I won't blunt my blade for cut these chains
Rather let my limbs be dragged through mud
This song explores the idea that all of the things that society values, including good, evil, strength, weakness, etc. are useless and that the only thing that really exists and means anything is our physical beings and survival.
Django Unchained, the movie for which this song was written, is about a slave in the deep south. In these lines, Frank conjures up the image of a slave being tied up and dragged in the dirt by a slave owner on horse. Going back to the first line in this verse, his “blade” is his tool for staying alive in “the jungle”. Instead of ruining his tools to spare himself of the humiliation and salvage his pride, the character in this song chooses to hold onto what he considers his humanity: the tools that he uses for his own survival.
This is a far cry from the idea that our humanity is represented by our internal thought processes and emotions and the popular mantra “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees”. To the character in this song, there’s no such thing as weakness or shame; his propensity to survive is the only thing that matters.
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