display | more...
Black Box Recorder

(Haines & Moore)

This track is from the album The Facts of Life, released in 2000.

Despite the songs title, it’s not really about the transport network that spans England. Or maybe it is. If you’re English (and you’ve ever thought about what that word means) you’ll probably understand these lyrics right away. If not, perhaps a little background information would help…

The English motorway system is a mess. It always has been, and shows no signs of rearranging itself into a more comprehensible order anytime soon. But in many ways, this is just how the English love it. For a start, it gives men something to talk about when they first meet, which papers over the awkwardness of two English men attempting to talk about anything that really affects them. It also provides much needed continuity to the nation. The English just can’t get enough of continuity. Let’s keep things the same, forever.

The song also has some vague love story thrown in, talking occasionally about love and rejection. To me, that’s not really the point of the song. It’s really an investigation of Englishness, using the particularly apt metaphor of the motorway system to allow Haines and Moore to vent their distaste for Britain.

I could be wrong, and I’m sorry to have subjected you to this entirely subjective introduction to a beautiful song.

The English motorway system

The English motorway system is beautiful and strange
It's been there forever, it's never going to change
It eliminates all diversions, it eliminates all emotions
(All you got to do to stay alive is drive)

There are things we need to talk about
There are things I cannot do without

If you think the journey's over
Let me know, don't make me wait

(Driving with no aim or intention)
On the English motorway

The English motorway system can be quite hypnotising
You achieve a Zen like state, as someone else's driving
It becomes detached observing, colours and straight lights
Distant town and exit signs
(Do you really want to break up?)

There are things we need to talk about
There are things I cannot do without

Is this the end of the rainbow?
Am I just colour-blind?

(Leave the north, visit friend's at south)
On the English motorway

The English motorway system, is an accident waiting to happen
On the black ice, a lorry jack knives, there's freezing fog in November
And you wonder if there's someone who really does decide
I thought I saw you in a distance
(Do you really want to break up?)

There are things we need to talk about
There are things I cannot do without

When you think the journey's over
Let me know
Don't make me wait

(Driving with no aim or intention)
On the English motorway

The English motorway system is beautiful and strange
The English motorway system is beautiful and strange
The English motorway system is beautiful and strange
The English motorway system is beautiful and strange

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.