"A Short Term Effect" as written by Robert James Smith, Laurence Andrew Tolhurst and Simon Gallup....
Movement
No movement
Just a falling bird
Cold as it hits the bleeding ground
He lived and died
Catch sight
Cover me with earth
Draped in black
Static
White sound
A day without substance
A change of thought
An atmosphere that rots with time
Colors that flicker in water
A short term effect

Scream
As she tries to push him over
Helpless and sick
With teeth of madness
Jump jump dance and sing
Sideways across the desert
A charcoal face
Bites my hand
Time is sweet

Derange and disengage everything
A day without substance
A change of thought
The atmosphere rots with time
Colors that flicker in water
A short term effect

A short term effect
A short term effect
An echo
And a stranger's hand
A short term effect
An echo
And a stranger's hand
A short term effect


Lyrics submitted by oofus

"A Short Term Effect" as written by Robert James Smith Laurence Andrew Tolhurst

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

A Short Term Effect song meanings
Add your thoughts

14 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is part dream part semi reality... The charcoal face is actually a painting by a person from an insane asylum, i forgot how he got a hold of it.. also it's just a great song about the fluttery disorientation you get while on a controlled substance and how that can sometimes get old; "atmosphere rots in time" freakin love it
    girlintheforeston October 14, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song, like much of the Pornography album, is, I think, about the decay of things. (The bird falling to the ground/"an atmosphere that rots with time") Perhaps the title "A Short Term Effect" relates to the perishability of this earth and the passing away of all that we know.
    theexplodinggirlon January 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAccprding to Mr. Smith it's "about drugs, again, and their effect, (a short-term one, think.)"

    I sing this in the shower when i'm down; nothing like a little wallowing to make you feel better.
    charlieSometimeson July 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentagain this album was written entirely during roberts psychedelic drug stage. almost every song is LSD induced. not that it's not great writting but i think a short term effect refers to the complete madness that lsd brings on, but it only lasts for a relatively short term. if you call 12 hours a short term. for those that have not done LSD you can never understand how bizzare and different evertything is. it's a very powerful drug that opens your mind and lets you see things that exist in this world but are only understood while under the influence of acid.
    the blue glove is even crazier. i also have this video that is vry psychedelic. it's like a short movie of robert during the pornography/blue glove era. it's the closest thing i've seen on film to an lsd trip. the copy i have is very much copied therfore it has an even stranger view. it's almost like an alice in wonderland skit.
    i've been a cure collector for over 20 years now and i have some really amazing video. not just songs but interviews and backstage stuff. some really weird short movies.
    MrPinkEyezon January 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPornography - "Lurid or sensational material" according to dictionary.com...
    pfsalon January 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah, i think a lot of it is just the disintegration of things like you said. a bird falling to the ground.. bleeding.. rotting atmosphere.

    then it almost seems like it speaks of what it's like when he's clean: 'a day without substance, a change of thought'... as if drugs and all are only short term and then he has to return to reality.
    in_the_secret_showon December 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe descent from bleak, stark reality to equally horrible, but at least more interesting, hallucinations
    Cynothoglyson July 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenta drug and its effect
    sweetx3on February 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits fairly easy to pass off a lot of his lyrics as about hallucinations, as they seem to be beautiful and strange but have little continuity with the rest of the song, but i think it's a case of him just fitting words around the song as he often claims to do...

    i think he said in the liner notes of the deluxe edition (or in the book i read on him, either) - "with pornography we had the music then i just added words that seemed to fit or i thought described the music" or something of that effect.
    then again, he could be lying!
    robot in disguiseon July 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think it's about time, earth, life, etc decaying.

    "cover me with earth..." implies that everything (perhaps even himself) is dying, obviously when you are buried your coffin is covered with earth.
    "movement, no movement, just a falling bird, cold as it hits the bleeding ground." not only humans are dying out but so are animals and such... "the bleeding ground" means that the earth is rotting too... it's kind of self explanatory, hence the fact that if you're bleeding you can be dying or injured. in this case, it would be dying. here i think that he might be writing about the world eventually falling apart.

    i have seen where it says that Robert said it was about a drug. he also could have been hallucinating, while he was on this drug, that the world was falling apart and he was as well... it could be either.
    __ohmelancholyon January 17, 2008   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!

Back to top
explain