I would like to think that had the song “Uprising” by Muse come out any other year than 2010, I would have enjoyed it anyway, with my taste for the theatrical. However, it probably would not have been one of my three favorite songs of 2010, as I mentioned earlier  if not for the timing. The timing of the song’s release, and the context of my life as this song was released, context which I think it very pertinent to discuss, made this song a particularly stirring call to action against the decadent elites whose time was coming to an end, a successful and victorious effort in which I am proud to say I had an honorable part.
James Durban sang this song on American Idol tonight (For the “Songs of this Millennium” theme on the top 7 performance show), and did a very excellent job with it, capturing its inspirational theme. For different reasons, I assume, I too was frequently inspired by this song myself over the past year in an uprising of a different kind against lying PR-spouting fat cats whose time to rule had come to an end. My feelings on the matter were very similar to James’, and to Muse’s, as it happens.
“Uprising” begins with a set of ferocious lyrics : “The paranoia is in bloom, the PR transmissions will resume, they’ll try to push drugs, keep us all dumbed down and hope that we will never see the truth around. Another promise, another scene, another package wrapped to keep us trapped in greed with all the green belts wrapped around our minds and endless red tape to keep the truth confined (So come on!).”
There are at least a few shrewd guesses as to what Muse meant by these lyrics. The power of the verses is in part due to the fact that the words run on from line to line and are not forced into a straight-laced meter. This allows the groundswelling of the discontented mood to build throughout the verse, allowing the song to be truly ferocious and inspirational to those resisting corrupt authorities. It is possible that Muse was imagining some sort of dystopian world with dictators and mind control or the dumbing down of people with drugs, a la “Brave New World” or “1984.” However, it is possible that Muse (like me, as it happens) sees the drugging of our brightes children with ADHD drugs to make them mindless (and controllable) zombies for public schools, per the television commercials, the endless pr and spin practiced by the wicked in the hopes that the truth will never be known underneath all the layers of lie upon lie.
There ought to be no doubt, however, the particular and personal relevance these lyrics had for me in 2010, though. For one, I had to deal with plenty of paranoia from people about official narratives  even as they were swallowing lie after lie from corrupt and wicked men . Their drugs were not literal, unlike the Ritalin, but it was the same sort of drug, in lying sophistry and unscrupulous rhetoric that led the South to rebel before the Civil War, based on lies and paranoia, drugging the minds of the wicked and gullible.
The chorus continues the driving mood of the song: “They will not force us! They will stop degrading us! They will not control us! We will be victorious!” Again, there are at least a couple of possibilities for how Muse saw this song. If the song is against a dystopian imagined world, the song is a stirring call for the common people to rise up against a corrupt dictatorship. If the song is about our own dystopian world and those who seek to control it through pharmaceutical or media means, the message is the same–for the common people to rise up against those who would wish to control, denigrate, dominate, and exploit the common folk.
Again, this song had a particular context for me when it came out in 2010. As the powers that were lost their power and control, and sought to take it back through underhanded and dishonest means, they denigrated people like myself, lied about us, slandered us, insulted us, and sought to control us. But they failed–their efforts were unsuccessful, and they were forced to leave in dishonor and shame, unwilling to accept defeat or admit the truth, and hell-bent on maintaining power wherever and however and over whomever they could.
The second verse continues the theme of righteous rebellion: “Interchanging mind control, come let the revolution take its toll, if you could flick a switch and open your third eye, you’d see that we should never be afraid to die. Rise up and take the power back, it’s time that the fat cats had a heart attack, you know that their time is coming to an end, we have to unify and watch our flag ascend (so come on!).”
Again, this song works on at least two potential levels for Muse. On the one level, it is a call for the common people to rise against the powers that would wish to control their minds in a horrible dystopian world, not afraid to sacrifice their lives for the freedom to live or die as human beings possessed of free will . If this song is referring to the present corrupt world, it envisions scenes like Tunisia , Egypt , Libya , Bahrain  and other nations where the common folk have risen up, for liberty or death, against the corrupt leaders that have sought to enslave and exploit them. And many other corrupt leaders in this present world ought to profit by the example–if this be treason, let us make the most of it (as Patrick Henry once said to a similarly-inclined and ultimately victorious people in similarly revolutionary times).
Likewise, in a similarly revolutionary time within my own church, I called for people to resist corrupt authorities, and prevent them from regaining power since their time had come to an end. Though some of that corrupt and wicked leadership wished me dead 490 times , I refused to back down, realizing that the stakes are never about ourselves alone, but are always more cosmic and more important than the personal fates of obscure and unimportant people. But so long as we remain united, and obedient to God, we will be victorious in the eternal sense, which matters far more than our own temporary physical existence.
The song continues with the chorus once again, a bridge of “heys” (Hey, hey, hey, hey,
hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey), and the chorus once again. “We will be victorious.” And so we were.