"Panic" as written by Johnny Marr and Steven Patrick Morrissey....
Panic on the streets of London
Panic on the streets of Birmingham
I wonder to myself
Could life ever be sane again?
The leeds side-streets that you slip down
I wonder to myself
Hopes may rise on the grasmere
But honey pie, you're not safe here
So you run down
To the safety of the town
But there's panic on the streets of Carlisle
Dublin, Dundee, Humberside
I wonder to myself

Burn down the disco
Hang the blessed DJ
Because the music that they constantly play
It says nothing to me about my life
Hang the blessed DJ
Because the music they constantly play

On the Leeds side-streets that you slip down
The provincial towns you jog 'round
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ, hang the DJ, hang the DJ
Hang the DJ

Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Panic" as written by Johnny Marr Steven Morrissey

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

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Panic song meanings
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  • +12
    General CommentThe song was written in response to Steve Wright (Radio 1 DJ) playing Wham I'm your Man after the lunchtime "Newsbeat" which went out at 1230-1250 on Radio One. I recollect it was a Monday around April 1986. Apparently both Marr and Morrissey were appalled to hear Steve Wright report the Chernobyl disaster on the radio and then follow it by playing the Wham song and in an interview with NME in 1987, Marr says:

    "'Panic' came about at the time of Chernobyl. Morrissey and myself were listening to a Newsbeat radio report about it. The story about this shocking disaster comes to an end and then, immediately, we're off into Wham!'s 'I'm Your Man'. I remember actually saying 'what the fuck has this got to do with peoples' lives?' We hear about Chernobyl, then, seconds later, we're expected to be jumping around to 'I'm Your Man'."
    CharmingManon February 27, 2006   Link
  • +5
    General CommentAfter listening to the news of the Chernobyl disaster on Radio 1, Wham's 'I'm Your Man' was played immediatly after. Morrissey wrote this song, criticisng the 'pop' music that was around at this time as he was disgusted in what he heard. I felt for a while that 'The music that they constantly play, it says nothing to me about my life', but you learn to let that go. I hardly listen to the radio and very few new artists interest me at the moment. The Smiths are a band that fascinate me and I don't think I will ever stop listening to their music.
    butterflykiss84on August 13, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIm guessing the kids singing in the background is another reference to chernobyll? Anyway, this is what I love about the Smiths. Most people think the songs are just depressing but can't see the underlying humour and wit.

    Chinup hit the nail bang on the head. The song is about, as well as chernobyll, music with no soul. Music that says nothing to you about your life. Miss chainsaws thing about dance music not using real instruments is a bit of a stupid thing to say seeing as a hell of a lot of people who make dance music are clasically trained artists. Download a song like Max Graham-gone or massive attack-unfinished sympathy and tell me they say nothing to you about your life. Obviously there is poppy dance too, but dance music speaks to me. Even if its not got lyrics it can conjour up memories, evoke emotions. Its about the passion. After all a room full of hundreds of people worshipping the music and sharing a feeling, or a kid at home spending all his money on records to play on his decks working towards playing his music to other people wouldnt be possible without the passion or if the music was made purely to sell records.

    These days the music this song Id consider applies to would be Pop trash and same old 50cent moaning about smashing peoples legs and bitches RNB and hip hop. But then not all hip hop is like that. Grandmaster Flash and the furious five, public enemy, even NWA all had something to say that was important. I guess what Im saying is that you can't just condemn a genre of music as being not "real music." The thing that defines it is if the music can speak to people about something, be it political, emotional, whatever. Music that doesnt misses the point.
    CEREALon February 17, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentnot positive but the dj in question was steve wright i think, it wasnt tony blackburn
    JohnnyMarron December 05, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about Steve Wright's coverage of the Chernobyl disaster, right? Or at least that sparked it off. Still, it could have applied to so many of the Radio 1 DJs. Tony Blackburn, Dave Lee Travis, so many of them. Of coursem there were the good/great ones (John Peel, of course), but then there were the ones who were basically just Smashie and Nicie personified.
    infotainment_ladon September 10, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"but you run down to the safety of the town"
    ...is referencing the element of music "that says nothing about my life"...
    it's not so much just talking about safe music for the masses but about the issues, the "music" that people are controlled by because it keeps them from paying mind to the important issues in their lives instead of the fluffy 'pop' issues. So really, get off the song's impetus about Chernobyl and Wham and bad DJs... it's about the people that want to feel the safety and ease that comes with eating the free handouts...and doing something about those that do this as a means of obfuscation/control/etc. "Hang" the man behind the Wizard's curtain; take back control, do what you will and think and wish to do. Stop being led by other's agendas.
    envelopeon August 24, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAbsolutely brilliant song.
    Though, it's always made me laugh, because of the children singing along to the line "Hang the D.J"
    XiangLion March 11, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentUsed to hate it, now I love it. Simple.
    PaintAVulgarPicon March 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI always saw this song as political. Typical of Morrissey as he was incredibly critical of Thatcher's Britain. The disco is West Minister. The DJ is Margaret Thatcher. Because the music they constantly play (Choices made by the conservative government of the 80's) means nothing to be about my life (Positively affects only the affluent of the country and is either damaging or irrelevant to the working classes.)

    I know this isn't what the song is about or why it was written but its one interpretation. =]
    Insobrietyon August 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA song that defines the time it was released, but if you're thinking of downloading it, with typical internet ignorance, you'd probably be better off searching for a non-existant song called 'Hang The DJ'. Tss.
    Forevergreenon May 11, 2002   Link

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