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The Flobots – Handlebars lyrics
Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/t/the_flobots/handlebars.html
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I don't think it's supposed to have a specific meaning. I'm going to go off the song and the video for a moment.
It just shows two people- who start off innocent. Then they're faced with a choice- one chooses the road of peace, the other power. All the things the first man sees while walking are innocent things. Dancing. Music. Chalk drawings. Children playing.
However the other man sees s*, advertisements, fast cars, etc. He becomes corrupt, and climbs the business ladder until he eventually becomes a president and/or other type of leader. The other man, the one who chose the path marked by the white dove, watches all these things happening. The word becomes more corrupt- shown by the black bird killing the dove, the wrecking ball breaking down a wall marked with an image of a white bird, etc. The atom-splitting on the television gets darker and more chaotic each second.
Soon giant posters of the president/leader's face are posted up and cameras are set up everywhere. (Which, interestingly enough, remind me a lot of Big Brother from 1984.) The lyrics change, too- it goes from riding bikes and do-si-dos and comic books to splitting atoms and creating cures and not giving them to people. The lyrics and the video both reflect the growth of corruption in humanity.
Eventually the man who chose peace gathers up all the common people and marches with them in rebellion. As protesters are shot and the skies turn black, the lyrics change, and talk about guiding missiles with satellites and sending people to prison because you don't like them, etc. Eventually the man who stirred the rebellion, the same man who chose peace and freedom, is killed right before the very man who was his friend, but chose the path of power and corruption. Hence everything changes, and the video and lyrics go back to a light and innocent "I can ride a bike with no handlebars" chorus.
I see it as a warning to humanity- about what we have done and are prone to do. Like I mentioned earlier, it reminded me of 1984 by George Orwell.
I agree with white raven. I think he is saying how to one person like a child such an innocent behavior can be so meaningful and exciting while there is so much of a greater power and how something so big to one person is so small int he grand scheme of things. Like someone can end the world in a holocaust of destroy a human race. While to one person making a comic book may be the pinacle of their life!
I have another theory too about it being a political revolt against George Bush mocking his power and his stupidity! But I belive the first idea is the most credible.
The artist is right. I don't think that the song is talking specifically about the war in Iraq, or President Bush, but rather is a broad commentary about power and the high concentrations of it instilled in certain people.
The song might as well be talking about Vietnam, or the Phillipine War, or any genocide or war. The message, though, is clear: war is a product of the higher powers: prime ministers, presidents, and ceos.
(There's a really scary and disturbing book, but it is amazing: Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo--if you've got time & the disposition, read it: its message is similar to that of the song, but much more graphic.)
I think this song is basically saying about how the government is taking control. If you really think about it. He's saying 'i can do this just like you, you're nothing special'. Talking about how people have to listen to the government or else they go to jail or get into trouble. Talking about how he can end the planet in a holocost. All he has to do is start it. Basically saying how the government is getting a little to powerful.
This is one of my favorite songs. A lot of people think this song has no meaning and is really random, but its not. Handlebars to me says that the average person as an american has a lot of power but if you don't stop and realize your place in the world, you can get to powerful. Slow down, be average. Or it could be a really random song that I am reading way to much into.
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