You try and change it
You try and arrange it
You try and shape it
But it's immortality, yeah
It's immortality

You cannot change it
Or rearrange it
It's immortality


That's where you're at, dear
You're shedding your mentality
But it's immortality
And you cannot buy it
You cannot put it in your pocket book
You cannot put it in your BCI (2)
Don't try and shape it
Cos it's immortality
It's immortality, yeah
Immortality, yeah

It's where you're at, yeah


The Viking gods had it
Lord Odin had it (3)
Don't try and change it
Don't try and put it in your pock-book-et
It's immortality
It's immortality, yeah

And you cannot change it
And you cannot rearrange it
And you cannot shape it
Cos it's reality, yeah
It's immortality, yeah
You cannot buy it
And that's all you're gonna get
From immortality



1. From the album's Wikipedia page: "According to keyboard player Dave Bush, the song "Immortality" was partly inspired by Milan Kundera's 1990 novel of the same name."  On the other hand, "an uplifting tribute to how our music will live on", according to Stephen Hanley in The Big Midweek, p.310

From Dan:

Typewritten comments from the sleevenotes of Code: Selfish: "IMMORTALITY. Nuff said. You'd think people from Iceland would grasp this."


2. This could be Brain Computer Interface, a direct link between a human mind and a computer, the preferred path to immortality of extropians.  However, Danny points out that it could also be the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), an international bank that was shut down for insolvency in 1991 after being accused of crimes like money laundering (in 2002 it transpired that BCCI was secretly continuing its activities, and indictments followed).


3. Odin is the ruler of the Norse Pantheon.


Comments (11)

  • 1. Martin | 27/07/2013
No citation is given on wikipedia for the Dave Bush Immortality-Milan Kundera quote. That's not to say that Bush didn't say it, but I can't find any direct evidence of it so far.Captch
  • 2. policetruck | 05/09/2013
I thought you couldn't put it in your "Pot bucket", as in a bucket for smoking cannabis? A poor mans bong.
  • 3. Mark | 21/05/2014
Has anyone identified where the sample at the start of this song comes from? The lyrics are something along the lines of "And this is my world / And you're just a squirrel / Trying to get a nut".
  • 4. bzfgt | 22/05/2014
Those lyrics are from "The Rain" by Oran "Juice" Jones, and that may also be the origin of the music at the beginning (I'm checking it now). But I can't hear any lyrics on the sample on my version, what version are you listening to? Also, I'm not convinced that's a sample on the version I have. The growly guitar isn't on "The Rain," and it sounds like Scanlon....
  • 5. Mark | 23/05/2014
Mea Culpa again: must be getting old. Thinking of another track where this is at the start - perhaps "Northerns In Europ"?
  • 6. dannyno | 01/07/2014
"You cannot put it in your BCI"

I always heard this as a reference to BCCI:
  • 7. dannyno | 03/10/2014
"an uplifting tribute to how our music will live on", according to Stephen Hanley in "The Big Midweek", p.310
  • 8. Martin | 23/03/2016
Dannyno's comment above (no.6) takes on more credit when you consider that during the performance of the song at The Academy, Manchester (18 March 1992) Mark E Smith does indeed use the acronym "BCCI":

Neither "BCI" nor "BCCI" appear in the Peel session version of the song, which was recorded a few weeks before its studio release and the few live performances (three according to the information we have).
  • 9. Martin | 23/03/2016
With reference to note 5 above, the sample is indeed from Northerns in Europ.
  • 10. dannyno | 16/04/2017
Typewritten comments from the sleevenotes of Code: Selfish:

IMMORTALITY. Nuff said. You'd think people from Iceland would grasp this.
  • 11. Sophia | 25/09/2020
Thank you for this information! "Immortality"
Immortality & Science forum:
please accept thanks

Add a comment