"No Self Control" as written by and Peter Gabriel....
Got to get some food
I'm so hungry all the time
I don't know how to stop
I don't know how to stop

Got to get some sleep
I'm so nervous in the night
I don't know how to stop
No, I don't know how to stop
I don't know how to stop
I don't know how to stop

Got to pick up the phone
I will call any number
I will talk to anyone
I know I'm gone too far
Much too far I gone this time
And I don't want to think what I've done
I don't know how to stop
No, I don't know how to stop

There are always hidden silences
Waiting behind the chair
They come out when the coast is clear
They eat anything that moves
I go shaky at the knees
Lights go out, stars come down
Like a swarm of bees

No self-control
no self-control
No self-control
No self-control
No self-control
No self-control
No self-control

You know I hate to hurt you
I hate to see your pain
But I don't know how to stop
No, I don't know how to stop

Street after street
Night after night
I walk on through the rain
I walk on through the rain
I don't know how to stop
I don't know how to stop

No, I don't know how to stop
I don't know how to stop
I don't know how to stop
I don't know how to stop


Lyrics submitted by Golgotha

"No Self Control" as written by Laura Pallas Alicia Borkowski

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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No Self Control song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentIt reminds me of the problems I deal with- diagnosed as someone with binge eating disorder AND anorexia.

    There are lines that could be related directly to eating disorders or compulsive behaviors;

    "got to get some food, I'm so hungry all the time...I don't know how to stop."

    "I know I'm gone too far
    Much too far I gone this time
    And I don't want to think what I've done"

    This person KNOWS that they have a problem, even while they are doing the things they loathe. They fight internally with theirself, and they don't like to think about the damage afterwards when they get back to thinking like themselves again.

    "You know I hate to hurt you
    I hate to see your pain"
    So they begin to take their inward stressors out on the person they love in their life.


    But as a more vague concept, it's just about being a typical human with a lacking ability to decide when enough is enough over things which require moderation and careful consideration. In that sense, JJacobs has it right.
    designerdethon August 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, it seems Gabriel is once again expressing a very complex human experience through music. (He does it like no one else.) In this case, he is explaining the experience of losing control of one's emotions - slipping from higher brain function to lower brain function. Attempts with food, sleep, violence, and walking all fall short of healing the condition.
    JJacobson August 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, this song is about someone who just got turned into a vampire and can't control their hunger for blood. I think everything about the song fits this theory perfectly, and it goes along well with the creepy, dark vibe of the album.
    wiresandwoodon February 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a great song. Obsession. That's what this is about. That driven, OCD madness. Brrr.
    uffyon May 26, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, it sounds like some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder that developed to keep one's mind off of more distressing things. Things like walking, talking, sleeping (or rather staying awake), and eating have become like a ritual, routine, and are taken up to eleven by doing them excessively. The constant repetition of doing these things is executed because it reduces the "silences waiting behind the chair" that "eat anything that moves"- aka, it makes the person doing these actions feel less lonley and like there's more of a purpose. But at the same time, behaving this way is hurting the ones the narrator loves ("I hate to see your pain, but I don't know how to stop"). It's become a major problem.
    EnduringChillon July 07, 2012   Link

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