I've got a telegraph in my hand.
Words on paper, written in sand.

We've got telegraph, right across this land.
It doesn't mean a damn thing.
We don't understand.
But who needs telegraph anyway?

I've got a telegraph in my hand.
Words on paper, written in sand.

We've got telegraph, right across this land.
It doesn't mean a damn thing.
We don't understand, we never understand!

God's got a telegraph on his side.
It makes Him powerful, gives Him pride.
Even in America, God bless America!
They understand the value of the telegraph.
Hand in hand, hand in hand...

Lyrics submitted by fletch699

Telegraph Lyrics as written by Paul David Humphreys Andrew Mc Cluskey

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Telegraph song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentit's about an Imperialistic America starting from the second half of the 1800s towards the end of the second world war. During that time, America's most used communication was the Telegraph, and as the song states, "We've got telegraphs, hand in hand" refers to how it was widespread to use them during those eras.

    When they talk about 'God' having a telegraph, they're referring to how God gave them that technology and that they're content to spread that knowledge to others, most notably the remaining Native Americans and Filipinos (The invasion of the Philippines was underway at around this time, as expected). The line 'God bless America', and 'They'll understand the value of the Telegraph, Hand in Hand' talks about this form of colonization that was common around the regions America attempted to reign control over. During those times, America attempted to invade these lands unjustly, and to make themselves feel better about it, they say they're 'educating' them about technology.

    So, in conclusion, Telegraph by OMD is about the imperialistic and condescending attitudes Americans had in relation with technology and colonization. A rather intellectual song that concerns meaningful topics at hand.
    BigChungus001on February 01, 2019   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor me it's about the idea of transferring thoughts as imperfect in all forms. "God's got telegrams" as the 10 commandments or Bible the word of God still being imperfect. The idea is also not just in the lyrics but the way the lyrics are always repeated back while this act of saying twice does nothing to clarify their meaning.

    I always loved the Manor 81 version verse that says "God in his mercy looked down on me, said you're the sinner you ought to be." It comes off as a celebration of imperfection and the games we play for authority or understanding "doesn't mean a damn thing." Which, the structure of that line "Doesn't mean a damn thing" is a sort of nihilism with the word "damn" lodged into it, as an acknowledgment of the metaphysical. The 81 Manor version also says "America knows the value of religion" which if you are familiar with the philosophical concept of Teleology, you can start to see the trend of this idea of purpose. Of course juxtaposed with the jaunty playfulness of the track you get this impression that purpose, though very serious (screaming telegraph in the last bit), is really just another game.
    Vyoxon February 23, 2023   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've been wondering about this song since I was a a little kid
    Enderwanon August 08, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationOnce more WAR is the eye of OMD for this one. Those were the days of the Falklands/Malvinas Islands
    And I guess this makes a reference to how families used to get telegrams when their children would die in wars
    And 'even the American know' there is no need of a telegram when you are just announcing death, even God can feel powerful. In short I think it was related to war
    francoglez01on May 30, 2020   Link
  • -2
    General CommentThis song to me is about the brainwashing of the planet Earth. People use words to brainwash when in fact the words could be something totally different the next day. Hence the written in sand.

    It's most obvious in Government-Mind Control and the Media although others use it as well to rally a cause, Hitler for one. The real blinking lights are the eyes...the telegraphs. Seeing is believing but is it? This song points out the fact that it isn't it. Just because you read or hear something doesn't make it the truth...including an all powerful God.

    You'll notice there are 3 lights in the video as you and everyone else has 3 as well. The telepathic eye, the one not seen is what this video is all about. You don't need words nor writing and truly not logos nor allegiance to a flag. All you need is equality. The symbology of three groups of three descending is quite telling to numerologists which it is obvious OMD has a higher level of understanding of.

    Paul himself has the mark of the lightbringer...666 June 24, 1959. Of course...time doesn't exist but it's interesting he falls under the codes with that number. He has some real interesting numbers in fact but that's a different story and far too complex for this website.

    This song is all about telepathy, letting music and actions speak and higher planes of existence.
    Nailerkon September 29, 2007   Link

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