"Walked In Line" as written by Ian Kevin Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Paul David Morris and Bernard Sumner....
All dressed in uniforms so fine,
They drank and killed to pass the time,
Wearing the shame of all their crimes,
With measured steps, they walked in line.

They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line.

They carried pictures of their wives,
And numbered tags to prove their lives,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line.

Full of a glory never seen,
They made it through the whole machine,
To never question anymore,
Hypnotic trance, they never saw,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,

They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
They walked in line,
Walked in line,
Walked in line.


Lyrics submitted by typo

"Walked in Line" as written by Ian Kevin Curtis Bernard Sumner

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Walked In Line song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentYes, clearly it's about the army dehumanising soldiers so they cease to think for themselves, but at the same time they are normal people, they may have committed atrocities but they still love their wives. I'm not sure though it's specifically about the Nazis, it could just as easily be US troops in Vietnam or British troops in any part of the empire.
    ntwjoneson May 07, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIan was like soooo much ahead of his time. He's a total genius. Even today you can relate to these lyrics so easily. There's always a war, or a fight or smthng like that, because some people are so greedy, evil, dumb...etc. And the ones who actually fight, the ones who actually get hurt or die are usually ordinary people who love their wives, people who will usually feel bad for the bad things they've had to do, they have to live with that burden(the thought that you've killed a person.. for me.. it gives me the creeps.. it must be awful). And this song brings it out perfectly. Well, atleast for me it does.
    brokenbiscuiton January 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNazi soldiers. this one should be obvious. They walked in line, they were just following orders. Ian wrote a lot about Germany and Nazi history, hence the name of the band itself.
    KILBYon March 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNazi soldiers. this one should be obvious. They walked in line, they were just following orders. Ian wrote a lot about Germany and Nazi history, hence the name of the band itself.
    KILBYon March 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah. good song.
    TaintedGloveon December 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wonder if they walked in line.
    Evesaakelaon November 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyep, pretty much. however, i always thought it was "to prove their lives." not just because it rhymes with wives, but because dog tags are used to identify the dead - the only thing differentiating them from their fellow soldiers.

    and i LOVE the way the drums sort of sound like a marching drum at times. brilliant.
    karmapolice47on April 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment@MrWillow

    Are you somehow implying that German soldiers were the only soldiers killing people and that the things they were doing were something unique and never seen before?

    There's no brainwashing in doing your duty as a soldier you stupid pacifist fucks.
    REBDKon August 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAfter reading comments it appears that people think "They walked in line"` lyric somehow excuses those people, like "they were just following orders". In fact I think Curtis blames them for doing that and despises people he describes here.
    ff8ffon January 07, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationOK, I know that Joy Division had a bit of a nazi fixation going on, but to me the last verses (the ones with start off with "Full of a glory never seen") make this more about rebelliousness, about how normal, conformist people ("squares") have "walked in line" throughout human history, unlike Ian and his punky gang.

    This is a general thread of lyricism that ran through Curtis' songs, especially the punkier ones (duh I guess), It also think that he sang a lot about the hardships and disillusionment that came from choosing the lesser trodden path ("Colony" and "Sound of Music" come to mind)...all this obviously from the point of view of a depressive, Ian was one of the greatest lyricist at portraying that disease...
    ChocoboLocoon April 21, 2015   Link

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