"Spirits In The Material World" as written by and Gordon Matthew Sumner....
There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution

We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world

Our so-called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
They subjugate the meek
But it's the rhetoric of failure

We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world

Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it's something we can't buy
There must be another way

We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Spirits in the Material World" as written by Gordon Sumner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Spirits In The Material World song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThe material world has no importance, existence is a spiritual matter.
    chylandon December 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnd then there's the already mentioned 'Spirits In The Material World', with its memorable chorus and everything - I always get the feeling it's a bit too simplistic and Marley-ish compared to the rest of this stuff, but that's just me. It's still one of the best known Police tunes, so just shoot me.
    [George Starostin]
    sillybunnyon September 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust a softer form of Gnosticism (spirit-body separation) which has infected Eastern and Western thought for centuries.
    drds63on June 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThere is no political solution
    To our troubled evolution
    Have no faith in constitution
    There is no bloody revolution

    We are spirits in the material

    Means: Even though styles of governments have ascended to great power in recorded history, none of them have the solutions to the needs of human nature, and have all failed. One common trait in us humans is religion and the belief our spirits live on in an afterlife.

    Our so-called leaders speak
    With words they try to jail you
    They subjugate the meek
    But it's the rhetoric of failure

    Means: It is human nature to always reach for more power over our fellow human beans. The most successful way to do this is with political rhetoric. But like before in the song, there is no political solution, so it will fail.

    Where does the answer lie?
    Living from day to day
    If it's something we can't buy
    There must be another way

    Means: “where does the answer lie” Us humans don’t have the answer as to how to live, so political leaders both religious and secular have clever lies that they pass off as facts.
    “Living from day to day” —No one knows what tomorrow will bring.
    “If it's something we can't buy
    There must be another way”
    The monetary system us humans use is a reflection of our failed attempts at government----“there must be a another way”...
    chris2kon June 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionIt means we've become so materialistic that we don't see society crumbling around us. Our politicians are corrupt and we should start a revolution to return to the Constitution but we're more interested in getting that new Smart Phone that everyone else is getting. We are all spiritual beings and material things cannot fill our spiritual needs.
    joey503on May 09, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno one has commented on this song in 3 years now? insane!

    this song, along with the rest of the police's material and sting is brilliant. what an incredible song.

    no need for explanation.
    pikachu1559on December 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a pretty cool song. all the songs are good on this album.
    Tool_Rocks_666on October 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song's lyrics are pretty vague, despite the use of "big words" not usually found in songs - but whatever you say, Sting. Must be on the Synchronicity album, or however it's spelled, judging by its "anti-establishment" tone. What I find weird about this song is actually the final verse (Where does the.... be another way), where the tempo of the lyrics, the drums and the keyboards all go out of synch. I still can't get myself to teach my ear what the right tempo is during that verse, it's confusing.
    stoolhardyon November 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne unforgettable night
    You gave me such chill embraces
    As the snow covered heights
    Receive from clouds
    In northern Auroral nights
    A beautiful thing—alert—serene
    With passionate dreaming—wistful eyes
    Dark and deep as mysterious skies

    They say that love is a light thing
    A foolish thing
    A slight thing

    So I am with you to take your kiss
    And perhaps I value you more for this
    But whether you love me
    Who shall say
    Or whether you—drifting down my way
    In the great sad river of chance and change
    With your looks so weary and your words so strange
    Lit my soul from some hidden flame
    To passionate longing—without a name
    While every gust of the jungle night
    Was fanning the flame you set alight
    Whether I love you—you do not ask
    Nor waste yourself—on this thankless task
    In the little noon-tide of love’s delights
    Between two nights

    [paraphrased]
    sillybunnyon September 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWith at least equal sophistication [to De Do Do Do De Da Da Da], “Spirits in the Material World,” from the 1981 album Ghost in the Machine, was based on the writings of Arthur Koestler. Koestler’s text concerned the mind-body split, the relation between reason and imagination, and the potential for our higher logical functions to be overpowered by hate and anger. That is, to be swayed by the more primitive core brain structures enfolded from our earlier periods of “troubled evolution.” (Those primitive structures are the “ghost in the machine,” invisibly shaping our use of reason and language.) Attempted political, constitutional and revolutionary solutions to our world’s problems will ever run aground on that underlying penchant for destruction.

    [From Rock & Holy Rollers: The Spiritual Beliefs of Chart-Topping Rock Stars in Their Lives and Lyrics by Geoffrey D. Falk.]
    sillybunnyon September 21, 2006   Link

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