"Public Image" as written by Keith Levene, John Wardle, John Lydon and James Walker....
Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello.
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha.
You never listen to word that I said
You only seen me
For the clothes that I wear
Or did the interest go so much deeper
It must have been
The colour of my hair.

Public image.
What you wanted was never made clear
Behind the image was ignorance and fear
You hide behind his public machine
Still follow the same old scheme.

Public image.
Two sides to every story
Somebody had to stop me
I'm not the same as when I began
I will not be treated as property.

Public image.
Two sides to every story
Somebody had to stop me
I'm not the same as when I began
It's not a game of Monopoly.

Public image.
Public image you got what you wanted
The Public Image belongs to me
It's my entrance
My own creation
My grand finale
My goodbye

Public image.
Public image.

Lyrics submitted by dougievile

"Public Image" as written by John Lydon James Walker


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Public Image song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationI think John is having a go at Malcolm McLaren.
    Icon6386on March 05, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song I reckon is Lydon telling us that he is not "Johnny Rotten", and that everyone will always see him as this trouble making punk but he's saying that's not always him.
    Anarchy_insaneon March 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree. Also, this song rocks.
    Whatsername1251on June 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAt the beginning he's also saying that some of those "punks" that the Sex Pistols influenced only saw it as an image without paying much attention to the ideas and messages they were expressing in and out of the music. And he says he's going to be an individual, not a cliched cartoon. It's ironic how today most punk has become a cliche, which is what they were originally railing against.
    Balleron August 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgood point. I hate people who try to be punks just to sell records without caring about the punk ideas and it original meaning. Joe Strummer must be rolling in his grave. They are doing exactly what great punks like Lydon were against.
    Cpt-Sensibleon August 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAn attack on punk as a fashion statement / uniform, but mainly a parting / opening shot at Malcolm McClaren - two sides to every story...... I will not be treated as property.
    SuitBoyon September 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my all time favorite songs.
    OneFleshon November 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPart of it is definitely a rant against the fashion punks, but it's also directed at Malcolm McLaren who claimed to have "invented" Johnny Rotten, etc.
    MileHighMarkon January 13, 2010   Link

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