"The Police and the Private" as written by and Emily Haines James Shaw....
Get straight, wait here while I try to find the exit sign
When we stop asking strangers, no one wants what we want
Keep one eye on the door, keep one eye on the bag
Never expect to be sure

You're working for the police and the private, the pirates and the pilots
Fingerprinted waiting for the train
The doctor, the writer, the hairdresser,
Felt up and fingerprinted waiting for the train

Lord lord mother, you're all losing love
Lord listen lover, you're all missing mama
Lord lord mother, you're all losing love
Lord listen lover, you're all missing something I don't got

There's a place that ends here I know
When they close the gates I'll cry
I'm so tired of never sleeping
The whole world wants what we're on

Didn't make this up I learned, I learned it from a friend
My friend is coming clean, she told me
Keep one eye on the door, keep one eye on the bed
Never expect to be sure, who you're working for

You're working for the police and the private, the pirates and the pilots
Fingerprinted waiting for the train
The doctor, the writer, the garbage collector
Fingerprinted waiting for the train

Lord lord mother, you're all losing love
Lord listen lover, you're all missing mama
Lord lord mother, you're all losing love
Lord listen lover, you're all missing mama

Lord lord mother, you're all losing love
Lord listen lover, you're all missing mama
Lord lord mother, you're all losing love
Lord listen lover, you're all missing love

Got to get out
Got to get to you, the orphanage is closing in an hour


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"The Police and the Private" as written by James Shaw Emily Haines

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The Police and the Private song meanings
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61 Comments

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  • +7
    General Commentthis song is so amazing. To me emily haines is describing a not too distant future where no one trusts anyone and no one helps anyone but themselves..."when will you stop asking strangers, no one wants what we want". this to me means that theres no point asking anyone how to get out because no one will help you. I love when she sings "lord listen mother we are all losing love lord listen lover we are all missing momma". these lyrics are so freaking clever, and she sings them so beautifully. If im in the right mood this song can bring a tear to my eye and I know that sounds lame but its true so fuck off.
    dano_smithoon December 20, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti kind of think its about trust
    like no one trusts anyone enough anymore to be able to fall in love sorta thing
    she says "keep one eye on the door" like, she's got to know how to get out of this relationship if something happens
    and the whole part about the doctor, the writer etc. is like you never know who anyone is these days because everyone is so afraid to show their true colors to anyone in case they get hurt
    well thats just my opinion... first time i heard it i thought it was about a prositute! haha but no thats what i think now..
    bambrion January 27, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentfavourite metric song
    J_Rocketson December 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think it's comparing every day life to espionage, how we all work to serve our own means to an end. there are some drug metaphors here but i think it's overall about the disconnection of everyone. paranoia and the frantic need to feel are so subtly present in this song. but the line that says the most, i think, is "got to get to you - the orphanage is closing in an hour" because she's obviously not referring to an actual orphan but using it as a metaphor for someone orphaned by love. "we're all missing love."
    sensitivetofateon February 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe lines refering to "...when they close the gates I'll cry..." and the orphanage could also be taken more literally in that a prostitute had a child and couldn't raise them on the street, so sent them to the local orphanage, yet still loves and visits the child. Other than that, drugs, prostitution, making money any way you can on the streets.
    didiwinon June 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWoah, slow down there cowboy. I think it's acctually about selling drugs, she's in the subway, looking for somewhere or someone, and she talks about never knowing who you're working for. By this she means that there is alot of drug users, so police, some privates, some pirates (I don't know how many pirates take drugs...) like when she says...
    "keep one eye on the bag"
    maybe because she dosn't want her drugs discovered

    "The whole world wants what we're on"
    that one is kind of obvious...

    "My friend is coming clean, she told me"
    her friend is kicking the habit...

    alright, that's what I think, sounds abour right to me, of course, everbody thinks thier's is the right one.
    _Lovedrug_on December 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWoah, slow down there cowboy. I think it's acctually about selling drugs, she's in the subway, looking for somewhere or someone, and she talks about never knowing who you're working for. By this she means that there is alot of drug users, so police, some privates, some pirates (I don't know how many pirates take drugs...) like when she says...
    "keep one eye on the bag"
    maybe because she dosn't want her drugs discovered

    "The whole world wants what we're on"
    that one is kind of obvious...

    "My friend is coming clean, she told me"
    her friend is kicking the habit...

    alright, that's what I think, sounds abour right to me, of course, everbody thinks thier's is the right one.
    _Lovedrug_on December 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell whatecer it is....im sure its about living in paranoid times...the drug thing would make sense but i just interpreted it as that it is begining to affect everyone
    dano_smithoon January 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell whatecer it is....im sure its about living in paranoid times...the drug thing would make sense but i just interpreted it as that it is begining to affect everyone
    dano_smithoon January 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell whatecer it is....im sure its about living in paranoid times...the drug thing would make sense but i just interpreted it as that it is begining to affect everyone
    dano_smithoon January 27, 2006   Link

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