Doctor Doctor what is wrong with me
This supermarket life is getting long
What is the heart life of a colour TV
What is the shelf life of a teenage queen

Ooh western woman
Ooh western girl
News hound sniffs the air
When Jessica Hahn goes down

He latches on to that symbol
Of detachment
Attracted by the peeling away of feeling
The celebrity of the abused shell the belle

Ooh western woman
Ooh western girl
And the children of Melrose
Strut their stuff

Is absolute zero cold enough
And out in the valley warm and clean
The little ones sit by their TV screens
No thoughts to think

No tears to cry
All sucked dry
Down to the very last breath
Bartender what is wrong with me

Why am I so out of breath
The captain said excuse me ma'am
This species has amused itself to death
Amused itself to death

Amused itself to death
We watched the tragedy unfold
We did as we were told
We bought and sold

It was the greatest show on earth
But then it was over
We ohhed and aahed
We drove our racing cars

We ate our last few jars of caviar
And somewhere out there in the stars
A keen-eyed look-out
Spied a flickering light

Our last hurrah
And when they found our shadows
Grouped around the TV sets
They ran down every lead

They repeated every test
They checked out all the data on their lists
And then the alien anthropologists
Admitted they were still perplexed

But on eliminating every other reason
For our sad demise
They logged the only explanation left
This species has amused itself to death

No tears to cry no feelings left
This species has amused itself to death

"Years later, I saw Bill Hubbard's name on the memorial to the missing
at Aras. And I...when I saw his name I was absolutely transfixed; it
was as though he was now a human being instead of some sort of
nightmarish memory of how I had to leave him, all those years ago.
And I felt relieved, and ever since then I've felt happier about it,
because always before, whenever I thought of him, I said to myself,
'Was there something else that I could have done?'

"I'd rather die, I'd rather die..."

And that always sort of worried me. And having seen him, and his
name in the register - as you know in the memorials there's a little safe,
there's a register in there with every name - and seeing his name and
his name on the memorial; it sort of lightened my...heart, if you like."

"When was it that you saw his name on the memorial?"

"Ah, when I was eighty-seven, that would be a year, ninete...eighty-
four, nineteen eighty-four."

Lyrics submitted by H-bomb

Amused to Death Lyrics as written by Roger Waters

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Amused To Death song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentYep, or to put it more bluntly, "we've fucked up as a race, destroyed any culture we had by watching tv, fucked up spirituality, and then destroyed each other". And of course, since we are one fucked up race, aliens can't find any explanation for our demise and come up with their only explanation. That we just amused ourselves to death when our culture embraced war as entertainment and destruction as a way of life.
    BrainDamageon August 24, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentYou need to look no further than the title to trace the meaning. "Amused to Death" (the whole album actually) relates to Neil Postman's book "Amusing Ourselves to Death". Neil is big on how technology negatively affects the human race and especially public discourse. In this tune from the album Roger sums up all the rest. Take popular culture, consumerism, technology, etc. put it all together and this species has amused itself to death. Personally, I don't see it really related to nuclear war - otherwise why would the alien anthropologists be so perplexed when trying to figure out what happened to us? They'd easily see the destruction of a nuclear war, but instead they just find our shadows around a TV set. They have to repeat every test and the only logical reason they can come up with is that we've amused ourselves to death.
    Bilko2720on October 18, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentA gorgeous end to a gorgeous album. The lyrics are pretty much self-explanatory, but they're about people neglecting the intellectual/rational side of things and instead caring about Melrose Place and cheap supermarket goods.
    JoeBaldwinon April 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentone of the best songs ever. period.
    toolmusikon March 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwhat a brilliant song. what else can i say
    specleon April 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe meaning has been explained, except for the point of the Western Woman/Western Girl lines. Anyone care to help?
    inpraiseoffollyon June 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentits the western woman and girls who are living the super market life
    specleon June 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGorgeous song, beautiful and elegant. And it rocks. I always wondered about the Western Woman lines myself. I never realized that perhaps Roger Waters was just speaking to the women of western culture. It's actually a really sad song. Not just bitter, but truly sorrowful.
    giordano1000on October 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have to agree with Bilko that this is not about after a nuclear war it is if aliens came down today and that we are already shadows sitting in front of TV sets
    Ooooo99on August 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe western women part actually confuses people? They are some of the most self-indulgent, vapid people on the planet right now. If the song is referring to anyone responsible for amusing the race as a whole - to death, it's them.
    Oblivon July 11, 2020   Link

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