"Poptones" as written by John Lydon, Keith Levene and John Wardle....
Drive to the forest in a Japanese car
The smell of rubber on country tar
Hindsight done me no good
Standing naked in this back of the woods

The cassette played pop tones

I can't forget the impression you made
You left a hole in the back of my head
I don't like hiding in this foliage and peat
It's wet and I'm losing my body heat

The cassette played pop tones

This bleeding heart
Looking for bodies
Nearly injured my pride
Praise picnicking in the British countryside

Pop tones


Lyrics submitted by oswaldtherabbit

"Poptones" as written by John Lydon Keith Levene

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Poptones song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI'm pretty sure it's about driving out to the countryside to have a picnic with a top 40 cassette in the tape deck, only to end up being raped and murdered. Maybe it's kind of supposed to symbolize society selling you idyllic dreams when reality is much bleaker. Regardless, there's some black humor to it (especially "I can't forget the impression you made/ you left a hole in the back of my head").
    destroyalltacoson May 23, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm sure I heard from a far more learned friend than I, that this is about a true incident.

    Lydon read the story in a British paper and one of the quotes was about the girl in question being able to hear pop tones on the radio of the car she was bundled in to...

    I've tried to search for more info on the intarwebs, but to no avail.

    I also think the last line of the lyrics should read 'Pray is picknicking in a British countryside'
    digyerownholeon February 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentunderrated
    valiummon April 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my favourite songs. Really.
    Cynothoglyson June 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIncredible.
    Tristax!on July 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics here are correct, at least according to the lyrics printed in the CD booklet. "Prey's picnicking in the British countryside" would make a lot more sense.
    ratanxon November 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt contains more than a whiff of Hindley and Brady and the Moors Murders.
    magus23on April 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think lydon's singing from the point of view of the murderer/rapist, whatever. Someone whose just commited a true atrocity, has fucked off to the countryside to forget it all and possibly escape the law, but the reality/guilt of what he has done keeps coming back to smack him in the face.
    losttomusicDACon April 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's been confirmed to be about exactly what you guys said - in interviews with the band from the metal box tour period - they didn't get into a lot of detail, just that it was about "a rape during which pop songs were playing on the radio."
    moxleyon May 21, 2010   Link

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