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La Push

La Push:
A small coastal village in the north of Washington in the USA. It is part of the Quileute Indian Reservation. Traditionally, the Quileute people lived on fishing and whaling. Today the place is popular with tourists and has become widely known as a setting in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books. Paul Harvey, NMA's soung engineer, remembers taking "a cople of days out with Justin when on tour in North America in September 2005 and driving to La Push, on the coast just west of Seattle, with its beautiful but wild coastal landscapes. Staying in a small wooden hut/chalet within a tribal reservation and seeing another, totally different way of life where some of the local residents seemed lost in their very own world, and time just didn't seem to exist."
- Source: Between Dog and Wolf Magazine - Read more: Wikipedia -

Since the end of the 15th century European settlers on the North American continent nearly wiped out the indigenous population. They died in wars, but mostly from diseases introduced by the Europeans or because they were driven away from their natural habitats. The one's that were left were assigned small reservations instead. The flag on the wall is probably the American one.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

According to their creation myth the first Quileute tribe member was created by turning a wolf into a man.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to La Push ]

Leeds Road 3am

Leeds Road:
A main road in Bradford, beginning east of the city centre and running for 2 miles or 3 kilometres in east northerly direction.

65 mph are 105 km/h.

Rushton Street:
Bradford, there is only a Rushton Road, a small street at the eastern end of Leeds Road.

The Ford Mondeo is a large family car, built from 1993 up to the present day.

Inner ring:
There are streets forming an inner and an outer ring around the centre of
Bradford. The inner ring crosses the western end of Leeds Road.

Catches the red car:
I witnessed this accident. I found it almost immoral to use this tragedy that happened to real people in the lyrics of a song. But that's what writers do.
- Justin Sullivan interview with Underground Empire. My translation back from German -

[ Back to Leeds Road 3am ]

Let's Dance

The twist, the stomp, the mashed potato:
All popular dance steps in the early 1960s.

[ Back to Let's Dance | Back to Monster Mash ]

A Liberal Education

The song:
It's anti-liberal, and very disciplinarian and authoritarian. The song is basically all about growing up. I happen to think that children become strong and adult by fighting against adults and authority. In United States, all adults are terrified of their children, and that song is a reflection of how American adults see their kids. They are terrified of standing up to them. The parents there have abdicated the responsibility of taking on their children and fighting them.
- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with the Melody Maker on 28th July 1984 -

In several interviews after the release of their Between Dog and Wolf album Justin Sullivan stated that Tomorrow Came is a kind of sequel to this song, e.g.: "Do you remember the song 'A Liberal Education'? That is a kind of a slag off of the sixties, that way of looking at the world, and I think 'Tomorrow Came' is a criticism of my own generation"
- Source: Justin Sullivan in The Yorkshire Times -

I always thought "A Liberal Education" was a very interesting lyric for its time, and an interesting song musically. I remember when we made Vengeance we had five days to make it in and we spent a whole day on that song, which was unheard of in those days - you could spend a day on a song? Trying to get it right. And I look back and go, yeah, both lyrically and musically we were very creatively ambitious from the very beginning. We didn’t want to do what everybody else was doing. Yes, we were influenced by punk, and yes we were influenced by all that stuff going on around us, but from day one we were trying to do something, I dunno, just different.
- Source: Justin Sullivan with Freq -

Paradise in the bible. God creates the first two humans there, Adam and Eve. There are also two (apple) trees in the garden, the fruit of which Adam and Eve are not allowed to eat: the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. (The devil in the disguise of) a snake persuades Eve to eat a fruit from the tree of knowlege, and she in turn persuades Adam, and both become wise and start wearing clothes. So before they can also eat from the tree of life and become immortal, God chases Adam and Eve away from Eden.
- Source: The Bible. Genesis, 2.5-3.24 - Read more: King James Bible -

Walls come tumbling down in the bible all the time. However, if this is a biblical reference, the "sacred town" can only be Jerusalem, so this probably refers to the fall of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the capital of the people of Judah and  home of the Jewish temple. Around 600 B.C. town and temple were destroyed by the Babylonians and the people of Judah were brought to Babylon. Until today religious Jews believe that the whole of Jerusalem is meant to belong to them so they can finally rebuild their temple. In the bible the destruction of Jerusalem is God's punishment for whatever.
- Source: The Bible. 2 Kings, 25.1-21 - Read more: King James Bible -

[ Back to A Liberal Education | Back to Blue Ship | Back to Devil | Back to Killing | Back to Modern Times | Back to Red Earth ]

Lights Go Out

The song:
This is a song that was written in the mid 80s, in the height of Thatcher time in Britain. This is about unemployment.
- Source: Justin Sullivan at the Red Sky Coven Tour 2004 -

53 years:
Being born in 1915, Justin Sullivan's father was 71, when the song was released, while he was 53 in 1968, when Justin was 12 years old.

Welfare office, the checque is social welfare benefit.

Young pretender:
Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788), commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, was the grandson of the English King James II. Being a Roman Catholic (while after the Reformation in 1535 England was Anglican and the king head of the Anglican Church) James II was desposed in the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and replaced by the Dutch William of Orange. The Jacobite movement tried to restore the Stuart family to the throne, while Charles's opponents called his father "the Old Pretender" and himself "the Young Pretender".
- Read more: Wikipedia -

US Remix:
This remix was done by Andy Wallace for American clubs and radio . . . everybody loved it, except Amrican clubs and radio.
- Source: B-Sides and Abandoned Tracks booklet -

[ Back to Lights Go Out ]

Living a Lie

Green Cross Code:
A traffic safety education program for pedestrians in the United Kingdom.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Shoot it out at the OK Corral:
The OK Corral was a small horse enclosure in Arizona in the USA, near which a famous gunfight between outlaws and marshals took place in 1881. This event was also turned into several movies, often focusing on the marshals Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and (wrongly) depicting them as heroes.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Living a Lie ]

Living in the Rose

The song:
Many people in the countries of the Third World don't have any possessions, they only have their bare life. The jungle gives them shelter and the sea gives them food. There are worse things in life than this sort of poverty. We all live by the mercy of the earth, and survive with her. But we've made things complicated with the organization of our civilisation. In the end we will be back in the earth's arms. You can't seperate people from nature or from themselves.
- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with German magazine Zillo 10/90; my translation-

The Earth's. Like Vanity, Whirlwind and perhaps White Coats, this song is apparently influenced by the Gaia hypothesis.

The ancient Greek legend of Atlantis comes to mind. Atlantis was a rich, powerful island in the Atlantic Ocean whose people became wicked and impious and that was swallowed up by the sea as a result of earthquakes. Although Atlantis is probably a mere legend, from the Middle Ages even until today people have tried to identify it with an actual country.
- Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica -

Living in the rose:
English for the French phrase "la vie en rose" which means to be happy, without a care, lead a life as if in paradise.

[ Back to Living in the Rose ]


The capital and by far the largest city of the United Kingdom. This song could be about NMA's early, disillusioning experience with London's music industry: "In Summer 1982, whispers about this band reached London and they were invited to perform at a couple of showcases. But in a scene hungry for 'the next big thing' [. . .], NMA's fearsome music and northern style did not win over the Major Record Companies and they returned to Bradford empty-handed."
- Source: NMA Biography -

In the early 80s we thought we needed to be in London when the band started, but I couldn’t write in London actually, I found it very claustrophobic. You look and you can see a building, and then you look and you can see another building, you don’t ever have a sense of space. Northern England is full of this big wide open landscape.
- Source: Justin Sullivan on Fluxfm -

[ Back to London ]

Long Goodbye

Bell to toll:
A death bell. I don't know if he actually invented this image, but English 17th century poet John Donne wrote (in his 'Meditation 17' in Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions): "Every man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee". Ernest Hemingway used this passage for the title of his novel For Whom the Bell Tolls about his experiences in the Spanish Civil War between republicans and Franco's fascist regime.

[ Back to Long Goodbye ]


This looks like a Leeds postcode; however, the Leeds postcode area only ranges from LS1 to LS29. Anyway, Leeds lies to the east of Bradford, while the other places mentioned are in the north. Maybe LS is short for Love Song? (But I can't believe this is their 43rd love song!)

Busted out to the halfway house:
To bust out means to escape, to break out of prison; a halfway house can either be a "centre for rehabilitating former prisoners, psychiatric patients, or others unused to non-institutional life", or an "inn midway between two towns". Since in the song they bust out to rather than of halfway house, I tend to prefer the second definition.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

Undercliffe Road:
There is a small road of this name in the far north of Bradford.

Baildon Moor:
A place north of Bradford.

Burning bridges:
Figuratevely, to burn one's bridges means to "do something which makes it impossible to return to an earlier state".
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

All the rooms at the Inn are taken:
This reminds me of the birth of Jesus Christ, who, according to the Gospel of Luke, was laid into a manger, because his parents Mary and Joseph, having come to Bethlehem in order to register in a census, had found no place for themselves at the inn.
- Source: The Bible. Luke 2, 7 - Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to LS43 ]


The song:
This is a song about the end of the DDR (German Democratic Republic). Here's the story:
After Nazi Germany had lost World War II, the Allied Powers (USA, England, France and Soviet Union) divided Germany into four occupation zones with the former capital Berlin, which was right in the middle of the Soviet part, divided in two. Since the Soviet Union and the three western powers did not get along very well, in 1949 Germany was finally separated into two independent countries, the Federal Republic (BRD) in the west and the DDR in the east. The eastern part of Berlin became the DDR's capital, while the western part remained in western possession. Both halves were separated by the Berlin Wall, which was built by the DDR in 1961 to prevent people from fleeing to West Germany.
While the BRD became a rich, capitalistic, democratic, liberal country where everyone was sooo happy (except maybe the 8% of unemployed people (not counting the millions of women who would have liked to work, but there was no proper child care available)), the DDR became, at least on paper, a socialistic, anti-fascist state. Really this meant that the DDR's government was a one party dictatorship (while in West Germany we kept chancellor Helmut Kohl for 16 years voluntarily!!!!!!!!) where people could not freely express their opinions, support a religion, travel to foreign countries and buy bananas. A powerful instrument of control was the Stasi (Staatssicherheitsdienst, State Security Service), a highly efficient secret service that spied on its own people. The economy did not go well either, so it - for ordinary people - was impossible to get luxury goods in the shops. The high party officials could get anything they wanted. This is why the DDR always looked so grey and sad, because people could not even get the materials necessary to maintain their buildings. On the other hand, the DDR had an unemployment rate of virtually 0%. Basic goods (food, clothing, housing) were extremely inexpensive. And while it was natural for every woman to work and the law was very liberal on abortions, still the birth rate in East Germany was much higher than that in the West, because there were enough day nurseries, kindergardens and all-day schools to look after everyone's children and people did not have to worry about their future.
In the long run people were dissatisfied with the poor economical conditions and the lack of liberty. In the 1980s, when Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev introduced a series of liberalizing reforms in the Eastern bloc states, opposition groups started to grow, their members risking to be imprisoned for stating their opinions. Most of them hoped that the DDR would remain an independent state, only with a really democratic government and a really socialistic economic system. In the summer of 1989 a reformist Hungarian government began to allow East Germans to escape to the West through Hungary's newly opened border with Austria. By the fall, thousands of East Germans had followed this route, while thousands of others sought asylum in the West German embassies in Prague and Warsaw, demanding that they'd be allowed to emigrate to the BRD. Mass demonstrations in the streets of Leipzig and other East German cities defied the authorities and demanded reforms. On the evening of 9th November 1989 the communist authorities announced new travel regulations intended to enable those who wished to travel to the West to do so directly from East Germany with official permission. Through the ineptitude of the regime, however, this was widely interpreted as a decision to open the Berlin Wall, so that crowds demanded to pass into West Berlin. Unprepared, the border guards let them go. In a night of revelry tens of thousands of East Germans poured through the crossing points in the wall, celebrated their new freedom with rejoicing West Berliners and literally danced on the wall.
Helmut Kohl seized the opportunity and West Germany simply swallowed the DDR. Kohl claimed all the glory for the reunification, which eventually took place on 3rd October 1990. This was a hard blow for everybody who had fought for reforms while it was still dangerous, but the majority of East Germans was really happy at first. By now, however, the West Germans are tired of paying higher taxes for the rebuilding of the east, and the East Germans are tired of being unemployed or getting lower wages than the West Germans. All East Germans are stupid, all West Germans know-alls, everybody blames everybody else for the decline of the all-German economy, and we all want the wall back. The ones who most profited from unification once again were the large companies that in a frenzy of privatisation bought the ex-DDR companies practically for free, were flooded with public money and can now keep their immense profits all for themselves.

Another song about the German reunification is Freedom '91 .

Obviously the meaning of the word is a band secret and will remain for ever unknown. Suggestions have included that it is a foreign word, a swear word spelled backwards or an anagramm for something. However, all attempts to decipher the word have lead to nothing, and I believe it actually does not mean anything at all.

One swallow never made a spring:
Also: One swallow does not make a summer: Proverb meaning "a single fortunate event doesn't mean that what follows will also be good". The possible origin is Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC), who writes in his Nicomachean Ethics, Book 1, Chapter 7: "for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy."
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English - Read more: Project Gutenberg -

Let our people go:
Biblical reference. The children of Jewish progenitor Israel live in Egypt, but the new Pharaoh oppresses and enslaves them. So God tells Moses to ask the Pharao to "Let my people go" (Exodus, 5.1; 8.1 and many other places). The Pharaoh refuses, God sends several plagues on Egypt, and finally Moses escapes with the people of Israel and leads them through the desert away from Egypt and to the Promised Land "flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus, 3.8). The place described in the bible is where the modern state of Israel was founded. By extension, any place where people dream of migrating to can be their promised land. Justin's version of what happens in the desert can be found in Ten Commandments.
- Source: The Bible. Exodus, 1.1-15.21 - Read more: King James Bible -

Changing winds:
This is commonly thougth to be a reference to the Scorpions' song "Wind of Change", an uncritical celebration of the political changes in Eastern Europe. However, according to Wikipedia, that song first appeared on the album "Crazy World" on November 6 1990, while New Model Army's album "Impurity", which features "Lurhstaap", came out in September 1990.

Instead, as Andrew points out, the phrase is likely to refer to a speech the Conservative British prime minister Harold Macmillan gave on 3rd February 1960 in Cape Town, South Africa: "The wind of change is blowing through this continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact." The speech signalled that the British government intended to grant independence to British colonies in Africa.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Thanks to Andrew for this piece of information!

Twenty-five miles north:
Unclear reference. If I am correct in assuming that this means 25 miles (i.e. 40 km) north of Berlin, two places come to my mind: Wandlitz, which is rather 13 miles or 20 kms north of Berlin and has no college, but is famous for containing the Waldsiedlung (forest settlement), a secured housing area in which high functionaries of the DDR government lived; and Eberswalde, rather 31 miles or 50 km north of Berlin, surrounded by large forests, site of an abandoned forestry academy.
- Read more: Wikipedia entries on Waldsiedlung and Eberswalde -

[ Back to Lurhstaap | Back to Die Trying | Back to Fate | Back to Freedom '91 | Back to Killing | Back to Prison |
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Lust for Power

The song:
The song describes the strange moment when you have reached a goal. And what comes next? What do you do when you've become very rich? You can get even richer, but what do you do next?
- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with German magazine Zillo 10/90; my translation -

We once had a brief brush with the star maker machinery of the popular song, and if this song is anything to go by, we didn't really like it very much.
- Source: Justin Sullivan on Fuck Texas, Sing For Us -

R.I.P. is about a similar topic.

Fatted Calves:
Fatted calf is a metaphor or symbol of festive celebration and rejoicing for someone's long-awaited return. It derives from the parable of the prodigal son in the bible.
- Source: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Lust for Power ]

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15/12/13; last update 17/06/17