Prison Song
System of a Down Lyrics


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They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison

Following the rights movements you clamped on with your iron fists
Drugs became conveniently available for all the kids
Following the rights movements you clamped on with your iron fists
Drugs became conveniently available for all the kids
I buy my crack, I smack my bitch
Right here in Hollywood

Nearly two million Americans are incarcerated
In the prison system, prison system of the U.S.

They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
For you and me to live in
Another prison system
Another prison system
Another prison system
For you and me

Minor drug offenders fill your prisons, you don't even flinch
All our taxes paying for your wars against the new non-rich
Minor drug offenders fill your prisons, you don't even flinch
All our taxes paying for your wars against the new non-rich

I buy my crack, I smack my bitch
Right here in Hollywood

The percentage of Americans in the prison system
Prison system has doubled since 1985

They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
For you and me to live in
Another prison system
Another prison system
Another prison system
For you and me

They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
For you and me
Oh baby, you and me

All research and successful drug policies show
that treatment should be increased
And law enforcement decreased while abolishing
mandatory minimum sentences
All research and successful drug policies show
That treatment should be increased
And law enforcement decreased while abolishing
Mandatory minimum sentences

Utilizing drugs to pay for
Secret wars around the world
Drugs are now your global policy
Now you police the globe

I buy my crack, I smack my bitch
Right here in Hollywood

Drug money is used to rig elections
And train brutal corporate sponsored
Dictators around the world

They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
For you and me to live in
Another prison system
Another prison system
Another prison system
For you and me

They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison




For you and me
Oh baby, you and me

Overall Meaning

The song “Prison Song” by System of a Down addresses the issue of mass incarceration in the United States. The lyrics talk about how the government is trying to build more prisons to lock up citizens, particularly minorities and poor people, who get caught in the legal system as a result of drug use or possession. The song criticizes the government's handling of drug issues, suggesting that they make drugs more available and then use the issue as a reason to lock up citizens. The lyrics also criticize the use of drugs to fund secret wars around the world.


The first part of the song talks about how the government uses its power to clamp down on people’s rights and make drugs conveniently available, leading to drug use, which then leads to incarceration. The next part talks about how minor drug offenders are filling up prisons, and how taxpayers' money is used to fund wars against non-rich countries. It highlights that the percentage of Americans in the prison system has doubled since 1985.


The song then goes on to propose an alternative solution to the drug problem, suggesting that treatment needs to be increased while law enforcement decreases, and mandatory minimum sentences are abolished. The final part talks about how drug money is used to manipulate elections, train sponsored dictators, and police the globe. The song highlights how the prison system is used as a tool to maintain control over the citizenry.


Line by Line Meaning

They're trying to build a prison
The government is increasing the incarceration rate.


Following the rights movements you clamped on with your iron fists Drugs became conveniently available for all the kids
The government hypocritically restricts civil liberties while allowing drug addiction to spread.


I buy my crack, I smack my bitch Right here in Hollywood
Drug addiction and domestic abuse are present in all areas of society.


Nearly two million Americans are incarcerated In the prison system, prison system of the U.S.
The US has a disproportionately high number of people imprisoned.


For you and me to live in Another prison system
The government is perpetuating a cycle of imprisonment.


Minor drug offenders fill your prisons, you don't even flinch All our taxes paying for your wars against the new non-rich
The criminal justice system prioritizes the targeting of marginalized communities to maintain its own funding.


The percentage of Americans in the prison system Prison system has doubled since 1985
The rate of imprisonment in the US has significantly increased in recent decades.


All research and successful drug policies show That treatment should be increased And law enforcement decreased while abolishing Mandatory minimum sentences
Evidence-based practices demonstrate the need for rehabilitation, not punishment, in addressing drug addiction.


Utilizing drugs to pay for Secret wars around the world Drugs are now your global policy Now you police the globe
The US government funds global military operations through the drug trade.


Drug money is used to rig elections And train brutal corporate sponsored Dictators around the world
The US uses drug profits to manipulate politics and support oppressive regimes worldwide.


Oh baby, you and me
We are all impacted by the corrupt practices of the government.




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian, John Dolmayan, Serj Tankian

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

@xboys_archive

LYRICS:

They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
Following the rights movement, you clamped on with your iron fists
Drugs became conveniently available for all the kids
Following the rights movement, you clamped on with your iron fists
Drugs became conveniently available for all the kids
I buy my crack, my smack, my bitch right here in Hollywood
(Nearly two million Americans are incarcerated in the prison system, prison system of the US)
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
(For you and me to live in)
Another prison system
Another prison system
Another prison system
(For you and me)
Minor drug offenders fill your prisons you don't even flinch
All our taxes paying for your wars against the new non-rich
Minor drug offenders fill your prisons you don't even flinch
All our taxes paying for your wars against the new non-rich
I buy my crack, my smack, my bitch right here in Hollywood
(The percentage of Americans in the prison system, prison system, has doubled since 1985)
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
(For you and me to live in)
Another prison system
Another prison system
Another prison system
(For you and me)
For you and I, you and I, you and I
You and I
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison for you and me
Oh, baby, you and me
Oh
Oh
All research and successful drug policy show that treatment should be increased (Oh)
And law enforcement decreased while abolishing mandatory minimum sentences (Oh)
All research and successful drug policy show that treatment should be increased (Oh)
And law enforcement decreased while abolishing mandatory minimum sentences
Utilising drugs to pay for secret wars around the world
Drugs are now your global policy, now you police the globe
I buy my crack, my smack, my bitch right here in Hollywood
Drug money is used to rig elections and train brutal corporate sponsored dictators around the world
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
(For you and me to live in)
Another prison system
Another prison system
Another prison system
(For you and me)
For you and I, you and I, you and I
You and me
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison
They're trying to build a prison for you and me
Oh, baby, you and me



@insaintbear5329

I remember when I was younger I misheard the lyrics as pigeon instead of prison. I remember singing along with the chorus:

THEY'RE TRYING TO BUILD A PIGEON!
THEY'RE TRYING TO BUILD A PIGEON!
THEY'RE TRYING TO BUILD A PIGEON!

ANOTHER PIGEON SYSTEM
ANOTHER PIGEON SYSTEM
ANOTHER PIGEON SYSTEM



@absurddive

This was my first (SOAD song).

A friend gave me a mixtape with SOAD, knot, KoRn and POD.

1st song was (SIC)

This was the second one

I remember that I listened to this specific song so many times that the tape started failing lmao



All comments from YouTube:

@misthrax

0:39 when you open the door on a windy day

@M4RZZ_

LMAO

@wildechild5

Hahaha I was reading your comment and that part came on that was hilarious.

@lov3dva

YES LMAO

@ivaerz4977

Top ten most stolen comment.

@kaziglubey4455

LOL very accurate!!

21 More Replies...

@dolphinboi-playmonsterranc9668

"Why do some artists have to be so cryptic"

SOAD: The prison industrial complex is a problem and the way we handle drug addiction is severely incorrect.

@joehogan8234

The other message is how corrupt the US is. They start and instigate wars around the world. They then spend billions of dollars on wars instead of helping their own citizens.

@amberforte94

So true! They have a knack for making plain statements sound catchy. 😊

@matiasflores4281

Boom. So right.

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