Political Song “Life During Wartime” -Talking Heads


Life During Wartime
Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons, packed up and ready to go
Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway, a place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance, I’m getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstore, lived in the ghetto, I’ve lived all over this town
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
this ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain’t got time for that now
Transmit the message, to the receiver, hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, a couple of visas, you don’t even know my real name
High on a hillside, the trucks are loading, everything’s ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nightime, I might not ever get home
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
this ain’t no fooling around
This ain’t no mudd club, or C. B. G. B.,
I ain’t got time for that now
Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit? Heard about Pittsburgh, P. A.?
You oughta know not to stand by the window somebody might see you up there
I got some groceries, some peant butter, to last a couple of days
But I ain’t got no speakers, ain’t got no heaphones,
ain’t got no records to play
Why stay in college? Why go to night school? Gonna be different this time
Can’t write a letter, can’t send a postcard, I can’t write nothing at all
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
this ain’t no fooling around
I’d like to kiss you, I’d love you hold you
I ain’t got no time for that now
Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock, we blended with the crowd
We got computer, we’re tapping phone lines, I know that ain’t allowed
We dress like students, we dress like housewives, or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle, so many times now, I don’t know what I look like!
You make me shiver, I feel so tender, we make a pretty good team
Don’t get exhausted, I’ll do some driving, you ought to get some sleep
Get you instructions, follow directions, then you should change your address
Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day, whatever you think is best
Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks? They won’t help me survive
My chest is aching, burns like a furnace, the burning keeps me alive
Try to stay healthy, physical fitness, don’t want to catch no disease
Try to be careful, don’t take no chances, you better watch what you say
-Talking Heads

The message that I convey from this song is war and getting use to living in the war zone: the gunfire and death everywhere as in the lyrics: “Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons, packed up and ready to go, heard of some gravesites, out by the highway, a place where nobody knows, the sound of gunfire, off in the distance, I’m getting used to it know”.  The idea of living through it for so long it becomes a part of your everyday life. He states “ this ain’t no party, this aint no disco, this ain’t not fooling around” could be referencing to how is one to feel free and party and not take things seriously then war is going on.  Hiding out so no one will get you, and protecting yourself from the war zone around you. War puts you on edge and can but you in the state of paranoia, as if someone coming after you and controlling you. Hearing about what is going on about the war being on edge and putting you in a mood to think that thinking about the future is almost pointless as mentioned in the lyrics: “Why stay in college? Why go to night school? Gonna be different this time”. All this things that mattered before seem so insignificant because bigger things are happening in the world that it makes you uneasy. Having to blend in to society so that you won’t stand out: your ideas, thought, beliefs can because they can get you in trouble or possibly killed “We dress like students, we dress like housewives, or in a suit and a tie”.

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~ by christypr on May 29, 2008.

One Response to “Political Song “Life During Wartime” -Talking Heads”

  1. The Talking Heads are such an amazing band — “Life During Wartime” is a such a great choice for your political song!! :o) The song is very catchy and “fun” but definitely has distinct messages to relay to listeners. I like the video choice as well. Great images!

    ~Rachel.

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