"Canary In A Coalmine" as written by and Gordon Matthew Sumner....
First to fall over when the atmosphere is less than perfect
Your sensibilities are shaken by the slightest defect
You live you life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line
You say you want to spend the winter in Firenza
You're so afraid to catch a dose of influenza
You live your life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line
Canary in a coalmine
Canary in a coalmine
Canary in a coalmine
Now if I tell you that you suffer from delusions
You pay your analyst to reach the same conclusions
You live your life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line
Canary in a coalmine
Canary in a coalmine
Canary in a coalmine
First to fall over when the atmosphere is less than perfect
Your sensibilities are shaken by the slightest defect
You live your life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line
Canary in a coalmine


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Canary in a Coalmine" as written by Gordon Sumner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Canary In A Coalmine song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentIt's talking about someone who cannot just relax and enjoy his life just for a minute at least. He became a real neurotic and he's living at this way because he has experienced some big frustrations, which has taken his taste for life. He's feeling himself under permanent pressure after suffering a couple of flops and now even a simple trip to Firenza seems something terrible, despite the fact it's just a magnificent sunny city from Italy, thus a place where an influenza should be the last thing for thinking about it...
    circusjuggleron September 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn the good ol' mining days, they would keep birds in coalmines to detect poisonous gases.
    Bella_xon October 22, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentagreed, its about a neurotic who sort of closes the door, and panics at every little thing
    kerncelobrasilon October 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMaybe I'm wrong, but I always thought this song is about working-class, especially about office-workers. It's them who live their lives as canaries in a coalmine: they take nearly no benefit from "working" in a "coalmine" just serving others without their own control of situation, but they fall first in any dangerous situation. Lines about Firenza and influenza I understand as irony: "you want to go to warmer countries for a winter, because you are afraid of influenza, but you don't even realize that you're living just as canary in a coalmine". And lines about delusions: "you feel depressed and pay your analist to tell you're suffering from delusions, but real delusions are about your life, when you're not awair about your "canary-tipe" life".
    vüsal1247on February 27, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's about being a hypochondriac and over reacting about everything -- behaving the way a canary would when deprived of oxygen.
    LolaBaton March 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'll agree with LolaBat. And this is a great energetic song that I've always liked.
    sillybunnyon July 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese are the 'serious classics' - but the hidden gem of the record is the hilarious lightweight ska excourse 'Canary In A Coalmine', where the boys speed up the standard tempo and come out with something lovely, irresistible and tremendously funny. For my money, Andy Summers' guitar never sounded that playful and amusing again, and I would be hard pressed to find any analogy in the rock world.
    [George Starostin]
    sillybunnyon September 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn the olden days, miners who went deep into coal shafts used to carry a golden canary with them into the chambers below. The miners, usually people who had spent their entire lives in the depths of mining shafts, were unable to sense when toxic gasses were escaping from the walls. The rule was simple, if you looked over and saw that the canary was laying on its side with "Xs" for eyes, you knew it was time to run as fast as you could towards an elevator.
    [Peter M. Denton]
    sillybunnyon September 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI hope it's not too late to thank U a lot for the information above, sillybunny and to make the following small correction on my previous post here:

    ["he has experienced some big frustrations, which HAVE taken his taste for life."].
    circusjuggleron February 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentVery "ska",they recorded "Zenyetta Mondatta" in Wisseloord in Hilversum and in the Caribbean. :)
    It's obvious.
    Thia007on November 30, 2011   Link

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