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Random Song Machine: “Always On My Mind” by World Party

March 20th, 2008 · No Comments

World Party's Dumbing Up (U.K. version)

Wherein Karl Wallinger excoriates every aspect of western civilization that he can fit into 8 and ½ minutes, and barely takes a breath in the process.  This song was written at the turn of the last century, when so many of these issues were prominent in everyone’s thoughts and, by the sound of the song today, they have remained so – the lyrics feel as if they could have been written yesterday.  Look!  There’s chemical warfare engineers, Dubya, religious fanatics, Larry Langford, rap musicians, media marketeers, hopemongers.  We’re all there.

Somewhat fittingly, this song came up in rotation on the Random Song Machine not long after I had read through a discussion about Barack Obama’s recent speech on race over at the worstweblogintheworld.  So, this one’s for you, Brian.  No hidden meaning.

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“Always On My Mind” from Dumbing Up (2000) by World Party

Where do you begin to explain the mess,
The mess you made of it?
I was only out for half an hour,
I said, “Please look after it.”
You had to think that you know best
And forget all the golden rules,
You ignored the difficult truth
And opened the door to fools.

Now I see the strong ones make,
I see the weak ones break,
I see you running out of time.

You got a finger in every pie,
Well, what did I expect?
You made an art-form out of talking shit,
And partying ’til you’re wrecked.
In the small hours it’s so easy to feel
You’ve got some big ideals,
But in the morning you should put them away
‘Cause you know they’ll end in tears.

I see the strong ones fake,
While the weak can’t stay awake,
You know you’re always on my mind.

And football’s all about training shoes.
Yeah, it’s added up to this.
And religion’s all about bums on seats
And if you’re livin’ in the West.
Mum’s apple pie is full of ‘E’s,
And Dad ain’t at his best;
His new car was designed by God
But, Jesus, he looks a mess.

I see the strong ones take,
I see the weak, the weak ones ache,
You know it’s always on my mind.

While we’re busying ourselves with mines,
The chemists are working late.
They gotta breed an indestructible gene
To wipe us all away.
They’re just following their inquisitiveness,
Well, that’s what they like to say.
But it sounds like they’re just following orders
Like the Nazis used to say.

I see the gas clouds shake,
I see the rivers ache,
You know it’s always on my mind.

What kind of music are you playing there, son?
What is that old machine?
Doesn’t matter I can’t hear the words,
‘Cause I don’t care what they mean.
Yeah, I believe you,
You’re a real street fighter,
Gonna change the system from within.
Hey! Watch this guy, he’s a bare-faced liar –
Yeah, that’s, that’s him in the limousine.

I hear your bullshit take,
I hear your drum-machine break,
You know it’s always on my mind.

If Jesus came now
He’d say, “Lord get me outta here,
‘Cause I, I just can’t handle this.”
The Lord would say,
“Hey, Jesus, what do ya mean?
It was always going to be this way.”
“Almighty Father, you are full of shit,
‘Cause the folks down here don’t want to be saved.
Why have they forsaken themselves?
And used hypocritical armor-plating.”

I see the strong ones take,
I see the weak ones break,
You know it’s always on my mind.

If you were passing in a space vehicle,
And you came close to Planet Earth,
You wouldn’t stop by for tea
‘Cause of the screaming that you heard;
And the lying, and the cheating, and the gnashing of teeth,
And the straight-ahead mental deformation.
You’d head on to Venus
With its welcoming sulphuric acid precipitation.

Who’d want to stop where the strong ones reign
But they won’t ease the weak ones’ pain?
You know, out of sight would be really out of mind.

Well, I’m sittin’ here watching little kids starve,
And worlds get thrown away.
I’m thinking there’s just gonna be more
Before any goodness has its way.
I’m sick of feeling sick of you,
You’re too smart to be like this.
But you’ve got no legends that will guide your soul.
Now you’re really taking the piss.

I see the weak ones strong someday,
Not in any silly Communist way,
More like in the movement of Elvis’ hip-sway,
When civilization comes and stays,
When all the corporations have gone away,
When laughing gas is handed out on the Big Love Day,
When egos are driven underground ’cause they get no approbation,
When boys and girls are laughing in every nation,
When the Truth is pursued for relaxation,
When living with the world is our aspiration,
When there’s no mileage in hate, and no gas-stations,
And the creatures are protected from mammals to crustaceans,
And the soul has found its liberation.

You know, this is always on my mind.

Tags: music · politics · Random Song Machine

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