Lower your eyes to greet me
Never say my name
Fairly I may treat you
But you'll fear me just the same

Never speak before me
If you ever speak at all
And always walk behind me
I'm the king of you all

And where, where are you?
Running with the strays and drifters
Spreading rumours on street corners
Making allies of strangers

Try your hardest to forget now
That you are mine

Walk the desert southwards
Find your family home
Imagine you were free once
That the choice had been your own

Barter in the market
Float the heavy sea
Try your hardest to forget now
That you belong to me

Where, where am I?
Spinning in clock towers
In a thousand clinking glasses
In the long lights on the harbour

In the rolling fields and pastures
In the slums and poor quarters
In the eyes of all your strangers
There am I

Down comes the hammer
And down you all fall
Violent is the sickness
I'm the king of you all


Lyrics submitted by meudwen

King of You All song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentOops, 'Barter in the market' not Banter! Of course!
    meudwenon November 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is such a great song - I wish I could find my way into it! The 'spinning in clock towers' verse makes the song feel allegorical but I can't quite figure out what for. Like, maybe the king is Time, or Death, or Nature, or... ??? Or maybe it is actually about a particular person. Dunno.

    My only contribution just now is, I work on a farm, and I think a lot about the tension that exists in our power over animals, doing our best (hopefully) to treat them well and protect them in exchange for holding them captive and eventually killing them, even though we ask them (and never can) if they're ok with that deal. Anyhow, I often get this song in my head when I'm going round the sheep. "Imagine you were free once, and the choice had been your own." "Down comes the hammer, and down you all fall." I do not think the writer/s necessarily intended it to be about power over animals, but it's one little shade of its meaning for me.

    The gentleness of the music and the singing is so powerful in contrast with the sledge-hammer of the subject matter. Lends a sort of naivety to the violence, which is both touching and terrifying. It's like a child playing with puppets, not quite realising or not quite admitting that the puppets are alive.
    meudwenon November 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds like a song about Heroin addiction-"Never say my name
    Fairly I may treat you
    But you'll fear me just the same" refers to the fact Heroin is always fair until you can't afford it, the "fear" being of exactly that.

    Verse #2 refers to the subservience to the habit and by necessity its secrecy-"Never speak before me
    If you ever speak at all
    And always walk behind me"

    Verse #3 is about the desperation and degradation in feeding the beast-having to ally oneself with strangers etc-"And where, where are you?
    Running with the strays and drifters
    Spreading rumours on street corners
    Making allies of strangers". This describes life as a junky too perfectly.

    The verses from there are allegorical to the decline and in the final verse the "Hammer" that comes down can be construed as the old school drug culture slang for Heroin (Hammer) and the violence of the withdrawals being the sickness.

    FMP make references in their lyrics that may or may not emphasis addiction torment-see "Hit The Hay" for similar.
    Badrabbiton February 18, 2013   Link

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