[ B | Introduction | Song Index | Updates ]

Bad Harvest

The song:
As the whole Album Today Is a Good Day was written shortly after the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis, I guess, like Today Is a Good Day and Autumn, this song refers to this event.

Almost the same words reappear in Tomorrow Came.

La Muerte:
Spanish for 'Death'. Santa Muerte is a female personification of death that is worshipped in Mexico, Cuba and by Latin Americans in the USA, and there is also a Día de Muerto, Day of the Dead, celebrated from 31st October to 2nd November mainly by Mexicans, when dead family members or friends are remembered.
- Read more: Wikipedia entries about Santa Muerte and Day of the Dead -

Burning crosses:
The image of burning crosses is often associated with the Ku Klux Klan, a US American racist organisation that since the early 20th century has burned crosses to intimidate their victims. However, the practice originated in Scandinavia and Scotland, where it was a call to arms when war was declared.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Bad Harvest ]

Bad Old World

The song:
'Bad Old World' is based on a true letter.
- Source: NMAFC Newsletter 8 1/2 -

It seemes to me that the song is an answer to one of "these letters that I send / From the valleys of the green and the grey" (Green and Grey). Any thoughts on that?

A Laurel Sullivan is given credits in the booklet of the Love of Hopeless Causes album, on which this song appears - whatever that means (maybe she's his sister in law, so the letter would be by Justin's brother?).

The place where the people in the song settled is in Scotland.
- Source: Justin Sullivan in Oxford The Venue, 28/5/92 -

[ Back to Bad Old World ]


The Earth's. Although the idea to present Earth as a female organism is central to the Gaia hypothesis, I don't think that this theory influenced this song (if it was around at that time at all).

The inferior end of a neck of mutton.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

Big bang:
Usually the theory that the universe emerged from the explosion of dense matter about 13.7 billion years ago.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

I guess here it means that the world will not end in a big explosion or a "blaze of glory", but in a "series of sad and pathetic little fizzles".

Acid rain:
Rainfall made sufficiently acidic by atmospheric pollution that it causes environmental harm, chiefly to forests and lakes. The main cause is the industrial burning of coal and other fossil fuels, the waste gases from which contain sulphur and nitrogen oxides which combine with atmospheric water to form acids.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English - Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Ballad ]

Ballad 2

The song:
The song was intended to be recorded again but something was lost and it never made the final cut.
- Source: Robert Heaton in Chris Benn's Chinese Whispers - NMA FAQ -

Justin sometimes leaves the titles until the end and prefers to give them generic names to begin with. This song was never given a proper name
- Source: Chris Benn's Chinese Whispers - NMA FAQ -

[ Back to Ballad 2 ]

Ballad of Bodmin Pill

The song:
'Ballad of Bodmin Pill' was written about a party they had on a beach just across the sound from where I used to live in Sweden.
- Source: Justin Sullivan at Justin Sullivan and Friends gigs -

Bodmin Pill:
A lagoon of the river Fowey. It is next to a sawmill where they used to float the logs before floating them out onto the river. The sawmill has been converted into a studio where some of NMA's and Joolz recordings have been done. A Pill is Cornish (Celtic) word meaning pond or lake.
- Source: Joolz in Chris Benn's Chinese Whispers - NMA FAQ -

Bodmin is a small village right in the middle of Cornwall. East of it there is the Bodmin Moore. There the Fowey has its source. It runs south west and ends in the English Channel, the part of the North Sea at the English south coast.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Perhaps the "weak" that are "the heirs [. . .] to all the world" is a reference to the bible's "the meek shall inherit the earth" that is quoted in Angry Planet.

The sparks fly up:
It might be pure chance, but in the Book of Job in the bible it says: "Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward" (i.e. inevitably, I think)
- Source: The Bible. The Book of Job, 5.7 -

[ Back to Ballad of Bodmin Pill | Back to Prayer Flags]


The song:
"The song is about fanaticised youths in Bradford, often of Pakistani origin, and is named after their postal area. Tupac Shakur and Osama Bin Laden are their greatest cultural icons, an unholy alliance. I quite like some of Tupac's things, but you live by the sword, you die by the sword. His fate is in line with the macho fantasies of youths."
- Source: Justin Sullivan in German Online Magazin Uncle Sally's; my translation -

A British postcode. British postecodes consist of two parts: the first part is made up of two letters marking the place (e.g. BD for Bradford) and a number marking an area in that place. The second part is made up of one number and two letters, meaning god knows what. BD3 is an area north east to the centre of Bradford.

Tupac Amaru Shakur (June 16, 1971 - September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac, Makaveli, or simply as 'Pac, was an American artist renowned for his rap music, movie roles, poetry, and his social activism . . . Most of Shakur's songs are about growing up around violence and hardship in ghettos, racism, problems in society, and sometimes his feuds with fellow rappers. Shakur's work is known for advocating political, economic, social, and racial equality as well as his raw descriptions of violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and conflicts with the law. Many fans, critics, and industry insiders rank him as the greatest rapper ever . . . On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, and died six days later.
- Source: Wikipedia -

Bin Laden:
Osama bin Laden was a militant Islamist and the leader of the terrorist group al-Qaeda, which is in all likeliness responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and other targets in the USA on September 11 2001. Accordingly, bin Laden was America's most wanted criminal. The American government accused Pakistan of hiding bin Laden; many Pakistanis live in Bradford, so this may be the connection here. Bin Laden was indeed found in Pakistan and killed by U.S. military forces on May 2 2011. (Human rights and international law aside, if you believed a man was responsible for every past and future terrorist attack on your country, wouldn't you like to ask him a few questions when you found him)?
- Read more: Wikipedia -

In many of his songs Justin Sullivan explores the theme of family or home, which here he seems to define as the feeling of belonging to a certain place (Bradford). (cf. Dawn, Familiy, Family Life, Home, Inheritance,
March in September, My People, No Mirror, No Shadow and Twilight Home, to mention just the most obvious)

Thornton Road:
A long street beginning in the center and leading to the west of Bradford, ending in Thornton (duh), a village (now incorporated into Bradford) surrounded by moors and famous as residence of the Brontë-sisters (well-known 19th century writers). The BT (British Telecom) and Google Map directories list several garages at Thornton Road, none of them Shell though.

A huge multinational oil company of British and Dutch origins with petrol filling stations all over the world.

Tinker ponies:
Irish Travellers (pejoratively called tinkers, because they worked repairing tin ware) are a nomadic people of Irish origin living mainly in Ireland and Great Britain. Many Travellers have now settled down or move around in motorised caravans, though some still travel with pony-drawn carts.
- Source: Barnes, Bettina: "Irish Travelling People". In Gypsies, Tinkers and other Travellers - Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Ballad of BD3 | Back to Bloodsports | Back to Bluebeat | Back to Masters of War | Back to Water ]


The song:
The song was written as a tribute to a famous piece of graffiti that survived on a wall in Bradford for three decades. The song was performed only three times live and there is no studio version.
- Source: Lost Songs booklet -

The 1960s is a decade associated with many political (e.g. civil rights movements) and cultural (e.g. youth culture) changes in the Western world.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

All Saints Road:
A street in the BD7 area.

It's a mean old scene:
The graffiti this song is about.

This probably refers to the West End of London, an area of Central London containing many of the city's major tourist attractions, businesses, and administrative headquarters as well as most of London's major theatres. There are other British towns with a West End, though Bradford ist not one of them.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Scrap metal in a rusting town:
Justin uses similar words in the live version of the spoken verse in Here Comes the War.

The British postcode for an area southwest to the centre of Bradford.

Twenty-nine years:
According the Lost Songs booklet the song was written in 1995, so the graffiti first appeared in 1966.

[ Back to BD7 ]

The Beautiful Game

The song:
The song was recorded for the charity "Spirit of Football", that educates and supports children and youths with the help of a football travelling from London to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
- Read more: Spirit of Football official site -

The origin of the term "Beautiful game" for football is not quite clear. It became popular, however, after Brasilian football legend Pelé used it for his autobiography in 1977. The original Portugese expression is "o jogo bonito".
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to The Beautiful Game ]

Before I Get Old

The song:
This song contradicts the people who "hope they die before they get old", a phrase originating, I think, from The Who's song "My Generation".

Live too fast:
A rejection of the saying "live fast, die young".

Northern Lights:
An aurora is a luminous phenomenon of the upper atmosphere that occurs primarily in high latitudes of both hemispheres; auroras in the Northern Hemisphere are called aurora borealis, or northern lights; in the Southern Hemisphere, aurora australis, or southern lights.Auroras are caused by the interaction of energetic particles (electrons and protons) from outside the atmosphere with atoms of the upper atmosphere. They take many forms, including luminous curtains, arcs, bands, and patches.
- Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica - Read more: Wikipedia

Southern Cross:
Also called Crux (Latin: "Cross"). Constellation lying at about 12 hours 30 minutes right ascension (the coordinate on the celestial sphere analogous to longitude on the Earth) and 60º south declination (angular distance south of the celestial equator), now visible only from south of about 30º north latitude (i.e., the latitude of North Africa and Florida). The constellation has five bright stars, one badly placed from the viewpoint of symmetry so that the shape of the cross formed by the stars is somewhat irregular.
- Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica - Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Before I Get Old ]


The song:
Played right after Headlights, which was announced as the first of a couple of songs about the weight we carry around from our past.
- Source: Justin Sullivan at solo gigs in the UK in October 14 -

I'm very proud of "The beginning", what you hear is what happenend in the studio. Sometimes we found it difficult to let go in the studio. The machines are running, the red light's on, it's difficult to let go. But on "Beginning", we let go. And it was very exciting, we can feel the excitement on the record. It doesn't happen very often.
- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with French Magazine
ZicAZic on 15/9/16 -

She faded away:
I wrote this line about my mother. Dementia . . . The memory is wiped out going back from the present to the past. A subject which people of my generation are concerned with: we're getting older, as are our parents. At the beginning of dementia you can't remember what happened or was said 30 seconds ago. And then it progresses, you can't remember who the person is you're talking to, and on it goes. In the end my mother could only remember her childhood but nothing after that: not her family, her children, her husband. My mother died two years ago.
- Source: Justin Sullivan Interview with Ox-Fanzine Oct/Nov 2016; my translation -

Ariadne's thread. In Greek mythology Minotaur, a creature with a human body and a bull's head, was imprisoned in the centre of a labyrinth by his step father Minos, the king of Crete. After a war between Crete and Athens, Athens was required to sacrifice seven young men and seven young women to Minotaur every seven years. One year, Theseus volunteered to be in the sacrificial party and kill Minotaur. Minos' daughter Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and gave him a ball of thread. He tied one end of the thread to the entrance of the labyrinth, killed Minotaur with a sword and followed the thread back out of the labyrinth.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Beginning ]

Believe It

The song:
In this song there someone's looking back on their life and saying "I can't believe it. What went wrong."
- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with German Nonkonform Magazine in July 1996 -

[ Back to Believe It ]

Belisha Beacon and the Accidents

Belisha Beacon:
"An amber-coloured globe lamp atop a tall black and white pole, marking pedestrian crossings of roads in the United Kingdom." Accordingly, Claire probably dyes her hair amber, a bright orange.
- Source: Wikipedia -

Sex Pistols:
A legendary British punk band. However, Justin states in a 1984 interview: "Out of all the bands of that period, we were never particularly influenced by bands like the Sex Pistols [. . . .] Much more [. . .] the musical end of punk, not the thrash end".
- Source: This is For the Fans Not the Militia Bootleg LP and State of Mind Bootleg CD - Read more: Wikipedia

Possibly Stuart Morrow, NMA's first bass player. The band was founded by Justin Sullivan, Stuart Morrow and drummer Phil Tompkins after the "threesome had already been together for a couple of years in a number of Bradford bands with other musicians and singers." So this song could be about one of those other bands.
- Source: NMA Biography -

[ Back to Belisha Beacon and the Accidents ]


A non-standard contraction of 'bet you', used in representing informal speech.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

[ Back to Betcha ]

Better Than Them

The song:
"A guiding light for those who question and refuse to follow the pack."
- Source: Adrian Portas in Anthology booklet -

Divided we fall:
'United we stand, divided we fall' is a phrase that originated in Ancient Greece and has been used in mottos and songs many times. It means unless people are united it is easy to destroy them, and is a counter to the maxim 'divide and rule' (if you divide people it is easier to rule them).
- Source: Wikipedia -

The first known use in modern times is in John Dickinson's 'Liberty Song', an American Revolutionary War song published in 1768. I include the lyrics here, because the line 'Divided we were born . . .' seems to echo its refrain.

Come, join hand in hand, brave Americans all,
And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty's call;
No tyrannous acts shall suppress your just claim,
Or stain with dishonor America's name.

In Freedom we're born and in Freedom we'll live.
Our purses are ready. Steady, friends, steady;
Not as slaves, but as Freemen our money we'll give.

Our worthy forefathers, let's give them a cheer,
To climates unknown did courageously steer;
Thro' oceans to deserts for Freedom they came,
And dying, bequeath'd us their freedom and fame.


Their generous bosoms all dangers despis'd,
So highly, so wisely, their Birthrights they priz'd;
We'll keep what they gave, we will piously keep,
Nor frustrate their toils on the land and the deep.


The tree their own hands had to Liberty rear'd;
They lived to behold growing strong and revered;
With transport they cried, "Now our wishes we gain,
For our children shall gather the fruits of our pain."


Swarms of placemen and pensioners soon will appear
Like locusts deforming the charms of the year;
Suns vainly will rise, showers vainly descend,
If we are to drudge for what others shall defend.


Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all,
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall;
In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed,
For heaven approves of each generous deed.


All ages shall speak with amaze and applause,
Of the courage we'll show in support of our Laws;
To die we can bear, but to serve we disdain.
For shame is to Freedom more dreadful than pain.


This bumper I crown for our Sovereign's health,
And this for Britannia's glory and wealth;
That wealth and that glory immortal may be,
If She is but Just, and if we are but Free.

- Source: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Better Than Them | Back to My Country ]

Between Dog and Wolf

Between dog and Wolf:
A "medieval French expression for dusk - when it's hard to distinguish between dog and wolf, friend or foe. That sense of contradiction represents the band very well and there's something of this sense of transformation in the album. It has been a stormy four years since the release of the last album. With the sudden death of our manager, the loss of our studio in the fire, subsequent theft of remaining equipment and our old bass player Nelson's departure, we in essence lost everything. We used this to make a new beginning and part of the change was effected with the arrival of Ceri and the refreshing energy and musical influences he brought."
- Source: Justin Sullivan on the official NMA site -

The "title track which in a way is about love and passion, it also represents the band rather well - no one really knows what we are. I mean I look around the band and everybody is basically a nice person but none of them are tame. And I think that is true of people generally. Underneath it all we are pretty driven, however clever we are, by pretty primal forces - just the same as we ever were."
- Source: Justin Sullivan in The Yorkshire Times -

Water and wine:
As there are many religious images in NMA's lyrics, one interpretation might be that this refers to a miracle Jesus Christ performs according to the bible: At the Marriage at Cana, when the wine runs out, he turns water into wine.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Wine and blood:
Again a Christian interpretation is possible, a reference to another kind of transformation
Jesus Christ performed: At the last supper he held with his disciples before he was crucified, he gave them bread and wine and told them it was his body and blood. Different Christian groups interpret this more or less literally.
- Read more: Wikipedia

Resurrection garden:
I googled this and almost all references I found are to the resurrection of
Jesus after his crucifixion. Apparently, some people recreate the scene of the empty grave in a cave in gardens (or at home in flower pots).
- Read more: Example for a resurrection garden -

Silver tongue:
A tendency to be eloquent and persuasive in speaking.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

[ Back to Between Dog and Wolf ]

Big Blue

The song:
When played live, Justin Sullivan announces this as "redemption song". The sea is one of his favourite subjects (cf. Happy to be Here, Marry the Sea, Southwest and Wipeout (which, like Big Blue, are about surfing),
North Star, Ocean Rising, Sun On Water, and Twilight Home).

[ Back to Big Blue ]


The song:
As the song shares a person's name and several lines with Drummy B it is most likely about the same thing.

[ Back to Billy ]


Once upon a time:
A common beginning of fairy tales.

An (North American) fiction genre about cowboys or North America's west, often set in the 19th century. A western hero is often a tough lonely man who fights criminals or vicous Indians.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Bittersweet ]


The song:
[A]n anti-war song – after all, as we’re constantly being told that we are involved in a 'War on Terror' while we are actually involved in an Imperial style oil-grabbing occupation, it would be almost impossible for me not to vent my feelings about this at least once.
- Source: Justin Sullivan interview with Babble and Beat -

A song "about Iraq [. . .] although actually it’s written more about Bradford than Iraq, really."
- Source: Allan MacInnis: "New Model Army: Tribal Warfare and Western Civilization. Telephone interview on May 18th, 2008 -

Justin Sullivan refers to the Iraq war (or America's "war on terrorism" in Afghanistan and Iraq), that also inspired him to cover Masters of War. One of the Chosen also deals with religious fundamentalism. Other songs on terrorist acts are All of This, The Attack, Breathing, Far Better Thing and Flying through the Smoke.

Into the fire and the blood red sun:
Probably the rising sun in the East, in Afghanistan and Iraq. (In contrast to the former expansion to the West. Compare All Consuming Fire for the ideas of decline and violence connected to the colour of the sunset).

There are many people from Pakistan living in Justin's hometown Bradford. They might be eyed with distrust because in Pakistan terrorists are trained and Osama bin Laden is believed to hide there.

He says:
This verse describes a suicide bomber who has an explosive belt hidden beneath his clothes and approaches a checkpoint, probably of American soldiers in Iraq, to kill them - and die himself, which suicide bombers consider as sacrifice that secures them a place in Paradise.

Sport or entertainment which is believed to be cruel, involving needless animal or human suffering, such as bullfighting, cockfighting, dog fighting, fox hunting or gladiatoral spectacles.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Bloodsports ]


The song:
"It's different from the rest of Carnival because it is the most cheerful song - at least at the beginning. Towards the end it gets a spooky atmosphere. I like such strange combinations. The song is like a big orchestra, that plays several different things - cheerful first, than spooky - overall weird. [. . . .] Rock is often too conventional for me, I like to break down bounderies."
- Source: Powermetal Interview with Justin Sullivan - Translated back into English by me -

Blue Beat was the name of a British Record lable that released Jamaican rhythm and blues and ska music. The term bluebeat became generic for that kind of Jamaican music. Justin cites early 60s Jamaican bluebeat as music he listens to.
- Source: Wikipedia - Official NMA Site -

Preston Street:
A street west of Bradford's centre, off Thornton Road.

Belt of Orion:
Orion or "the Hunter" is a constellation of stars which in the northern hemisphere is visible in winter; the Belt of Orion consists of three stars within the constellation.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Bluebeat ]

Blue Ship

Probably the biblical Isaac, only son of Abraham, who was ready to kill him in obedience to God (but ultimately did not have to). In old age, Isaac became completely blind.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

John Milton (1608-1674) was an English Poet and polemicist. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, which tells the story of Adam's and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Like Isaac, Milton became completely blind.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Blue Ship]

Born Feral

The song:
From my early childhood onwards I've had a recurring nightmare. Whenever I have a fever I dream of a tree and a telegraph pole and I'm extremely tense. The song "Born Feral" with its falling and rising sounds comes very close to this dream.
- Source: Justin Sullivan interview with German Newspaper Frankenpost on 27/9/16; republished in Mittelbayerische; my translation -

[ Back to Born Feral ]

Brave New World

The song:
1985 was the height of yuppy culture - a truly disgusting period. Meanwhile, our own flirtation with conventional 'success' had ended and we found ourselves in London totally alienated in every way from our surroundings.
- Source: B-Sides and Abandoned Tracks booklet -

Brave new world:
This is originally a quote from Shakespeare's The Tempest. Prospero, banned Duke of Milan, lives on an uninhabited island with his daughter, Miranda. He raises as storm, which makes the usurpers and some Italian noblemen strand on his island; when Miranda sees the men for the first time in her life, she exclaims "How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world / That has such people in't!"
- Source: Shakespeare, William, The Tempest. Act V, scene 1 - Read more: Project Gutenberg -

Aldous Huxley uses this quote ironically for his dystopia of the same name (1932). He depicts a future world which is, on the surface, stable and happy. However,  it is really based on mass production and ultimate control; people have become uniform and they have lost their liberty and individual values such as truth, beauty or love.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Brave New World | Back to Modern Times | Back to New Model Army ]

Brave New World 2

The song:
Like many of our best songs, we recorded this as an afterthought. We were driving endlessly round London in the middle of the night trying to borrow an old piano and to beg a couple of hours of cheap studio time . . .
- Source: B-Sides and Abandoned Tracks booklet -

[ Back to Brave New World 2 ]


The song:
"The song [. . .] is written about [. . .] someone who was very close to the band, that was on the next door carriage to one of the ones that was blown up on the subway in London two years ago. 'Breathing' was pretty much word-for-word what she told me when I asked her."
- Source: Justin Sullivan interview with Allan MacInnis in May 2008 -

On the 7th July 2005 four Islamist terrorists detonated four bombs in London underground trains and a double-decker bus. 52 other people were killed and more than 700 injured. These were the first suicide attacks on British soil. Three of the bombers were born in England, the fourth had moved there at the age of five. The attacks were preceded by three and a half years of 'war against terror' by mainly American and British troops against Muslim countries.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Other songs about terrorist attacks are All of This, The Attack, Far Better Thing, Flying through the Smoke, and Bloodsports.

[ Back to Breathing ]


The song:
We were in a German hotel room before performing at a festival [in Luebeck, 04/09/1993 or Rendsburg 11/06/1995?] when rioting in Bradford suddenly appeared on the TV screen. It was a bad and tense summer throughout the city and the song was born out of an incident at the end of Justin's street.
- Source: Lost Songs booklet -

Bradford has been the location of several riots as result of tensions between ethnic groups and fascists.

[ Back to Brother | Back to Carlisle Road | Back to You Weren't There ]

Burn the Castle

The song:
In 2008, when the financial system collapsed, we really had the chance to change something. Everybody knew that the system was screwed, but nobody knew how to fix it. So people pretended that the system could be fixed, that everything was OK - and everybody knows it isn't. And now we begin to feel the consequences. And there's more to come: when half the population is left behind this half will rise and, damn it, lynch everything that moves. [. . . .] These are dangerous times, I'm scared, I'm fucking scared.
- Source: Justin Sullivan interview with Neue Presse; my translation -

[I wrote the song] long before Brexit. But its message is still up to date: fuck it! Smash everything, without a thought about the future. We live in very dangerous times. Everybody who says they were surprised about the result of the referendum didn't pay much attention to what's happening in England. To me the result was totally predictable. [. . . .] For 40 years the neoconservatives have allowed the super rich to become even richer with the promise that everybody would profit. But for many people this experiment has turned into a desaster. [. . . .] The present is far more dangerous [than the Thatcher era]. Margaret Thatcher started this neocon experiment, and nobody knows how it's going to end. The song Winter is about this fear of the future.
- Source: Justin Sullivan interview with German Newspaper Frankenpost on 27/9/16; republished in Mittelbayerische; my translation -

Brexit combines "British" and "exit" and refers to Britain's leaving of the European Union (EU) that a majority of the British people voted for on 23rd June 2016. Because many Britons and many members of the Conservative Party are sceptical of the EU, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron had agreed to have a referendum about Britain's EU-membership. He expected a majority to vote in favour of remaining in the EU. Most political parties, economics experts, health system officials, charities and many artists and celebrities supported the remain campaign. However, a majority of almost 52% voted for leave, although (or because?) the leave campaigners used blatant lies (famously a slogan on a bus suggested that all the money spent on the EU would be used to fund the health system) and xenophobic scaremongering. During the campaigning, Labour MP (Member of Parliament) Jo Cox was murdered by a nationalist for her pro-EU stance. The number of reported hate crimes, especially violence against Muslims and Polish nationals, has massively increased in the aftermath of the referendum. David Cameron resigned from his post and was followed by Theresa May.
- Read more: Wikipedia on the Referendum and Brexit -

Winter has a similar theme.

A scene of uproar and confusion [. . . .] late Middle English: early form of Bethlehem, referring to the hospital of St Mary of Bethlehem in London, used as an asylum for the insane.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

[ Back to Burn the Castle ]

Burning Season

The song:
The mid nineties were an empty drifting time in Britain as the Tory monolith that had ruled the country for so long began to break up. This was a song of impatience.
- Source: Lost Songs booklet -

Swathe means bandage, but here the term is probably used as alternative spelling for "swath", meaning track or trace.

A method of critical analysis of philosophical and literary language which emphasizes the internal workings of language and conceptual systems, the relational quality of meaning, and the assumptions implicit in forms of expression.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English - Read more: Wikipedia -

The highway's jammed up with disinformation:
The internet is sometimes called information (super)highway.

[ Back to Burning Season ]

Bury the Hatchet

The song:
Robert: It is hard to have someone as enemy just as it is hard to be in love.
Justin: After a while you think it is not worth the effort. Call it compromise if you want, it's the hopeful element of the song. After all there are many other things to spend your time with than fighting.
- Source: NMA in an interview with German magazine Zillo 10/90; my translation -

Bury the hatchet:
Make peace. Native Americans used to bury their weapons at the end of hostilities.

Possibly a pun, because besides the obvious meanings of punk rocker and worthless person it also means tinder.

Stole your thunder:
Colloquial expression: to win praise for oneself by pre-empting someone else's attempt to impress.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

[ Back to Bury the Hatchet ]

[ B | Introduction | Song Index | Updates ]

17/11/14; last update 23/07/17