We're looking for a better world, but what do we see?
Just hatred, poverty, aggression, misery.
So much money spent on war
When three quarters of the world is so helplessly poor.
Major General Despair sits at his desk,
Planning a new mode of attack,
He's quite unconcerned about chance or risk,
The Major General's a hard nut to crack.
Oh yes, he designs a cruise missile,
Tactically sound, operationally O.K.,
While the starving crawl onto the deathpile,
They can't avoid their fate another day.
Attack on the mind, but he calls it defence,
But I ask you again who's it for?
Do the starving millions who don't stand a chance
Hope to benefit by his stupid war?
Babies crippled with hunger before they could walk,
Mothers with dry breasts cry dry tears,
And meanwhile Major General Despair gives a talk
On increasing the war budget over the years.
How can they do it, these men of steel,
How can they plot destruction, pain?
Is it the only way thatthey can feel,
By killing again and again?

Is it some part of themselves that has died
That permits them to plan as they do?
Or is it us that is dead, do we simply hide
From the responsibility to stop what they do?
There's so many of us, yet we let them have their way,
At this moment they're plotting and planning.
We've got to rise up to take their power away,
To save the world that they're ruining.
They're destroying the world with their maggot-filled heads,
Death, pain and mutilation,
They've got the responsibility of millions of dead.
Yet they're still bent on destruction.
The generals and politicians who advocate war should be made to wade in the truth of it,
They should spend sleepless nights shivering with fear and by day time should crawl in the deathpit.

They'll find the truth of what they've done there,
Festering corpses they and their kind made,
Eyeless skulls that endlessly stare
Having seen the truth of military trade.
The earth was our home, the wind and the air,
The blue sky, the grass and the trees,
But these masters of war, what do they care?
Only sentiments, these.
It's our world but through violence they took it away,
Took dignity, happiness, pride.
They took all the colours and changed them to grey
With the bodies of millions that died.
They destroy real meaning through their stupid games,
Make life a trial of fear.
They destroy what values we have with their aims,
Make us feel it's wrong if we care.
Well, we do care, it's our home, they've been at it too long,
If it's a fight they want, it's beginning.
Throughout history, we've been expected to sing their tired song
But now it's our turn to lead the singing...

Fight war, not wars,
Make peace, not war.
Fight war, not wars,
We know you've heard it before.
Fight war, not wars,
Make peace, not war.
Fight war, not wars,
Make peace, not war.
Fight war, not wars,
Make love, not war.
Fight war, not wars,
Make love, not war.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
We don't want your fucking war.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
We don't want your fucking war.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
We don't want your fucking war.


Lyrics submitted by getupgirl121

Major General Despair Lyrics as written by

Lyrics © ROUGH TRADE PUBLISHING

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Major General Despair song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

2 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General Comment

    Maybe one of the greatest songs ever wrote

    Philly21on August 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Same song also known as The Unelected President. The first song called Major General Despair (also known as "Whose Side's You On?") is on the Best Before album.

    imrazoron April 08, 2010   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!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Fast Car
Tracy Chapman
"Fast car" is kind of a continuation of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." It has all the clawing your way to a better life, but in this case the protagonist never makes it with her love; in fact she is dragged back down by him. There is still an amazing amount of hope and will in the lyrics; and the lyrics themselve rank and easy five. If only music was stronger it would be one of those great radio songs that you hear once a week 20 years after it was released. The imagery is almost tear-jerking ("City lights lay out before us", "Speeds so fast felt like I was drunk"), and the idea of starting from nothing and just driving and working and denigrating yourself for a chance at being just above poverty, then losing in the end is just painful and inspiring at the same time.
Album art
The Night We Met
Lord Huron
This is a hauntingly beautiful song about introspection, specifically about looking back at a relationship that started bad and ended so poorly, that the narrator wants to go back to the very beginning and tell himself to not even travel down that road. I believe that the relationship started poorly because of the lines: "Take me back to the night we met:When the night was full of terrors: And your eyes were filled with tears: When you had not touched me yet" So, the first night was not a great start, but the narrator pursued the relationship and eventually both overcame the rough start to fall in love with each other: "I had all and then most of you" Like many relationships that turn sour, it was not a quick decline, but a gradual one where the narrator and their partner fall out of love and gradually grow apart "Some and now none of you" Losing someone who was once everything in your world, who you could confide in, tell your secrets to, share all the most intimate parts of your life, to being strangers with that person is probably one of the most painful experiences a person can go through. So Painful, the narrator wants to go back in time and tell himself to not even pursue the relationship. This was the perfect song for "13 Reasons Why"
Album art
Son Şansın - Şarkı Sözleri
Hayalperest
This song seemingly tackles the methods of deception those who manipulate others use to get victims to follow their demands, as well as diverting attention away from important issues. They'll also use it as a means to convince people to hate or kill others by pretending acts of terrorism were committed by the enemy when the acts themselves were done by the masters of control to promote discrimination and hate. It also reinforces the idea that these manipulative forces operate in various locations, infiltrating everyday life without detection, and propagate any and everywhere. In general, it highlights the danger of hidden agendas, manipulation, and distraction, serving as a critique of those who exploit chaos and confusion to control and gain power, depicting a cautionary tale against falling into their traps. It encourages us to question the narratives presented to us and remain vigilant against manipulation in various parts of society.
Album art
American Town
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran shares a short story of reconnecting with an old flame on “American Town.” The track is about a holiday Ed Sheeran spends with his countrywoman who resides in America. The two are back together after a long period apart, and get around to enjoying a bunch of fun activities while rekindling the flames of their romance.
Album art
Plastic Bag
Ed Sheeran
“Plastic Bag” is a song about searching for an escape from personal problems and hoping to find it in the lively atmosphere of a Saturday night party. Ed Sheeran tells the story of his friend and the myriad of troubles he is going through. Unable to find any solutions, this friend seeks a last resort in a party and the vanity that comes with it. “I overthink and have trouble sleepin’ / All purpose gone and don’t have a reason / And there’s no doctor to stop this bleedin’ / So I left home and jumped in the deep end,” Ed Sheeran sings in verse one. He continues by adding that this person is feeling the weight of having disappointed his father and doesn’t have any friends to rely on in this difficult moment. In the second verse, Ed sings about the role of grief in his friend’s plight and his dwindling faith in prayer. “Saturday night is givin’ me a reason to rely on the strobe lights / The lifeline of a promise in a shot glass, and I’ll take that / If you’re givin’ out love from a plastic bag,” Ed sings on the chorus, as his friend turns to new vices in hopes of feeling better.