"The 15th" as written by and Colin Newman....
Reviewed, it seemed
As if someone were watching over it
Before it was
As if response were based on fact

Providing, deciding, it was soon there
Squared to it, faced to it, it was not there

Renewed, it fought
As if it had a cause to live for
Denied, it learned
As if it had sooner been destroyed

Providing, deciding, it was soon there
Squared to it, faced to it, it was not there

Reviewed, it fought
As if someone were watching over it
Before it had sooner been denied
Renewed, it seemed
As if it had a cause to live for
Destroyed, it was later based on fact


Lyrics submitted by Chinup, edited by rockaction

"The 15th" as written by Colin John Newman

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., CARLIN AMERICA INC

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The 15th song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +4
    Song MeaningUnlike "Kidney Bingos", which does indeed have a rather pointed meaning, this song, possibly quite literally, is about nothing, as has been attested to by Colin Newman various times; the title refers to how it was the fifteenth song written and demo-ed for 154. Still, it sounds oddly meaningful, especially considering that the title sounds suspiciously like a military regiment...

    Why this song wasn't chosen for a single, I have no idea. It's superbly constructed, insanely catchy, and despite not being quite the masterpiece that "Map Ref. 41ºN 93ºW" is, it has a much easier-to-remember title (in the conventional sense) and even simpler (if ultimately weirder) lyrics.
    Cynothoglyson May 19, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIt is about an idea. Any idea.
    DemonicBaggieon October 10, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe only intuition on the so-called meaning of this track that made any sense was DemonicBaggie's: "It is about an idea. Any idea."

    Only even this has to be generalized: why limit ourselves to the idea and not go immediately for the thing, ideas included? (Or, if you prefer, for the fact or even for the process. It is not a matter of terminology: pick your elementary ontological unit and roll with it.)

    The lyrics correspond to this level of abstraction. This, in a way, makes it more approachable than other Wire tracks.
    bVon May 07, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalways love this song
    sofreshon January 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmike watt's cover is totally amazing
    xleticiaxon October 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove this song too, but have no idea what the lyrics mean. I think it may be like other Wire songs such as "Kidney Bingos" where the words really have no meaning, but fit the melody extremely well.
    leamancon December 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwords make perfect sense, you just haven't had that experience, sorry, i wont spoil it for you... it hurts and you just have to go thru it to understand it ;)
    damitdamnon March 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI'm pretty sure this is about the commercialisation -- lack of meaning -- in the punk scene towards its end.
    jim2000on April 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIsn't the song supposed to be about abortion? "The 15th" allegedly referred to the 15th week of pregnancy which at the time was the latest date for aborting.

    "As if it had no cause to live for", "As if it had sooner been destroyed" , "It was not there".....the lyrics definitely fit.
    MisterMarcuson November 13, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about human life, "Providing, deciding" = materialism and free will, the essence of modern life; "Squared to it, faced to it, it was not there" : these are just ideas, they are illusions that promote our self-worth.

    The subject -- or mankind -- turns to faith "as if someone were watching over it" but ultimately becomes real only as a collective memory, however factual.
    dean166771on October 15, 2014   Link

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