"Cities On Flame" as written by Peter Shelley, Howard Devoto and John Alexander Mcgeoch....
My heart is black, and my lips are cold
Cities on flame with rock and roll
Three thousand guitars they seem to cry
My ears will melt, and then my eyes

Oh, let the girl, let that girl, rock and roll
Cities on flame now, with rock and roll

Gardens of nocturne, forbidden delights
Reins of steel, and it's alright
Cities on flame, with rock and roll
Marshal will buoy, but Fender control

So, let the girl, let that girl rock and roll
Cities on flame now, with rock and roll

My heart is black, and my lips are cold
Cities on flame with rock and roll
Three thousand guitars they seem to cry
My ears will melt, and then my eyes

So, let the girl, let that girl rock and roll
Cities on flame now, with rock and roll


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"Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll" as written by Donald Roeser Samuel Pearlman

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Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentWhat?? Nobody's commented on this yet?? Jeez...BOC really deserves more attention.

    Anyway, I'm not entirely sure what this means. I'm guessing that it has something to do with the bad reputation that rock and roll has with some some older people...the lyrics seem to speak of the genre as a forbidden thing...

    It almost seems like it's sarcasm, saying that rock and roll is destroying our society or something. But then when "let the girl" lines come in, you see the real opinion without the sarcasm...

    *shrugs* But my guess is as good as anybody's.
    excalibur2on March 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou're pretty much spot on. Much of BOCs work is sarcastic and in reference to corruption of the earth by various forces brought here by aliens. At least much of there early work up to and through Imaginos. For another "Rock n Roll is corruption" song listen to "Dominance and Submission".
    balthazaron March 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is probably the heaviest and darkest BOC track. It's an absolute scorcher as the name may imply. I think it's all about the decadence of rock n' roll pretty much, and also the monolithic, detached, and monstrously obscure spin that BOC themselves are giving it.

    'Gardens of nocturne, forbidden delights
    Reins of steel, and it's alright'

    - Quintessential BOC right there.

    My favourite lines -

    'Three thousand guitars they seem to cry
    My ears will melt, and then my eyes'

    - that's some violently volcanic, molten rock right there!
    mrpieeateron September 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentguitar solos are just great in this song.

    I think it's about gangs with guitars, and his girlfriend plays for him, and start a riot with guitars.
    Pink_Floyd_fanon March 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBlack Sabbath - Behind the Wall of Sleep
    samwaltonon June 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt may be about rocking out hard. I mean lyrics like, "Three thousand guitars, they seem to cry. My ears will melt, then my eyes." That must give us a clue that it's about rockin' out in cities.
    Ummagumma69on June 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about seeing rock grow throughout England like a spreading fire..... Blue Oyster Cult has a bunch of analogies like that!
    Skinsfan3413on July 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe whole "evil in rock music" thing that was going on in the 80s with Tipper Gore and the Peters brothers probably wasn't as prevalent in the early 70s, but Black Sabbath most assuredly stirred up some shit. I think this is a classic BOC spin on Sabbath's perceived image by the "moral majority". I can almost picture an Ishir? Honda movie where Satan cataclysmically unleashes his influence through rockin' guitar-wielding hottie babes who seduce the Minoru Genda / Kameto Kurojima types into starting a nuclear holocaust (melting the ears & eyes). BOC is like a booster shot for the imagination. Or something...
    romefallson September 02, 2013   Link

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