"No Compassion" as written by and David Byrne....
In a world
Where people have problems
In this world
Where decisions are a way of life
Other people's problems they overwhelm my mind
They say compassion is a virtue, but I don't have the time

So many people...have their problems
I'm not interested...in their problems
I guess I've...experienced some problems
But now I've...made some decisions
Takes a lot of time to push away the nonsense
Take my compassion...Push it as far as it goes
My interest level's dropping, my interest level is dropping
I've heard all I want to, I don't want to hear any more

What are you, in love with your problems?
I think you take it...a little too far
It's...not so cool to have so many problems
But don't expect me to explain your indecisions
Go...talk to your analyst, isn't that what they're paid for
You walk, you talk...You still function like you used to
It's not a question...Of your personality or style
Be a little more selfish, it might do you some good

In a world where people have problems
In this world where decisions are a way of life
Other people's problems, they overwhelm my mind
They say compassion is a virtue, but I don't have the time
(Here we go again)

Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"No Compassion" as written by David Byrne

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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No Compassion song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentaccording to a couple of books I read (haha) on Talking Heads, this song is basically a 'fuck you' to an ex-girlfriend of his (both books portray her as an artsy, stuck-up biatch)
    - Byrne lucked out (this was before he was successful/famous) and scored a gorgeous girlfriend back in college (Andrea Kovacs was her name).
    During the course of their relationship he fell into a depressive state - the lyrics were basically Andrea's unsympathetic response to his depressed state - my favourite line : 'talk to your analyst/isn't that what he's paid for ?'
    He later went on to rip-off her photo-collage style for the cover of 'More Songs About Buildings and Food' in a further payback ...
    ChemistrySet1on August 19, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song, although maybe more for the music than the lyrics. It's pretty snarky, like most of their songs. "My interest level's dropping, my interest level is dropping." I take it as a parody of self-centered New York hipster types of the late 70's. It's maybe a little more straightforward in its sarcasm than most of their songs, which is a drawback.
    thitheron July 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love that weird scream he yells when the drums start kicking on the beginning of the song's second verse... laughed my ass off when first heard it!
    As for the song, yeah, it's pretty much that third verse that blows his cover. It's quite sarcastic, although many of the lines are brilliant ("Takes a lot of time to push away the nonsense")... It sounds both carefree and a bit neurotic, nice touches.
    Santiagofon July 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song and how it's composed of different sections
    rastafarianforlifeon May 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI absolutely love the lyrics of this song! Yes, Byrne is being a total dick, but it's part of the presentation of the material. "Be a little more selfish, it might do you some good" might be some of the best advice I've ever heard in a song. The music seems to be following the process of the lyrics- a weary sigh with some anger building beneath it and then, with that awesome scream Santiagof mentioned, the listener is just bombarded with accusations and expositions from both the music and the lyrics that kind of have to hit anyone between the ages of 16 and 25 pretty hard. Maybe Byrne forces you to relate equally to his viewpoint as singer and yours as accused, innocent listener to confuse you into a state of acceptance?
    I would say that this song in its most reduced form is about "growing up" from a viewpoint we aren't as accustomed to.
    echelonyourdreamson March 16, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAre you sure it's just not a remark on a narcissistic friend who assumes someone is overly interested in the details of their lives, the kind who says, "oh we'll have to sit down for three or four hours and talk all about it" in reference to the breakup of a short relationship or something?
    stella234on March 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSomeone the narrator knows complains about his/her insignificant problems every day, and all he/she ever seems to want to do is talk about what's going on in his/her life. Eventually it gets to be too much... It's hard to feel compassionate for someone when all they want to do is whine. Harsh, almost rude lyrics, but true.

    Favorite lyric- "What are you, in love with your problems?" :D
    EnduringChillon January 23, 2013   Link

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