"The Small Print" as written by and Matthew James Bellamy....
Take, take all you need
And I'll compensate your greed
With broken hearts
Sell I'll sell your memories
For fifteen pounds per year
But just the good days

Say, It'll make you insane
And it's bending the truth
You're to blame
For all the life that you'll lose and
You watch this space
And I'm going all the way
And be my slave to the grave
I'm a priest god never paid

Hope, I hope you've seen the light
'Cause no one really cares
They're just pretending
Sell, I'll sell your memories, for fifteen pounds per year
But you can keep the bad days

Say, it'll make you insane
And I'm bending the truth
You're to blame
For all the life that you'll lose
And you watch this space
And I'm going all the way
And be my slave to the grave
I'm the priest god never paid

Say, it'll make you insane
And I'm bending the truth
You're to blame
For all the life that you'll lose
And you watch this space
And I'm going all the way
And be my slave to the grave
I'm the priest god never paid


Lyrics submitted by natrrated

"The Small Print" as written by Matthew James Bellamy

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Small Print song meanings
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34 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentThe original title was "Action Faust" which pertains to a play by Goethe called Faust. Read that and you'll understand more about this song.

    It is basically the Devil talking about a contract he made with the character Faust. The "Small Print" in the contract is where they came up with this title. Faust sold his soul to the devil if the devil would be his slave during Faust's life. Faust would, in turn, have to be a slave to the devil in the afterlife.

    Faust sold his soul to the devil for his earthly desires, but was not completely satisfied at his death. This song is written from the Devil's perspective.
    erod2214on April 03, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAs the song was originally titled Action Faust, it definitely relates to the Faust story, as you can see in the lyrics. The lines "Say it'll make you insane / and I'm bending the truth" address Faust's attitude of blaming everyone but himself for his situation, something which in the story he never gets over. In this, the Devil/Mephistopheles tells him "you're to blame / for all the life that you'll lose", because he was the one who agreed to it. Though perhaps the hidden clauses were in "the small print", that small print was always there; Faust could have considered the dangers more seriously had he not been clouded by his own greed.

    However, the song is no longer called Action Faust. This makes me think that it's been deliberately changed to take the meaning away from the story of Faust and more into the realms of metaphor. I'd say it fits in with ideas about corporate bodies, especially the music industry; when people buy into these organisations and sign a contract, they're giving into the corporate power and selling out, so to speak. In this sense, one might say it's about how the world we live in forces us to make these deals with earthly, corporate devils, and we will all then claim ignorance of the small print when the truth of the deal hits us.
    purplerioton March 11, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgod this is probably my favorite muse song, i think it's about someone who is overly greedy and thinks the world revolves around them and everyone loves them but really no one cares about them
    xdownsidedxon April 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe this song falls correctly to where we lie today in society. This is a fairly corporate song. The idea of selling "propaganda" to mankind, to help them forget on what's happening around them or "the small print" on the contract. It's the beginning of the end, and it's taking advantage of humankind, is what this is about. The worshipping of false idols (like evil dictators, or whomever runs the government). If you do know the truth, you will be labeled as being "insane", because only the government knows the truth and they "bend it".
    SteppingOnShadowson June 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeh the propoganda theory makes sense :O) im amazed more people haven't commented on this song

    the small print of being part of society is being blinded by propoganda and being guilty for all the deaths that society causes whether its by neglecting vulnerable people or paying our taxes do that the government can bomb hospitals etc
    convexconcaveon December 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song so much muse are my favourite band it reminds me of my ex greedy and self absorbed
    halo_cutieon February 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of muse's best
    Morviton March 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere's hardly any comments on this song! I'm not that sure about the meaning... but I love the song... and think I agree with steppingonshadows interpritation of it for now...
    -broken-on March 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with broken, How come theres hardly any comments for this song? I was very obsessed with it last summer. It's the best song off of Absoloution in my opinion. I think it should have been a single.
    simelionon April 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think Erod's opinion is more plausible.
    WakeToLifeon June 06, 2005   Link

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