System of a Down are the undisputed kings of weirdness. Not only that, but System of a Down are one of the most bizarre bands to achieve massive mainstream success. Even when you have no idea what Serj Tankian or Daron Malakian are singing about, the masses sing along with unwavering passion and intensity.
We’ve compiled 10 of the most insanely weird lines from System of a Down’s five studio albums and did our best to analyze the meaning behind each lyrical enigma. It wasn’t easy, but here goes nothing. It’s the 10 Weirdest System of a Down Lyrics.
'It's a non-stop disco / Bet you it's Nabisco'
Written by Daron Malakian, 'Violent Pornography' appears on the band's 'Mezmerize' album. Much like the other lines this list, "It's a non-stop disco / Bet you it's Nabisco," has a WTF quality to it, but there's a message behind the insanity. 'Violent Pornography' criticizes both television and overwhelming consumerism as a form of brainwashing. Sorry dudes, it's not about the no pants dance.
'Sweet berries ready for two ghosts are no different than you'
How many double-takes did you make reading this lyric? Five? Six? Somehow it doesn't even seem like a sentence, but let's attempt to dissect this line. Here's our theory about 'Question!', which was penned by Serj Tankian. Comparing berries to people brings up a naturalistic belief of equality amongst all living things. Further on, 'Question!' goes on to question the nature of death. Can we be reincarnated into something as simple as a berry or vice versa? Does every being have its own grim reaper? We're unsure, but the song is fittingly entitled 'Question!' after all.
'Banana, banana, banana, terracotta, banana, terracotta, terracotta pie!'
Alright, this is a very weird one. How could this lyric possibly fit into a meaningful song? Despite what some may think of System of a Down, the band does not simply spew randomness onto paper. 'Vicinity of Obscenity' is most likely about sex. We've never attempted to cram a banana into a terracotta pie … whatever the hell that is … but apparently it has something to do with beating your meat, whores with bad feet and treating the feet to a sweet milky seat; lines also present in the song.
'I hope your stepson doesn't eat the fish'
Okay, this is getting harder and harder … and why are all of System's weirdest lyrics about food?! This line is from 'This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm on This Song' -- yet another track from the bizarre 'Mezmerize' record. The song seems to be about drug addiction and its accompanying denial, but what do SOAD have against fish? Can you grind halibut down into an hallucinogenic pill or snort a line of roe? Go ahead, let your stepson eat the damn fish. We almost guarantee he won't end up selling his body for smoked salmon.
What a splendid pie! Pizza pizza pie!
More food?!? Never mind, let's find out why Serj sings about pizza in a song called 'Chic 'N' Stu' (Chicken Stew). This particular pizza is being advertised on television along with a long line of commercials. Although Serj sounds ecstatic about this piping hot pile of cheese and sauce, he's actually having a mental breakdown from overexposure to advertisements. If you ever find yourself sitting next to Serj Tankian in a pizza place, for God's sake, don't order "pepperoni and green peppers, mushrooms, olive, chives."
'I want to f--- my way to the garden'
Fair enough. What better way to enjoy nature than to run a train? Especially when this particular garden has unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. Actually, Serj Tankian is likely referring to the Garden of Eden in this section of 'Suite-Pee.' From System of a Down's debut self-titled album, 'Suite-Pee' launches criticism at those who have submitted themselves to religion and terrorized the world in Jesus' name, who in this song, happens to be female.
'Pull the tapeworm out of your ass'
Doesn't this line just send a sickening shiver up your colon? Within the track 'Needles' from SOAD's sophomore album, 'Toxicity,' a parasitic tapeworm takes control of its human host. 'Needles' has been dissected for well over a decade, and some believe the tapeworm references the human race's effect on the natural Earth. Others argue about the mental complex of immortality or the demons of drug addiction. Either way, "Pull the tapeworm out of your ass" reflects ridding oneself of the parasite in the most graphic and uncomfortable of ways.
'Wired were the eyes of a horse on a jet pilot'
Out of all the lyrics featured on this list, "Wired were the eyes of a horse on a jet pilot" seems like the most nonsensical. Is a horse attempting to mount an unsuspecting pilot mid-flight? And who the hell doesn't notice when a horse is in the cockpit? The massive piles of dung should have been your first clue. There are some interesting interpretations of 'Jet Pilot,' but this line simply seems to reference a horse locking eyes with a jet pilot, who smiles in response. Sounds like the beginning of a 'Twilight Zone' episode about a hypnotic stead who takes hold of pilots' brains, causing them to crash as they descend towards the runway. Of course, the episode would star William Shatner.
'My cock is much bigger than yours / My cock can walk right through the door'
Yes, it is, and no, it can't. Unless, of course, Serj Tankian isn't talking about that kind of cock. After getting all the giggles out of your system (no pun intended), 'Cigaro' seems to be about the childish "better than you" complex found in many governments and military units. Along with "My cock is much bigger than yours," the line "My s--t stinks much better than yours" comes along in the song's second verse, further poking fun at the perpetual "alpha" mentality.
The entirety of 'I-E-A-I-A-I-O'
Where do you even start with 'I-E-A-I-A-I-O'? This 'Steal This Album' track features lyrics focused on violence, but how does "Peter's pecker picked another pickle bearing pussy pepper" fit in with it all? Not to mention "Mind delusions acquainted / Bubbles erotica / Plutonium wedding rings / Icicles stretching / Bicycles, shoestrings / One flag, flaggy but one / Painting the paintings of the alive." Theories of 'I-E-A-I-A-I-O' stretch far, grounded in the word "Idealization" without any consonants, Aleister Crowley, the Ku Klux Klan and many others. Frankly, we're stumped, but screw it, just keep humming the chorus.
What's your favorite weird System of a Down lyric?
Which of our Top 10 choices is your favorite? If we missed it, post your favorite line in the comments section below!