Tuesday, February 16, 2010


All you Zombies

By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden, Germany

Not a week goes by that I don’t hear on German radio the classic song from The Hooters “ALL YOU ZOMBIES”. According to some writers online, it is named after a science fiction book by Robert Heinlein. It is about time traveling and our multiple sexual identities. Whereas, The Hooters classic, was recorded in 1981, it was only first performed live in 1985. It is a song about the need for revolt and a warning that the days of the powers that be are numbered. Meanwhile, those who are allowing the regime to stay in place are the many zombies and leaders referred to. They are warned by reference to God, Moses, and Noah that a judgment days is approaching and instead of standing around like Zombies, the silent majority must confront the system.


The only major similarity to me between the song and the classic science fiction piece appears to be that a refrain is repeated over time—even over millennia. Here is the Live Aid version performed in 1985.


The song was performed at the African Live Aid Concert at a time when people were enslaved under the Apartheid System in Africa. By the mid-1980s, the broadest coalition in and outside of South Africa was coming into existence and would force the end of the horrible system within 5 years.

The text begins:

“Holy Moses met the Pharaoh
Yeah, he tried to set him straight
Looked him in the eye
‘Let my people go’”

Some of the riffs and cries at the LIVE AID version of “Zombies” at times sound like they could have come from the Rock Opera THE WALL.


“Holy Moses on the mountain
High above the golden calf
Went to get the Ten Commandments
He's just gonna break them in half”

Amazingly the song never got high on the American charts—never crossing into even the top 50. However, in Central Europe it is an ingrained staple of the airways these days—as peoples of all parts of society are not happy with the status-quo.

All you zombies hide your faces
All you people in the street
All you sittin' in high places
The pieces gonna fall on you”


The refrain almost says it all but the story continues. It threatens governments everywhere—in a decade that would see regimes in the Philippines, in Haiti, in East Germany, in Czechoslovakia, in Romania, in Poland, in Bulgaria, etc.

“No one ever spoke to Noah
They all laughed at him instead
Working on his ark
Working all by himself”

The line about Noah could fit in today in 2010 to those regimes and talking-heads who don’t believe in Global Warming issues as a reality.

“Only Noah saw it coming
Forty days and forty nights
Took his sons and daughters with him
Yeah, they were the Israelites

The rain's gonna fall on you”

One reason for the song’s popularity in central Europe is that the German singer, Sandra, once covered it. Interestingly, The Hooter’s band members, Hyman and Bazilian, wrote the song in one single night back around 1980 when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were taking the stage.

This is the most common version on hard rock stations of the song, “Zombies”.


To tell the truth, I had never heard the song played on radio till I visited Germany about 6 years ago.

“Holy Father, what's the matter
Where have all your children gone
Sitting in the dark
Living all by themselves
You don't have to hide any more

{Refrain, except:}
All you zombies show your faces...
The pieces gonna fall on you

All you zombies show your faces, I know you're out there
All you people in the street, let's see you
All you sittin' in high places
It's all gonna fall on you”

If you have read the text [in bold above], I suggest that you listen to each of the three versions above and be encouraged to stand tall, stand up for what’s right, and sing along until justice is done in whatever country you are in right now.





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