How does it feel
To treat me like you do?
When you've laid your hands upon me
And told me who you are?
Thought I was mistaken
I thought I heard your words
Tell me, how do I feel?
Tell me now, how do I feel?

Those who came before me
Lived through their vocations
From the past until completion
They'll turn away no more
And I still find it so hard
To say what I need to say
But I'm quite sure that you'll tell me
Just how I should feel today

I see a ship in the harbour
I can and shall obey
But if it wasn't for your misfortune
I'd be a heavenly person today
And I thought I was mistaken
And I thought I heard you speak
Tell me, how do I feel?
Tell me now, how should I feel?

Now I stand here waiting

I thought I told you to leave me
While I walked down to the beach
Tell me, how does it feel
When your heart grows cold?

Lyrics submitted by numb

Blue Monday Lyrics as written by Bernard Sumner Gillian Lesley Gilbert

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Royalty Network

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Blue Monday song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +10
    General CommentIt's well known that during the early '80s new order were writing their lyrics in a truly collaborative style; literally going around in a circle going line for line... almost like a séance.

    I maintain to this day that the words for Blue Monday came directly from the grave. Ian's last words in a kind of agonizing lament describing his failed relationship with Annik Honoré. She controlled him until the very end, eventually causing him to take his own life and (consequently) sending him to hell.

    "But if it wasn't for your misfortune
    I'd be a heavenly person today"

    clamchipson January 24, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentStop fucking around with wich version is better! This is It's about MEANINGS.

    I think that it's about a girlfriend who treat him bad and he wanted to leave her, but that's hard. ("And still find so hard to say what I need to say"). Finally, he leaves her, but he can't realise how does it feel to treat someone who loves you that way.
    Deadon July 28, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentMaybe he waits for an apologie or something. He realise that she wasn't the person that he spects, but, deeply, he still love her a little and hope that she can change and be diferent. You can't stop love someone just like that. Some feelings never dissapear at all.
    Deadon August 02, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentHow about just the meaning of the title "Blue Monday?" Ian Curtis committed suicide on a Sunday.
    Elegiaon July 29, 2014   Link
  • +3
    My OpinionI'd always thought the abusive relationship idea like many people as it fits with the lyrics so well...

    although the ideas of Ian Curtis seem applicable as well...

    but what interests me the most are the interpretations about war.

    it isn't something i'd thought about until today when i was reading Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut (excellent book - everyone should read it) and that the first page of the book is a cow saying "goodbye blue monday" (i think this is possibly the name of the book within the book so to say but that's unrelated)
    later it also mentions that one of the main characters only contact with war was writing "goodbye blue monday" on a bomb going to vietnam (i think?)

    so it got me thinking...

    is this song any relation to breakfast of champions or have they just been named from the same source?

    if they are related maybe the war story holds more truth...
    derifityon April 13, 2011   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI see the song being about a dominant/submissive relationship, but from interviews I've read, the relationship to me is that between the dominant live audience and the submissive Sumner. The song was developed (from Video 5-8-6) as the encore to live performances as this is something Sumner (and the rest of the band?) loathed. It was designed so that Gillian had to return to stage and press one key to start it off, and then leave stage. It then evolved lyrics about Sumner's anxiety about being the lead singer in the limelight and became a hit..

    "How does it feel to treat me like you do?" ...How do you think I feel about being an adored 'pop star' - I don't actually like it...

    "And still I find it so hard to say what I need to say. "...I don't like singing live

    "Those who came before me lived through their vocations" ...The previous lead singer was up the the job, I'm not

    "But if it wasn't for your misfortune, I'd be a heavenly person today. "...I the previous lead singer hadn't unfortunately died, I'd be enjoying myself towards the back of the stage.

    I really don't know what the ship is in the harbour can be all about, other that there is a vehicle leaving that will take me away from this performance?

    I don't think it's about war - the 'machine gun' style drum beat is from Donna Summer's Your Love
    dg00on August 30, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentActually I have heard something very different.

    A friend of mine told me he read an article where New Order themselves stated that Blue Monday is about Ian Curtis. Part of the song is about him, part is about his suicide.

    Unfortunatly he couldn't remeber the source...he remebers it was a magazine and he thinks it may have been a very old Rolling Stone.

    Anyone else ever heard this?
    acidjackon April 02, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm not entirely sure but I had always thought that it might be about the aftermath of Ian Curtis's suicide... as well as the lines in the lyrics that seem to refer to this (particularly 'Those who came before me/lived through their vocations' and 'if it wasn't for your misfortune/I'd be a heavenly person today') there's also a couple of facts that seem to support this theory. The first is that the day Ian Curtis died was a Sunday (hence 'Monday'- reffering to the aftermath of his death?). Also when it refers to 'The Beach' in the last verse, that is name of the venue in which New Order played their first gig after Curtis's death...

    I think the song is deliberately abstracted to some extent- it works just as a general expression of loss and regret. You can put your own experiences into it and interpret it in your own way, like when you read the horoscopes in the paper. I think the song probably refers to Curtis, but the lyrics themselves are vague, little more than a portrayal of loss.
    DoctorDeathon July 22, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIf anything, the war interpretations are...interesting enough but i just dont think there's enough coming from the lyrics that necessarily supports that... the ian curtis suggestion sounds correct and gives the song probably the most meaningful and gorgeous sense to me anyway but hey this song is relatable in alot of ways and to me.. i get this erie feeling its about a close encounter. call me crazy but the most common and probable explanation for visitations from other worlds is that idea that an advanced alien race that could have possibly created us possibly not but has watched us from the beginning or close to it anyway observes, protects and influences us to become a more whole and unified race and will not come out to us until we're ready.... so here are the lyrics "i see a ship in the harbour i can and shall obey" "if it wasnt for your misfortune i'd b a heavenly person today" that could b interpreted many ways.."now i stand here waiting" waiting for them to come out of hiding maybe? "tell me now how do i feel" coming from a guy whos encountered something that probably understands emotions far better than him and its hard to communicate but every line of this song supports this idea... and its just an idea so yeah..
    SensationalConscienceon January 14, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationIt's about domination/alienation, including war.

    The dominant actor is doing the following:
    1) interpellation - telling one who one is
    2) suture - filling in blanks in meaning - when one is mistaken, they give words
    3) historical continuity/project (teleology) - from past until completion
    4) subjectification - telling one how to feel
    5) demanding obedience.

    It's a very intelligent song - somebody's been studying critical theories of power before they wrote it I reckon. They subscribe to some kind of post-Situationist theory of power, which is being related to war in particular, but also generally to conformity.

    It's even clearer with the video as well - it's saying that actual warfare and state brutality are linked to video games and TV - there's an image flashes up which has soldiers causing an explosion then it says "1000 point bonus". Basically we come to desire power by being told who we are and taught how to feel, through means such as the media, computer games, consumerism etc. (And remember this is a band who gave themselves two Nazi-inspired names in a row, and are associated with Factory Records who are pretty explicitly post-situ).

    "Heavenly person" has a double meaning - dead, or good/innocent. It has the dual overtones of, without you I'd be dead, and without you I wouldn't be guilty (of war crimes, abuse, whatever).

    Power is portrayed as cold, alienating and guilt-inducing... its heart is cold, it tells us what to feel but leaves us finding it hard to say what the official script makes us say, and it stops us being "heavenly".
    Ldxar1on December 09, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top