Needles

Songfacts®:

  • This is about drug abuse and its dangers. The band has denied ever using drugs. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jim - Oxnard, CA

Comments: 38

  • Mokitoro from FranceThe song is about abortion (against or not).
    The speakers is talking with a "parasite" giving him stomach pain.
  • Dean from Tasmania, AustraliaI remember in grade 10 in 2002 I was a big fan of System (this track was my fave off the album, particularly Daron's bit). We were doing an in-class session on Australian poets and I landed the poem "Fix" by Michael Dransfield, who died at 24 (related to heroin use). The first lines go "It is walking in the night, after the theaters and before the milkman, alerted by some signal from the golden drug tapeworm that eats your flesh and drinks your peace" (http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/dransfield-michael/fix-0712043) -- always stuck with me and pops up every time I hear this song. I'm now 28 and on my final social work practicum at an Aus government Alcohol and Drug service and this song and Dransfield's poem seems all the more relevant.
  • Alan from ColoradoSomeone tried to tell you what the song was about but no one listens. Google Dimitrio Tsafendas. Then you'll know.
  • Audio from London, United Kingdom- scott, Ottawa, Canada got it spot on, and got it before me :(

    I was thinking about this song for a while today and realised it's most likely about Kurt Cobain. He got hooked on Heroin because of his constant stomach pains. The whole line, as performed live: "Im sitting in my room, with a needle in my hand.... sitting in my room, with a SHOTGUN in my hand", just screams Kurt Cobain's death at you.
    I never thought of the Courtney Love thing though, at first I thought Serj was sort of telling Cobain to get the tapeworm out of his ass as it's causing him the pains?
  • Suite-pee from Columbus, Oh"Needles," which is a BIG hint, is about heroin addiction.Just like having a tape worm, you keep feeding this addiction without ever being "nourished."The more you feed it the bigger it gets and the less you get from it.If you have ever done heroin you would think he stole that from your head.Exactly!
  • Annaxd from Stafford (stfu Lol =p), United KingdomUmmmm I totally agree with the meaning you've put down Jim, it's just that the bit about System denying using drugs has to be wrong because they've admitted it in several interviews, there are actual pictures of all of them except John (drummer) using bongs and they've got Daron ffs, there is no way of denying drug use with HIM there lmao xD
  • Lulu from Lost In Hollywood, United KingdomMy interpretation of this song is somewhat different to other posters - I believe that the 'Tapeworm' is actually your self conscience. i feel the song is about how everyone has an affliction that they need to face ie paranoia, envy, guilt etc and that by wanting it to be 'pulled out of your ass' you're not only accepting that fact that it's there but also trying to deal with it.
  • Eden from Folsom, Cai wont say my description is absolute but i think it's kinda about drugs.

    'I cannot deny, all the stmach pains' the heroin or whatever causes him pain he cant hide

    'when you do come out and you whisper up at my from your life of misery" I think it's his druggie side trying to tell him to take another hit to dull the pain

    'but i cannot grow till you eat the last of me oh when will i be free' his body is shutting down from the drug use and the effects are eating his health and he just wants it to end

    'and you a parasite just find another host just another fool to roast' after the drug has killed him it keeps going and passes to another person hence another driggie.

    i dunno this is just my thoughts
  • Dale from New Orleans, LaIf this song is indeed about drugs, the first section is describing the temptation within himself. He uses a tapeworm as a symbolic comparison to urge to use drugs (and no not weed. weed isn't a drug, its a f__king plant.) In the lyrics, the tapeworm (urge) is telling him what to do and he has no control over it. As I am sure everyone knows, tapeworms get larger over time and leech off of your body more, very similar to drug use.

    Pulling the tapeworm out of one's ass is a graphic way of telling people to just stop using and metaphorically rip those urges out of you. I believe he says it this way to make you LISTEN. I guarantee you all will forever think of that phrase when you think of this song.

    When he says, "I'm just sitting in my room
    With a needle in my hand
    Waiting for the tomb
    Of some old dying man," he is being literal and describing, in this case, a heroine-user most likely. If you've ever seen someone use heroine, they lay there as if they are dead or dying, or may appear like an old man who can't move.

    Jim is partly correct, but when I come here for song meanings, I expect a good solid argument with some credible points and not some ignorant comment you might find on the front page of a magazine. I'm sure many of you will agree.
  • Greg from Nvnf, Boliviathis song is a bout a serial killer ( i can't remember his name) who siad that a tape worm inside of him (the devil) was possessing him. The lyric( i'm sitting in my room with a needle in my hand waiting for the tune of some old dying man) means that he was trying to get rid of the worm and it was forcing him to kill people (he mostly killed elderly men.) the pull the tapeworm out of your ass and pull the tapeworm out of me is from when he was firs arrested he said pull the tapeworm out of me and the cops said from where and he replied with "out of my ass"
  • Kevin from Surrey, BcThe song is about media and how it controls us and tells us what to do. " pull the tape worm out of your ass, pull the tape worm out of your ass pull the tape worm out of your mind!"
  • Kimimaro from Boulder, Coummmm...it might be about drugs but it has some very good subliminal messaging. okay...replace tapeworm with government and eyes with life. wat you get? and the government tells me wat to do....my government tells me where to go. pull the government out of your life. and the rest of the song to me is about the government issues and secret police. but thats just me. next time you lition to the song tihnk on political terms. ;)
  • Kevin from Overland Park, Ksyah this song is definately about drugs, especially about the types of drugs you inject, and how they take over your body like a tapeworm, and when they say "sitting in a room with a needlein my hand, just waiting for the tune of some old dying man" just shows how f**ked up and short your life will be
  • Jeff from Red Bank, Nj"My tapeworm tells me what to do, my tapeworm tells me where to go?" To me, they're trying to convey that people cannot think for themselves and they should "pull the tapeworm outta [their a**es]."
  • Sasuke Uchiha from Hidden Leaves Village, JapanTakashi is so right, Tokyo does rule. I've never been there before but here in the Village of the Hidden Leaves, my enemy Naruto always has to ask me for Ramen. Anyways, great song, and SOAD rules. I so wish SOAD could come to the Village of the Hidden Leaves, if they ever could...
  • Kalsey from Parkston, Sdi think that pulling the tapeworm out of yourg ass i s grose but i wonder does it hurt when the docter is pulling it out of your f ing ass!!!!!
  • Danny from Edmonton, Canadaok its simple the tapeworm is drugs and it shows how drugs control your life just like a nasty tapeworm would slither into your body like a king and pull the tapeworm out of your a** would be quiting all drugs yes yes including weed and mushrooms and coke oh dont froget those pills but mainly haroine
  • Danny from Edmonton, Canadai think its funny how theyve denied ever using drugs for the simple fact that ive watched everyone of them snort blow
  • Petrified Monkey from Citysville, AlReplace the word tapeworm with government.
  • Blake from Hamilton, OhThis song is OK, it's meaning is simple. Don't do drugs!! Needles maybe even STEROIDS. The only confusing part is the tapeworm coming out of the a**, just weird and nasty.
  • Cel from Philadelphia, PaI never listen to this song before dinner. The tapeworm thing is kinda nasty.
  • Yuya from Kyoto, JapanAMONG ONE OF THE MISHEARD LINES: "Pull the tape for a muddier ass..."
  • Matt from Fort Myers, FlThis song is about the dangers of drug use obviously. I also think it is about peer presure and how we need to ignore the influence of our peers about other drugs and alchohol. "pull the tapeworm out of your a**!" means to get rid of the peer presure that surrounds you and do what you want with your life.
  • Natasha from Aurora, CoShavo said that his Mom is so proud that he and his bandmates are creating awareness of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 that she now sings this song. So I think it's about the Armenian Genocide and how the Turkish are so brainwashed by there govt.
  • Sam from Liverpool, EnglandThis song is funny maybe its literally bout an old man with a tapeworm who kills himself cos of the pain. I agree with sam, nice name, but also am intrigued by the kurt kobain theory!! SOAD RULE!!!
  • Josh from Brimley, MiJim, Jim, Jim...I guess it would depend on what you classify as a drug. If you read any interview of the band, you will read that they all, in fact, use marijuana regularly (Daron being the biggest advocate of smoking). Other then that, your comment is basically just ridiculous. You're listening and taking it way too literal. You're probably a guy who thinks that chick n' stu is about pizza, or vacinity of obscinity is about fruit and cheese. Whatever though dude, just get educated if you're going to talk about a band with as big a following as system. Especially if you're going to start mouthing off about what their lyrics mean.
  • Scott from Ottawa, CanadaI think that this song is about Courtney love and Kurt Cobain. If you watch the live version of this song on yahoo video's or whatever it is, you will see that that the second time Daron says "sitting in ...", instead of a needle in the mans hand, daron says shotgun, and we all know that kurt was killed by a shotgun and had a needle in his hand. The tapeworm mentioned is courtney love, kurts controlling wife telling him what to do and where to go. In the opening, serge sings "I cannot disguise all the stomach pains..." which is a reference to kurt cobains stomach probelms, his stomach pains is what made him start heroin.
    -Scott, Ottawa
  • Dave from Calgary, Canadathis song is about drug abuse even though System of a Down smokes pot but pot is not an abusive drug as a matter of a fact most people don't even consider it a drug at all but i guess i am canadian and most people have a differen view on marijuanna sh*t its almost legal here. but this song relates more to hard sh*t like methanphetamines, coke, heroin, crack etc. etc. by the way my hand to your god this song kicks ass
  • Heather from Irving, Txthis song is based by drugs like coke "all the stomach pains and the walking of the canes"and thats my kind of music!
  • Tyler from VictoriaMost likely what people have been saying is what it's about, but maybe it's litterally about tapeworms. Or maybe both.
  • Lars from South Of Heaven, NmPull the tapeworm outa your **8 hey
    pull the tapeworm outa me.
    Well obvioulsy Im sitting in my room with a needle in my hand. "Coke or heroin" just waiting for the tomb of some old dying man. Sounds like Serj didn't know how to make it ryhm right so he fudged it.
    I love playing this song on drums though. It kikcks **8
  • Sam from Sheffield, Englandthis is what i think this song means...or this is at least what 1 of the ma ny meaning of this song could be...
    its about how the government is manipulating situations to get what it wants out of them. The government (aka the tapeworm) tells everyone what to do, what is right and wrong, how things should be done etc. "my tapeworm tells me what to do..." is refering to the governments control over a whole nation. It also refers to how the government makes all these promises which turn out to be lies and the population just take it all in...In my opinion system of a down are telling us to think about stuff like that and if we dont like it do something about it "pull the tapeworm out of your ass"
    but then again what i just typed could be a complete load of sh*t so yeah...thats my story.
    and there are probably loads of different meanings behind this song - like bob said, thats what makes system of s down so good!!!!!!
  • Nick from Devon, EnglandThis song is about how sick the world has become and how people are becoming dependent on things ie "pull the tapeworm out of your a**" tapeworm is a parasite and is a metaphor for how we depend on oil and things but how people are killed to get oil, this literally says pull it out of you.
  • Gary from Oakville, Canadaweed is good, and Tokyo DOES rule (good sushi)
  • Takashi from Tokyo, Japanyou're so right bob. and plus, TOKYO RULES! (XD)
  • Mike D from Desoto, MoIf you ever download the Live in Holland Concert the first thing that is played is Daron singing WERE ON DRUGS so get your facts straight Jim IM me on AIM if you want the concert FattMikEMohawk
  • Bob from Tokyo, JapanIt could be about drugs, but it sounds like it could mean a lot more than that. That's what I love about SOAD's lyrics, there are so many ways to interpret them.
  • Paul from Cumberland, RiDaron Malakian smokes pot so i know that they do drugs. He says so in a Guitar World magazine(the one with him on it and his eyes are wide open).
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike + The Mechanics)Songwriter Interviews

Mike talks about the "Silent Running" storyline and "Land Of Confusion" in the age of Trump.

PrinceFact or Fiction

Prince is shrouded in mystery, making him an excellent candidate for Fact or Fiction. Is he really a Scientologist? Does he own an exotic animal?

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)Songwriter Interviews

Before "Rap" was a form of music, it was something guys did to pick up girls in nightclubs. Donnie talks about "The Rapper" and reveals the identity of Leah.

Steven Tyler of AerosmithSongwriter Interviews

Tyler talks about his true love: songwriting. How he identifies the beauty in a melody and turns sorrow into art.

Grunge Bands QuizMusic Quiz

If the name Citizen Dick means anything to you, there's a chance you'll get some of these right.