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 ok 'cos 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 interupt (intercept) a one word sentence,
invent a war in secrecy
sliding scenery like a vintage toy,
isn't plastic surgery wonderful?
satillite 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 margerine
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"
afraid of being swamped by selfishness and greed.


Lyrics submitted by nonotme

empire of the senseless song meanings
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2 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

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