"Not Now John" as written by and Roger Waters....
Fuck all that we've got to get on with these
Gotta compete with the wily Japanese
There's too many home fires burning
And not enough trees
So fuck all that
We've go to get on with these

Can't stop!
Lose job!
Mind gone!
What bomb?
Get away!
Pay day!
Make hay!
Break down!
Need fix.
Big six.
Clickity click.
Hold on!
Oh no,
Bring bingo!

Make 'em laugh
Make 'em cry
Make 'em dance in the aisles
Make 'em pay
Make 'em stay
Make 'em feel okay

Not nah John
We've got to get on with the film show
Hollywood waits at the end of the rainbow
Who cares what it's about
As long as the kids go?
Not now John we've
Got to get on with the show

Hang on John I've got to get on with this
I don't know what it is
But it fits on here like
Come at the end of the shift
We'll go and get pissed
Not now John
I've got to get on with this

Hold on John
I think there's something good on
I used to read books but
It could be the news
Or some other amusement
It could be reusable shows

Fuck all that we've got to get on with these
Got to compete with the wily Japanese
No need to worry about the Vietnamese
Got to bring the Russian Bear to his knees
Well, maybe not the Russian Bear
Maybe the Swedes
We showed Argentina
Now let's go and show these
Make us feel tough
And wouldn't Maggie be pleased?
Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah!

S'cusi dove il bar
Se para collo pou eine toe bar
s'il vous plait ou est le bar
(Say it in English!)
Oi, where's the fucking bar John?
(Oh, now you're talking!)\"
Oh! Rule Britannia! Britannia rules the day
Go, Maggie!
Hammer, Hammer, Hammer, Hammer, now!

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by digitalmanMKII, Noubledigger

"Not Now John" as written by Roger Waters

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Not Now John song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThere are a few comments that generally say "this song is so different from the rest of TFC, it is pro war..."
    -don't you think maybe the extreme lyrics and uncharacteristic music are meant to parody and emphasize the war-hawk attitude? Basically, "Get out of our way, here we come." The US is in the same boat, and is seeing the same decline economically.
    corkiniton August 28, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentStill going, eh. Well, I'll say it for about the tenth time now, I DON'T DISLIKE THIS SONG!!!!!.

    And while it may be the "best" (or even only) song on the Final Cut, that is an opinion, and I won't dabble in that department.

    I think it is futile, however, to argue that this song fits at all on the album. Thus, it is the worst on the album. Here is why:

    The Final Cut is a power album, hands down. It is all about the emotion evoked, mostly by the lyrics. This song evokes no emotion, because the focus is more on the music. All in all, this song is worse for the flow of the Final Cut than Seamus detractors say Seamus is bad for Meddle.

    So, when I listen to this song, it is not in the context of the Final Cut, because that's not where it should be.

    Also, I don't hate PF songs when I first hear them (they've never done anything THAT bad). As a matter of fact, when I didn't much like the Final Cut, this was my favorite song on the album. When I learned to like the album (as in, going from not being able to listen to it straight through to doing just that three times in a row, all in one night), I realized that in the context of the album, this was the worst song.

    And just in case anyone was still wondering:
    inpraiseoffollyon September 05, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI've always heard this was about John Lennon, but who knows for sure. It certainly was not about David and Roger's differences. David and Roger had hard feelings for a long time, but now have ended their feud. And remember Roger did NOT write all the lyrics on the other albums, and definately hardly any of the music. He had the concept for songs but especially Comfortably Numb David's song for his own album and co-wrote the lyrics with the entire band. Pink Floyd was in a league of their own, so we as fans should not let the pettiness that the press feeds us influence who is the better. All of them were important in giving us some damned good music.
    brrrrr43on April 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe John mentioned in the title is the person who is singing. He is the normal English worker abroad - he can work hard, earn cash and go out after the shift and get 'pissed' or skive, get drunk and act like a yob. The excahnge between Waters and Gilmour is the exchange going on within this person. Waters character wins the final lines in broken English are John's words.
    Arnold Layneon April 03, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe Final Cut was the last really good Pink Floyd album. After they split, neither Roger Waters nor David Gilmour ever seemed to have whet they had together, and while you can see eachs' strengths as separate acts, their synthesis was much greater.
    This song, as well as Paranoid Eyes and Two Suns, was one of the high spots of the Final Cut.
    After this album, the ability to tell a story was lost to Floyd, while the musical impetuous was lost to Waters.
    They really need each other.
    Major Valoron April 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah, basically a piss-take.

    "is it me or does waters say "One, tow FREE FOUR" before the last verse (the french part)?"

    Waters loves to mock the shit out of post-war Britain, and ties in his Father a lot with it; Free Four is a song about his Father.
    Sinrothon March 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't know where you guys are getting John Lennon out of this. Pretty sure that's the typical "they're the most important band ever" complex (which is frighteningly common in Beatles fans) coming into play. The whole album is about post-WWII Britain and the subsequent economic and social collapse that was brought about as a result of the war. The money was gone and the result was everyone instantly doing whatever they could to support themselves; this reached into the highest levels of society with film companies making shitty movies, hence "as long as the kids go," and to major corporations outsourcing work to Japan, which is where the Japan lines come from. This did little to help the working man, which is what they're talking about earlier in the album with the lyrics "If it wasn't for the Nips [slang for Japanese] being so good at building ships, the yards would still be open on the Clyde [a shipbuilding yard in Scotland]." The mixed languages at the end with the man screaming in the background is obviously satirical of the cliche British love of drinking no matter where they are mixing with the xenophobic attitude that was common in the working class as a result of the outsourced jobs, and the pro-war sounding sentiments are likewise satirical. The song is a hate-letter to capitalism, implying that it did as much damage to Britain and her people as World War II. This is all much bigger than Lennon.
    Coaleron October 26, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love the french at the end. this was probably my favorite off the final cut. not my favorite album tho. probably cus im a youngin and cant really relate to the content as well. but i like the fact that amlost nobody has heard of it.
    crazydiamond664on April 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti do have one question about this song that noone else seems to know... when roger comes back on with the fifth verse, what does he say after "i used to read books but...". it sounds something like "he caught fishing jacks". i know that's not what it is but thats what it sounds like.
    dom_stapletonon May 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts sounds like roger says “I used to read books but there so inefficient” or “I used to read books there inefficient” but than again he probably is just making noises

    Now that I have tried to answer Dom Stapleton’s question and probably failed horribly. I have a question of my own not to say that Arnold Layne’s take on this song is wrong because I think he described it perfectly but I was talking to a friend of mine and he said the John being referred to was possibly John Lennon. Now he wasn’t really serious about it but I thought a bit about that and it made some sense. Roger Waters has said he is a fan of Lennon’s and he credits him as being the most important poet/musician of the 20th century. John Lennon we all know stood for peace and the world being one at peace with itself so lines such as the first two in the song that say “Fuck all that we've got to get on with these got to compete with the wily Japanese” may be saying fuck your position on peace and unity when there is war and competition out there for us instead. Also the line hold on john may refer to John Lennon’s song Hold On which has Lennon repeating the words hold on John. Now most of this theory is not mine it is my friend Walt’s so I going to stick with Arnold Layne’s explanation I just thought Walt’s was interesting.
    WorkingClassLoseron June 05, 2005   Link

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