The Elephants Are Laughing

I had to study history when I was a kid
But I don't remember who did what and I don't know why he did
But if I'd asked the teacher just what difference it makes
She might have said "We have a lot to learn from our mistakes"

History repeats itself again and again
We've had wars on top of wars, now on top of then
Tell me what we've gained by the battles we have fought
While the elephants were laughing at all that we forgot
The elephants are laughing

Now I have heard that taxes toppled mighty Rome
And our own Yankee rebels brought that message home
Now I lose half my paycheck, and I wonder where it goes
Then I find my money pays for all that I oppose

Tell me who the government is of and for and by
Then tell me how my money's spent - then tell me why
I thought I paid for freedom, but I don't know what I got
And the elephants were laughing at all that we forgot
The elephants are laughing

Tell me how many times must we invent the same wheel
How many times will we cover up what's real?
How many times can we commit the same acts
How many times can we forget the same facts?

It's not that long ago that we sent children off to war
Not that long ago we had a meltdown at the core
When memories are ugly, it's easy to be blind
But we lose more than dates and names in what we leave behind

Tell me what's the price for forgotten yesterdays -
It's lives and truth and freedom, and everybody pays
They'll tell you how it was, and you won't know it was not
But the elephants were laughing at all that we forgot
The elephants are laughing