Album: Ashes of the Wake (2004)


  • This song is based on the Mafia code of Omerta (literally "Manhood"), which is the "Code of Silence," meaning that if one is falsely accused of a crime or caught, they will not tell who actually did it: "A slip of the tongue, a slit of the throat" - if you squeal, you will die. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Theo - Boston, MA
  • The spoken section in the beginning ("Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward...") is an interpretation of the Omerta code.
  • The song uses the biblical story of Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Jesus to show the consequences of breaking "omerta":

    This is what has been wrought for 30 pieces of silver
    The tongues of men and angels bought by a beloved betrayer

    Judas was one of Jesus' 12 disciples. As told in the Gospels, he agrees to turn Jesus over to the authorities in exchange for 30 pieces of silver, which leads to his master's crucifixion. To make matters worse, he uses an act of loyalty to seal his act of betrayal. In Mark 14:43-45, Judas tells the priests how they can identify Jesus: "The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard."

    Judas, the "beloved betrayer," soon feels guilty and tries to return the money and claim Jesus's innocence. But it's too late. The elders refuse to take back the blood money or free Jesus, certain his growing popularity and radical views would be Israel's downfall. Judas throws the pieces of silver in the temple and goes off to hang himself (Matthew 27:3-10).
  • Your name is removed from the registry
    St. Peter greets with empty eyes then turns and locks the gate

    Judas wasn't the only disciple to turn his back on Jesus. Three separate times after Jesus' arrest, Peter denied ever knowing him. However, Peter repented and was forgiven, allowing him to keep the job Jesus promised him in Matthew 19:19: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." The registry is a record of names of those allowed into heaven.

Comments: 3

  • Jeff from Argo NunyaOmertà does not translate to manhood. Omertà means omission. Meaning you don't talk. You omit the the crimes you've done.
  • Brittany from Rainy River, CanadaThis song is about the Italian Mafia's code of honour, which is 'omerta' or 'manhood. It is described as a code of silence, explaining Randy Blythe's statement at the beginning of the song ("Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward. Whoever cannot take care of themself without that law is both. For a wounded man shall say to his assailant, "If I live, I will kill you. If I die, you are forgiven." Such is the rule of honour.") This is a really good song, and I love that Lamb of God kick's metal ass.
  • Don from San Antonio, TxThis has nothing to do with anything but have you seen that MILLENNIUM xmas episode Omerta? BEST MUSIC EVER.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Justin Timberlake

Justin TimberlakeFact or Fiction

Was Justin the first to be Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher? Did Britney really blame him for her meltdown? Did his bandmates think he was gay?

Dan Reed

Dan ReedSongwriter Interviews

Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.

Chris Isaak

Chris IsaakSongwriter Interviews

Chris tells the story of "Wicked Game," talks milkshakes and moonpies at Sun Records, and explains why women always get their way.

Laura Nyro

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

History Of Rock

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

David Bowie Lyrics Quiz

David Bowie Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

How well do you know your David Bowie lyrics? Take this quiz to find out.