lmaooo "fuck you i won't do what you tell me"

Noxx_

@yo_asian_boi that’s what they think about BBC.

J B

Reminds me of Jim Morrison on the Ed Sullivan Show. :D

115 More Replies...

Cawoom

We need to get this as Christmas number 1 again

Trap Sav

Definitely!!!!

Quiwi 🥝

Mariah Carrey don't agreeee😝😝😝

Yhyhyhyh

Yesss😂😂

Andrew Winslow

In America we need to do this again

Quiwi 🥝

@Andrew Winslow in France 🇫🇷 to

61 More Replies...
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