"Hong Kong" as written by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett....
Lord, hear me now
Don't put an English voice
Crashing out into the noise
Electric fences and guns

You swallow me
I'm a pill on your tongue
Here on the nighting floor
The neon lights make me numb

And laid in a stars light
It begins to explode
And all the people in a dream
Wait for the machine
Pick the shit up leave it clean

Kid hang over here
What you're learning in school
Is the rise of an eastern sun
On a big blue for everyone

The radio station disappeared
Music turned into thin air
The DJ was the last to leave
She had well conditioned hair
Was beautiful but nothing really was there


Lyrics submitted by CrashBangOuch, edited by JundnekoTheNoriko

"Hong Kong" as written by Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Hong Kong song meanings
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41 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentTHESE ARE THE ACTUAL LYRICS!!! YOU SCREWED UP THERE PADRE!!

    Lord, hear me now
    Junk boats and English boys
    Crashing out into the mouths
    Electric fences and guns
    You swallow me
    I'm a pill on your tongue
    Here on the nineteenth floor
    The neon lights make me numb

    And late in a star's life
    It begins to explode
    And all the people in a dream
    Wait for the machine
    to Pick the shit up leave it clean

    Kid hang over here-
    What you learning in school?
    Is the rise of an eastern sun
    Gonna be good for everyone?

    The radio station disappears
    Music turned into thin air
    The DJ was the last to leave
    She had well conditioned hair
    Was beautiful, but nothing really was there

    I believe this song to be about how depressingly beautiful Hong Kong is. It's not about some battle or anything but simply about how gorgeous the city is yet so depressing b/c it seems as if Hong Kong is slowly dying. As if it's a farewell song to Hong Kong.

    The first stanza suggests that the main character of the story (Damon I guess) kicks off with his plea to god as he see's such beauty being laid to waste slowly from all the tourists and trash that fills the once respectful and powerful city. Now it just seems like everyone is fenced in by guns and electric fences. Than referring to himself as a pill on the tongue of Hong Kong being swallowed by the culture and beauty that surrounds him while looking out on Hing Kong from the nineteenth floor of a hotel. He is so overwhelmed by the culture that he feels numb.

    He then resumes in singing about how Hong Kong is like a star on the verge of exploding (Burning out) and everyone can see the destruction of Hong Kong coming so they are just waiting on the downfall of Hong Kong for it to finish exploding and some machine (person or force) to come and sweep it all away as if it never happened, as if it was all a nostalgic dream upon waking. The people being depressed as they know that they have to accept the truth; that their beloved icon of happiness, hope and respect is dying and will some day soon, be gone.

    He then begins a conversation with a child near by and tries to gently let him know after some small talk about school that Hong Kong is dying and that it will soon be gone. (Kind of how a father would let his son/daughter know about someone/something that is dying) He asks the child if he thinks Hong Kong will be good enough to still remain or will it be gone forever soon, hinting at the negative being the most reasonable answer.

    He then begins to talk about the radio station and the music in Hong Kong as a way of describing the spirit or soul of Hong Kong. Talks about how everything else is gone except for the last thing that breathes life into Hong Kong, the spirit being the last to leave and the most important. That it's not just leaving either...that it's dead. A ghost. Something that you think is there but nothing is really there. The woman representing the last bit of life and beauty that Hong Kong still reatains.

    ...simply beautiful...yet tragic at the same time... The death of something truly beautiful is what Damon is trying to tell us about...what a genius of words...
    Zanderman14on April 07, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentand i should add that I interpret the "is the rise of an eastern sun/gonna be good for everyone" line as a pointed reference to Hong Kong being handed back to China - what does the future hold?
    John_Don May 21, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think it's very clear that this is largely about Hong Kong's handover to China.

    Lord, hear me now
    Junk boats and English boys
    Crashing out into the noise
    Electric fences and guns

    Where once there were junk boats and English boys, soon there will be electric fences and guns (China).


    You swallow me
    I'm a pill on your tongue
    Here on the nighting floor
    The neon lights make me numb

    Yes, it is about his being lost in the astounding maze that is Hong Kong. But it is also relating to Hong Kong being swallowed, like a pill on the tongue of China. Eventually, that it will be assimilated.


    And late in a star's life
    It begins to explode
    And all the people in a dream
    Wait for the machine
    Pick the shit up keep things clean

    Agree with an earlier poster. It is about Hong Kong dying, and the dream of relative freedom giving into the slow erosion of communism and limits on democracy.

    Kid hang over here
    What you learning in school?
    Is the rise of an eastern sun
    Gonna be good for everyone?

    Again, questioning what children are now learning at school. How long will it be until education is controlled? The latter half of the verse is fairly clear. The rise of an Eastern sun (China). Will it be good for everyone?

    The radio station disappeared
    Music turned into thin air
    The DJ was the last to leave
    She had well conditioned hair
    Was beautiful but nothing really was there

    Free speech and expression slowly disappearing.


    Michael746on January 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is absolutely breathtaking. It sent chills down my spine the first time I heard it, literally. Definitely one of the best Gorillaz songs I've ever heard. The zither in the beginning is gorgeous.
    cocoanutson February 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's actually "Late in a Star's life".
    captainstoaton January 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust amazing - I first heard "Hong Kong" at the Manchester Demon Days live gig in November 2005 and I have come to absolutely love it. I had been in Hong Kong in August 2005 and I think it was a quite straightforward optomistic happy time in my life...the "you swallow me.." and "kid hang over here..." bits cause me to have, er, grit in my eye, almost every time!
    John_Don May 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLord, hear me now
    Junk boats and English boys
    Crashing out into the noise
    Electric fences and guns

    You swallow me
    I'm just a pill on your tongue
    Up here on the nineteenth floor
    The neon lights make me numb

    And late in a star's life
    It begins to explode
    And all the people in a dream
    Wait for the machine
    Pick the shit up keep things clean

    Kid hang over here
    What you learning in school?
    Is the rise of an eastern sun
    Gonna be alright for everyone?

    The radio station disappeared
    Music turned into thin air
    The DJ was the last to leave
    She had well conditioned hair
    Was beautiful but nothing really was there
    aocrkidon June 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Gorillaz song from Help: A Day In the Life. I'm not 100% sure about the accuracy of some of the lines so if there's any corrections just say.
    CrashBangOuchon September 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is one of their best either way
    maromion September 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGorillaz surprised me by producing what is clearly the best song on the Help album. It's amazing how Damon just keeps getting better at singing and writing lyrics as he gets older. The only correction I can see is that he says 'shit' rather than 'great', as in "Pick the shit up leave it clean".
    ReActoron October 04, 2005   Link

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