Whatever time it was when you began
The clock is now 11:55 on the big hand
The Circle in the Square by Flobots

The Flobots revolution is in its eleventh hour, and everyone is equally important to its success, likely a reference to the Doomsday Clock which is currently set at 11:55.

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We save ourselves; Praise the lord The Circle in the Square by Flobots

A common religious question is whether man can save himself, and the common answer is “No, he needs the grace of God.” While Flobots, and Jonny 5 in particular, frequently use Biblical imagery and seem to be religious, this line means they believe that mankind can lift itself up.

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We are the ones we're waiting for The Circle in the Square by Flobots

An excerpt from a Hopi Indian poem

The Flobots reference many cultures and use several languages in the song, and this is to create the idea that the human revolution is worldwide and tolerant, and that every culture has both lessons to teach and things to learn.

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Yes we can, too big to fail The Circle in the Square by Flobots

References the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. Then-Senator Obama’s campaign slogan was “Yes We Can,” promoting hope and optimism in the face of the recession. The Flobots' political views are largely Progressive (AKA left-leaning or Democrat), and they’ve supported Obama historically.

“Too Big to Fail” was the rationale behind the bailout of several financial institutions during the 2008 recession. The logic was that the damage from these companies going bankrupt would be far greater than the cost of giving them enough money to stay open.

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The time is now, our time has come
We show them how, what can't be done
The Circle in the Square by Flobots

The Flobots' message is that it’s time for a revolution, not only in politics but in the way people think and treat each other. The first part of this verse announces that they’ll be changing minds and winning hearts even as an ambiguous ‘they’ say that it can’t be done.

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Declaring to the stars that we trek like enterprises
Of candlelight revivals and how we lift the blindfolds
We end in Revelation, like it was the Bible
The Circle in the Square by Flobots

The first line, while announcing that the Flobots and their fans are on a journey, or ‘trek’, also alludes to Star Trek. The characters of the original show worked and lived on the Star Ship Enterprise.

The next line mentions candlelight revivals, referring to religious revivals, and also to candlelight vigils, which are held under the stars and show support for a marginalized group or to memorialize the dead.

The goal of the journey is to achieve a revelation, which is also the title of the final book of the Bible. It’s a slightly clever punchline, but also brings the verse full-circle after opening with a Biblical reference to David and Goliath.

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Of color and excitement
Wearing no disguises
The Circle in the Square by Flobots

Continues the metaphor of the riot the Flobots want you to be a part of, but taken literally in the song’s official video, in which otherwise ‘normal’ people have colored paint on their hands and clothes, prompting them to party with the Flobots amid actual explosions of color. They’re berated by their ‘superiors’ in the video for their appearance, but they continue to affiliate themselves with the band and each other, “Wearing no disguises.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=958IDn8Nh1A

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Planted seeds in silence
And granted meek compliance
And in the spring rain exploded in a riot
The Circle in the Square by Flobots

Flobots' long-stated goal has been to use their music to get people active and engaged in their communities and with the political process. In this case, their music is a seed that they plant in your mind, hopeful that it’ll grow into a call to action and get you involved.

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Ralphy
December 8th, 2013

also a reference to the middle eastern spring.

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We are sly and the family The Circle in the Square by Flobots

Compares the Flobots with Sly and the Family Stone, pioneers in funk music and, during the 1970’s, influential for blending music with social commentary, much as the Flobots themselves do. The last word, ‘Stone’, forms a bridge to the next line, which deals with the story of David and Goliath.

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Stone in calamity
Triumph when thrown to the domes
Of these Goliaths
The Circle in the Square by Flobots

Refers to the Biblical story of David and Goliath, in which a David, a warrior of the Israelites, kills the giant Goliath with a stone from his sling.

By using this allusion, Flobots paint their struggle as one in which the little people at the bottom of society will triumph over the giants that control them and blossom into a new righteous world power, as the Israelites did with David as their King.

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