Toe to toe
Dancing very close
Barely breathing
Almost comatose
Wall to wall
People hypnotized
And they're stepping lightly
Hang each night in rapture

Back to back
Sacroiliac
Spineless movement
And a wild attack

Face to face
Sightless solitude
And it's finger popping
Twenty-four hour shopping in rapture

Fab Five Freddy told me everybody's fly
DJ spinnin' I said, "My my"
Flash is fast, Flash is cool
François c'est pas, Flash ain't no dude
And you don't stop, sure shot
Go out to the parking lot
And you get in your car and drive real far
And you drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and it lands on the ground
And out comes a man from Mars
And you try to run but he's got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head
And then you're in the man from Mars
You go out at night eatin' cars
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too
Mercurys and Subaru
And you don't stop, you keep on eatin' cars
Then, when there's no more cars you go out at night
And eat up bars where the people meet
Face to face, dance cheek to cheek
One to one, man to man
Dance toe to toe, don't move too slow
'Cause the man from Mars is through with cars
He's eatin' bars, yeah wall to wall
Door to door, hall to hall
He's gonna eat 'em all
Rapture, be pure
Take a tour through the sewer
Don't strain your brain, paint a train
You'll be singin' in the rain
Said don't stop to punk rock

Well now you see what you wanna be
Just have your party on TV
'Cause the man from Mars won't eat up bars where the TV's on
Now he's gone back up to space
Where he won't have a hassle with the human race
And you hip-hop, and you don't stop
Just blast off, sure shot
'Cause the man from Mars stopped eatin' cars and eatin' bars
And now he only eats guitars, get up


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

Rapture Lyrics as written by Christopher Stein Deborah Harry

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Rapture song meanings
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33 Comments

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  • +5
    Song Meaning

    This is kind of late to enter here, but I think someone searching should have something of some substance to read about this song. But before I get to that, let me clear up a bit of ignorance spouted here. First, of course, Blondie did not invent rap, or for that matter, "white rap", whatever that might be. Certainly the group was aware of Gil Scott-Heron (The Revolution Will Not Be Televised) if not "The Last Poets" and similar groups. They knew what they were doing. Finally, it doesn't matter how fast Harry and Stein wrote the song and what, if anything, they were thinking when they did so. Meaning is not a matter for the writer--it is a matter for the listener.

    I guess it is natural for people to figure that any rock song they can't understand is about drugs, but I don't think this is valid. When writing about drugs, most songwriters are pretty explicit about it. For example, "I'm Waiting for my Man" is about drugs; "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (LSD, get it?) is not. Even "Lookin' out My Back Door", which seems like a guy coming home, dropping acid, and tripping on his back porch, is probably not about drugs, but rather about a man home from work who finally gets a chance to play with his creativity.

    Rapture seems very clear; I thought it was obvious to everyone. It is about environmental destruction and over-blown consumerism. Not that I'm saying it is that simple, but in one sentence, that's what you get. There is clearly a lot about sex, but this too is related to the commoditization of the act. Look at how they deconstruct the human interactions in the song. When dancing close, the body is breathing "almost comatose". They aren't grinding pelvises, they are "back to back" using the sacroiliac join--indicating that they are trying to interact as little as possible with each other. When they do face each other, they don't look at one another. Without human connection, what is left: the things we buy. I think the song is more relevant today than ever.

    There is, of course, the whole issue of "The Rapture", and the song gets more into this toward the end. It seems to say, "The Rapture is a myth, no one is really going to come down and destroy you, but your things are going to be taken away from you--by you and the way you live--and you will be left with, what? Each other." Hence the last line, "Get up!"

    And despite what someone "heard", the last line before the first "rap" section is "Twenty four hour shopping in rapture". (Some people think Hendrix said "Excuse me while I kiss this guy" too; that doesn't make it so. Meaning is for the listener, but the actual text is for the writer.)

    FranklyCuriouson April 10, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    The drug interpretation is always the easiest, but I honestly think this song is about the end of disco.

    Lots of references to disco culture, and there's a definite disco beat in the song. Debbie Harry got her start in disco, so it's not surprising that she would use a disco beat, but look at the references - sacroiliac is a pelvic joint, finger popping is that infamous disco move Travolta is doing on the cover of Saturday Night Fever, all of the mentions of bars where people meet and dance. Then the stuff about tea-time technology and the digital (ardour or whatever) which is a fun, slightly psychedelic way of saying that new digital technology is moving music forward. "Have your party on TV" refers to how music was getting a huge presence on TV with music videos (remember that MTV was NOT the first channel ever to show a music video, and their first video was "Video Killed the Radio Star", which is ALREADY about the same phenomenon to which Blondie's line refers).

    So my interpretation is the end of disco and with it the disco and cruising cultures being "eaten" by our own move forward in tastes and technology.

    supergeekgirlon August 09, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    probably a science-fiction fantasy about a hungry alien -- but "paint a train" isn't nonsense. It refers to teens spraying graffiti on subways

    CuteSparkinaon May 10, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Am I the only one that actually loves the rap part!

    dorky_twilighteron January 08, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Sounds like voodoo to me, but I'm not sure and most likely wrong. The "man from mars" is a voodoo god (according to wikipedia) Also according to wikipaedia, "the lyrics of "Rapture" included references to hip-hop pioneers Fab Five Freddy and Grandmaster Flash." This song rocks, and I'm not fond of rapping.

    The dude in white hat and tails was dancer William Barnes, whom also coregraphed the video. Fab Five Freddy made cameo appearance in the video also.

    DeathValley69on February 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Perhaps,people being harrassed by the cops-"drive all night until you see a light".......

    Arcadianon February 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    It reminds me of "Stranger from a Strange Planet" amazon.com/gp/product/0441790348/104-1837774-2486363 It was about a man known to the world as the "Man from Mars." He was human. Most of the symbols seem to click. I don't know if she could have read it before writing those lyrics, though.

    triliothon April 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    'Magnificent Seven': Great song, but it's not really rap. More like they're half-chanting, half-singing. Anyways, there were white and black groups rapping way before either The Clash or Blondie. Blondie just introduced it to the masses.

    Their video for 'Rapture' shows Debbie Harry introducing the music as 'rapping', and explaining a bit behind the technique. I remember thinking, "Yeah -- that's never going to catch on". Wrongo. Great video. Anyone know who the dude in white hat and tails was?

    mtmooreon August 25, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    You're thinking of "Stranger in a Strange Land"

    Gondringon May 24, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Who rapped on "sacroiliac" first - Debbie H. or Grand Master Flash in "The Message"?

    NomadMonadon May 22, 2015   Link

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