Down in amongst the streets tonight
Books will burn, people laugh and cry in their turmoil
(Turmoil turns rejoiceful)
Shed your fears and lose your guilt
Tonight we burn responsibility in the fire
We'll watch the flames grow higher
But if you get too burnt, you can't come back home
And as I was standing by the edge
I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing
(And the flames grew)
Their mad eyes bulged, their flushed faces said
The weak get crushed as the strong grow stronger

We feast on flesh and drink on blood
Live by fear and despise love in a crises
(What with today's high prices)
Bring some paper and bring some wood
Bring what's left of all your love for the fire
We'll watch the flames grow higher!
But if you get too burnt, you can't come back home
And as I was standing by the edge
I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing
(And the flames grew)
Their mad eyes bulged their flushed faces said
The weak get crushed as the strong grow stronger

In the funeral pyre
We'll watch the flames grow higher
But if you get too burnt, you can't come back home
In the funeral pyre
We'll watch the flames grow higher
But if you get too burnt, you can't come back home
In the funeral pyre
We'll watch the flames grow higher
But if you get too burnt, you can't come back home
In the funeral pyre

When I feel so young, well I just can't grow up to meet the demands
When I feel so old, when I feel so young
Well, I just can't grow up to meet their demands
Well, I just can't grow up to meet their demands


Lyrics submitted by planetearth

Funeral Pyre Lyrics as written by Rick Buckler Paul John Weller

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Funeral Pyre song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentthe last great jam song, no keyboards, no organs no keyboards no female backing singers just 3 blokes hammering out dark, electrifying music
    sivillaon December 21, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWeller must have been channeling something here. Surprised no one has mentioned David Cameron and his mooted love of the Jam in connection with this record. They tend to mention Eton Rifles for obvious reasons, but this record seems much more apposite with mention of the 'crisis' and the rich looking cheerfully on. It's hard not to think of Osborne's grin and his perpetual ski-ing holidays. Probably an attempt to mimic the apocalyptic feel of London Calling, but it tops it because this record genuinely has a strange and spooky feeling to it. Agree with sivilla, if only they'd gone out on this instead of the insipid white soul stuff, their reputation would be much higher. It's like the funeral pyre is for punk idealism or leftism in pop or the group itself, since after this, the ambition of pop and what could be done with it was narrowed. In this, it's similar to Strange Town, another Jam high water-mark.
    Cryptorchidismon January 17, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA nice dose of anti-Thatcherism.
    SmithersJones87on October 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt reminds me of Kristallnacht, with the Nazis ritually burning all the Jewish books in Germany on huge bonfires.
    manic4manicson November 06, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis is about the racism of the early 80's in Britain, the NF marches, the race riot in South London. The 'fire/burning books' that Weller sings of, represents the hatred between whites and blacks, and the throwing away of earlier unity of the late 60's when everyone was listening to reggae.

    "As I was standing by the edge, I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing"

    That basically means all the hatred was orchestrated by the government (or the Illuminati) and they were loving the results (The riots and the hatred)
    m4n0w4ron May 05, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is really one of those songs you can read on many levels here. In addition to the above, he's lamenting about how Thatcher and her cronies in effect killed a lot of the hope and desire for reforms that punk and post-punk brought to the UK. "Those who lead" had won, and thus got to piss themselves laughing.as punk and post-punk fell into the abyss.
    quampon January 02, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCould be why so many soles are committing suicide these days, it's a way of culling people who struggle to fit in to society, probably on benefits, the last verse sums up the song, you get to a certain age without establishing enough worth to see you through old age.
    Sammy seemoreon January 18, 2020   Link

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