"Love Ire & Song" as written by and Francis Edward Turner....
Well a teacher of mine once told me
That life was just a list of disappoints and defeats
And you could only do your best,
And I said "That's a fucking cop-out,
you're just washed up and your tired,
and when I get to your age I won't be such a coward"
But these day I sit at home, known to shout at my TV
And Punk Rock didn't live up to what I hoped that it could be
And all the things that I believed with all my heart when I was young
Are just coasters for beers and clean surfaces for drugs
And I packed all my pamphlets with my bibles at the back of the shelf

Well it was bad enough the feeling, and the first time it hit
When you realized your parents had let the world all go to shit
And that the values and ideals for which many had fought and died
Had been killed off in the committees and left to die by the wayside
But it was worse when we turned to the kids on the left
And got let down again by some poor excuse for protest
Yeah by idiot fucking hippies in 50 different factions
Who are locked inside some kind of 60's battle re-enactment
And I hung-up my banner in disgust and I head for the door

Oh but once we were young, and we were crass enough to care
But I guess you live and learn, we won't make that mistake again, no
Oh but surely just for one day, we could fight and we could win
And if only for a little while, we could insist on the impossible

Well we've been a good few hours drinking
So I'm going to say what everyone's thinking
If we're stuck on this ship and it's sinking
Then we might as well have a parade
Cos if it's still going to hurt in the morning
And a better plan's set to get forming
Then where's the harm spending an evening
In manning the old barricades,
So come on old friends to the streets
Let's be 1905 but not 1917,
Let's be heroes, let's be martyrs, let's be radical thinkers
Who never have to test drive the least of their dreams
Let's divide up the world into the damned and safe
And then ride to the valleys like the old life brigade
And straighten our backs and we won't be afraid
And they'll celebrate our deaths with a national parade

So come on let's be young, let's be crass enough to care
Let's refuse to live and learn, let's make all our mistakes again yes
And then darling, just for one day, we can fight and we can win
And if only for a little while, we could insist on the impossible
Leave the mourning the to the morning
Yeah pain can be killed
With aspirin tablets and vitamin pills
But memories of hope, and glorious defeat
Are a little bit harder to beat


Lyrics submitted by simon_quine, edited by glorkspangle

"Love Ire & Song" as written by Francis Edward Turner

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Love Ire & Song song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentIt's about staying true to what you were like when you were "crass enough to care", that caring about things doesn't have to stop once you reach your thirties.
    He's asking whether it would be so bad to remember what you believed in when you were young and to go out and fight for it
    jimzillaon October 13, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentLets be 1905 but not 1917 refers to Russian history, 1905 was when anti czarist sentiment in Russia started to swell, there were assassinations of nobility, union agitation, anarchist and socialist politics that extended into political terrorism, the whole shebang. World War 1 put attention elsewhere for a while, but in 1917 due to riots Czar Nicolas was forced to abdicate, as large portions of the public were furious with the way the government was conducting their efforts in ww1. A provisional government was set up at one point the government was not really fighting the war but the Bolsheviks were, and a few months later the Bolsheviks counter revolted in October, which led to the Russian Civil War, in which the White Army lost to the Reds who eventually consolidated into the Soviet Union. The Whites were mostly monarchists that wanted a constitutional monarchy, or just ideologically anti Bolshevik.


    The Light Brigade line does refer to the Tennyson poem, which again refers to a battle in the Crimean War in the 1850s in which 600 or so British Cavalrymen were sort of accidentally sent into a valley between two hills filled with Russian artillery to force back a force at the end of the valley. The officer who tried to turn them when he realized what was going on was hit with artillery and they kept going, changed through and ended up losing about half of their number but accomplishing their objective, some observers thought the British must have been drunk to charge through artillery the way they did, but as insane brave accidents go it isn't bad.

    Frank Turner has a graduate degree in European History if I remember correctly.
    Funonymouson January 08, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Commenta lot of you guys are half getting it right and some of you are missing the point completely.

    this song is not about avoiding giving up on ideas as you grow older.

    Frank is writing about the implication of seeing the complexities of issues as he grows up; things are much less black and white and it is clear that radically changing the world/society is not really doable. "punk rock didn't turn out how i hoped that it could be". lots of young, energetic, optimistic left wingers try to change the world and grow up to see that the issues are far more complex than they had originally thought. "idiot fucking hippies, poor excuse for protest etc"


    the end of the song is about nostalgically enjoying the days when it was all black and white and the corporations and governments were evil and the left wing hippies and punks were right and were going to change the world.

    But memories of hope, and glorious defeat
    Are a little bit harder to beat

    frank knows now that there is no victory to be had and that defeat is inevitable; there won't be a radical shift in socity etc. but it was worth trying and it was fun to try.
    SpicyRiceon July 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty sure the line is "old light brigade" not life brigade -- referring to the Tennyson poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade." (en.wikisource.org/wiki/…)
    Dani102on December 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationFor me this song is about how you should never give up, not to become old and not care about the world anymore just thinking about yourself. Everyone should have the opinion of the young which is to care about everyone else and not just be driven by money. I think the first few lines pretty much sum up the whole song -
    "Well a teacher of mine once told me
    That life was just a list of disappoints and defeats
    And you could only do your best,
    And I said "That's a fucking cop-out, you're just washed up and your tired, and when I get to your age I won't be such a coward"
    Just my way of looking at it.
    tomsprayon October 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think that's a good analogy. i think hes talking about when he was young and in the punk rock scene everything was revolt and rebel. now that he has got older and seen that life is a little more complicated hes seeing things as a wiser more mature person but there is still that rebel inside him that wants to see change. 1905 not 1917, is a reference to the Russian revolutions. he wants us to be older but still have the passion and fight that we did as younger people
    Doerr08on September 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreatest song on his new album. Love the realizations he comes to in it. It's so real.
    dnask8on April 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts brilliant
    Chrisbrfcon August 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoes anyone know what Frank is really talking about in this song? It's great that we have these little interpretations of verses, but I'm just wondering what the whole of the song means. I get that it's about reliving the past, and being successful in that, but what exactly does "fighting and winning" mean?
    Occupied By Timon October 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAwesome, thanks for the insight!

    And so then judging by the rest of the verses, he believed in some kind of leftist political reform, but was disgusted by the poor attempts of the time:

    It was worst when we turned to the kids on the left
    And got let down by some poor excuse for protest
    By idiot fucking hippies in 50 different factions
    Who were locked in some kind of 60's battle reenactment

    My next question is what does he mean by the "idiot fucking hippies" lyric? I mean the hippie movement was all about peace, love....and also the influence of drugs to say the least...so is he initially disgusted by the way they are going about protesting, only to revoke his anger toward the protests later in his life by saying "let's be 1905 but not 1917?" (assuming that what aforementioned about the socialist revolution is correct)
    Occupied By Timon October 14, 2009   Link

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