Better stop dreaming of the quiet life, 'cause it's the one we'll never know
And quit running for the runaway bus 'cause those rosy days are few
And stop apologizing for the things you've never done
'Cause time is short and life is cruel but it's up to us to change
This town called malice

Rows and rows of disused milk floats stand dying in the dairy yard
And a hundred lonely housewives clutch empty milk bottles to their hearts
Hanging out their old love letters on the line to dry
It's enough to make you stop believing when tears come fast and furious
In a town called malice, yeah

Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba, oh

Struggle after struggle, year after year
The atmosphere's a fine blend of ice, I'm almost stone cold dead
In a town called malice, ooh yeah

A whole street's belief in Sunday's roast beef
Gets dashed against the Co-op
To either cut down on beer or the kid's new gear
It's a big decision in a town called malice, ooh yeah


The ghost of a steam train, echoes down my track
It's at the moment bound for nowhere
Just going round and round, oh
Playground kids and creaking swings
Lost laughter in the breeze
I could go on for hours and I probably will
But I'd sooner put some joy back
In this town called malice, yeah


In this town called malice, yeah
In this town called malice, ooh yeah

Lyrics submitted by wickedred88

Town Called Malice Lyrics as written by Paul Weller

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Town Called Malice song meanings
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  • +6
    General Comment
    For me, one of the Jam’s finest with its infectious bass lines and Hammond-style keys. Together with the lyrics it seems to me that the whole song works to offer that rarest of gem to anybody left with the imagination to hear it, namely things don’t have to be shit if you want them to change. Funny how as a teenager I didn’t have a problem getting the meaning of this song yet years later as adult I sometimes find myself struggling under the weight of cynicism and inertia when it comes to such idealism. Maybe that was The Jam’s genius and their appeal; they just cut straight through the bullshit every time whilst making you want to dance your tits off!
    Soapbox15on June 28, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment is shit deal with it and stop dwelling on the past!
    Riot Grrrlon March 25, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    this song is amazing! the bass-line makes me want to dance(even though i cant)! Nothing better than hearing, "And a hundred lonely housewives clutch empty milk bottles to their hearts".
    runningincircleson June 30, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    the bass line for this song is beyond belief.
    punkrawkrebelon February 04, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    The bassline is a nod towards Motown music (Detroit in the US is Motor City or a Motor Town, they produced cars, so Motown) and the song was released in 1982 as a double A side with Precious. The significance of The Jam playing both tracks on Top of the pops was because the last time that had happened was in 1965 when the Beatles did We can work it out/Day Tripper on one edition of ToTP. Oasis repeated this feat in 1995/1996? The dates elude me.
    Bloodnokon June 25, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    I'm uncomfortable ranking the Jam's songs since so many were classic, but of all the great Jam and Weller songs --- and I'm on of those North Americans who tried to get every one, became frustrated they never really made it here, and rank the Jam as one of the best bands of all time --- this one has to be considered the best because it not only shows off the whole range of Weller's genius as well as that of Foxton and Buckler but because it's just so *essentially* them and sums them up beautifully in just 2:55. Weller may have gone on to great things and dissolving the band may have been right, but they're timeless and beyond comparison. Anyway, this song may be about as British as you can get, but it's also universal. Get the idea I liked 'em?
    mbrlron March 28, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    "You'd better stop dreaming of the quiet life cos it's the one we'll never know" - I listen to this song every day on the bus to work and that line really gets to me. It's so so true.
    kareandreion August 27, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation
    It seems to be a nod to nostalgia and people idealising the past when in reality it's ignoring the reality. Also nobody really addresses the 'Malice' of the title. I think there's a reference to the typically British way of scoffing at someone else's success and believing they're getting too big for their boots. Also definite political references to Maggie Thatcher milk snatcher for sure.
    john104617on March 18, 2018   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    This song is about the jams hometown, woking. They wrote the song about woking, this town is the town of malice.
    Automissionon January 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    Good on ya Harley-01. What you've gotta ask your mates is will the hip-hop they like still be around in 25/30 years time? I doubt it! Also it has no relevance to life in the U.K., Wellers music does!
    Gary Knighton February 21, 2007   Link

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