Written by Dan Heymann
(Copyright to Heymann/Cohen/Cohen/Fox)

I knew a man who lived in fear
It was huge, it was angry, it was drawing near
Behind his house, a secret place
Was the shadow of the demon he could never face
He built a wall of steel and flame
And men with guns, to keep it tame
Then standing back, he made it plain
That the nightmare would never ever rise again
But the fear and the fire and the guns remain

It doesn’t matter now
It’s over anyhow
He tells the world that it’s sleeping
But as the night came round
I heard its lonely sound
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping

And then one day the neighbors came
They were curious to know about the smoke and flame
They stood around outside the wall
But of course there was nothing to be heard at all
“My friends,” he said, “We’ve reached our goal
The threat is under firm control
As long as peace and order reign
I’ll be damned if I can see a reason to explain
Why the fear and the fire and the guns remain”

By this time maybe you’re still puzzled on what those lines really mean.

The man” referred to in the Weeping lyrics is the late P. W. Botha, one of the last white leaders of South Africa before the end of the Apartheid regime; the “demon he could never face” in the Weeping lyrics refers to the aspirations of the oppressed majority, while the Weeping lyrics also refer to the “neighbors“,  literally the journalists from other countries who were monitoring the situation in South Africa.

I guess, that is enough for you to fully understand the real meaning of the song. there’s no other complications really, aside from the metaphorical issues stated above.

Now re-read the lyrics and discover how beautiful it is, and fully understand why this song made me cry.

What touched me most is the chorus. wahuhu. what a good irony to call the aspirations of the oppressed majority a “monster” — a monster that the man tamed with guns and chaos, a monster that was caged in oblivion, a monster that were never heard roaring but weeping. These lines made me feel.. how should i say it.. touched me deeply. the first time i listened to this song, it reminded me of those who have been forced to the darkness of oppression, and forced to feel the pain of discrimination. and this sad truth is the reality they [even we] can’t escape.