"Left To My Own Devices" as written by Neil Tennant and Christopher Lowe....
I get out of bed at half past ten
Phone up a friend, who's a party animal
Turn on the news and drink some tea
Maybe if you're with me we'll do some shopping

One day I'll read, or learn to drive a car
If you pass the test, you can beat the rest
But I don't like to compete, or talk street, street, street
I can pick up the best from the party animal

I could leave you, say goodbye
Or I could love you, if I try
And I could
And left to my own devices, I probably would
Left to my own devices, I probably would

Pick up a brochure about the sun
Learn to ignore what the photographer saw
I was always told that you should join a club
Stick with the gang, if you want to belong

I was a lonely boy, no strength, no joy
In a world of my own at the back of the garden
I didn't want to compete, or play out on the street
For in a secret life I was a round head general

I could leave you, say goodbye
Or I could love you, if I try
And I could
And left to my own devices, I probably would
Left to my own devices, I probably would
Oh, I would

I was faced with a choice at a difficult age
Would I write a book? Or should I take to the stage?
But in the back of my head I heard distant feet
Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat

It's not a crime when you look the way you do
The way I like to picture you
When I get home, it's late at night
I pour a drink and watch the fight

Turn off the TV, look at a book
Pick up the phone, fix some food
Maybe I'll sit up all night and day
Waiting for the minute I hear you say

I could leave you, say goodbye
Or I could love you, if I try
And I could
And left to my own devices, I probably would
Come on, baby, say goodbye
I could love you, if I try
And I could
And left to my own devices, I probably would
Left to my own devices, I probably would

Out of bed, at half past ten
The party animal phones a friend
Picks up news about the sun
And the working day has just begun

Sticks with the gang - at the back of the street
Pass the test - and don't compete

Drive the car, if you're with me
Che Guevara's drinking tea
He reads about a new device
And takes to the stage in a secret life

(Aaaaaaaah... ...ce)

Left to my own devices, I probably would
If I was left to my own devices, I possibly would

(Aaaaaaaah... ...ce)

If I was left to my own devices, I probably would
Left to my own devices, I probably would

I could leave you, say goodbye
Or I could love you, if I try
And I could
And left to my own devices, I probably would
Left to my own devices, I probably would
Come on, baby
Left to my own devices, I probably would



Lyrics submitted by Mopnugget

"Left to My Own Devices" as written by Neil Tennant Christopher Lowe

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Left To My Own Devices song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song makes me thing of a rich millionaire playboy who doesn’t really have a job or does much with his life. He gets up late, doesn’t have much to do, idle phones his friends, hangs out, shops.
    Also, he doesn’t seem to have many skills, and has always had other people and employees doing everything for him. He doesn’t drive because he has always had a chauffer and the line about reading means that he was also not outstanding in school.
    And because of his money and privileged life he doesn’t feel the need to be like other people, to have a job and to do all of these things. He also feels like he can be himself and not have to act cool, I think that the line ‘But I don't like to compete, or talk street, street, street’ means exactly that.
    The chorus is slightly different. I think that the entire song is addressed to his girlfriend, who he is emotionally distant from, and it’s an attempt to justify his lifestyle. In the chorus he is telling her that like all else in his life, she is also somewhat indifferent to him.
    He then goes on describing his lifestyle further, reading the gossip tabloids, about not fitting in even at a young age (maybe this is a reference to homosexuality). I think that the expression ‘round head general’ is a reference to Napoleon Bonaparte. He next talks about his teenage years and fantasies of becoming a writer or actor and philosophers, personalities and music that influenced him.
    The next line: ‘It's not a crime when you look the way you do
    The way I like to picture you’ makes me think that his girl friend is good looking and that is the only reason why he is with her. Then he describes a little more of his day. I think that it is a very interesting detail he uses the word ‘look’ in stead or ‘read’ when he is using a book.
    In the last part of the song he reveals that in fact he wishes his girlfriend to take charge and to help him give some direction to his meaningless life.
    corning1111on January 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is the pet shop boys we're talking about. It is also a guy who likes shopping. Therefore, I think that girlfriend would probably more likely be "boyfriend", right?
    Still, good analysis. I wouldn't have thought so hard myself
    louisagiffardon February 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is at least semi-biographical, in fact Tennant I believe admitted as such. Whether it was about him at the time, or when he was a much younger man (late teens/early twenties) I'm not sure. He wasn't sure about studying further, and he hadn't learnt to drive (I don't know whether he has now - he hadn't in his mid thirties) The roundhead general actually refers to the English Civil War, and Tennant loved History and used to play soldiers - but in fact he liked to play a cavalier (round head general sounding and rhyming a lot better I guess!) Neil also read somewhere, that Che Guevara was an extremely artistic man and loved music and acting. Neil later on realised he loved writing, and he also loved acting (he had been in a few school plays, including playing a woman in HMS Pinafore - all boys school!). However, deep down he wanted to write music.
    Is he 'talking' to Lowe/old boyfriend/old girlfriend (ye never know) or a fling he had once? Or just something to give it that sense of mystery but ultimately not pertaining to him? Whatever, its still a great track.
    honestfion August 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the chorus fits in with the song in the way that just as he could choose what to do today or in life, he could even choose how to feel about "you", "i could leave you -- i could love you"
    and parallel to the idea of the line "but in the back of my head...", he realizes that "left to (his) own devices he probably would"
    not sure what this means though... that he's still dependent on something, perhaps his own freedom to do whatever he wants? if he didn't have - wasn't bound to having - all these options, he would love him/her?
    brilliantdayson August 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is about a man who grew up in a world of make believe and never felt apart of something. He is disconnected from humanity.

    Now that he has grown he is divided by this feeling of ambivalence. He see's everybody around him engrossed in their little world whereas he has no real opinion on anything and is just going through the motions.

    He can make himself believe whatever he wants but ultimately he doesn't.
    rdandyon December 14, 2011   Link

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