"Chemical World" as written by and Damon/james Albarn....
The pay-me girl has had enough of the bleeps
So she takes the bus into the country
Although she got herself rosy cheeks
She didn't leave enough money to pay the rent
The landlord says that she's out in a week
What a shame she was just getting comfy
Now she's eating chocolate to induce sleep
In a chemical world, it's very, very, very cheap

And I don't know about you
But they're putting the holes in, yes, yes
It's been a hell of a do
But they're been putting the holes in, yes, yes

Peeping Thomas has a very nice view
Across the street at the exhibitionist
These townies they never speak to you
Just stick together so they never get lonely
Feeling lead, feeling quite light-headed
Had to sit down and have some sugary tea
In a chemical world, in a chemical world
It's very, very, very cheap

And I don't know about you
But they're putting the holes in, yes, yes
It's been a hell of a do
But they're putting the holes in, yes, yes

I don't know about you
But they're putting the holes in, yes, yes
It's been a hell of a do
But they're putting the holes in, yes, yes
And now she's right out of view
They've been putting the holes in, yes, yes
I don't talk about you
But they're putting the holes in, yes, yes

Until you can see right through
Until you can see right through
Until you can see right through


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Chemical World" as written by David Rowntree Steven Alexander James

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Chemical World song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentThis song is from the album "Modern Life is Rubbish," and that seems to be a common theme to the tunes. To me, the song seems to be about the general sense disconnection between everybody in the world and how it's easy to slip into that sort of detachment.

    A cashier (pay-me girl) is sick of her job (the 'bleeps' of the scanner), and she decides to ditch work--this puts her out of a job, out of money ("she didn't leave enough money to pay the rent") and out of a place to live ("the landlord says that she's out in a week"), but she doesn't care because she can detach herself from her problems ("what a shame, she was just getting comfy")--through drugs, I assume, hence "in a chemical world, it's very very very cheap."

    "Putting the holes in" referring to heroin is an interesting interpretation I'm almost willing to adopt, though it could be metaphorical--holes in communication between people? A friend of mine listening to the song said they felt the "yes, yes" part was trying to soothe and relieve someone.

    The peeping Thomas and exhibitionist are engaging in kinks that require detachment between the fetishist and their "subject";. The 'townies' (hip-and-trendy city kids) detach themselves from everyone else and "stick together so they never get lonely." Again, people self-medicate their way through life (the bit about "sugary tea"), and it's become second nature--in a chemical world, it's very cheap.
    bugoffon July 19, 2007   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionI think "putting the holes in" may be making reference to a commonly held (but incorrect) belief that drugs like ecstasy actually put holes in your brain, although this song may precede that myth by some years. Otherwise the song sounds very much like heroin (or other) drug use.
    waltsey1984on January 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know what the song is exactly about. It seems that it's a little about nature referring to their MTV.But the lyrics seems to cover more contents.Can anyone tell me what"put the holes in" means?
    amelieleeon January 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that They'be been putting the holes in, yes, yes part means that someone else is manupilating our lives??
    DoubleUon March 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought it meant putting the holes in doughnuts :p
    DM2Kon May 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's clearly about modern society's reliance on chemicals for regulating our feelings, causing us to lose touch with real life and relationships.
    teapoton October 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about shrooms or acid. good times.
    vikesfan953on June 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm seriously getting dizzy by headbanging to this song. I have no idea what it means, but great tune.
    SilverEagleon April 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought "they're putting the holes in" was a reference to injecting heroin
    brutheadon July 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this song was about living in dream like state- the chemicals of imagination. I dont think Ive explained that very well but I interpret the first verse not as something thats happened, but as a daydream.

    This girl is fed up, shes at work so she drifts off into a daydream and in her mind that sees her up and leave for the country and not care about the consequences because in her 'imaginary world' it really is no big deal. Hence the whole chemical world is cheap- its easy, theres no pressure coz you design it yourself. Its like a way of getting away from the real world and the responsibilities.

    I think 'their putting the holes in' is a reference to how society and life today makes it s difficult to continue to have these dreams- because there is always someone there knocking little holes into your dreams and shattering the dream of a world that you would like.

    Just my interprestation anyway x
    Scattelon July 29, 2007   Link

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