sort form Submissions:
Radiohead – Jigsaw Falling into Place Lyrics 1 year ago
Thom, like most of us half crazy cats, likes getting drunk and dancing. Things make sense in the dance, hence the jigsaw falling into place even while the walls are bending out of shape. It's a weapon against the present tense, a brief moment where you're no longer wound up like a spring. The protagonist walks home alone, seeking connection but only meeting CCTV lenses and clocking some girl who glances back (because she fancies him, or fears him?). The ambivalence of confidence (just as you write my number down) and paranoia (you've got a Cheshire Cat grin) are the theme of the song. Lots of Thom's lyrics are about altered, schizophrenic or dream states, and this is one of the finest examples.

Linkin Park – In The End Lyrics 1 year ago
Hi, I'm David, aka Liminal2. I wrote the top voted comment back in 2011 when I was having a really tough time. Like you, I am heartbroken losing Chester just two months after Chris Cornell. Keep your heads down and your eyes on the road my friends, these are difficult times. If you feel you can't take it any more, before you do anything drastic please message me on here and I will reply. We must help each other through these dark times. Peace, love and unity :)

Radiohead – There There. (The Boney King of Nowhere.) Lyrics 2 years ago
one of the most enduring Radiohead songs that rewards repeated listening, as well as arguably their most profound video. Throughout his lyrics, Thom has created a psychic landscape full of disturbing figures - nervous messed up marionettes on a prison ship (Optimistic), the man who talks in maths and buzzes like a fridge (Karma Police), the man whose mouth only moves with someone's hand up his ass (Bodysnatchers). But the ultimate nightmare is the unseen malevolent presence (because in nightmares we are often running from something we cannot see that fills us with terror). I think it's too simply to just say 'The Boney King of Nowhere = God.' There is certainly the idea of somebody stumbling on blindly in a Godless world, lost without the cathartic narrative structure for life that any religion can provide. And in this Godless world there are enticing distractions - in fact, gaining a beautiful partner has become the prime goal for many people in modern life, leading to shipwreck as we become aware of that false and futile struggle. Yet there must be something more magical and profound - the shining coat and boots in the video. And all the while there is the disturbing feeling that the whole environment, Sirens and all, are part of some unseen being's malevolent design.'Heaven sent you to me' is incongruous in this context, and we come to be suspicious of even the most fortuitous events (to me? to me?). The title 'There, There' is ironic - the protagonist cannot be pacified, he is constantly aware of this nightmarish presence and trying to point it out - There, There, look! Of course, it never reveals itself - the nightmarish presence is conscious awareness itself.

The idea that our strings are being pulled for perverse pleasure by some unseen being is the most disturbing thought in our consciousness, and rarely discussed outside of Radiohead or certain philosophers like Schopenhauer. We are accidents waiting to happen in a treacherous and dark psychic landscape that bears most resemblance to Dante's Inferno.

Dry The River – Weights & Measures Lyrics 3 years ago
Most powerful break up song ever? It has been for me anyway. Lead singer Peter Liddle does like to reference literature and mix his metaphors but so what, it works perfectly. We've got Arthurian legend, the humble woodcutter figure (from Grimm's fairytales?) whose internal life finally gets told, the oxymoron of 'the coldest star in the sky' (I think of Lord Byron's incredible poem 'Darkness' here, please read it!). Yes, we have poetry. But we also have scenes that all us 21st century people are familiar with - putting old records on after the break-up, the dabblling with religion (rosary beads), and of course that killer first line full of both bravado and dejection - 'you've made your decision, now get up and leave.' The only other lyricist to get this balance is Jeff Buckley, and Peter Liddle owes him a big debt but actually outdoes him on this track. I'm sure all Dry the River fans know his stuff, but on the outside chance that you don't then you need his first LP Grace in your life.

Linkin Park – In The End Lyrics 4 years ago
@[Shadowtalons17:70], yes you're right there is a whole interpersonal relationship angle in the second verse - I read it as a son rejecting a father's controlling influence. The father acts like the son is 'part of his property' and an extension of his own ego. But the great thing about this song is that the personal level (father putting pressure on son to conform and achieve) is intertwined with the wider societal pressure I talked about in my first comment (pressure to achieve with the clock ticking away your youth, and the internalisation of failure). So the bridge lyrics 'I put my trust in you' could mean trusting the father's egocentric plans for him, or it could mean 'you' the societal system which he rebels against by joining a metal band. It's like when Rage Against the Machine say 'fuck you I won't do what you tell me' - is 'you' a person, or an entire system of control and conformism? Complex ideas need complex words and sentence structures, and I think it's rather patronizing to say that everyone who voted my original comment up was just blinded by vocabulary. Perhaps they found it refreshing to read a comment on here that doesn't just say 'it's about a relationship'?

Kings of Leon – Cold Desert Lyrics 6 years ago
The desert is a grand metaphor for the psychological isolation of the individual, particularly men who are conditioned to hide emotion. It's 'cold in the desert, water never sees the ground' - is a metaphorical version of 'I never cried when I was feeling down' - i.e. this man struggles to show feeling. But yet the song is rich with his psychological dilemmas - 'there's no-one here to carry my load,' 'I'm too young to feel this old.' But nobody sees this inner struggle but him, and it is notable that these are existential dilemmas. Personally I have never found a woman I can talk to about these weights on my mind (does God exist? Have I been here many times before and I am in fact thousands of years old? that sort of thing).

Such a powerful song, by far my favourite on the album and the most heartfelt - I always put it on those nights when I some girl has completely failed to 'find' me through the 'cold desert' of a cool exterior that I developed to protect myself but which has progressively isolated me emotionally from other people. I love the way the song fades out and in again with Caleb almost wailing at the. Reminds me, in a way, of Kurt Cobain trying to get the pain out in the wails at the end of some tracks on Nevermind. Beautiful song.

Elton John – Rocket Man Lyrics 6 years ago
That is an excellent analysis of the song and one of the best paragraphs on alienation that I've ever read. Good job dude.

Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness Lyrics 6 years ago
Hey, it was cool to come back and find you'd added another post. I like your interpretation of the 'kicks' line, but I've been thinking about it a bit more and it seems ambivalent. There is also 'kicks' in the sense of 'give somebody a kicking', which reminds me of Richey's lyric 'at least a beaten dog knows how to lie.' I think a lot of Richey's lyrics were to do with his inability to just conform, 'shut up and be still' (as goes the demon headmaster's voice in Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall). The lyric 'If you stand up like a nail you will be knocked down' from 'Faster' is another good example of this. But Richey is full of fight in Motorcycle Emptiness, and 'all we want from you are the kicks you've given us' suggests he needs the conformist culture there so he can kick back against it - that gives him a feeling of revolutionary heroism that I think we all get when we 'kick against the pricks' (an old English idiom).

Interestingly, that lyric from Faster is a Japanese idiom, and the Motorcycle Emptiness video was filmed in Shinjuku, Tokyo where I used to live. The Manics had a massive fanbase out there and I think Richey often had the Japanese in mind when thinking about the challenges of self-expression in a rigid and conformist society.

Interesting that you came at the Manics from 'This is my truth...' - a great place to start, and a very beautiful and personal album though different from the earlier ones - less political, more personal, kind of like comparing Radiohead's 'In Rainbows' with 'Hail to the Thief.' 'Little Empire' and 'Be Natural' stand out for me, though it is one of those rare albums without a dud track on it.

Anyway, good to hear from you again, mail me any thoughts you have about anything as you are so perceptive and articulate that it is a pleasure to read your posts.

Muse – Citizen Erased Lyrics 6 years ago
That is an excellent and well articulated interpretation. I wish more people would bother to take the time to write something insightful when posting comments on here.

The song is indeed a compressed story about brainwashing and self-policing in modern politcally correct society, and Matt Bellamy often underlines how closely our modern reality mirrors the dystopian fiction of the previous generations (of which 1984 is the most famous but Frederick Forsythe's hi-tech spy thrillers and of course the seminal sci-fi movie Metropolis are examples).

I'll look out for more insights from you.

Radiohead – Reckoner Lyrics 7 years ago
I think you've got it, except that 'Because we separate/Like ripples on a BLACK shore' makes more sense to me when seen in context of the song itself, and Thom's world of imagery in general. If the 'Reckoner' is death and the repeated line 'Can't take it with you' is a reminder of the transitoriness of this world, then a black shore makes sense. Death is the great unknown, the undiscover'd country (to quote Hamlet), the darkness beyond life. Thom's preoccupation with death around the corner stretches back to the early tracks like Killer Cars (with a refrain in The Tourist), Street Spirit of course, and then newer ones like Reckoner and Videotape. Beyond that though, there is a beauty in these lines that is difficult to analyse or describe - like T.S. Eliot or dare I say it even Shakespeare's finest lines, they approach something holy. A 'blank' shore suggest that Thom's decided there is no life after death, but from the whole body of his lyrics I would conclude he is agnostic (death is an unknown) rather than atheist (death is the end).

Manic Street Preachers – Motown Junk Lyrics 7 years ago
I was killing a few minutes at work reading an interview with Simon Cowell yesterday. This colossal figurehead of the f*ckwits said, and I quote, "funnily enough it's only this year that I've started to even listen to lyrics for the first time. Swear to God. For me, they were like wallpaper. I never took any notice of them." What a moron. I immediately thought of the Manics' articulate attack on this modern culture of complete moronity in 'Motown Junk.' This song is more relevant now than it ever was - I reckon it should be used to trounce this year's Christmas song crap like we did with Rage's 'Killing in the name' a couple of years ago.

Manic Street Preachers – I'm Not Working Lyrics 7 years ago
Listening to 'This is My Truth Tell Me Yours' again this evening. What a brave album - I remember having a bit of an argument with my NME-loving stepbrother about it, when NME slated the album and he said the Manics had fallen off. As far as I'm concerned he's a groupthink moron and this is their second-best album, with the large-scale politics put aside for a minute and the personal-is-political becoming the focus (the war veteran from La Tristessa reappearing in 'If you Tolerate This', the lyrical genius of My Little Empire). And some of the songs are not political at all - these songs are by far the best examples of Nicky Wire's writing before he got tired and cliched ('Autumnsong' from Send Away the Tigers being a particularly cringeworthy example). But here, 'Born a Girl', 'Be Natural' and 'I'm not Working' are lyrically incisive, scathingly honest and emotionally undiluted. James and Sean's instrumentation is lilting, aching and sympathetic - totally different to anything prior to this record, save perhaps 'Little Black Flowers' from EMG. The reverb/echo in 'I'm not working' emphasises the emptiness felt in the lyric 'just this fucking space', and this along with Pearl Jam's 'Unemployable' are the only songs I know that tackle this deep-set human fear. Beautiful.

Radiohead – Videotape Lyrics 7 years ago
It's not necessarily a religious track - 'pearly gates' is simply an old English euphemism for death. What makes this song so brilliant is the way it telescopes the concept of death and the phenomenon of Big Brother's CCTV into one paranoid mindset. This is the modern hell - the fear of being always watched and recorded. We also record and replay our own actions in our minds and subject them to judgement, and we use recording technology to seal off our emotions - 'I can't do this face to face'. The last line transcends the despair in the song with the reminder that there are moments worth recording, moments that remain always blissful, untainted by the judgement of ourselves or the imagined judgement of others. Actually I think the last line is the weakest, trying to salvage something positive at the end when the rest of the song is a brave unblinkered examination of the human condition in modern society. Not quite Street Spirit, then, but almost.

The Temper Trap – Fools Lyrics 7 years ago
Beautiful song, sung by an angel, about the fact that most other people are, as the title boldly states, fools. Fools put you down, fools sh*t on your dreams, fools don't know who you are, fools think they have some god-given right to judge the way you live your life. 'Fool' also happens to be my favourite cuss word, and this song's euphoric tones belie the fact that it is a big up-yours to all of Dougy's haters, those who said he couldn't be what he is. The second part is about how if you don't succeed it doesn't matter - 'sometimes the things we build to fall.' And when you have songs as sublime as this, you can feel almost invincible despite it all.

Levellers – The Boatman Lyrics 7 years ago
The Levellers capture a fast disappearing England, charting the time when the criminal justice bill was brought about to keep people from reconnecting with nature and non-capitalist life. The Boatman does this most powerfully, and its gentle pace belies the power of its anti-capitalist statement. 'Success' is discovering your own personality and lifestyle (for him it's being a boatman), not some urban Gucci little piggy lifestyle which seems to be all that anyone can conceptualise these days.

This song becomes more poignant as the years go on, school playing fields are turned into construction sites and urbanity continues to sprawl. Good to see that 20 years later folk music and all it stands for is back in the mainstram again via Mumford&Sons, Laura Marling and best of all Stornoway. if you like the Levellers you'll love Stornoway, go check 'em out if you haven't already.

Radiohead – Fitter Happier Lyrics 7 years ago
These lyrics shift from the irony of 'comfortable' to the unmasked horror 'a pig in a cage on antibiotics'. It is the voice of an intelligent human being trying and failing to convince themselves that the tenets of advanced capitalism hold any truth. Here's my breakdown:

Fitter, happier, more productive, comfortable, not drinking too much=
On the surface these things are self-improving. Remember that we start at the ironic end of the narrative arc in these lyrics. Being healthy (in the context of the whole lyrics) only serves The Machine (since people who suddenly pop it are most inconvenient to economic productivity)

Regular exercise at the gym, 3 days a week=
Treadmill, machine-like functioning of humans, the rat race. Thom's lyrics work by collapsing the boundary between reality and metaphor.

Getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries at ease =
There carefully selects 'associates employees contemporaries' instead of 'friends or family'. The relationships that Thom chooses to mention are arbitrary, uniquely modern and functions of the Marxist cash nexus. This helps emphasise the irony of 'At ease' - how can we feel easy with a constant onslaught of strangers that we need to socially negotiate?

Eating well, no more microwave dinners and saturated fats=
A deep suspicion of informed broadsheet readers. Instant meals are (typically) eaten by the 'lower classes', but what Thom is questioning here is the supposed 'you are what you eat' idiom. The implication is you could eat healthily and still be dehumanised in The Machine.

A patient, better driver, a safer car, baby smiling in back seat=
- see Wisemeister's excellent analysis

Sleeping well, no bad dreams, no paranoia=
Concept of an infinitely deferred ideal state of being. Thom often comes back to it - 'Nice Dream' being the prime example - but later embraces it as his lyrics increasingly draw on dreams - Pyramid Song, Sail to the Moon, Weird Fishes.

Careful to all animals, never washing spiders down the plughole
= Seems genuinely caring and compassionate. But what about the coming mass extinction?

Keep in contact with old friends, enjoy a drink now and then
= keys back to the earlier line about associates and contemporaries. As JIm in Ricky Gervais' The Office says 'you spend more time with these people than you do with your real friends and family.'

Will frequently check credit at moral bank, hole in wall
Great, great lyric. In a world obsessed with numbers, looking at life as a ledger. The implication is that some things cannot be measured so simplistically.

Favors for favors, fond but not in love
Interesting conjunction of these lines, as 'favors for favors' belongs to the workplace - is Thom suggesting that this kind of self-serving attitude has infiltrated personal relationships?

Charity standing orders on Sundays ring road supermarket
= token generosity approved by society. Otherwise, people are selfish habitual consumers.

No killing moths or putting boiling water on the ants=
see 'careful to all animals'

Car wash, also on Sundays, no longer afraid of the dark or mid-day shadows
= I always think of my dickhead Dad washing and waxing his Jag on a Sunday afternoon. What a nob.

Nothing so ridiculously teenage and desperate, nothing so childish
= the pressure to conform to the modern definition of maturity. A very problematic idea.

At a better pace, slower and more calculated, no chance of escape
= Change from irony to direct address. Here the protagonist realises the difficulty of escape from the brainwashing whilst in a 'comfortable' state.

Now self-employed, concerned, but powerless
= identifying the recent phenomenon of self-employment as a bid for freedom after some awakening in The Machine - but the self-employed find themselves powerless against market forces, multinational corporations and the banks.

An empowered and informed member of society, pragmatism not idealism
= the dilution of personal politics. One of the Manic Street Preacher's favourite topics - see their 'Everything Live' video, where James Dean Bradfield shouts (ironically) 'pragmatism, not idealism' at the end of 'Motown Junk.'

Will not cry in public, less chance of illness, tires that grip in the wet
These ideas centre around keeping your grip - the modern deluded idea that You are in control

Shot of baby strapped in back seat, a good memory, still cries at a good film
= our humanity reduced to a cliche, a selling point in an advert, a moment of Brave New World emotion at the movies before getting back to The Machine

Still kisses with saliva, no longer empty and frantic like a cat tied to a stick
= protagonist starts to lose the plot. He/she is waking up in the matrix, realising the awful truth that little moments of reassurance (kissing) can no longer mask what's underneath (fear of being drowned by malevolent forces)

That's driven into frozen winter shit, the ability to laugh at weakness
Calm fitter, healthier and more productive, a pig in a cage on antibiotics
= The protagonist sways between two realities, trying to recall the original 'comfortable' reality (fitter happier), but unable to stabilise as the grim reality has now been seen (modern humans are not much more than an drugged up experiment)

Radiohead – Fitter Happier Lyrics 7 years ago
Hi, excellent analysis, nothing ridiculous about it at all. That's exactly the kind of media snippet that Thom would pick up on. Being stoned can help reach these insights, but with practise you can see clearly when totally sober. 'Fitter Happier' is undoubtedly about coercion and manipulation by advertising and market forces - 'on Sundays ring road supermarket' being my favourite line as it pre-empted Ikea culture. As Thom once said, 'nobody uses words like happy and sad. Unless they're in advertising', which could be used as a subtitle to Fitter Happier. Explore all Radiohead songs in the way that you have with this one, and you stand a fighting chance of escaping the encroaching darkness.

Tori Amos – Sugar Lyrics 7 years ago
Agreed. Tori really wrenches the guts out of a song live, and the live version is also mixed down properly so it doesn't have those annoying sibilant hi-hats from the original B-side recording.

Tori Amos – Bliss Lyrics 7 years ago
That is probably the best breakdown of a Tori song I have ever read. Absolutely spot on - the enduring appeal of Tori is the allusions sustained across her career. It's very difficult to lay these down in an easily readable way, so hats off to you!

Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life Lyrics 7 years ago
I saw Leonard Cohen in London a couple of years ago as my aunt had a spare ticket. Obviously I'd heard some of his songs before but the show was entrancing. I couldn't believe I hadn't explored his music properly before. This song really got me, and I find myself singing it in the back of my mind when I'm smiling at some inane colleague of mine that I'd rather kick in the eye (to borrow a line from The Smiths), the days when an ex-girlfriend from a decade ago won't get out of my head. How many of us feel like this but can never speak it? At least we have songs like these as a sort of consolation.

Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness Lyrics 7 years ago
Hi lateleigh,
Looks like we could have a long-running discussion about the depths of this song, if we post replies once a month! Not sure how old you are but I'm guessing you first heard this song as a kid or a teenager, and it articulated a lot of thoughts that weren't quite fully formed in your head at that time. It's great to know that it's led to positive action in your life, being less wasteful and so on. It has certainly been a fundamental part of me steering a path away from consumerism. The thing about great songs like this is that they gain relevance rather than lose relevance as I get older. The lines 'Your joys are counterfeit/ This happiness corrupt political shit' rolls around my head a lot lately, as I slowly awake in the matrix and realise how our political system is inextricably tied to the corporations, that we are just fodder to consume and be consumed in this terrible modern machine. All 'democracy' means is the freedom to compete tooth and nail against each other, scraping a living wage if we're lucky, which we have no choice but to put in the bank for the wankers to play roulette with at the high-stakes stocks and shares gambling table. And with the little money we do have left after all the bills and the fat cats have been paid, we are free to become addicted to the consumer crap piled on every corner. And we hold this way of living up to the rest of the world as if this will make people free and happy. The joy is counterfeit, but it's an incredibly convincing and all-encompassing illusion that North African and Middle Eastern states are clamoring and willing to die for right now. I have no doubt that living under a dictator is awful in different ways, but if only we could translate Motorcycle Emptiness into all the local languages and post it somewhere for them to see on facebook and twitter. Then they might see that going from feudal serf to spender doesn't allow the people to become free of the masterfully planned machine, it only changes their function within it. Amazing how just one line of this song can encapsulate all of that for me. One line that hasn't quite come to fruition for me yet is 'all we want from you is the kicks you've given us'. What's your take on that line?

Glasvegas – Euphoria, Take My Hand Lyrics 7 years ago
More than anything, this song reminds me why I love, love, love indie music. Glasvegas make no apology for their bombastic, overemotional wrenching out of all the feelings that we have to stuff down inside ourselves every day in this world where nobody can really communicate with anyone about anything that's eating them up inside. Of course, when the box gets crammed full and the lid finally blows off, a few fine people can channel the explosive energy and you get great music. I'd go with the previous comment that this is about getting hooked on ecstasy after losing love. That's what I did, living up in Scotland for a year or so, going to that euphoric pilled-up place with my Glasgow clubbing buddies every weekend. We knew it wouldn't last. We knew we were all in serious psychic pain, even with the openness of ecstasy we couldn't really open up to each other, but at least there was some kind of mutual understanding there. We've all lost touch with each other now. I recently lost the friendship of a girl I've known half my life because the unrequited love became too unbearable for me, and I've been back on a bit of a clubbing, drink and drugs bender again the last few months. This is my life, I accept it, but without songs like this one I don't know where I'd be. I've been singing it over and over at the top of my lungs on my bike on late-night cycles home - I probably look completely mental, but maybe I might be able to release a little of the pain of passing by all the wonderful people of this world, those I've loved and wronged and lost, those who wronged me, those I met briefly in the depths of a club and shared a handshake and a few heartfelt words with, all of our generation with our divorced and warring parents and our resultant disturbed psychological states that make it difficult for us to sustain relationships. I often recall a line from the film 'American Splendor' - 'Why is life so beautiful, and so sad?' That is the feeling of euphoria that Glasvegas have captured here. Hope it does something equally powerful for you. Thanks for reading!

Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness Lyrics 7 years ago
Awesome - we are most definitely on the same page here. While I've got a lot of time for later Manics' stuff, Motorcycle Emptiness is and will always be their finest hour. Glad to see that other people can use it as a platform to articulate their suspicions that capitalism is crap... as the video was filmed in Shinjuku (Tokyo), I think the Japanese expression' ganbarimasu' is particularly appropriate here. Let's look forward to someone's analysis of the last verse...

The Killers – All These Things That I've Done Lyrics 7 years ago
Interesting that some people are (quite rightly) reading this as Brandon going beyond the Christian missionary way of life as a way of delivering The Message. Coldplay's Chris Martin has adopted this song as his favourite cover version and - lo and behold - he was a devout Bible-basher in his teens. I know this because an old colleague used to share a dormitory with him at boarding school and Chris would try and convert them to the ways of the Lord every night.
And we got some proper good tunes out of their enlightenment too!

Glasvegas – Geraldine Lyrics 7 years ago
Absolute blinder. I remember my mate saying 'and after all that, it turns out he's talkin about his social worker!' This song onl gets more relevant in these days of cutbacks, the bullshit big society and the massive cry for help that you can hear everywhere you turn your ear.

Soundgarden – Zero Chance Lyrics 8 years ago
One of the most enduring songs from my teenage years. 'Why doesn't anyone believe in loneliness' becomes more relevant as time goes on and we're all caught up in the whole facebook mobile phone network thing. But in reality the quality of human relationships is deteriorating. It's a shame Chris Cornell got caught up the MTV image thing and lost these flashes of genius.

Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness Lyrics 8 years ago
This song is as strong as it was when I first heard it almost two decades ago. And you can't say that about many songs. Hence the extended analysis. Indulge me.

Encapsulates the two key strands of the modern language dilemma. One, cultural appropriation renders language meaningless - hence 'no-one uses words like 'happy' and 'sad', do they? Unless they're in advertising' (Thom Yorke). Two, according to Foucault language always operates within the boundaries of acceptable discourse, hence in this present culture ageing, death and meaningless and the like are sucked into a void - or more literally, we catch the words in our throats and suck them back down rather than say the unacceptable.

A key theme in the early Manics albums - consumerist goods equal degradation and self-loathing rather than self-empowerment as purported by advertising. 'Feed yourself smiles' emphasises the vicious circle of low-self-worth leading to consumer binges that allow only the briefest satisfaction - anything from a Big Mac to heroin, it's the same psychology.

This equals the Machiavellian doctrine of divide and rule. Consumer culture and material hierarchy create division between the people which weakens them and staves off revolution. But Richey is referring to the application of this principle across history, as the 'us and them' mentality has always been the most effective tool of social control.

A difficult line. The violence suggests the brutality in a third world state, such as the anecdotes from my physiotherapist this evening about Gambian police beating citizens with no prevarication. But Richey was not afraid to use the Plathian technique of linking large scale atrocity to mental states of torture. So in this case the 'ghetto' is also a mental state, a feeling of enslavement or debilitation in an increasingly impersonal and dehumanising society.

Tying the first verse together. Consumerism, tribalism and culture all purport to empower the individual and confer a sense of identity, but in fact cheapen and degrade the individual and mask their worthless in a system that requires disposable robots.

These lines really hit home when the song came on my Ipod randomly as I watched the sun rise over Shinjuku, Tokyo. Only later did I discover that the video for Motorcycle Emptiness was filmed here. What I saw from my vantage point 20 floors up was young Japanese dudes and their girls on these outlandish big motorbikes straight out of a comic book, Tokyo neon all around. Cool as f*ck - and devoid of any purpose or meaning whatsoever. Underneath all the clothes, the posing and the 'movie of my life' is the gaping awareness of our own significance and the sense of fruitlessness in a world teetering on the brink of self-extinction.

Anyone fancy having a go at the next verse?

Linkin Park – In The End Lyrics 8 years ago
This song taps into a universal concern: hyper-awareness of time and the inculcated need to do something 'constructive' with it. Most of us spend most of our lives in a dilemma just trying to decide what course of action to take from the debilitating infinity of possibilities supposedly within our grasp. Remember that time didn't exist for most people even 100 years ago, at least not in terms of the seconds ticking by with the 'pendulum swinging'. Time is a modern invention, and along with the atomisation of human 'society' and the dehumanising effects of technology, accounts for the anxiety of the post-war generations. If you do the maths, the population has expanded massively while opportunities have only increased slightly, despite the big lie that there are opportunities for all if you just try hard enough. This song is about the realisation of this lie, and the unquenchable anger that is directed towards the self in this individualistic age. This is the greatest achievement of the neo-liberal capitalist democracy - we are supposedly free and unbounded so when we fail we beat ourselves up instead of having social revolutions. For me, this song is the greatest emotional evocation of this dire mental situation, and is best served up with a dose of early Manic Street Preachers for the intellectual and political side of things.

Linkin Park – In The End Lyrics 8 years ago
I've read a lot of comments on here, but never replied to any til I read yours. I can't believe you're just 12, you are emotionally articulate already and you sound way older than your years. You are clearly a highly intelligent and passionate person, you will go far. I know what you mean about this song, it has so much power and it's probably my favourite song this century. It's worrying that you know so much about pain already, but I'm glad that this song motivates you and keeps you going. There are tough times ahead, but remember that you are invincible with songs like this in your armour. Enjoy the ride of adolescence - it's an adventure so don't worry if you get lost sometimes, just put this song on and it will all make sense again.

Manic Street Preachers – Yourself Lyrics 8 years ago
On the Manics 'Everything Live' VHS tape from the mid 90s, in the closing bars of Motown Junk, James Dean Bradfield rants 'we live in urban hell, with new fragrances of Paco Raban aftershave every weekend.' Although Richey and Nicky write the lyrics, the band's durability lies in the strength of their shared beliefs. Otherwise JDB wouldn't be a band with two guys who could hardly play their instruments (in the early days at least). Modern capitalism is a meaningless empty and degrading ritual that preys on people's deepest insecurities, hence 'free scent burns your skin' - exploding the advertising myth that aftershave enhances your attractiveness to the opposite sex, when all you're actually doing is degrading yourself- 'everyone is perfect and you're so lame.' One of the greatest things about the Manics is that they gain relevance over time unlike most bands which fade with the zeitgeist. I stand in Boots thinking 'which man moisturiser should I buy' and hating myself for attaching any importance to such things. Wherever Richey is now, thank god he gave us these lyrics before he went.

Manic Street Preachers – Yourself Lyrics 8 years ago
On the Manics 'Everything Live' VHS tape from the mid 90s, in the closing bars of Motown Junk, James Dean Bradfield rants 'we live in urban hell, with new fragrances of Paco Raban aftershave every weekend.' Although Richey and Nicky write the lyrics, the band's durability lies in the strength of their shared beliefs. Otherwise JDB wouldn't be a band with two guys who could hardly play their instruments (in the early days at least). Modern capitalism is a meaningless empty and degrading ritual that preys on people's deepest insecurities, hence 'free scent burns your skin' - exploding the advertising myth that aftershave enhances your attractiveness to the opposite sex, when all you're actually doing is degrading yourself- 'everyone is perfect and you're so lame.' One of the greatest things about the Manics is that they gain relevance over time unlike most bands which fade with the zeitgeist. I stand in Boots thinking 'which man moisturiser should I buy' and hating myself for attaching any importance to such things. Wherever Richey is now, thank god he gave us these lyrics before he went.

* This information can be up to 15 minutes delayed.
Back to top