"Get the Balance Right!" as written by and Martin Lee Gore....
There's more besides joyrides
Little house in the countryside
Understand, learn to demand
Compromise, sometimes lie

Get the balance right, get the balance right

Be responsible, respectable
Stable but gullible
Concerned and caring, help the helpless
But always remain ultimately selfish

Get the balance right, get the balance right

You think you've got a hold of it all
You haven't got a hold at all
When you reach the top, get ready to drop
Prepare yourself for the fall; you're gonna fall
It's almost predictable

Don't take this way, don't take that way
Straight down the middle until next Thursday
Push to the left, back to the right
Twist and turn till you've got it right

Get the balance right


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"Get the Balance Right!" as written by Martin Gore

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Get the Balance Right! song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentFor me, I immediately heard it as realistic advice a parent would give their child nowadays. You know—life is not all honey and roses. Understand the views of others, compromise, don’t compromise yourself, and sometimes lying is preferable or even necessary. Help others, but don’t give more than you can afford to. If you reach the top, don’t get a big head, because what goes up must come down, etc., etc., etc. Very much growing up and learning a healthy balance of optimism and cynicism, and so on. (And I think the video, particularly the beginning, really emphasizes this).

    There does seem to be a streak of social conformity as well (and it isn’t VERY different, but I hear it as “don’t tend this way, don’t tend that way”).

    On a side note, I absolutely love the samplings in this song. It’s like a surprise every time I listen—this time around I heard a squeezy toy, and I have no shame in admitting that it completely made my day.
    coffeeismymuseon April 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUnderstand, learn to demand,
    Compromise, sometimes lie

    Get the Balance right, get the balance right

    Be responsible, respectable,
    Stable but gullible
    Concerned and caring, help the helpless
    But always remain ultimately selfish

    This song has been my unwind at the end of a freak-out I'm losing it day for a long time.. I don't know if I got the balance right, but it helps..
    xinniefulon March 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcorporate america ideals? molding people into uni-form? (("always remain ultimately selfish" as advice screams cynicism towards people's hidden attitudes))
    Jejuneon January 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about fitting on some kind of role on society... "There's more besides joyrides"
    blynxon February 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI say this to my employees....trying to balance life and work
    atheist guyon August 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentExcellent song. Of all their songs, this has to be one of their best. I can't believe there are so few comments.
    monster36604on January 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCorporate America - GAH!! This hasn't anything to do with that. It is about life shaping you as you grow - Getting the balance right so you don't become a greedy right-winger or a liberal nut-job.

    'always remain ultimately selfish' is a comment on how at our core human beings are selfish. Self preservation is a strong instinctual drive - but we can learn to be compassionate, concerned and caring.

    Be Responsible, respectable but leave your self a little gullibility so you can still keep an open mind.

    It is kind of almost like a speech someone would give at a commencement and I agree it is one of DM best
    Lostmycapoon September 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe whole song is written as someone of moral character is giving someone else advice on how to be and this person has had alot of problems fitting into this model citizen.
    chakalskion June 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe whole song is written as someone of moral character is giving someone else advice on how to be and this person has had alot of problems fitting into this model citizen.
    chakalskion June 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentContext is everything. On one level this song seems to be about advice giving, as an adult would to a child. But my suspicion is that this song is about an older wiser gay person advising a younger gay person about how to negotiate being in or out of the closet in the early 1980's. The hardest part of this negotiation is whether to be out or closeted. There are cautions and hazards on either side: staying in the closet means being untrue to yourself. Outing yourself might mean you have to sacrifice your carefully negotiated life, as mainstream society might not let you have it both ways.
    piouspogoon September 25, 2014   Link

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