Lying on my bed I was reading French
With the light too bright for my senses
From this hiding place, life was way too much
It was loud and rough round the edges

So I faced the wall when an old man called
Out of dreams that I would die there
But a sight unseen, you were pulling strings
You had a different idea

I was like a child, I was light as straw
When my father lifted me up there
Took me to a place where they checked my body
My soul was floating in thin air

I clung to the bed, and I clung to the past
I clung to the welcome darkness
But at the end of the night
There’s a green, green light
The quiet before the madness

There was a girl that sang like the chime of a bell
Then she put out her arm, she touched me when I was in hell
When I was in hell

Someone sang a song and I sang along
'Cause I knew the words from my childhood
Intellect, ambition they fell away
And they locked me up for my own good

But I didn't mind 'cause the silence was kind
And spoke to me in whispers
There was the sound of the wind in the cold cold dawn
And the quiet hum of business

Let me dangle a while in this waiting room
I don’t need to go I don’t need to know what you're doing
You know what you're doing

Lying on my side you were half awake and your face was tired and crumpled
If I had a camera I’d snap you now 'cause there’s beauty in every stumble

We are out of practice, we're out of sight
On the edge of nobody’s empire
And if we live by books and we live by hope
Does that make us targets for gunfire?

Now I look at you you’re a mother of two
You’re a quiet revolution
Marching with the crowd singing dirty and loud
For the people’s emancipation

Did I do okay, did I pave the way?
Was I strong when you were wanting?
I was tied to the yoke with a decent bloke
Who was stern but never daunting

And he told me to push and he made me feel well
He told me to leave that vision of hell to the dying
Oh, to the dying

Lyrics submitted by lionelhutz, edited by emilierein

Nobody's Empire song meanings
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  • +4
    Song MeaningA song about Stuart falling in love with his girlfriend / wife.

    Absolutely fantastic / beautiful song. I recently tried to compile a "best of" of B&S songs for my phone. Turns out this is impossible. I struggle to keep anything off the list...
    johnboydumpon April 02, 2015   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI think it's about stuart's years with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, he also talks about Isobelle in the "There was a girl that sang like the chime of a bell
    Then she put out her arm, she touched me when I was in hell
    When I was in hell" part. It's just my opinion, but what do i know.
    juanheloon April 10, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis one is easy for the Belle and Sebastian fan...

    Stuart Murdoch is a Christian and this autobiographical song has many references and his Christian faith. The ‘site unseen pulling strings’ is a reference to God and His plan for Stuart’s life. Jesus said that his burden is easy and his yoke is light. The line about being ‘tied to the yoke of a decent bloke who was stern but never daunting’ is a very clear reference to Jesus. Stuart Murdoch claims to have been cured from chronic fatigue syndrome after a faith healing experience and the afore mentioned reference is confirmed that Jesus ‘told him to push (the yoke) and made me (Stuart) feel well..’ in the next line.

    Apart from being a Christian, I am also a lefty like Stuart and I love the lines about ‘Marching with the crowd singing dirty and loud for the peoples’ emancipation’. The system is broken, friends, we have to fix it.
    Cavebelleon January 19, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Lying on my bed I was reading French"
    I think its the reference to band's name
    Belle et Sébastien
    jul689on January 07, 2017   Link

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