"empire of the senseless" as written by and Jon Langford Tom Greenhalgh....
No one's making any noise now, sshhh
We've been waiting for so long
They took away our films and tapes and notebooks
But it's okay, we've self-censored this song

But these lines are all individuals
And there's no such thing as a song
And even the silent are now guilty in the (empire of the senseless)
What's your line of questioning, sir?

(Empire of the senseless)
I can't interrupt intercept a one word sentence
Invent a war in secrecy
Sliding scenery like a vintage toy

Isn't plastic surgery wonderful?
Satellite secret national security
(Empire of the senseless)
Turning journalists into heroes takes some doing

(Empire of the senseless)
Boring Ollie north down in the subway dealing drugs and guns
(Empire of the senseless)
Turning little liars into heroes, it's what they've always done

(Empire of the senseless)
This song promotes homosexuality
It's in a pretended family relationship with the others on this record
And on the charts and on the jukebox

And in the radio
And in the radio

No one's making any noise now, sshhh
Stay quiet

All unacceptable gropings have been removed from the screen
Only eyes full of unspeakable thoughts remain
And even the silent are now guilty in the (empire of the senseless)
Baked beans, sugar, and margarine

(Empire of the senseless)
Bread, jam, groceries, and lard
For the unsentimental
The men who like the lady hard

The men who like the hard lady
And you know that people are really rather afraid
(Empire of the senseless)
Afraid of being swamped

(Empire of the senseless)
Afraid of being swamped by selfishness and greed
(Empire of the senseless)
(Empire of the senseless)
(Empire of the senseless)
(Empire of the senseless)
(Empire of the senseless)


Lyrics submitted by nonotme

"Empire of the Senseless" as written by Jon Langford Tom Greenhalgh

Lyrics © LOW NOISE AMERICA MUSIC

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Empire of the Senseless song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    My OpinionThis is my favorite Mekons song...how can you not love a song that promotes homosexuality? It really captures the despondent, helpless feeling that many of us had during the Reagan and Thatcher years. Many today probably have no idea who Ollie North is, how he subverted and perverted Democracy. I think we all felt a little guilty ("even the silent are now guilty") though we proceeded with "unacceptable gropings." ;-)
    almondgirrlon February 28, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAgree with almondgirrl on the general meaning and that it's a beautiful, gritty, and memorable song.
    "What's your line of questioning, sir" was a quote from Col. Oliver North during a US congressional hearing regarding illegal covert military operations, if I remember right, during the Reagan presidency. The "hard lady" I think is Margaret Thatcher, who was commonly called the "Iron Lady". The song in my view deals a lot with censorship issues with regard to wars, how mainstream news reporters don't really say the truth (or are prevented from finding it). Nowadays we have thousands of alternative news outlets on internet, but this was not true in the 1980s and 90s, so the effect on people then was a greater sense of powerlessness. I might differ with almondgirrl on one point though: the word "homosexuality" I think has a double-meaning here, and I think at least partially refers to the "mutual admiration society" that is at the heart of the problem of censorship or media control. That stanza I think draws a parallel between how both the media and the recording industry is controlled by a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" profit or career motive. The lyrics are partly ironic because they acknowledge that the band itself also operates in this system.
    It's a brave song by a very thoughtful and mature lyricist. These are not lyrics to be embarrassed about 25 years later.
    dcc701on September 18, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust noting that The Mekons area also listed as just "Mekons" and there are comments over on that thread. Too bad someone can't consolidate...
    almondgirrlon October 31, 2013   Link

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