City Dweller



Dictum: message of the euro-bore
It's a good life, bowing to a tyrant (2)

Christian gang chants sweet 
Keep your head down for the moment

(That now suit is now in bucket
It's a good life, Europe)

Avoid the dismantled old heads stuck in bloody plant pots (3)
All looking at them
Forgetting the endless drive against nature
City dweller

Must we base ourselves again into organic mud?
You're well welcome to it
Get out of my city you mediocre pseuds
And take those red-tie bastards
Who put up the olympic flag with you (4)
They walk around wearing young girls in packs
Worse than any yobs (5)


It's January 20th
Euro-bore I support media
Keep olympic bidding

City dweller
More than you can ever know
Mr. cab driver
What do you want
Mr. cab driver (6)

City dweller

This hillbilly cab driver
He has submerged himself into the psyche of the average 
Cab driver
They love me, they knock off 10 to 15 pence
This is wandering
Those casual days are over and dull
dull (7)

Agricultural gangs chant for sweet freedom (8)

Get out of my city 
You mediocre pseud 
And take those red tight bastards with you
City dweller

They should remember there's nothing worse 
Than a half-educated grim red dwarf 
City dweller
Cuts up
Cab driver, cab driver 
Oh Mr cab driver

(He's up there now, listening to us, I know he is)

Why do you leave a a poxy card? (9)
Oh, Mr. cab driver

What do about it?

Too much to drink
Too many drugs
Too much sex
Too young






1. This originally appeared on the Behind the Counter single as "Cab Driver." The lyrics of that version are different, but they are hard to make out; at some point it would be good to put them up, so if anyone knows what they are, please contact me.


2. A dictum is an authoritative but not legally binding statement made by a judge or, in common usage, any sort of proclamation; the dictum here is presumably "It's a good life, bowing to a tyrant." 

djbawbag points out that there is a Twilight Zone episode called "It's a Good Life," in which the plot does involve bowing to a tyrant, in the form of 6-year-old Anthony Fremont, who has mental powers that make him extemely dangerous. Otherwise, he's about like any other 6-year-old, which means the people of the town have to make sure they don't displease him if they wish to survive. 


3. Dan: "I wonder if 'bloody' is just an expletive rather than descriptive, and so we might be talking about dolls' heads or something ('dismantled,' in other words, is to be taken literally rather than as a metaphor for decapitation)."


4. Manchester bid for the 1996 OLympics, and this presumably would have already been going on in 1993 or 1994 when MES was writing this song. 


5. A "yob," in English slang, is a crass and aggressive young man from a working class background. A yob is somewhat similar to what is now called a "chav," I think, but the former is more likely to be violent, as far as I can make out.


6. It's not the most intuitive of connections, to say the least, but it does nevertheless seem possible that this is an allusion to Lenny Kravitz's 1990 hit "Mr. Cab Driver," about a young black man who has a hard time getting a taxi because of racial prejudice.


7. "Those casual days are over" is sung in such a way that it is reminiscent of "Your ballroom days are over, baby..." from "5 to 1" by the Doors.


8. Agricultural gangs, which were mostly a 19th-century phenomenon, were groups of workers, mostly women and children, who contracted out as a group to do farm labor. Often they were organized by a "gang master" who would bid on jobs and coördinate the laborers efforts. The practice was widely condemned as exploitative and began to be heavily regulated in the latter part of the century; by the beginning of the 20th century it had largely faded out.


9. In English slang, "poxy" means of poor quality or worthless. A "proxy card" is a card filled out, often by a shareholder of a corporation, instructing a stand-in or proxy how to vote in the absence of the voter herself. I have taken these lyrics unchanged from the Lyrics Parade, and I am not sure what their ultimate source may be, but it's not clear to me that MES says "poxy card" or "proxy card" (if the former, it could be a pun on the latter); it sounds like he could be saying something altogether quite different but, whatever it is, I cannot make it out.  



Comments (10)

  • 1. djbawbag | 14/06/2014
"It's a Good Life " :
One of Smith's many Twilight Zone references ?
  • 2. dannyno | 18/06/2014
"pyche of the average "

  • 3. bzfgt | 24/06/2014
Maybe so...maybe so.
  • 4. James | 26/07/2014
It's A Good Life- a brilliant episode of TTZ. Originally, a story by US writer Jerome Bixby- worth seeking out.
  • 5. dannyno | 08/08/2016

"Too many dugs"

Drugs? Dugs could be bad in excess too, though.
  • 6. bzfgt | 03/09/2016
Yes, they could--you are a meticulous dude.
Guest Informant
  • 7. Guest Informant | 28/10/2016
Is it

"They walk around wearing young girls in packs"

ie surrounded by "young girls".
  • 8. bzfgt | 29/10/2016
GI, I hear that too now, kind of, although there is a subtle sound that could be "at." I'm going with it though since the vowel seems clearly that of "wearing." Since sometimes a vowel is mispronounced I would reopen the case if there is a live version(s) where he clearly says "leeing."
  • 9. dannyno | 22/02/2017
"Avoid the dismantled old heads stuck in bloody plant pots"

Reminds me a bit of Keats' poem Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil

But more realistically I wonder if "bloody" is just an expletive rather than descriptive, and so we might be talking about dolls' heads or something ("dismantled", in other words, is to be taken literally rather than as a metaphor for decapitation).
  • 10. MandrakeAnthrax | 02/08/2017
"He's up there now, listening to us, I know he is" - this line sounds to me like it's whispered by one of the band members (possibly Karl), in reference to MES himself.

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