"Group Four" as written by Robert Del Naja, Grantley Marshall, Andrew Lee Isaac Vowles and Elizabeth Fraser....
A flask I drink of sober tea
While relay cameras monitor me
And the buzz surrounds it does
Buzz surrounds
Buzz surrounds

Closed eyed sky wide open
Unlimited girl unlimited sigh
Elsewhere
Indefinitely
Far away
Magnifies and deepens
Ready to sing
My sixth sense peacefully place on my breath
And listening

Keys swing from my hand

My ears know that my eyes are closed

Perish thoughs like contraband
I train myself in martial arts
As advertised
I reinforce my softened parts
As advertised

See through me little glazed lane
A world in myself
Ready to sing
My sixth sense peacefully place on my breath

Flickering I roam

And listening
My ears know that my eyes are closed
Ready to sing
My sixth sense peacefully place on my breath

Flickering I roam

And listening
My ears know that my eyes are closed

I see to bolts
For key to locks
No boat are rocked
I'm free to roam
Among dummy screens
And magazines

Closed eyed sky wide open
Unlimited girl unlimited sigh

To think that I lay next to you
Wasting time when I could do
A simple job in strip lights
A flask I drink a sober tea
'Till daylight sends me home
Flickering I roam

Daydreaming admiring being
Quietly, open the world
I hear the time of the starry sky
Turning over at midnight
Seen through me little glazed lane
A world in myself
Daydreaming admiring being
Quietly, open the world
I hear the time of the starry sky
Turning over at midnight


Lyrics submitted by Seven

"Group Four" as written by Robert Del Naja Elizabeth Fraser

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Group Four song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +4
    Song MeaningYeah, it's about a security guard. More specifically, it's about a security guard basically living out his days in the darkness with a security system that, by the lyrics, seems to border on having sentience. He's sipping his tea, watching the monitors, thinking about all the other things in his life that he could be doing, and then throwing those thoughts away because he's not hired to think. Ultimately he feels pretty listless about this whole thing, daydreaming the hours away.

    Meanwhile the security system of the building is living a simple life. There are cameras and alarms and whatever else connected up to its "brain" like a nervous system. It views the security guard as its God (which is actually pretty interesting if you think about the similarities in pronunciation with some English accents.) This security system, again having its own little thoughts, is pondering its own function and waiting for the moment can it can be of some use (ready to sing, ready to set off the alarms or whatever else if someone breaks in.)

    Then in the last portion of the song, something mysterious begins happening...It may be that an intruder finally does show up. Or maybe not. But whatever it is, the song takes on a spiritual, ritualistic, orgasmic quality as the security system plunges into a growing frenzy. Its little electric heart is beating faster and faster and faster as it repeatedly prays to its security guard god to open up the world, to bring something down. You can almost see a woman dancing in the moonlight with a long staff in her hand.

    The security system desires this thing more and more and more until finally ------

    Ahhhhhhhh... release!

    Apparently God the Security Guard heard the prayer. In the regular world, in meat-space, this prayer was probably just some kind of notifier on a screen. Totally mundane. You see, he's so busy feeling listless, so busy daydreaming, that he has no idea what kind of world exists right under his nose.

    There you go. That's Group Four.
    Shogaron May 03, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song really turns me on
    it's on my sexy playlist
    :3
    YellowNumberFiveon January 13, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOk this is what i feel about this song. There are two different stories here.
    One one side we have this simple guy, working on the night shift of a security company, monitorizing and doing control walks on some kind of building. He is really tired of this job (fisical and mentally) and he dreams about being out.

    On the other side there is this great vocalist girl, getting ready for going out on a show. She just dreams about being on stage and is doing some warm ups.

    The climax of the song belongs to both of them. They reach the same feelings by accomplishing such different dreams in such different situations and I think this is what the song is all about. There is no recipe or guide to reach determined feelings, and even the most opposite people are the same sometimes...
    ezekhiel2517on November 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI dunno why, but this song just strikes a chord in me. For some reason whenever I feel really low or blue I just put it on and I get lost in it. I think it has something to do with how it builds up and just explodes at the end, almost spiritual.
    junocakeon March 27, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, Mezzanine is somewhat of a concept album, entirely about sex. Group Four , specifically after 5 minutes in, is the 'climax' of the entire album, lasting until the end of the song.
    seventyfouron April 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with 'junocake' so much, it has a spiritual element that you can so easily get lost in. To me, that is what the song is about. About being so lost in love, depression, thought or whatever that you become distant and in your own world. Most of the verses conjure up this image in me of a person standing completely still while the world around them is going at 1,000 mph. Its about being lost in yourself, in the calm eye of the storm.

    There's a confusion I get out of it too though, which is why I think of it as being about love. He "trains himself in martial arts...to reinforce his softer parts" as a means of toughening himself up, yet at the same time he "see[s] to bolts [and] puts keys to locks" as if he wants to shut himself away from it altogether.

    Yeah, I think its about love and being lost in it. But I suppose the beauty of it is that anyone can relate to it in any different way. I personally can't see the depression aspect to it though.
    Miscellaneouson May 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentClearly this song is about working as a security guard. The reference to the security company Group Four suggests this. Alongside:
    - "relay cameras"
    - "sober tea"
    - "martial arts"

    Don't forget Mezzanine is an album about paranoia. One could only imagine the paranoia a security guard feels when he's not

    feeling up to the job. "My ears know that my eyes are closed" suggests the guard is lax on the job. Infact, in all probability, this is

    probably a song about severe cannabis / meth psychosis, where the security guard must allow his mind to wander, yet still do his

    job correctly.

    "Flickering I roam" suggests a kind of twilight zone between the guard's imagination and the real-world.
    Furthermore, the "glazed lane" sees a "world" inside the guard's mind, as if to suggest he can navigate "Far away", "Elsewhere", but still attend to what's happening around him.

    Overall I think the song's about playing the role of Big Brother, but the real Big Brother makes sure you suffocate from trying to immitate him. The song's about How you can't be yourself for one minute without someone seeing what you're doing. How we need a "sixth sense" to intuit the world because our five senses have been compromised by mass surveillance.

    Two mentions of Light are seen aswell. "Daylight" & "Striplight". Alternatively the song could be about his lover requiring him to work a shitty night job, as opposed to a "simple job in striplights", where he could be happy. Yet the fact he says "Daylight sends me home" implies when he finishes work, he is happy. Overall the song is a message of hope. That no matter how bad your working circumstances are, that there is Light at the end of it all!
    popeyexoxon June 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI do think he is a security guard, but he works in a mental hospital or a home, over night, where this girl is staying. She's catatonic due to injury or mental illness, except every now and then she sings, and she beautiful. And he is taken with her. "To think that I lay next to you..." when I could be doing something else other than this job (a simple job in strip lights...maybe some sort of construvtion job). And when the day comes, his shift is up and he goes home...flickering I roam. I always picture him, on a closed circuit B&W monitor, walking the hallways, the picture kind of grainy...flickering I roam.
    ptrap555on January 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthaving a lot of experience with psychosis and extreme mental stressors (5-6 days without sleep is more intense than ANY drug), This song sums up the way that it feels. You're in a world of your own, free to do as you wish. Anything is possible. Yet, at the same time, it feels like a hell you're trapped in for two reasons: it's made up, and you know that it's back to the same old normal crap afterward. When you return to normal, however, it feels just as surreal as the "imaginary" does.

    I'm not sure if that's well defined, but it's exactly how this song plays off.
    Emblaon March 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGroup 4 is still around. It's called G4S now (Group 4 Securicor). G4S doesn't just do your everyday security guard stuff. They have warzone force protection contracts (like Blackwater/Xe, Dyncorp, etc.). I'm heading out to Kosovo with them soon, then hopefully Afghanistan at some point.

    I like this song both for the music, and that it strikes a chord with me. I feel like it's talking about being a little bored with the monotony of your current security assignment, but still feeling the call of adventure and action around the world pushing you to roam. Not being able to escape it because it's all you think about anymore (even during sex, when he says "To think that I lay next to you / Wasting time when I could do / A simple job in strip lights"). Strikes home to me since I chose to be with a girlfriend instead of taking a nice assignment, and she ended up cheating on me later. So it was just wasting time.

    I've heard this song's supposed to be critical of G4S, but I don't hear it that way and I love it; the lines "I train myself in martial arts / As advertised / I reinforce my softened parts / As advertised" give me a laugh every time. And I interpreted the "free to roam... and magazines" to be magazines of firearms, as if your ammo is your "passport". A great song with a James Bond movie intro sound to it.
    5cardcharlieon December 04, 2009   Link

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