Reviews for Life During Wartime LyricsPerformed by Talking Heads
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This is it | Reviewer: Kbpet | 10/22/12
During the lives of musicians in the Civilized world, ;-0; war times is going from gig to gig. That's all it is. A subjective slightly drug crazed mentally deranged metaphor. Nothing is wht it seems Alice
Stop Making Sense | Reviewer: Shava Nerad | 1/4/12
You know, you people should keep in mind that this is art, not history; that it's likely we're dealing with an unreliable narrator (burning down the house/going underground - lots of madness and transcendental various weirdness various which ways - drugs, whatever,...), and the album is "Stop Making Sense."
Literal analysis might not be your best tool here.
luthRBYzRWZa | Reviewer: Cheap oem software | 11/7/11
HqRDQX I`m so grateful that you enlightened me and the most important thing that it happened in time. Just think, I have been using the internet for six years already but it`s the first time I`ve ever heard about it!....
Timeless application | Reviewer: piperj | 9/12/11
I doubt it is anything to do with WWII. However, just listening to this song with a thought to current affairs, this could be applied to the uprisings in North Africa - Cairo, Tripoli, Syria and the thought of insurgents fighting tyrants who have ruled for decades, and this song is remarkably poignant. Next time you listen, replace the american city names with Cairo, Tripoli, Damascus, and the whole song comes alive (even more). As with all good verse, it has meaning for it's place in time, and application into the present.
wow | Reviewer: the home crowd | 9/5/11
Sooo this is the what would happen if you put 6 or7 white people in a room and put a talking heads record on haha? Why can't you people just take music for what it is and let beauty be in the eyes of the beholder? It's people like this that make the world the way it is. Opinions are a great thing to have (these days more than ever) but no one wants to go on a site like this to see people fighting over what was going through David Byrne's head when he wrote this song. I bet you could all tell me exactly what "god" looks like too right? This world is seriously fucked if this is how people interact with each other about something as beautiful as music. Just saying...
prescience | Reviewer: jeff montanye | 12/29/10
this is a song about life in the next decade in the u.s. the song was written at the end of the prior economic cycle, the inflationary one, when, at least coming out of the sixties and the punk rock milieu radical political change seemed possible and was at least part of popular consciousness. well, it turned out 20% interest rates were enough to turn the cycle over to deflation and defer events.
now however, we are at the end of that cycle and they (tptb) are trying very hard to get inflation in wages and housing back but so far not so much. now the possibility of radical political change, some instigated by armed resistance, some to co-opt it, seems increasing world wide. there is too much sympathy for the protagonist for this song to be about a "psycho" and too much immediacy and grounding in the u.s. for it to be about a historical war. it's about the future. and the future is, increasingly, now.
hmm, nice try | Reviewer: thumpmaster | 12/2/10
The song is about fighting a guerilla war in the US. As for the pacific front being "a resort" you have obviously never studied it. Japanese soldiers would not surrender. They fought to the death making the fighting very difficult. You should read about the Bataan Death March, not much of a resort. Your an ass, AG.
ahem | Reviewer: AG | 11/14/10
"Without the Japanese invasion of Hawaii, we would have stayed out of the war and the Axis would have won. Period."
Preposterous for two reasons. First, the US has been getting ready for war with Hitler since 1939, and maybe before. The real war - the intelligence war, setting up networks, putting people in the right places. Since 1939, the US government started shipping war supplies to the British, not just produce, but guns and ammunition, etc., via private industry and unmarked carriers. Without this support the British would have had a mighty hard time of it.
Secondly, the USSR won World War II. Not only did they take the brunt of Nazi forces, they also did the majority of the physical dirty work, and even took Berlin. Dropping a couple of bombs on the Japs and sending your soldiers to the Pacific "front" (should we say resort?) is NOT waging physical war against the real enemy. The US did not fight a conventional war during WWII, but, in league with Canada and the British precipitated the REAL victory via their hidden intelligence war. It is likely that the victory wold have been impossible for the Allies were it not for the intelligence war, thus the US contribution cannot be denied.
To WWII | Reviewer: FFFF | 10/27/10
Speaking of WWII, I don´t think, there´s anyone in Europe (except of nazis) who is not grateful for what Americans did for us. I mean they saved one whole continent, right? Noone else can say that, only Americans. They have statues all around here... Thanks folks, you did a lot. A great song anyway.
It has nothing to do with World War two | Reviewer: John | 7/24/10
I don't know why you are even talking about World War two. I've always taken this song to be about a paranoid individual. You know, one of those "survivalists" who thinks there is a war when in fact there isn't. He acts like he's at war and being chased by some unseen enemy. He changes his hair, different passports, changes his name, but it's all in his paranoid mind.
History student gets an F | Reviewer: DaleC | 5/8/10
In referencing WWII you said..."The US has a habit of sticking it's nose into other countries fights, I don't know how this got started (I'm no history expert) "
RE: WWII....No shit you are no "history expert"... it's called Pearl Harbor you moron. No, we did not win the war by ourselves, except for the Pacific, Japan, Guadal Canal, Midway, the bulk of the Pacific (thanks to Aussies and Kiwis too) Dresden, D-Day, The Bulge, most of France, ad infinitum... Without the Japanese invasion of Hawaii, we would have stayed out of the war and the Axis would have won. Period.
Stop Making Sense | Reviewer: Anne | 1/5/10
The thing that's cool and weird about Talking Heads songs is that it's hard to understand. You can't say, "This is what the song is about" and leave it at that. Only the guy who wrote this song really knows what it's about, and maybe he doesn't. It is possible to draw a picture or write a song and have no idea how it got in your head, I've done it before.
And I just have to add to your little WWII squabble, to satisfy the little bit of me that's patriotic; America didn't win the war, at least not by ourselves. As for causing billions of deaths, Billions? Look, people die in wars, it doesn't matter who's fighting or for what. The US has a habit of sticking it's nose into other countries fights, I don't know how this got started (I'm no history expert) or whether it's right or wrong, It's just what we do.
This is A beautiful song, and I also wonder why he put US cities there, maybe he WAS going down the "What if" road.
I love how the first time I heard it, I didn't pay attention to the words and I loved it. Then I read the lyrics and I realize, this is about war, and Survival! Now I love it even more.
What its about... | Reviewer: Colin | 7/17/09
In David Bowman's book This Must Be the Place: The Adventures of Talking Heads in the Twentieth Century, Byrne is quoted as describing the genesis of the song: "I wrote this in my loft on Seventh and Avenue A." And later, "I was thinking about Baader-Meinhof. Patty Hearst. Tompkins Square. This a song about living in Alphabet City."
That's just copied of Wikipedia though, never read the book myself, but I'd guess its accurate.
Not Rat Race | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/25/09
I wouldn't say this is just about the constant survival of living in a rat race. The character is living out in the country by his lonesome at the start, simply surviving, and then eventually moves into the city to fight back against whatever "force" has taken dominance over the area. Now obviously he mentions the names of American cities, so I guess the hypothetical situation could be if Hitler had taken over the US during WW2, but I like to think he is expressing and empathizing the pains of foreign nations that get imperialized and assimilated by Western Countries, like say, Iraq (I realize when the song was written the Gulf War or the Iraq War were not around), or say, Vietnam, and David Byrne is bringing those fights home to America to show what everyday people in those countries are experiencing. Or it could really have no themes, and just be a cool post-apocalyptic war-zone survivalist.
Take a step back... | Reviewer: Mike Jonze | 6/9/09
Ok, if Germany won WWII, I'm not sure if the entire world would take on the German language, or that we would have to constantly identify ourselves; nobody will ever know.
One thing I do know is that history is written by the winners, so there is still a bias which a lot of people like Court tend to overlook. Unfortunately these are the only texts considered sufficient enough to teach the public, so that is the only history anybody ends up knowing. It's sad, really.
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