"Floorshow" as written by Andrew Eldritch, Craig David Adams and Gary Marx....
The bodies on the naked on the low damp ground
In the violet hour to the violent sound
And the darkness the blinding the eyes that shine
And the voices and the singing and the line on line
This is the floor show the clapping hands
Animal flow from the animal glands
In the violet hour to the violent sound
Going round and around and around and around and around

I feel the bite I feel the beat I see the dancing feet
I feel the light I feel the heat I see the new elite
I see the final floor show I see the western dream
I see the faces glow and I see the bodies steam

See them shimmy see them go
See their painted faces glow
Slow slow quick quick slow
See those pagans go go go go go

This is the floor show the last ideal
It's populist got mass appeal
The old religion redefined
For the facile futile totally blind

Mundane by day inane at night
Pagan playing in the flashing light
In the violet hour to the violent sound
Going round and around and around and around and around
And the bodies naked on the low damp ground
In the violet hour to the violet sound
And the darkness the blinding the eyes that shine
And the voices singing line on line

See them shimmy see them go
See their painted faces glow
Slow slow quick quick slow
See those pagans go go go go go

Lyrics submitted by o0Sid0o

"Floorshow" as written by Craig David Adams Andrew Eldritch

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Floorshow song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis is your basic "look at all these nightclub retards!" song, in many ways similar to Body Electric but apparently about the club that Eldritch's girlfriend-at-the-time Claire (of Nine While Nine/Driven Like the Snow fame) was a DJ.
    The Knaveon May 17, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I first heard this song, I only understood bits and parts, and from what I gathered, it appeared to me like another sex-song, particularly focused on exotic dancers.

    Upon actually looking up the lyrics, I find that I was wrong. Please allow me to recant and give a more suitable "translation"

    In brief, this song is describing a club scene, similar to "Body Electric" as The Knave pointed out.

    "The bodies on the naked on the low damp ground" - This notes how the clubbers are scantily clad, and in a rather unclean area...perhaps damp refers to spilled drinks. "In the violent hour to the violent sound" - Here Eldritch describes the dancing, how they are sporadically moshing or grinding to the harsh techno-gothic whatever-you-call-it music that the club is playing. It's rather dark in the club, because you can only see the whites of people's eyes - "And the darkenss the blinding, the eyes that shine". The people are having a good time, listening to the music, even singing along and clapping to the songs, thus creating quite a ruckus - "And the voices and the singing and the line on line", and sweating - "And the animal flow from the animal glands". "Going round, and around, and.." I think that part is very straight foward....

    Anyways, Andrew then really gives us a personal experience of what he sees on the stage, seeing such a scene - "I feel the bite I feel the beat I see the dancing feet/I feel the light I feel the heat I see the new elite/I see the final floorshow I see the western dream/I see the faces glow and I see the bodies steam". Here, he describes feeling the rhythm and beat of the music that the Sisters are playing - brutal, wild, savage. On stage, he also sees the people dancing, using the synecdoche of 'feet' for the people; also, he feels the direct heat of the lights and strobes that flash around the club, and shine on the stage. The elite is, perhaps, a sarcastic term towards the proud lounge lizards who haunt clubs, accusing people of being wannabes and stereotypes, when they themselves are the greatest offenders. Then, Andrew refocuses on the crowd, seeing their faces and sweaty bodies, via strobe lights and other forms of illumination. With final 'floorshow', he means the last song they are going to perform; Western dream: hedonism, or indulging oneself completely in physical and material occupations...starting back in the 60s, the world took on a more materialistic edge that has grown ever since, and Eldritch does have some hedonistic tendencies.

    "See them shimmy see them go/See their painted faces glow/Slow slow quick quick slow/See those pagans go go go go go" - Basically, straight-forward, describing the dancing he sees. 'Painted faces' is an older way of saying "wearing make-up"; the word 'paint' denotes heavy or thick, a reference to gothic make-up (also associated with prostitutes in older times....). Pagans, which Andrew uses frequently in this song, he means hedonists (as many ancient pagans were), people with out much morals, or faith, simply living life for pleasure, and currently receiving such pleasure from clubbing and being part of the 'floorshow'.

    "This is the floorshow the last ideal/It's populist got mass appeal/The old religion redefined/For the facile futile totally blind" - Eldritch compares this show to religion, how it's the faith of those who have, perhaps, lost faith in almost all religious and philosophical teaching, the last resort - "the last ideal". The 'mass appeal" means that it attracts everybody's base sense of pleasure and sensory feeling, so anybody, regardless of all qualifications, could find much enjoyment in a vibrant and social activity. Once again, he hints at paganism, "the old religion", that is very much interwoven with hedonism, and living for the now and this contingent world. Now, he seems to insult the crowd, calling them, basically, hopeless people who easily lose their anima and are foiled, thus easily give up, blind and ignorant of reality, because they give up to easily to try.

    "Mundane by day inane at night/Pagan playing in the flashing light" - Eldritch further insults the crowd, calling them tiresome and dull when outside the club scene, like another ordinary person, and at night, in the clubs, the same thing, lacking of sense and substance. He once again calls the crowd "pagan", short for hedonistic people who have a religious dedication to clubbing, "playing in the flashing light", or simply dancing in the club while strobe lights flash around them.

    Well, that's that. Just a disclaimer: this is a personal interpretation, and honestly the real meaning lies with the poet. I could have either read it too deep, or not deep enough, or if I am lucky, I have gotten the song. That's all from me now! I am mentally out of breath from all that dissecting...
    BonjourLaFilleon March 15, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBonjourLaFille,

    you almost got there. As anyone interested in The Sisters of Mercy, you should have a look at what the "1959 and all that"-site has to offer.


    It´s "The violet hour", the evening hour, that strives homeward. It´ s the spare time after the working part of the day.

    "To the violent sound" -Bearing in mind that the sond was written around 1982/1983-ish, that was at least 5 years before anything technoish got on air and some 10 years before the techno/club -scene went mainstream (Lucky days, them.) Gothic then was Bauhaus, The Cure, all the classics, but no techno, and it probably wasn´t even called goff back then.
    But there was something else: The cold war, the ever present threat of the nuclear holocaust. There was the ever present awareness that at all times, two parties that were deadly enemies, had the potential to blow up earth and all life on its face several dozen times over at the push of a button.
    The dancers the song mentions, the pagans in the low damp ground, also are the dead to be after the bomb fell.
    "I feel the light I feel the heat" -A thermonuclear explosion works by radiadtion heating large quantities of air. FIrst, there is that intense flash, that is strong enough to evaporate human bodies entirely if they are close enough to ground zero. You´ll feel the heat. And you´ll see the light. Very brightly, actually. Even if you close your eyes. Maybe even if you don´t look in the direction ofthe flash at the moment.
    Then, after the radiation had time to heat up a couple of cubic kilometres of air substancially, the air expands like the gases in your car´s engine, causing a blast. You´ll feel that beat.
    After that hellfire glowed in the sky, there will be faces (or what were such) glowing. As in burning, or being red hot. (As human tissue mainly consists of water, the actual faces will have evaporated by that time, and there will only be skulls glowing by that time, but that´s me being pedantic, the effect is the same: The audiences of this song are dead then.)

    Oh, and a *BOOM* that takes out several square kilometres of city with concrete buildings at once is kinda violent a sound, isn´t it?

    "The bodies on the naked on the low damp ground" are not just the club guests dancing in front of the stage, they obviously also are to be a pile of dead.

    Only in the recent years, a few stories leaked out how incredibly close the world was to this catastrophy in the early eighties a couple of times. It was a very realistic and dreadfull threat to everybody in the world. Every person with some kind of realism about what their life´s situation was had to be a bit sceptical about having a good time next year.

    …and sadly, it still is. With a substantial potential for nuclear destruction still being present and new tensions between what was the Soviet Union and the Nato countries being more intense now than at any time during the last 20 years, this topic gets contemporoary again…

    I´m not quite sure who is called "the new elite" here. Did Andrew mean the yuppies, a group that just had been given that name back then, young buisness people that were nothing but buisness people, ocial climbers that wouldn´t dare to speak up or even contradict for not to risc their careers, or was it the political elite of the western/Nato world, Ronald Reagan, Maggie Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, Francois Mitterand? Maybe all of them?
    -Andrew made it clear often enough that he had no sympathies at all for the conservative block in politics, that were largely in power in the countries of the west during that time.

    "The western dream", the ever more, more, more. The permantent expansion and growth. Even into territories that aren´t yours, which causes conflict.
    Quote the homepage:
    "The Sisters of Mercy are a left wing institution."
    In some interview, Andrew described the band as a political animal. I can´t remember where exactly right now.

    On a different note, violet and purple are pretty similar. Maybe there is some connection between theViolet in Floorshow and the Cobalt Red, Cobalt Blue, Purple Light in Ribbons?
    eo10478576on August 23, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWas a DJ AT, duh!
    The Knaveon May 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about flakypagans, pseudowiccans, inner dolphins. The sorts of idiots who claim to come from a long line of witches, yet follow a religion that was formed in the 1920s by Crowley and Gardiner.

    "The old religion redefined"

    It's also a massive TS Eliot Homage, but then so is an awful lot of AE's stuff.
    mejoffon April 17, 2007   Link

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