"This song is about the struggle for improved human rights in the united states from 1960 to 1980. 'all the kings horses and all the kings men had a riot for two days and nights' is about the assassination of Martin Luther King and the riot that followed. In the second verse, Marc David (Chapman) killed John (Lennon). Kennedy probably killed Marilyn (Monroe) and definitely destroyed South Vietnam. The third verse is about women's fight to legalize abortions. The fourth verse shows examples of how few human rights people had in the bible. I think the point is that at the height of Christianity people had very few human rights, due to the teachings of the bible. It wasn't until the mid 1900's (when Christianity lost most of its power) that human rights started to improve."
"In my opinion, Brett's best lyrics. It's a sarcastic, yet realistic song about the passage of history itself. Gurewitz talks about the Miedival Ages and the kings' totalitarian rule over the rest. Then, the Enlightenment came by in the 1600s and 1700s and the kings' power was questioned and they were overthrown. The most basic examples of revolution were the French and American revolutions after the Enlightenment. The fight was for equality and freedom, but until now real equality and freedom have not been achieved. Hence the line 'now everybody's equal, just don't measure it.' The part about JFK's affair with Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon's assassination by Mark David is quite irrelevant, so I won't mention it further. Brett then turns to Jesus Christ and shows his skepticism to the Bible's teachings and stories. For example, according to the Bible, Moses was given the 10 Commandments, including the evil of murder, but then first born sons in Egypt were killed by the Death sent by God. It contradicts itself. So, now the religious people are praying for it not to happen again and save them, but it's just a waste of time--how come God's fury is not present anymore? (I don't want to get in trouble with the religious BR fans, but I have to for all my atheist values--God, if there is such being, was never furious, the people were just scared out of their minds for normal natural phenomena that we now don't fear as we understand it. That's why we think God is not mad at us anymore.) It's a great song and I have to quote Brett here: Please, 'don't pray on me.'"
"I don't think anyone has fully touched upon the meaning of this song. This song was written in 93, the LA riots occurred on April 29th 1992. The 'grizzly scene' is obviously the LA riots being broadcast on television, it was a 'story about human rights.' Rodney King's supporters exploded into the city causing millions in damages. Then King gets on the television asking, 'can't we all just get along.' The riots end, and everyone is deemed equal, 'just don't measure it.' The next verse is about sex, murder, and war. 'Hanson did it to Hester,' Hester Prynne and Hanson were characters from Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, In which Hanson has an adulterous affair with Hester. They are branded with the scarlet letter of 'A.' Mark David Chapman assassinated John Lennon--self explanatory. Due to Kennedy's own 'scarlet' affair with Marilyn Monroe, and the scandal of her untimely death, ignited South Vietnam--A full scale war took the focus off of JFK. 'For beauty and Glory, money love and country,' causes for all the murder, war, and sex in the world. Next verse is self explanatory--the abortion battle, one side fights for women's rights the other in the name of an invisible God for life. The Jesus Christ reference sums it all up. How can he let all this happen? Why didn't he turn all the stones in the world into bread? Why didn't Moses protest the murder of hundreds of first born CHILDREN. Why hasn't a miracle, like the parting of the red sea, occurred since bible times? Why does everyone put their stock into something, when there is no physical evidence to prove it exists? 'Everybody's prayin, don't pray on me.'"
"It seems that Greg is try to tell us that we can't count on to another person in this world, even JESUS!!! because 'GOD MUCH DEMONSTRATIVE' !!!!!!"
"I'll post more later... But about the 'Hanson did it to Hester, Mark David did it to John, maybe Jack did it to Marilyn but he did it to south Vietnam.' I always thought that that 'it' in that couplet was 'f***ed.' It fits in the context of each pair, as the word f***ed can mean a multitude of things, all of which are applicable."
"This is my personal favorite BR song, it really plays with the English language to the fullest extent. In the opening we have the 'all the kings horses and all the kings men' line from humpty-dumpty, but here the 'king' is Rodney King. 'The city exploded', a reference to the LA riots. 'But the gates wouldn't open' could be a shot at former LA police chief Darrel Gates and how he was fired after the riots. As others noted, the phrase 'did it to' means fucked. The final phrase sums it up 'everybody's praying, don't pray on me.' This sentence can be punctuated in a number of different ways to give different meanings. Also, inserting 'prey' for 'pray' makes cool variants."
"This song looks like a roster of the bad things that religion (thus, 'praying') has done for us. Religion is responsible for division of people into greater and lesser (the Sneeches on the Beaches), 'us' and 'them.' (Whoops,.wrong song). By the way, it was Dimmsdale who 'did it' to Hester Prynne in Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter.' Mr. Brett said this himself in an interview."
"Since everybody has already analyzed the whole rioting and who fucked who, I won't go into that. Personally this song says to me, while everything's going on people are praying to 'God' for help and forgiveness, and Greg just doesn't want that."