Oh cheeky cheeky
Oh naughty sneaky
You're so perceptive and I wonder how you knew.
But these finks don't walk too well
A bad sense of direction
And so they stumble round in threes
Such a strange collection.

Oh you headless chicken
Can those poor teeth take so much kicking?
You're always so charming
As you peck your way up there.

And these finks don't dress too well
No discrimination
To be a zombie all the time
Requires such dedication.

Oh please, sir will you let it go by
'Cause I failed both tests with my legs both tied
In my place the stuff is all there
I've been ever so sad for a very long time
My my they wanted the works can you this and that
I never got a letter back
More fool me bless my soul
More fool me bless my soul.

Oh perfect masters
They thrive on disasters
They all look so harmless
Till they find there way up there.

But dead finks don't talk too well
They've got a shaky sense of diction
It's not so much a living hell
It's just a dying fiction.

Lyrics submitted by thither

Dead Finks Don't Talk Lyrics as written by Paul Thompson Brian Eno

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Dead Finks Don't Talk song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment

    Brian Eno said that when he read the lyrics after writing the song, he noted that this song was about Bryan Ferry.

    idelamazaon December 29, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    It is and it isn't. Here's what Eno said about it:

    “Dead Finks Don’t Talk” is the most randomly generated of my songs. I wrote the lyrics at home with my girl-friend with a cassette of the backing track from the studio. I sang whatever came into my mind as the song played through. Frequently they’re just nonsense words or syllables. First I try for the correct phonetic sound rather than the verbal meaning. Off the top I was singing ‘oh-dee-dow-gubba-ring-ge-dow.’ So I recorded these rubbish words and then I turned them back into words. It’s the exact opposite of the technique used in phonetic poetry where words are changed into pure sounds. I take sounds and change them into words.

    “Dead Finks” is not about Bryan Ferry. After all the music was recorded and the words written, Chris Thomas (my producer and Roxy’s as well) said, ‘You’ll get me shot for that track. It’s obviously about Bryan.’ So I listened back to it and it obviously was. It was certainly something I hadn’t realized. Essentially all these songs have no meaning that I invested in them. Meanings can be generated within their own frame-work. It may be a very esoteric thing to talk about but I don’t think it’s entirely out of the question.

    MR808on April 14, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    serendipitous assemblage of vocal timbres + a prosody to go with every instance. particularly fond of "perfect Masters" synthetic baritone.

    foreverdroneon January 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I wonder how it could be about Brian Ferry?

    seesei64on June 05, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The Ferry story is very interesting. The subconscious is a powerful thing. For me, however, the lyrics always seem to suggest politicians, lobbyists, and professional sycophants. Or as Jay Besemer put it: "powerful crooks posing as victims, self-sanctifying enablers stroking egos on the imaginary route to their heaven."

    3stringovationon September 04, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It even sounds like he's doing an impression of Ferry on the line: "As you peck your way up there".

    FrankOMountainon March 14, 2023   Link

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