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Nothing Ever Happens

March 27, 2011
by

What morose music I used to listen to as a teenager! But then how prophetic, too. This moody classic from the late 80s captures perfectly the dull mundeneness of contemporary consumer life. When I heard it again recently it made me realise how the seeds of Breathe were sown in the 80s. It also impressed on me the link between faith and the search for an alternative lifestyle – the consumer life seems an almost inevitable reflection of our meaningless take on reality.

Post office clerks put up signs saying position closed
And secretaries turn off typewriters and put on their coats
Janitors padlock the gates
For security guards to patrol
And bachelors phone up their friends for a drink
While the married ones turn on a chat show

And they’ll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow

Gentlemen time please, you know we can’t serve anymore
Now the traffic lights change to stop, when there’s nothing to go
And by five o’clock everything’s dead
And every third car is a cab
And ignorant people sleep in their beds
Like the doped white mice in the college lab

Nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
The needle returns to the start of the song
And we all sing along like before

And we’ll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow

Telephone exchanges click while there’s nobody there
The Martians could land in the carpark and no one would care
Close-circuit cameras in department stores shoot the same video every day
And the stars of these films neither die nor get killed
Just survive constant action replay

Nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
The needle returns to the start of the song
And we all sing along like before

And we’ll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow

Bill hoardings advertise products that nobody needs
While angry from Manchester writes to complain about
All the repeats on T.V.
And computer terminals report some gains
On the values of copper and tin
While American businessmen snap up Van Goghs
For the price of a hospital wing

Nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
The needle returns to the start of the song
And we all sing along like before
Nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
They’ll burn down the synagogues at six o’clock
And we’ll all go along like before

And we’ll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 27, 2011 7:46 pm

    “While American businessmen snap up Van Goghs
    For the price of a hospital wing”

    I have twice blogged about this particular song when paintings have been sold for ridiculous amounts and wondered how much it would have paid of a small countries debt like Latvia where I now live, or whether it would have paid off the combined debt owed by Latvians to heating companies. It is indeed a prophetic song and speaks volumes today as cuts bite hard and deep while the bankers get their bonuses. We have to learn the lessons one way or another

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