The meaning of the song has been the topic of many debates. Some fans state that it simply is about racism and/or black soldiers fighting in a war ("You're a black soldier, white fight"). Other disagree and claim it is about the greed for oil (Black Gold is another term for oil). One other theory maintains that it is about the Gulf War and the obvious references to the Persian Gulf in the music video supports this theory. Dave Pirner is shown in the reflection of a pool which mirrors the shape of the Persian Gulf. Many lyrics from the song do match this idea. The lyrics "Two boys on a playground/trying to push each other down" could possibly mean the USA and Iraq fighting over "Black Gold". It has been theorized that the lines "Keeps the kids off the streets/gives 'em something to do, something to eat" could mean young men and women ("kids") joining the military. And there is the fact that at about 1:56 various noises are heard: ambulance sirens, screams, cries, and what appears to be a news cast, which could represent the war. Pirner himself stated that the song was about war at the Dogwood Festival in Fayetteville, NC on April 24, 2010. He also stated that he was against war.