Chinese Democracy (song)

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Outside an actual Chuck Berry gig. Like, for serious.

“Possibly the finest thing that ever thinged apart from the other thing.”

~ Oscar Wilde on Chinese Democracy

“I didn't even know what I was doing. And that's how it should be, not like you kids nowadays with your Lead Zeppelins and your Deaf Leopards and your Two Packs.”

~ Chuck Berry on Chinese Democracy

“Mine's better.”

~ Axl Rose on Chinese Democracy

Chinese Democracy, also known as Mao Z. Donge, is a 1958 rock song by Chuck Berry what's so famous that it's a shock you haven't heard of it, you idiot. It chronicles the rise to power of Mao Zedong, the original Chinese dictator, and the events that surrounded said rise to power...something about the Chinese and a revolution. I dunno, who cares any more. Anyway, whether it's only a song, or perhaps something more, it goes a little something like this:


What happened to the song 'Johnny B Goode', I hear you ask? This guy. He went back in time and took Chuck Berry to China. Whose idea was that? Fuckin' well weren't mine.

Deep down in Southern China close to Vietnam
Way back up in the woods among the raisin bran
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B Goode
And he got himself killed by Mao Zedong
And that's why everybody's singing this song

Go Mao go go go
Go Mao go go go
Go Mao go go go
Chinese Democracy go

He would something something something, something some
Something something something people's army something
Kalashnikovs something five-year plan
And something something something, something else
And the people passing by what stop and say
Oh my what an impressively opressive regime

Go Mao go go go
Go Mao go go go
Go Mao go go goingly go
Go Mao Mao Z Donge

Then one day Mao he had a big tomb
But in China people were still spreading doom
All the people coming from miles around
To see Tibetan protests and that shit go down
During which people can get really hurt
But Mao Zedong's face is on a shirt


At about this point, the audience were generally beginning to take offence, boo, and throw things, and so Chuck Berry would excuse himself and leave. That was actually how he died, by not noticing he was playing in Chinatown and failing to notice the people running towards him holding weapons...exactly how he failed to notice them is anyone's guess.


In recent years, Chinese Democracy has become more famous as the title of Axl and friends' will-they-or-won't-they album, widely regarded as a sign of the forthcoming apocalypse. While Chuck Berry did attempt to take legal action, it was found that:

“Well, copyright from them days didn't really count, I'm afraid.”

~ An judge on Chinese Democracy

Thus, at some point in the 1990s, Axl Rose retroactively claimed copyright of the name Chinese Democracy and sued Chuck Berry for having breached said copyright for 40 years, claiming $2 million billion in compensation. It was then found that:

“Fuck off Axl. Just fuck off. You managed to alienate a bunch of smackheads who would make Ewan McGregor wince. Anyone who can do that doesn't deserve that kind of money, now get out of my living room.”

~ An judge on Axl's copyright claim

...and that Chuck Berry didn't have that kind of money anyway.

Axl later asked Chuck for persimmons to do a cover version for Chinese Democracy, whereupon Chuck promptly indecently assaulted him and went about his business. So, it was back in the dock for both of them, at which point, the judge having finally had enough, beat Axl into a coma with his weird little hammer.

Cover versions[edit]

  • Purely to irritate Axl McPopular, Slash plays a hard rock version of Chinese Democracy outside his house every night. He's been doing that for five years now. Every night, on the dot, "Go Mao go go go!" Millions of people have filmed it and stuck it on youtube, thinking the video is one-of-a-kind; as a result, TuYoube have taken to banning people indiscriminately, as the likelihood is that they will, at some point, post one of the videos.
  • Angus Young of AC/DC is a self-declared fan of the song. Often, during concerts, right in the middle of songs, he will beat the other band members into submission, then play his version, which is seven minutes long and involves drum solos. TubeYou have banned that, too.
  • Motorhead covered it one time. Lemmy got none of the words right at all.

See also[edit]