Lyric Archive

South Africa House

Camouflage gets boring in the centre of The Hague,
Girlfriends criticise newsmen, they’re being far too vague,
Echoes that woke me are conspicuous by their absence,
I reach for my uniform, then come to my senses.

Alarm clock tells me dawn is a long way off yet,
What’s the use of sleeping, I can still taste the sweat,
At times like this I’d like to build a wall across the road,
At times like this I’d like to go around and round.

Beside me sleeps a girl oblivious to my hopes and fears,
Interested in fashion and crocodile tears,
Beside me sleeps a girl oblivious to my hopes and fears,
She’s just interested in South Africa House


Illustration, Interpretation, Alienation,
Stay together, we’re together, try together,
Justify, please justify.

Tone and style, broken dial, beating heart,
Blown apart, just a game, just a game,
Forget my name,
Explain why, please explain why.

A Boy With A Penchant For Open Neck Shirts

This room is really small but full of smoke and people
Gatecrashers and those people who have been invited
I’d like to be at home this minute, but I’ve got to stay
I’m meeting youths, but I don’t want to meet youths
Now I’m feeling very lonely although I just can’t move
There are so many people they are dancing and they’re smoking
Some are telling jokes, some are celebrating,
Some are taking drugs, some are getting a lift home.
I’ve noticed him, he’s got some money in his back pocket,
More money, more money than I’ve ever dreamt of,
I push through all these people and I try to talk to him,
He knows where all the hidden cameras are hidden.

Pink Triangles

Go ahead with your Pink Triangles, go on why don’t you go ahead
Stop reversing in a new direction, go ahead with your Pink Triangles
I’m not going to like your plans and I’m not going to like your plans
Go ahead,
It’s quite frightening to realise, I’m almost something to be,
But not just yet, wait for me to get you out of my system,
Go ahead,
What was it like, sand all sand
What’s the point, what’s the point?
Your wearing perfume bought by another,
Wearing jewellery, wearing me down
I get so tired, I’m so tired,
Cheque in the post with the Pink Triangles


The skies over Europe are dark and sad
Someone whispered to me, it’s just a fashion fad
As I slump over my evening meal I think,
Will the taxi driver wait for me to have another drink?
I’ve got your diary on microfilm
And a microscope to read it,
I’ve torn up that old photo of you,
I didn’t think I’d need it
A box of credit card receipts
And a bottle of your hair dye,
I sit and wonder why
There’s a shadow in the flat
And I think your back,
A hair on my pillow,
Now I’m getting unstable
Evening dresses in the wardrobe, still unwrapped
Talking on the telephone, thinking it’s tapped
Credit – I didn’t think I’d need it


Authenticity is supposed to be the answer,
There’s a boy with a black suit on, he’s got brown shoes on
Wow! He’s a disco dancer
Close your eyes, but he’s going anyway
No thanks, I don’t want lunch,
No thanks I don’t want breakfast today
So I’ll just catch the train back home
But wait for me with Brylcreem in my hair
I haven’t decided what I want yet,
But when I do, you’ll be the first to know
I’ve got a couple of O-Levels,
I’ve got some ambition,
Got a plan,
Got that pain in my brain.

I Ain’t Got That Swing

I’m feeling like a sponge tonight.
Soaking up all this atmosphere.
I’m meeting people living in a different decade,
They are telling me.
I ain’t got that swing.

There’s that girl again,
She’s dancing on her own,
She is dancing with her friend,
I’ve got a message for her,
But I ain’t got that swing


A small room, full of big boxes,
Boxes of all colours and shapes,
Piled high to the ceiling
Covering the window, covering the sky
There’s no room for light or air,
Just big boxes everywhere
There’s no room for love or emotion
Just big boxes
Some boxes are full of happy times, hooray
Some boxes are full of bad times, boo
Some boxes are full of my girlfriend, hooray
Some boxes are full of my girlfriend’s boyfriend, boo.

Red Flowers

Here are some Red Flowers,
Please put them in water
And when you look at them,
Please think of me,
Let them stand unaided,
Let them stare at you,
If you feel uneasy,
Don’t worry you’re supposed to.

They didn’t cost much,
At least not in money.
But these Red Flowers,
Mean so much to me.

I don’t want to kiss you,
I know it’ll spoil your make up,
I don’t want to love you.
I know it’ll just fuck me up

So just take this small gift,
This small gift of Red Flowers

Lake Superior

I’ve heard enough of muscled talk,
Seen enough of short sleeved shirts,
Bitter hearts break and spit
Kissing cousins kiss and tell
Aftershave and wedding rings
Fall amongst the cherry blossom

I’ve heard enough of broken promises
Seen enough of sad eyed girls,
A wedding dress and a man made suit
Lovers say as lovers do
Souvenirs and late birthday cards
Fall amongst the apple blossom.

It really is just a game to you,
That’s what I’ve heard,
At Lake Superior

I’ve heard enough of your whispered lies
Seen enough of suntanned sons
Broken hearts and blushing brides,
A husband will do as a husband does
Yes I know, of course I know
Fall amongst the pretty blossom

There Is Nothing To Keep Us Here

I had to phone you as soon as I had read this book,
It’s a book about travel and geography
I was so excited by its colourful pages,
I stood up, I got up and ran to the telephone.

I’ll bring the book so we’ll know what to expect,
I’ll bring the cigarettes, I know you’ll forget
I’ll bring some armour, we’ve nothing to fear,
There is nothing to keep us here

Stop what you’re doing, forget you family,
Pack a suitcase, not too big, bring sensible clothes,
You can trust me, I’m not the kind to fool around with you
We’ll leave tomorrow, we’ll leave today,
No, let’s leave now.


They’re spitting blood and they’re praying for rain on Sugarside,
They’re dressing up and falling down on Sugarside,
You sleep alone and you watch the sky on Sugarside,
Feel the heat burn your eyes on Sugarside.

But everything changes, always does
Everyone leaves you, always do.

They’re pressing shirts to look their best on Sugarside,
They’re hoping for some sympathy on Sugarside,
If you shout for help, you’ll be heard, on Sugarside,
Turn your back without any fear on Sugarside,

King Cupid

This time every night,
Faces made of porcelain,
Young men with dreams in their pockets,
They won’t take no for an answer

Dragged down with doubting words,
Crayons bright, they’re mixed and matched,
Women with the whitest skin you’ve ever seen

Pen to paper, fingers crossed,
Jack, Franz , sad Emile,
Men of ink, they’re men of paper,
Through thunder and lighting, they slept on.

Built up by body pumps,
With false confessions,
They walk on water.
Call for him, King Cupid.

Face to face, toe to toe,
No-one else needs to know,
Claude and Vincent knew their strengths,
They said all they had to say.

Love Will Blow Up In Your Face

She’ll wait outside for you with the engine running,
She’ll pass her time counting her engagement rings
There’ll be pauses of silence, whenever you’re together,
But don’t get too concerned, because it’s happened before.

What does that telephone say ?
Oh what a scandal,
What does that beating drum say?
Oh what a surprise

Love Will Blow Up In Your Face
She’ll send you postcards,
She’ll write ‘I wish you were here’
She’ll sun herself until the sun falls from the sky

She’ll tell you stories, then laugh if you believe them
But don’t get too concerned, because tomorrow’s another day


Cobalt blue as blue as the blue Atlantic
But it is the yellow, just the yellow of the wheatfield,
And it’s the yellow and the green of the sunflowers,
That shine from a canvas, that flow from a brush
That flies like arrows into all of us

Here’s a message from the Yellowhouse
We’ve got a secondhand bed,
A roof over our head,
There is room for colour and room for me
In the Yellowhouse

From the cold winds of the Lowlands to the Bible Belt
The rainbows that light the Summer skies
It’s the warmth from a fire in the next house,
That shine from a canvas, that flow from a brush
That flies like arrows into all of us

There’s a small house made from sugar and wood,
It’s painted yellow, but we could change all that,
And there’s a cat that really needs a home,
He’s really small but he will grow

Letters of The Alphabet

Good morning radio, it’s time to wash my hair,
It’s a new day, I’m twenty four hours older
I haven’t changed, there are no lines around my face
I wonder what you’re doing

There’s no time for me to wait, I have to get to work,
When I’m at work, I’m busy, No time to think of you
This coffee is bitter, but I need it, so I’ll drink it

Sometimes I lie in bed with Letters of the Alphabet
I wonder what you’re doing
I wonder who you’re seeing

Helen Come Home

Rachel set the world on fire,
The day before she ran out of air,
Helen chose her daughter’s name
Across the world, I bet it’s all the same

Someone’s got to give up cigarettes, someone’s got to do it
But why do they spend their time thinking they’re friends of mine ?

Susan stole the day off work,
She told her boss her eyes hurt,
Helen forgot hew own son’s name
Across the world, I bet it’s all the same

And when she blinks here eyes.
I’m always surprised by her frightening stare and her bright shiny hair

Tina Weymouth’s Smile

David Byrne pushes her around
Chris and Jerry , they don’t say a sound,
Facts are facts and here’s fact
She should walk out the door and don’t come back

She’s got a little brain in her little head,
Her little face is round and red,
‘Perhaps’ she says, ‘Perhaps and because’
Why doesn’t she stand up for herself?

Next to me and next to her,
No-one else seems to care
I have a gun that I can lend her

She Loves Me Like A Brother

From A to Z and 1 to 10
She ran through my life and back again.
She threw my surname on the floor,
She just walked in and then out of the door

She made some promises she simply could not keep,
Tried to find things she could not seek,
From Harrow to Timbuktu,
She would sometimes wish she was with you

It’s when the businessmen are busy
And when the newsmen make the news
When the world’s stopped spinning,
When from my mouth I hear myself say
She Loves Me Like a Brother,
But that’s not good enough
She drags me down with all her stuff

Last Disco In North Korea

The owner languishes in jail, the barman’s out on bail
It’s the last disco in North Korea
The doorman was found with a gun,
The go-go dancers are on the run

The whisky was watered down,
The brown ale wasn’t brown
The hat-check girl hasn’t been found,
The front of house greeter has gone to ground

Working in Korea, wrecked my career,
It’s far worse than I feared
Bang goes my chance to meet Emperor Rosko
They’re opening another one in San Francisco

I Ain’t Been With No Prostitute

I know it’s late, but it’s not that late
I’m unhappy with what you insinuate,
It’s 2am I can explain, It’s 2am I missed the train
It’s 2 am what’s wrong with you? It’s 2am and I’m 42

Hands up if you’ve been with a prostitute
Thumbs up if you ever been with a prostitute

Oh No, You’re Pregnant

I’ve just been to the surgery,
They say they’ve got some great news for me,
They’ve been looking at your medical history,
You seem to be lacking Vitamin B

The girl from the clinic became agitated
The test results had become complicated
Microscopes and X-Rays don’t lie
There is no doubt you’re having a child

It’s not as if we didn’t take precautions
It’s not as if we didn’t act with caution

You’re in labour, but you don’t vote,
You’re up the stick and morning sick,
When the seagull follows the trawler
It’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea

I’ve told them there must be an error,
I’ve asked them to check their computers
The London Rubber Company can expect
To receive a letter from my solicitor next week

King of The Manchester Baggy Scene

I was a Manchester City trainee, but my career was ended by a broken knee
I failed all my O-Levels due to no revision, I became a roadie for Joy Division,
I was pinned up against the wall at The Manchester Free Trade Hall
By the future rhythm section of The Fall
Tony Wilson witnessed it all

I was a Stockholm Monster and a Chameleon
I sang backing vocals for the Durutti Column
I ran warehouse parties in Trafford Park
I sold Chelsea boots to John Cooper-Clarke

I managed the Happy Sundays, then they changed their name,
They ditched me and went onto worldwide fame
I was brought in to help write ‘Wonderwall’
But now the Gallagher brothers won’t return my call

Now I’m the head of a new regime,
I’m the King of the Manchester Baggy Scene

The Most Handsome Man on T.V.

I’ve got a daughter, but I never see her,
Got a daughter and a son somewhere,
Had a wife in another life,
Got a car with payments due

I walk home from work through the fog,
Bang my poor bones on a rusty fence,
I got a Union Card on Labour Day,
Spent all the night counting my pay.

Look at me, look at me,
Let it Be, Let it Be,
Let them through,
I know just what they’re going through.

But all that happened a long, long time ago

Black Girlfriend

These days will never end with my Black Girlfriend,
See her twist and bend, she is my Black Girlfriend,
It’s a love chase, a mixed race,
They’ve never seen anything like it in this place.

She said ‘You’ve got a very vivid imagination – with ideas way above your station’
I said ‘ Let me stop you there – Can I touch your hair?’

I write stuff and send it to my Black Girlfriend,
I steal stuff and give it to my Black Girlfriend
They are making a documentary – about what she sees in me
They don’t know what to call it yet,
I said I’d help them out with that

She said ‘Weren’t you married before?’
I said ‘Yeah, but that was back in 1984’
I said ‘Let’s stop this charade’
‘Would you like a cherryade, or something stronger?’
I said ‘My wife doesn’t understand me’
She said ‘Sorry, but I don’t understand’

My First Day Out Of Jail

I had a barrack room lawyer
Who had tried to defend Toyah
She’d been charged with crimes against the state
Dating back to 1978

I had been charged with homicide
And attempting suicide,
I was banged up with a nonce,
That’s just one up from a ponce
This is my first day out of jail

Is Martin still with Gail?
What is e-mail?
Do the blind still use braile?
What became of Jimmy Nail

On the way out of the gates,
I crossed paths with Bill Gates,
He’d just got 18 months,
For non-payment of water rates

Morrissey Stole All My Ideas

Look at him, the little shit, with his receding quiff.
Hit him put him in a sack, throw him over a cliff.
He must have got in around 1978,
Committing this heinous crime around early 1979

Cut his throat with garden shears,
Impale him on 1,000 spears,
Run him over, grind the gears,
Morrissey stole all my ideas.

His lyrics come from my notebook,
Plots and choruses he took,
That microphone thing he does, I did,
Everything he does I did
He escaped in a stolen car,
Driven by Johnny Marr,
Based his whole career, on all of my ideas.

The Chrysler Building (1976)

Build me up in the Chrysler Building,
Push me over,
I am falling, falling
I am redesigning.

As I look down, across this noble town,
It’s an urban myth, it was designed by Patti Smith

Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine,
They look exactly the same,
There is CBGBs
A documentary on BBC

It’s the cry of the Chrysler Building.

Gay Lorry Drivers

I got tired hanging around with the hunger strikers,
Got bored of all those leather motor bikers,
So I looked to God for some salvation,
I said I know you’re busy but,
I’d like some inspiration.

Is there a society or club around here,
That can light my fire – make me feel alive?
A club or a sect on a recruitment drive,
Wash the oily grime from my skin.

Gay Lorry Drivers,
They vent their sexual frustration in the motorway service stations,
Enjoy the spoils of an all day breakfast with an apprentice boy from Belfast.

I was saved from a life of crime by a close friend of mine,
I failed the entrance examination to work in a nuclear power station,
So I scoured the local press for some inspiration,
There must be a place for me in this once great nation
Have I at last found a place in life, to rest in peace amongst devotees?

Bad Orgy

Local paper advertisement,
Box number, send picture
All enquiries will be replied,
A good sense of humour is not required.

I was coerced and under rehearsed
Self conscious, wishing I was unconscious,
I was never born with the technique,
To commit acts of which we cannot speak.

I don’t want to be aroused,
In this grubby council house,
I’ve no wish to copulate,
Infront of a plumber’s mate.

It’s a bad orgy,
The worst one I’ve ever seen,
The worst one I’ve ever been to.

I had to look away when approached by a middle aged woman from Stoke,
She’d been on the road since six due to the traffic on the M6
A girl who stacks shelves in an out of town DIY stores was manacled to the floor,
A sales rep from Leamington Spa was squeezed into a second hand purple bra
And yes I really do mind, to take you from behind
I’ve no wish to go upstairs with that couple from Broadstairs.

I Am The Very Limit

I am the scum of the Earth,
I should have been drowned at birth,
I’m way past any kind of redemption,
That you’re liable to mention

I’m spinning out of control,
And it’s all down to alcohol,
I’m trouble with a capital ‘T’
I’m out of my fucking tree.

Criminals have washed their hands of me,
I’m a big let down to my family,
I’m wasting valuable living space,
Aimlessly going no place.

Uneducated, Underdeveloped,
Under Police surveillance,
Riddled with cynicism,
Prone to outbursts of racism
Blighted with a severe case of sexism

I am worthless,
I am pointless,
I am useless.

When I look in the mirror, I see a potential serial killer,
A stalker, jay-walker, nuisance caller.
I am the author of crank letters,
With no chance of ever getting better

The Church has threatened ex-communication
The Judiciary wans to bring back Transportation
Let me be a warning to the young of this land
Things seldom turn out as planned.

We’re All Gonna Die

You say don’t worry, things will get better,
Everything will be ok, some time, some day,
But what are you talking about?
What are you talking about?
This may be news to you,
I have some news for you.

We’re all Gonna Die

From a terrible incurable disease,
Shot by a terrorist in the knees,
Hung by a lynch mob,
Struck down by an act of God
Murdered by a jealous ex-beau
Frozen to death, lost in the snow.
Poisoned by one of them fish they eat in Japan,
Kidnapped and executed in Iran.

Run off the road by a drunken driver,
Given bad oxygen by a deep sea diver,
Beaten in a cell by a bent copper,
Suffocated by a space hopper.

Throat slit by a complete stranger,
Stabbed at Loftus Road by a Queens Park Ranger
Car bomb planted in a VW Polo
Assassinated by Napoleon Solo.

I Met My Girlfriend At A Friars Gig

Her brother operated the lights rig,
We got married and had four kids.
She was a pretty thing from the High School
She made a man of me in the cattle market.

The Borough Assembly Hall has gone,
The Civic Centre is coming down,
The Ship Inn is a pile of rubble,
The Green Man is a wine bar.

She’s happy now in Fairford Leys
We hope to move to Watermead.

Mitten On A Railing

I’ve been pissed on from a great height,
Left alone to drink in the pub all night,
I feel so sorry for myself,
Sitting here on the shelf.

I’ve been beaten up by drunken men,
I’ve never been anyone’s fancy man
They stuck a ‘Kick Me’ sticker on my back
They stuck a ‘I Smell ‘ sticker on my back

And due to all my failings,
I’m like a Mitten on a Railing.

Mark E Smith Wannabe

Another Mark E Smith Wannabe,
Yeah you, take your place in the queue.
Your pickled wits on the graveyard shift,
You’re on Salford 96.2FM

And all that static on your nylon shirts,
Smoking 60 a day until your sinuses hurt.
Your mothers’ hands are raw from cleaning the front step,
The step where you spit and you shit.

I took the National Express from Coventry,
I keep a fly in a jar for appearances’ sake,
Everything O do is for appearances’ sake,
That’s why I was put on this earth.

Rough Trade

At school with Pete Donne,
Never done me no good,
A fat lot of good that was.

Ain’t never been on no Rough Trade compilation.

Excuse me are you local?
Rough Trade, in a flat above Rough Trade,
Where I fell ill, in Notting Hill.

They melted my records down, I believe,
Sold the vinyl to finance the Swell Maps, I believe,
I have no proof,
But I’ve got some cameras in their roof.

Song for Mark E. Smith

Poisoned by lead, I’ve heard it said,
Set fire to his bed with a lit Benson & Hedges.
Out of his head,
Cut then he bled,
Salford will mourn their favourite son,
It’ll be a month of Sundays
Before they get another one.

How will we cope,
Asks Julian Cope?
We all feel the hurt,
Elephant Man, John Hurt .

It’s a sad story,
Says the Badly Drawn Bouy,
I’ve never heard of him,
Ex-Championship boxer Barry McGuigan.

Geoff Travis? Dave Lee Travis, more like.

Life’s Cheap

Two bags of meat, buy one get one for free,
That’s right – life’s cheap around here.
I’m on a rocket ship to the moon,
I have no ticket, repeat, I have no ticket.
Correct – life’s cheap around here.

So you find me in the cupboard beneath the stairs,
I breath second hand air,
You heard me, life’s cheap around here.

Buy this and you get this too
You can live in a cave
And learn to behave
It’s a fact – life’s cheap around here.

My Secretary

She makes all my appointments,
She covers me in ointment.

I got her from the small ads,
I found her in the small ads,
She’s my secretary.

She worked for a decorator,
He did not appreciate her.
She’s got one of those small cars,
I gave her the money for it,
She took all money for it.

Kitchen Sink Disco (23.4.04)

We have a song about Morrissey, on our newly released CD
It struck a chord with Ben who runs a club in Piccadilly,
That’s Manchester, son – not soft shandy drinking London.
So we all set off at noon, and pretty soon,
We were sitting in traffic on the M1,
South of Northampton – Junction15,
Which just happens to be the home of the Retro Spankees.

We’re all present and correct,
At the Kitchen Sink Discotheque,
But Tara Mascara has gone and lost her headphones.
The poor girl’s a nervous wreck,
At the Kitchen Sink Discotheque,
Because Tara Mascara’s gone and lost her headphones

We met Ben and the Retro Spankees in the pub,
Then we went up to the club,
Kevin, Brother Dave and Jon went off for Dim Sum,
Richard and I had another drink,
And had time to talk and think.

But there’s a rumour in the club,
It’s an inside insurance job,
And Tara Mascara hasn’t lost her headphones,
The story is, she’d done it before,
And in 1984, with the money that she got,
She bought a great big fuck off yacht.

So where are Tara Mascara’s headphones?

Nice Little Bust

In God I now trust, I’ve seen your nice little bust
Caress it , I must, your nice little bust.
I’m in such a fuss,
Because of your nice little bust.

I’m overtaken with lust
Oh your nice little bust

My Lesbian Sister

What’s the point of being a fan?
That’s a job for a stupid man.

It’s all over this town,
This is the talk of the town,
This rumour going round,
About My Lesbian Sister.

Written on all the walls,
Read and re-read by all,
My Lesbian Sister

What got into her head ?
In a second hand bed,
My Lesbian Sister

I take refuge with an easy-going barber.

I Hate My Life

I walk a mile in a white training shoe,
I take a jet plane to escape a fat domineering wife,
I have been charged by the magistrate
For carrying a kitchen knife.
I hate my life.

My car stinks of sweat,
My shoes are made of PVC,
My mistress uses me for free meals,
I have been cuckolded by an immigrant,
I hate my life.

My headmaster wrote to me,
He is taking back my three GSE’s
An ex girlfriend mocked me in the street,
I hate my life.

I wake up in a hospital,
On a ring road, in a market town,
I am happy in this bed,
My kidneys are leaking lead.
I hate my life.

London Branch of The Captain Beefheart Supporters’ Club

His name’s Don,
May be Dutch,
Something Dutch there.
I have gone to his hometown,
Try to track him down.

So tell me young sir,
They say you used to cut his hair
This is the place he’d park his car,
Now he can afford a Jaguar.

Captain Beefheart Supporters Club,
Run by computers,
It couldn’t have been done before,
Not before computers.

Madam, I believe you were his first wife,
He, as I believe, promised you a quiet life,
But then he met some men,
And spent a great deal of time with them,
Often he would not return until 5 a.m.

I Hate My Life

I walk a mile in a white training shoe,
I take a jet plane to escape a fat domineering wife,
I have been charged by the magistrate
For carrying a kitchen knife.
I hate my life.

My car stinks of sweat,
My shoes are made of PVC,
My mistress uses me for free meals,
I have been cuckolded by an immigrant,
I hate my life.

My headmaster wrote to me,
He is taking back my three GSE’s
An ex girlfriend mocked me in the street,
I hate my life.

I wake up in a hospital,
On a ring road, in a market town,
I am happy in this bed,
My kidneys are leaking lead.
I hate my life.