[ A | Introduction | Song Index | Updates ]


Short for "All coppers [police officers] are bastards", a slogan that is often seen sprayed on the walls of British cities.

- Read more: Wikipedia -

Tears in the rain:
This is a common image, so it's perhaps a coincidence, but that phrase echoes a famous line in Ridley Scott's science fiction film Blade Runner (1982). It is a dystopia about humanoid robots, "replicants", that are used for dangerous and menial work in space colonies. They are not allowed on earth, so when four of them escape to our planet, they are hunted down by Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who during the chase begins to question the distinction between humans and replicants. Replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) makes this dying speech: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die." Justin Sullivan quotes the movie in connection with "I Need More Time".
-Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to ACAB ]

According to You

The song:
Q: "In 'According to You', who is 'you'?"
A: "That's a pretty general one. I suppose it's typical New Model Army, it's an anti-cynical song followed by a cynical song. [
Angry Planet]."
- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with Chimeo -

[ Back to According to You ]


The song:
After Stuart Morrow left NMA, Justin and Robert did the 'Acoustic EP' alone together. It was odd with just the two of us in a huge studio but we really enjoyed the session and worked very fast . . . we had so much time left over that we recorded Joolz' 'Love Is'. The seeds for 'Adrenalin' originate in the 70s when Justin was living in Belfast, where the 'tartan gangs' from different Protestant estates were less interested in 'the Troubles' than in kicking shit out of each other every weekend. As ever the media loved it and 'the public gets what the public wants . . . ' We recorded the song later with a band, but this is the original.
- Source: B-Sides and Abandoned Tracks booklet -

On the 11/01/2006 Martin Belfast posted on the New Model Army Noticeboard: "
CLONDUFF (a misprint on the sleeve) is a Protestant housing estate in east Belfast. Justin experienced various fights etc when he was over here and the song is about that. Drummy B is from the same origin."

Also called epinephrine. A hormone secreted by the medulla of the adrenal glands. It increases the rate and force of contraction of the heart, thus increasing the output of blood from the heart and the blood pressure. Adrenalin also stimulates the breakdown of glycogen to glucose in the liver, which results in the raising of the level of blood sugar. It increases the level of circulating free fatty acids. The extra amounts of glucose and fatty acids can be used by the body as fuel in times of stress or danger where increased alertness or exertion is required. Adrenalin is sometimes called the emergency hormone because it is released during stress and its stimulatory effects fortify and prepare an animal for either "fight or flight."
- Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica - Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Adrenalin | Back to Christian Militia ]

After Something

The song:
A kind of bonus track. The whole album is quite dark and brooding but the last song is a kind of ray of hope. "After Something" is kind of romantic and hopeful. It's about always chasing after something in life. The song wasn't supposed to be on the album, but everybody liked it. So we put it at the end, as a kind of afterthought. And if you ask me about my greatest wish you'll find the answer in that song.

- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with Deutschlandfunk; translation by me -

One of many songs that uses driving as subject matter or metaphor, like Happy to be Here, Headlights, 125 MPH, Orange Tree Roads, The Price, Stormclouds, Sunrise, Tales of the Road, Vagabonds, or Wipeout.

Lee Marvin:
American actor (1924-1987). Although he wasn't a natural singer, he sang all the songs in the western musical film Paint Your Wagon and had a number one hit with "Wand'rin' Star", a song about wanderlust:

I was born under a wandrin' star
I was born under a wandrin' star
Wheels are made for rollin'
Mules are made to pack
I've never seen a sight that didn't look better looking back

I was born under a wandrin' star
Mud can make you prisoner, and the plains can bake you dry
Snow can burn your eyes, but only people make you cry
Home is made for comin' from, for dreams of goin' to
Which with any luck will never come true
I was born under a wandrin' star
I was born under a wandrin' star

Do I know where hell is?
Hell is in hello
Heaven is goodbye for ever, it's time for me to go
I was born under a wandrin' star
A wandrin' wandrin' star

When I get to heaven tie me to a tree
Or I'll begin to roam, and soon you know where I will be
I was born under a wandrin' star
A wandrin' wandrin' star
- Read more: Wikipedia on Lee Marvin - Wikipedia on Wand'rin' Star -

[ Back to After Something ]

Afternoon Song

The song:
In 1992 there was an election in England and we went and voted in Bradford. We went back to the countryside studio, we were working on something. And we watched the election results, and Labour had lost and the Conservatives had got in again. We couldn't believe it and we sat there and got more and more depressed, and it was terrible, and eventually at four o'clock in the morning we went to sleep. And we woke up in the morning about nine o'clock, we couldn't sleep very well, woke up, thought, my god, this is the most terrible nightmare, another four years of those bastards! We got up and we walked outside, and we expected the world to have shattered and the weather like today, you know, rain. And it was a beautiful day, and the fields looked just the same as they had done the day before, and the trees looked just the same. And it felt really strange, and I think that's to do with being a country person. Anyway, I wrote the song just after that.
- Source: Justin Sullivan, 21/08/98, Sumpfblume, Hameln -

A similar idea seems to be expressed in High.

The giant steps of mankind:
Perhaps a reference to the famous words of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon (on 21/07/1969): "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

[ Back to Afternoon Song ]

Aimless Desire

The song:
This is a song for all the hopeless romantics. Romanticism is one of these words that is really difficult to define. I think it means something like having this feeling inside of you there's something better than this, but you don't quite know what it is and you can't quite get hold of it, but it goes driving you all way through your life to look for whatever it is.
- Source: Justin Sullivan, Red Sky Coven, 15/03/99, Hop and Grape, Manchester -

The song is based on the life story someone told Justin Sullivan.
- Source: Justin Sullivan's introduction to One Bullet, 21/08/98, Sumpfblume, Hameln -

The search for family ties is a recurrent theme in Justin Sullivan's lyrics. See for example Family, Family Life, Home or Inheritance.

In Greek mythology, a fire-breathing female monster resembling a lion in the forepart, a goat in the middle, and a dragon behind. In art the Chimera is usually represented as a lion with a goat's head in the middle of its back. The word is now used generally to denote a fantastic idea or figment of the imagination.
- Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica - Read more: Wikipedia -

In Greek and Roman mythology, three goddesses who determined human destinies, and in particular the span of a person's life and his allotment of misery and suffering. From the time of the poet Hesiod (8th century BC) on the Fates were personified as three very old women who spin the threads of human destiny. Their names were Clotho (Spinner), Lachesis (Allotter), and Atropos (Inflexible). Much later, some fanciful writers assigned different tasks to the three goddesses: Clotho spun the "thread" of human fate, Lachesis dispensed it, and Atropos cut the thread (thus determining the individual's moment of death).
- Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica - Read more: Wikipedia -

Can you see the real me?:
On The Who's album "Quadrophenia", which Justin Sullivan calls "a perfect album" on the "Live 161203" DVD, there is a song called "The Real Me":

I went back to the doctor
To get another shrink.
I sit and tell him about my weekend,
But he never betrays what he thinks.

Can you see the real me, doctor?

I went back to my mother
I said, "I'm crazy ma, help me."
She said, "I know how it feels son,
'Cause it runs in the family."

Can you see the real me, mother?

The cracks between the paving stones
Look like rivers of flowing veins.
Strange people who know me
Peeping from behind every window pane.
The girl I used to love
Lives in this yellow house.
Yesterday she passed me by,
She doesn't want to know me now.

Can you see the real me, can you?

I ended up with the preacher,
Full of lies and hate,
I seemed to scare him a little
So he showed me to the golden gate.

Can you see the real me preacher?
Can you see the real me doctor?
Can you see the real me mother?
Can you see the real me?

[ Back to Aimless Desire | Back to Disappeared | Back to Fate | Back to One Bullet | Back to Stranger ]

All Consuming Fire

The song:
" 'All-Consuming Fire' [...] has loads of different imagery. I mean, obviously it's about ... the end of the world *laughter*, but there's a lot of different imagery in it."
- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with Mushroom Magazine -

"I think [the album] High is quite interesting in that half the songs are very engaged with the here and now, you know - 'All Consuming Fire,' [. . . .] And then there's songs about disengagement [. . . .]"
- Source: Allan MacInnis: "New Model Army: Tribal Warfare and Western Civilization. Telephone interview on May 18th, 2008 -

False Maria:
"It starts off with Fritz Lang's Metropolis, this idea of False Maria. If you just imagine the moment in Metropolis where the false Maria, the Maria they make out of the metal, rises, and everybody runs around and says 'ah, isn't she beautiful'. To me that is the perfect analogy of Western civilization."
- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with Mushroom Magazine -

The classical silence science fiction film Metropolis depicts a city that is divided into people who live in luxury above the earth and workers who toil underground. The workers attend secret meetings where beautiful Maria preaches about a mediator who will one day reconcile the two worlds. The city's leader, Fredersen, fears Maria will stirr a rebellion. He instructs the scientist Rotwang to provide a lifelike robot he created with Marias features in order to raise discord amongst the workers. However, Rotwang once lost the woman he loved to Fredersen. He takes revenge by letting the false Maria spread discord among the rich young men overground as exotic dancer and encourage the workers into rebellion.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Feast to end all feasting:
Reference to the term "war to end all wars", that was applied to World War I (which took place mostly in Europe between 1914-18) by its contemporaries. After initial enthusiasm people were soon disillusioned when they saw the horrors of war and believed that after that experience nobody would ever start a war again.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

In Greek mythology the king of Phrygia (in today's Turkey) who turned everything he touched into gold (unfortunately also his food).
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Pax Americana:
The Latin phrase for "American Peace" refers to the period of relative peace in the Western world since the end of World War II in 1945, coinciding with the dominant military and economic position of the United States.The term is used by both supporters and critics of United States foreign policy.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Rains from two miles in the sky:
I guess this means bombs dropped from planes. Two miles is 3,2 kilometres.

A fortress, typically on high ground, protecting or dominating a city.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

The captain abandoned ship:
The captain is supposed to be the last person to leave a sinking ship.

The band plays on:
Perhaps a reference to the Titanic, the famous "unsinkable" British passenger liner that struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage in 1912 and sank. It is said that the band continued to play while the Titanic was sinking.

West into the all-consuming fire:
The settlement of the North American Continent began on the East Coast and spread to the south and west. In the middle of the 19th century there was a strong believe that ist was America's "Manifest Destiny" (i.e. the obvious and inevitable fate) to expand. The phrase "westward the course of empire takes its way", taken out of a poem by 18th century Irish philosopher George Berkeley, served as title for a famous painting and became some kind of American proverb. Although the term fell out of usage in the early 20th century, the idea lives on in the American consciousness (compare western (!) movies that end with the hero riding into the setting sun in the west) and the American policy to promote western political and economic ideologies throughout the world.
In his novel Blood Meridian (1985), American writer Cormac McCarthy criticises the concept of Manifest Destiny by comparing the red of the setting sun to the blood of native Americans and settlers shed during the westward expansion. He also links the setting of the sun with a decline of civilisation and morality. Justin Sullivan seems to hold a similar view (in various songs he compares the red setting sun to blood or to a destructive fire) (see also Sunset).
- Read more: Wikipedia entries on Manifest Destiny, "Westward . . . " (the painting) and Blood Meridian -

[ Back to All Consuming Fire | Back to Bad Harvest | Back to Bloodsports | Back to Master Race ]

All of This

Very Important Persons.

University Road:
There are many places in Britain (and in the world) with a University Road, including London and Belfast, where Justin Sullivan lived for some years.

A food, drink or drug stimulating sexual desire.

Of a bomb.

This might be British soldiers in Belfast, then their attackers would probably be the IRA (Irish Republican Army, Irish Catholic terrorists fighting for the independence of Northern Ireland. See also the annotations to Drummy B). The phrases "Western foreign policy across the world" and "home afar" however seem to indicate that these are either American soldiers in Britain or British soldiers somewhere else in the world.
Jerry emailed me the suggestion that the song refers specifically to the Droppin Well bombing. The Droppin Well was a discotheque in Ballykelly in Northern Ireland that was frequented by English soldiers. On 6th December 1982 the INLA (Irish National Liberation Army) exploded a time bomb there that killed eleven soldiers and six civilians.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Black bag:
Containing a bomb. In Britain there are warnings at many public places not to leave unattended bags behind. This is mainly because one fears bomb attacks by the IRA. Other NMA songs dealing with terrorist attacks or an assassination are The Attack, Breathing, Far Better Thing and Flying through the Smoke as well as Bloodsports.

[ Back to All of This ]


The song:
Tom told me in an e-mail that according to Joolz, this song about escaping Bradford is dedicated to her. She later asked Justin to also write a song about staying in Bradford, and he wrote Mambo Queen of the Sandstone City.

Thank you, Tom!

Justin Sullivan's, Joolz's (and Rob Heaton's) hometown. A small industrial town in West Yorkshire in the north of England, near Leeds, with about 290,000 inhabitants. Bradford is known for its textile industry. It has quite a large population of Pakistani immigrants.
Since many of New Model Army's lyrics refer to places in Bradford, I included a map.
- For general information and official links see Wikipedia -

[ Back to Ambition | Back to BD3 | Back to BD7 | Back to Bloodsports | Back to Bluebeat | Back to Bradford Lights |
Back to Brother
| Back to Carlisle Road | Back to Courage | Back to Did You Make it Safe? | Back to F#NY |
Back to Ghost of Your Father
| Back to High | Back to I Love the World | Back to Leeds Road 3am | Back to LS43 |
Back to Mambo Queen of the Sandstone City
| Back to The Pack | Back to Smalltown England | Back to Summer Moors ]

An der schoenen blauen Donau

The song:
This famous waltz was written in 1867 by Austrian composer Johann Strauss (1825-1899). Philistines like me know it because Stanley Kubrick used it in his film 2001: A Space Odyssey

[ Back to An der schoenen blauen Donau ]

Angry Planet

The song:
"Its a nihilistic song. It joins up the violence of the planet with the violence of human beings. Some people say its a call to end violence on the earth. I'm not sure it is. Its a representation of how I feel about the world. People find in music what they want."
- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with Chimeo -

One of Justin's favourite subjects. Compare
BD3, Dawn, Familiy, Family Life, Home, Inheritance, March in September, My People, No Mirror, No Shadow and Twilight Home.

Live by the bloody sword and die by the bloody sword:
"Those who live by the sword die by the sword" is a saying based on the bible. When Jesus is arrested before his crucifixion, one of his disciples wants to defend him with his sword, but Jesus stops him with: "Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword".
- Source: The Bible. Matthew, 26.52 - Read more: King James Bible -

The good soil and the fire:
Volcanic soil is very fertile, as it contains many minerals and can store water. Therefore many people live near volcanos in spite of the risk of eruptions

Go down to the wire:
To make it at the last possible moment.

Seven billion:
The number of humans living on Earth has reached seven billion in 2012 and is continuously growing.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Meek shall inherit the earth:
Part of the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus teaches some essential Christian morals: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth".
- Source: The Bible. Matthew, 5.5 - Read more: King James Bible -

[ Back to Angry Planet | Back to Ballad of Bodmin Pill ]

Another Imperial Day

The song:
Obviously this is a song about so-called illegal immigrants. Other New Model Army songs dealing with this subject are Die Trying, Higher Wall, Part the Waters, and Refugee.

Another Imperial Day:
Jochen from New Zealand points out that the initials of the song title appropriately for its topic read 'aid'.

Rotterdam harbour:
Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands (a small Western European country at the Atlantic), its harbour is the largest one in Europe.
- Read more: Wikipedia entries for Rotterdam and Port of Rotterdam-

Panamanian freighter:
The Republic of Panama is the southernmost country of Central America, but the freighter is most likely owned by a company from the Western industrialised nations. Ship-owners frequently sail under the flags of threshhold or developing countries (called flags of convenience) because work there is cheaper and the laws less restrictive.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Isle of Grain:
The Isle of Grain is the easternmost end of the Hoo Peninsula in Kent, South England. It is the location of the Thamesport, the United Kingdoms third largest container port.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Port of Calais:
Calais is a small town in northern France at the English Channel, the bit of the Atlantic Ocean between England and France. It is the closest French town to England, hence the port is the principal ferry crossing point between England (Dover) and France, but also a commercial port.
- Read more: Official Website -

The bombers are heading south and east, i.e. to where most immigrants and refugees come from. So I guess the irony here is that we Europeans refuse those people to enter our countries while we allow ourselves to station our armies there or use military force to enforce our economic and political interests there.

Imperial Day:
The British Empire was the most extensive empire in world history and for a substantial time was the foremost global power. It was a product of the European age of discovery, which began with the maritime explorations of the 15th century, that sparked the era of the European colonial empires. By 1921, the British Empire held sway over a population of about 458 million people, approximately one-quarter of the world's population. It covered about 36.6 million km² (14.2 million square miles), about a quarter of Earth's total land area. Though it has now mostly evolved into the Commonwealth of Nations, British influence remains strong throughout the world.
- Source: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Another Imperial Day | Back to Die Trying | Back to Nothing Touches | Back to Over the Wire ]

Apocalypse Dreams

The term is often used in the general sense "end of the world". Literally it means "lifting of the veil", the disclosure of hidden things to a few chosen people. In the Christian tradition the term apocalypse is applied to the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament of the Bible. It contains the account of two visions in which God reveals the signs leading up to the end of the world, also called Judgement Day, because God judges every human, or Second Coming, because Jesus Christ will return to earth on that day.
- Read more: Wikipedia entries on Apocalypse and Book of Revelation -

[ Back to Apocalypse Dreams | Back to Here Comes the War | Back to Horsemen | Back to Modern Times |
Back to Ten Commandments | Back to Waiting | Back to White Coats ]

Archway Towers

Archway Towers:
"A purpose built Social Security building off the Holloway Road in London. There are no doors between the 'clients' who have to go there and those who work there. The employees are escorted in by a security firm. The counter windows are made of bulletproof glass. The staff are under instructions to be as rude as possible. The place is the closest I've seen to a nightmare in real life. That to me represents an aspect of what England's becoming."
- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with House of Dolls Fanzine in 1989 -

Blue ties:
Blue is traditionally the colour of the English Conservative Party.

[ Back to Archway Towers ]

Are You Lonesome Tonight

The world's a stage:
Jaques: All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.
- Source: Shakespeare, William, As You Like It. Act II, scene 7. - Read more: Project Gutenberg -

It was a common idea in the Middle Ages and Renaissance to see the world as a stage, with god as author and director at the same time, on which everybody had to play his or her role.

[ Back to Are You Lonesome Tonight ]

Arm Yourselves and Run

The song:
"a song I started writing in 1991 or 92, after seeing this very strange piece of graffiti on a wall in Belgrade just a month before the beginning of the Yugoslav war, written in English, in huge white letters 'Arm yourselves and run'. How weird! I started writing it and never finished it."
- Source: Justin Sullivan interview wit Altsounds -

1991 marked the beginning of a series of wars between different Yugoslav republics seeking independence and the government in Belgrade, then the capital of Yugoslavia. The wars were characterised by ethnic conflicts mostly between Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks and became infamous for the many war crimes commited. An estimated 130,000 to 140,000 people were killed and Yugoslavia broke up into several sovereign countries. Part of the Yugoslav Wars was the Kosovo War that is mentioned in You Weren't There.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

In Norse mythology, an uninterrupted series of three harsh winters marked by wars that no longer respect family ties, resulting in the end of the world and all living things.
- Source: Wikipedia -

Jihad is an Arabic word meaning 'spiritual struggle', i.e. the attempt to be a good Muslim. In western cultures it is now mainly used as a synonym for religious war and Islamic terrorism. The former Yugoslav republics Kosovo, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina have a high percentage of Muslim inhabitants.
- Source: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Arm Yourselves and Run | Back to My People ]

The Attack

The song:
"[. . .] it’s told from the inside, told about how exciting this feels."
- Source: Allan MacInnis: "New Model Army: Tribal Warfare and Western Civilization. Telephone interview on May 18th, 2008 -

Other NMA songs dealing with terrorist attacks or an assassination are All of This, Far Better Thing and Flying through the Smoke as well as Bloodsports, and Breathing.

Justin played this song a lot after the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 in the USA, stating that when he was young he was angry with old men for sending young men into wars. Only later he realised how eager young men are to fight.

I stumbled across the following church hymn that seems to be quite well known in the UK. I don't know if this is merely coincidence, but I think there are several similarities in structure ("Now the . . . is over") and subject matter (plans, rest, faith). The author, Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924) worked as a priest in Yorkshire for some time. He also collected folk songs from Devon and Cornwall as well as sea and ghost stories.

Now the Day Is Over

Now the day is over,
Night is drawing nigh;
Shadows of the evening
Steal across the sky.

Now the darkness gathers,
Stars begin to peep,
Birds and beasts and flowers
Soon will be asleep.

Jesus, give the weary
Calm and sweet repose;
With Thy tend'rest blessing
May mine eyelids close.

Grant to little children
Visions bright of Thee;
Guard the sailors tossing
On the deep-blue sea.

Comfort every sufferer
Watching late in pain;
Those who plan some evil
From their sin restrain.

Through the long night-watches
May Thine angels spread
Their white wings above me,
Watching round my bed.

When the morning wakens,
Then may I arise
Pure and fresh and sinless
In Thy holy eyes.

Glory to the Father,
Glory to the Son,
And to Thee, blest Spirit,
While all ages run.

- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to The Attack | Back to Christian Militia ]


The song:
Like Today Is a Good Day and Bad Harvest a comment on the 2008 financial crisis.

Everything is beautiful because everything is dying:
"I think that's really true and not only because I love autumn and that it was written last October again in the wake of the Wall Street crash with the recession coming and watching the trees go gold and everything, but also I'm getting older and all these things. It's not really that, it's that it's much more to do with value, the things that are beautiful because they're dying, because nothing is permanent that's why it has value. There's a lot of modern literature about vampires, it's a very popular idea because actually it is an interesting idea, this living for ever idea, and all is in all the vampire stories, it is in the end it's kind of grim that if you live forever then, nothing has any value, it's like if you're simply rich and you can buy anything, then nothing has any value, except the things you can't buy like love, but things you can buy don't have any value, the same things, if you are alive you know it is because things are dying."
-Source: Justin Sullivan interwiew with Rock-Interviews.com -

[ Back to Autumn ]

[ A | Introduction | Song Index | Updates ]

17/11/14; last update 09/07/17