"Bengali In Platforms" as written by and Steven Patrick/street Morrissey....
Bengali, Bengali
Bengali, Bengali
No no no
He does not want to depress you
Oh no no no no no
He only wants to impress you
Oh...

Bengali in platforms
He only wants to embrace your culture
And to be your friend forever
Forever

Bengali, Bengali
Bengali, Bengali
Oh, shelve your Western plans
And understand
That life is hard enough when you belong here

A silver-studded rim that glistens
And an ankle-star that...blinds me
A lemon sole so very high
Which only reminds me; to tell you
Break the news gently
Break the news to him gently
"Shelve your plans; shelve your plans, shelve them"

Bengali, Bengali
It's the touchy march of time that binds you
Don't blame me
Don't hate me
Just because I'm the one to tell you

That life is hard enough when you belong here
That life is hard enough when you belong here
Oh...
Shelve your Western plans
Oh...
Shelve your Western plans
'Cause life is hard enough when you belong
Life is hard enough when you belong here
Oh...
Shelve your Western plans
Oh...
Shelve your best friends
'Cause life is hard when you belong here
Oh...
Life is hard enough when you belong


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Bengali In Platforms" as written by Stephen Brian Street Steven Morrissey

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Bengali In Platforms song meanings
Add your thoughts

28 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General Commentthe "narrator" is just saying to the boy/man that moving to the western world might not be what he dreamed of because people are racist, and it may be hard to live here.
    And he is also saying to the western people, that this guy just wants to embrace your culture...
    it is in no way racist.
    sambo28on September 22, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentAs a Bangladeshi expatriate who has lived for a very long time abroad, albeit not in the UK, but elsewhere and in a place that can be as equally racist and xenophobic, I don't at all see this song as being racist or being targeted specifically towards a Bengali or any race. We have to remind ourselves that Morrissey wrote this song reflecting upon his own difficulty with trying to blend in, being the son of Irish immigrants.Here, the focus is no more on Irish immigrants, but immigrants of a new nature, an incoming influx of people from South Asia who come in search of new jobs, a new life, aspirations of a far more superior environment and culture than the one they leave back at home,from hearing tales told by their own relatives living abroad when they talked of cities that don't sleep at night. When they move to such new places, what they don't realize is how difficult they can find things, their working environment is not the kind they envisioned it to be, and they realize that they left home with false hopes. This could apply to anyone migrating to a new country in search of something better. Why should these immigrants now shelve their "Western Plans"? While these lyrics do tend to make the narrator of the song sound pedantic and want to tell immigrants that the narrator is the one who "belongs", the message otherwise has a better meaning than the one directly implied.People like Bengalis and Indians belong to a culture/religion that is a world apart from the one they try to immerse themselves into (note the second or third generation immigrant kids still looking for that "identity"), and whatever they might try to do, from appearing "Western" to impress or adopt Western political/social/religious/cultural ideologies, they still are not completely "British" or "American" or whatever they want to call themselves.It is as difficult for the native born British to interact with a migrant who might otherwise have very different ideas and thoughts, thoughts which might not even be in tune with the rest of the Western society.With Morrissey trying to explain that had he been in Yugoslavia, he would have felt the same way doesn't really hold as a strong defense. Colour and race matters too, and while Morrissey would have been able to seamlessly adjust himself within the crowd, a dark Bengali or Indian wouldn't find doing the same so easy...and yes, let's not kid ourselves about the situation that the world is still in when it comes to the issue of colour. Political correctness would like to tell you otherwise. I agree with Rachel Summers and citizenerased19.
    When the narrator tries to explain to this Bengali that he doesn't want to be blamed when he has to break the bad news to the Bengali, it just implies that sooner or later, somebody has to wake up and remind immigrants, especially ones with a low education and bad language skills, that life could be much harder than they had imagined it to be. These people could be the first generation immigrants themselves or educated citizens with origins in other countries trying to warn people back at home. Morrissey's 80's Britain was different, the mood less forgiving. Adjusting is difficult,people around you can make it harder. Morrissey warns the immigrant of possible alienation and isolation.I hope I could explain this well enough. I know it is me merely rambling on and on...but I could identify with this song in several ways...not that I have had the same experience since I was born in another country and lived there for so long, but because I have seen and known people who had gone through the same experiences as outline by Morrissey in the song.I bet my dad had gone through all that himself; he was the first one to leave home and his family after all.
    Anyway, Morrissey is still God and a lyrical genius...a pure legend!
    cheesebagel89on May 03, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Commentlife IS hard enough when you belong here
    Jemaeuxon July 05, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentAw, Morrissey isn't racist. Come on.
    shadowwiththeeyeson October 03, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentit is not obvious that this song is racist, whats unfortunate is when some people listen to a controversial song they too quickly jump to conclusions without giving it much thought. Morissey may be very patriotic etc etc but he is not a racist he was simply highlighting an issue and the way some ppl feel about immigrants, this does not mean that this song is racist .
    lollyrottenon September 23, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIf a song says something negative, it doesn't necessarily mean that this is the writer making a negative statement. The narrator in a song isn't always the writer. He can use a character as the narrator that doesn't reflect his views in order to bring attention to a point. In fact, the lyrics can be completely opposite to the writer's views.
    Kaguthon April 11, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentKaguth on 04-12-2004 @ 12:43:57 AM is spot on

    Moz is saying people ARE racist
    Moz1000on December 14, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's silly when people accuse this song of racism. Morrissey is really only singin g to this Bengali as a means to reflect upon himself and his own alienation and isolation. As a knowing reject, the character advises the outsider that it's best to simply stay away. The slightly mocking tone can be percieved as mere honesty, he's taking slight pleasure in being a rejector, as opposed to his more typical reject-ee; but at the same time relating to the outsider. Those that flatly acuse the song of racism have no sense of poetry ~ shading, suggestion, metaphor; they see things on one level.
    davidbeauyon August 28, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMorrissey is not racist. He's moral to the core. He was asked what the strangest story he'd ever read about himself and he replied 'that I'm racist. It's totally unsubstantiated. Just like the notion that Tony Blair was a good Prime Minister'.
    Moominpapaon March 16, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song has been interpretted as being very racist toward immigrants, notably Indians, in Great Britain, Morrissey's homeland. They can be construed as coming from Morrissey or from the people of England. This is obvious through the lyrics "That life is hard enough when you belong here " and "shelve your plans,"
    cactusdaveon July 01, 2002   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain