I like walking in the park
When it gets late at night
I move round in the dark
And leave when it gets light
I sit around by day
Tied up in chains so tight
These crazy words of mine
So wrong they could be right

[Chorus]
What do I get out of this
I always try, I always miss
One of these days you'll go back to your home
You won't even notice that you are alone
One of these days when you sit by yourself
You'll realize you can't shaft without someone else
In the end you will submit
It's got to hurt you a little bit

I like talking in my sleep
When people work so hard
They need what they can keep
A choice that leaves them scarred
A view without a room
Unveils the truth so soon
And when the sun goes down
You've lost what you had found

[Chorus: x3]

What do I get out of this
I always try, I always miss
One of these days you'll go back to your home
You won't even notice that you are alone


Lyrics submitted by numb

Sub-culture Lyrics as written by Peter Hook Bernard (gb 2) Sumner

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Sub-Culture song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +8
    General CommentI think it's all about loneliness. You used to deny and pretend you have a wonderful life that others would be jealous of, but in the end, you must admit you're lonely.
    brilliant_greenon January 06, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI agree with dxmkrew, you guys are trying too hard, but my interpretation is a little different.

    I think the song is about some guy screwing up a relationship, probably through infidelity:

    "I like walking in the park
    When it gets late at night
    I move round in the dark
    And leave when it gets light"

    He's talking about sneaking around.

    "I sit around by day
    Tied up in chains so tight
    These crazy words of mine
    So wrong they could be right"

    This the guilt of having been unfaithful.

    "What do I get out of this
    I always try, I always miss"

    He asks himself what he gets from being in a relationship. He's tried to be faithful in previous relationships, but he's was unfaithful in those as well.

    "One of these days you'll go back to your home
    You won't even notice that you are alone
    One of these days when you sit by yourself
    You'll realise you can't shaft without someone else
    In the end you will submit
    It's got to hurt you a little bit"

    Basically, this is his depression creeping out. He's telling himself that he's destined to be alone, and maybe he should hurt himself?

    "I like talking in my sleep
    When people work so hard
    They need what they can keep
    A choice that leaves them scarred
    A view without a room
    Unveils the truth so soon"

    I think he's trying to say that if people who work hard to save an unhealthy relationship, that they're going to be hurt in the end. Because once the romance is gone, you can see all the things you didn't want to see because you were in love. I say this because to me, "a view without a room," is some reference to E.M. Foster's book "A Room with a View," where he's saying the romance is gone.

    "And when the sun goes down
    You've lost what you had found"

    There are a lot of ways this can be interpreted. It could be that once you can see the truth, things can't go back to the way they were before. I can also see how he could be saying that when night comes, he knows he's going to go out and be unfaithful again.
    jtaniumon May 04, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthis is also my favorite. i think people try entirely too hard to try and find homosexual undertones in new order songs. i'm gay and i'm getting nothing from this song aside from an extreme sense of lonliness and mistrust of people, none of that is gay specific. i don't think this is homosexual or heterosexual, it just is.
    dxmkrewon December 19, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentCould this song be about homosexual sex and the denial that the speaker is gay? Not sure, could be very wrong. Still, a brillian song, ma fave new order one.
    fantasies&freefallon August 24, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIs he a vampire in this one? But I agree it does seem highly metaphorical of a homosexual lifestyle. Fantastic song.
    RuinedInADayon October 17, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI had the impression the song was a semi-autobiographical account of the song writing process. The line "These crazy words of mine, so wrong they could be right." seems to suggest this. The line "What do I get out of this? I always try, I always miss" suggests that the author is not happy with how the words come out. Like many artists he works late and walks around until dawn to clear his head.

    I wasn't sure about the word "shaft". This does seem sexual, and I have heard "shag" listening to the song myself, but it can also mean a verbal barb. Perhaps you can't write something very personal without hurting someone, but "in the end you will submit, it's hot got hurt you a little bit". He's telling his loved ones that he is going to write about his relationship with them and it may hurt.
    fletc3heron November 16, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm going with the dmxkrew theory - I don't know why so many people read "gay" messages into these songs (so far as I know he's 100% straight).
    I've always interpreted it as "shag" though - that's what it means anyway! The first version I ever heard was the "disco version" where it souunds at times like he's saying "shag" and the overdubbed voices are saying "shaft".
    BTW: Pity there's never been a remix collaging the best elements of the album version, the disco version and "Dub Vulture" (including, of course, that crazy meltdown ending)
    imrazoron November 08, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti agree with dxmkrew,jtanium
    it doesn't have to do with homosexual life , you have to look at the song out of a general view.
    jtanium u make a really nice interpertation


    In my point of view is speaking about someone that tries hard to make relationship with others , it can be just a friendship,she wants so hard to blend in with people and come out with something real, but he always get disappointed.
    When then he starts to live alone , he understands that something is missing , this isn't the way it should be, he has to make relationships again..
    In the end he understands that this is the human nature, there is no perfect relationship, is normal to hurt and get hurted.
    That is the whole point, after the "crucifixion" it comes the "salvation", without hurting or get hurt everything is meaningless

    "One of these days you'll go back to your home
    You won't even notice that you are alone
    One of these days when you sit by yourself
    You'll realise you can't shaft without someone else
    In the end you will submit
    It's got to hurt you a little bit"

    =)
    Smurferon September 24, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have to agree with people above. I think that song addresses a man who is living a 'straight' life by day and then going out to the parks at night and dogging or picking a male hooker. Or the refrain could be the point of view of the guy he meets at night and the verses abou the man living the double life.
    afilaccioon April 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song seems to me to be a story of sorts about someone having values drastically different from their society, and forking them over to feel connected to people somehow, and perhaps also having to choose between a small group of people who agree with them and the vast majority of people(hence the name "subculture").

    "I like walking in the park
    when it gets late at night
    I move round in the dark
    and leave when it gets light"

    When we're in the park, we roam freely. The subject of this song, at first, freely thinks about, talks about or acts upon their own values under the cover of night, or secrecy.

    "I sit around by day
    wrapped up in chains so tight
    these crazy words of mine
    so wrong they could be (right?)"

    I feel like this is about how the subject pretends to have the same values of their society, but through parroting these beliefs they fear that they will become corrupted, or feel a temptation to give in and believe(or pretend to believe to themselves as well) these things.

    "What do I get out of this? I always try, I always miss"

    The subject tries and tries to find some sort of connection or feeling of actually belonging to their culture, but they never feel it completely.

    "one of these days you'll go back to your home
    you won't even notice that you are alone"

    though they never truly feel connected, the subject manages to deceive themself into thinking that they do.

    "one of these days when you sit by yourself
    you'll realize you can't shaft without someone else"

    The subject has forfeited their ability to go forward without the permission of others, needing their approval to do anything even slightly outside of the norm.

    "In the end you will submit"

    In the end the subject will have to forfeit their own values for the larger culture, become one of the stream of meaningless lives that come and go, and remain forever unhappy, if they keep trying to fit in.

    "It's got to hurt a little bit"

    They can't really be happy, even if they pretend to be.

    "I like talking in my sleep"

    I think this is continuing the theme of night = secret. They enjoy talking in secret with the few people who share their beliefs, possibly getting pleasure out of the secrecy itself.

    "when people work so hard
    they need what they can('t?) keep
    a choice that leaves them scarred"

    The artist here criticizes how people work so hard for things that won't last, like the superficial connections created by faking your ideals.

    "a room without a view
    reveals the truth so soon"
    and when the sun goes down
    you've lost what you had"

    This verse could be about how only in brief moments of introspection, likely when we're falling asleep at night, we remember how hurt we are. A view distracts us from what's inside our room, so it could be that we only see the truth of how tortured our mind is when we're alone. The next part could also be about how when we delve back into our own thoughts, we lose contact with the outer world.

    I think this song could be a warning to us, to follow what we believe, and not what society tells us to. Like a parable set to music.
    Ferucilon May 25, 2015   Link

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