• Funeral Pyre

    Music & lyrics by The Jam and article by Dave Thompson

    Let's have some English jam that went out of date several decades ago but is still edible as much as you like. It contains no added sugar or artificial sweeteners and preservatives (the word here in French is “conservateurs” and it's the same word used for Tories who weren't much popular in the UK during the Thatcher years). Released around the time of the annual celebration of Saint John's Eve, this "Funeral Pyre" by The Jam is more reminiscent of the bonfires of the 5th of November when the leader of the evil conspirators who had plotted to bring down the nice elite oppressing the people is burned in effigy. How paradoxical!

    Ey@el

    Lyrics

    Down in amongst the streets tonight
    Books will burn, people laugh and cry in their turmoil
    (turmoil turns rejoiceful)

    Shed your fears and lose your guilt
    Tonight we burn responsibility in the fire
    We'll watch the flames grow higher!
    But if you get too burnt, you can't come back home

    And as I was standing by the edge
    I could see the faces of those led pissing themselves laughing
    (and the flames grew)
    Their mad eyes buldged their flushed faces said:
    “The weak get crushed as the strong grow stronger”

    We feast on flesh and drink on blood
    Live by fear and dispise love in a crises
    (what with today's high prices)

    Bring some paper and bring some wood
    Bring what's left of all your love for the fire
    We'll watch the flames grow higher!
    But if you get too burnt you can't come back home

    And as I was standing by the edge
    I could see the faces of those led pissing themselves laughing
    (and the flames grew)
    Their mad eyes buldged their flushed faces said:
    “The weak get crushed as the strong grow stronger”

    In the funeral pyre
    We'll watch the flames grow higher
    But if you get too burnt you can't come back home
    (well I feel so old, when I feel so young
    well I just can't grow up to meet the demands)

    © Paul Weller, 1981

    About this song

    A few years after the fact, Paul Weller explained to author Paolo Hewitt that The Jam had written "Funeral Pyre" as a reaction against the smooth sounding records that were currently flooding the market, “so we thought it would be good to do something rough.” 

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