So up rolls a riot van
And sparks excitement in the boys
But the policemen look annoyed
Perhaps these are ones they should avoid

Got chased last night
From men with truncheons dressed in hats
We didn't do that much wrong
Still ran away though for the laugh
Just for the laugh
And please just stop talking cause they won't find us if you do
Oh those silly boys in blue
Well they won't catch me and you

Have you been drinking son, you don't look old enough to me
I'm sorry officer, is there a certain age you're supposed to be, cause nobody told me

And up rolls the riot van
And these lads just wind the coppers up
They ask why they don't catch proper crooks
They get their address and their names took
But they couldn't care less

Thrown in a riot van
And all the coppers kicked him in
And there was no way he could win
Just had to take it on the chin



Lyrics submitted by K-nuxXx

"Riot Van" as written by Alex Turner

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Riot Van song meanings
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31 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment:Yes,under-age drinking and how youth's can be obnoxious,not sure if the monkeys are trying to have a go at police in general or just saying there is worse going on than under-age drinkers so get a clue???
    alamealson January 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:'men with truncheons dressed in hats'

    f*cking class!
    kinginkon March 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I don't think that the song is as superficial as just underaged drinking. It seems much more tragic. It seems like the kids who are under aged just want to experience something. Whether it's a low, or a high, or something in between, or maybe they don't want to experience anything at all. I think that's where the sarcasm comes from when the officer asks his age. I really like this song cause it seems so true. It feels like the people in the song, just don't feel complete. And at the end, he realized that even if he tries to fill his life with things that he can "experience" things with, he doesn't ever get fulfilled, because the problem wasn't there, so he just had to "take it in the chin." It seems so sad.
    Marnoon March 30, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning:The ideas behind many of the Arctic Monkey's songs are laid out there pretty bluntly, but they always show an underlying idea or feeling behind the apparent storyline. In this it tells about a group of people who are just out to have fun, don't really care much of what happens to them in life. As long as they had some good laughs, they don't care if they are rich or have a job or are poor or anything. They just want to exist.
    MikeyG133on November 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:thats gotta be about under aged drinking on the streets.... hasn't it!?
    soulsearcheron January 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Its also cos Alex of the arctic monkeys is like barely legal bless him (but i still would!!)! So cud be a tru story! And also about how police will just pick up rowdy drunk guys just to make an arrest, rather than catching 'proper crooks'.....
    sercute4eon February 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:mmm, i love their accents.
    benerfrittedon March 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:i , too , think that this song is about underage drinking.
    but i don't really know. i just know that this song is one of my favorites. i love the music and how the voice sounds on top of it.

    "& please just stop talking cause they won't find us if you do"
    doo doo doo

    yummy1321on March 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Man, gotta love those britts. A riot van is a like a cop car but a van, google image it and you'll see. The song to me, may be a true story, the Van rolls up and it sparks excitement in the boys....they start yelling at the cops, and the cops start to harrass the guys. It also seems like they gave some others a hard time, and were chased by them. and you know how people talk, they get caught. and eventually thats what happened, they were thrown in a riot van. read the song like a story with no music and you'll get it.
    acryczekon April 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:The demo version of this is one of my favourite songs. They killed it off on the album though.
    Nolion June 17, 2006   Link

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