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From the Queen song "We Will Rock You". Lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/queen/wewillrockyou.html

Buddy you're a boy make a big noise
Playin' in the street gonna be a big man some day
You got mud on yo' face
You big disgrace
Kickin' your can all over the place

What does that mean?

  • Just something a boy might do when playing in the street, I guess. – Damkerng T. Jun 2 '14 at 5:21
  • @ "No, "can" is a euphemism for ass/butt." -No, No no, "can" is also a prison, putting an ass in that sentence does not contribute with any deeper meaning. -Why would you kick your own butt all over the place? Seems more like the young kid have no self criticism at all, so the first interpretation - that it is a noisy dirty careless kid - seems most likely. – user40791 Aug 25 '16 at 9:28
  • looking for trouble to gain attention – allan Jan 4 '17 at 18:28
  • You might note that this song is somewhat ... perhaps ironic is the word. If you listen to the lyrics, each verse says that the person is a loser, they think they are important but really they are just annoying. And then the refrain is, "and singing, we will rock you". i.e. the person thinks he is shaking the world -- singing how he will rock the world -- but really he is accomplishing nothing. And people then sing with the song, belting out "we will rock you" really loud. In other words, many listeners are basically shouting out "I am an annoying loser who thinks he's important!!!" :-) – Jay Jan 4 '17 at 19:06
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Imagine a kid kicking a can - an empty beer can or such. It's noisy, disruptive, not something "nice children" do. Now, "all over the place" - everywhere around, through the neighborhood. Lots of noise, lots of cheek as it surely annoys many people - being noisy, obnoxious and disrespectful - a spunky young troublemaker, still not strong enough to cause any real damage, but obnoxious already.

This is the image the song is painting in the first stanza - a kid that "will be a big man some day", not just grown up, but influential. Then it proceeds to a young revolutionary (that will 'take on the world some day') and ends with a disillusioned, tired old man only seeking peace.

  • The idea is, a kid is walking down the street, he sees an empty can someone has thrown out, a beer can or a soda can or whatever, and he idly kicks it, walks up to where it landed, kicks it again, etc. The sort of thing a bored person might do, or that someone could do for cheap and easy entertainment. – Jay Jan 4 '17 at 19:03
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That's funny -- I've never figured out the words to this song despite having heard it a billion times, until you just copied and pasted it.

One possibility: there's a children's game called "kick the can" which is a variation on tag, and the singer, mocking the listener, is suggesting that the listener is still a child, playing games. Not sure this interpretation is right, though.

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I would read it as "make noise all over the place", or in other words "go around to get attention focused to yourself".

It's basically a different wording for the first sentence in your snippet.

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