Music and British Identity: Siouxsie & The Banshees


Primary members: Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Severin, Budgie
Band Biography
Albums of focus: The Scream (1978), Juju (1981), Nocturne (1983), Tinderbox (1986)
Songs for study: "Love in a Void," "Mirage," "Suburban Relapse," "Voodoo Dolly," "Night Shift," "Pure," "Jigsaw Feeling," Melt!"

"It was a case of us knowing what we didn't want, throwing out every cliché. Never having a guitar solo, never ending a song with a loud drum smash. At one point, Siouxsie just took away the high-hat from the drum kit. Siouxsie wanted a guitar sound like a cross between The Velvet Underground and the shower scene in Psycho." --Steve Severin, bassist

 

"Mirage" - from The Scream (1978)
I'm just a vision on your TV screen
Just something conjured from a dream
Seen thro' your x-ray eyes
A see thro' scene
The image is no images
It's not what it seems
My limbs are like palm trees
Swaying in the breeze
My body's an oasis
To drink from as you please
I'm not seeing what I'm meant to believe in
Your non-excuse for human being

It's not plain to see
That I'm playing with me
A photo fit of loose ends framed in 3-D
Seen thro' your x-ray eyes
A see thro' scene
The images no image is
It's not what it seems

 

"Suburban Relapse" - from The Scream (1978)
I'm sorry that I hit you
But my spring snapped
I'm sorry I disturbed your cat nap
But whilst finishing a chore
I asked myself 'what for?'
Then something snapped.
I had a relapse
A suburban relapse

 

I was washing up the dishes
And minding my own business
When my string snapped
I had a relapse
A suburban relapse
Should I?
Throw things at the neighbours
Expose myself to strangers
Kill myself or you?
Now memory gets hazy
I think I must be crazy
but my string snapped
I had a relapse
A suburban relapse

"Voodoo Dolly" - from Juju (1981)

SIOUXSIE: "I suppose everyone has their own personal voodoo dolly which is capable of destroying them. A bad habit, or something they like but shouldn't. A vice, most vices; one that's hard to control, hard to kick. The same for men with certain girlfriends, they're like voodoo dollies, always winding them up and they destroy them." --Source: Sounds 20 June 1981

She's your little voodoo dolly
And she's gonna make you lazy
Like the little drum in your ear
Transfixes you to your fear

And now she's transfixed in your fear
And you know she's gonna stay there
Because her nails are deep in your hair
And she made you so unaware

Are you listening to your fear
The beat is coming nearer
Like the little drum in your ear
Transfixes you to your fear

She's such an ugly little dolly
And she's making you look very silly
And when you listen in to her ear
You get paralysed with her fear
Oh down down in your fear

Now this little voodoo dolly
Has made you very lazy
And you're anaemic from her sucking
And when your dead she'll find another

Better break that little dolly
And sling her in the corner
Now she's a sorry little dolly
Such a sorry little dolly

Are you listening to your fear
The beat is coming nearer
Like that little drum in your ear
Transfixing you to your fear
listen

 

"Night Shift" - from Juju (1981)

SIOUXSIE: " 'Night Shift' was about the Yorkshire Ripper, not Bela Lugosi, or whatever. Goth was pantomime."
-- Source: Time out 26 September 1998

"This news journalist told me that they had a lot of information about the Ripper before he was caught. I don't know how true...that he was a necrophiliac, at least while he was a gravedigger, and that was why he wanted to work the night shift." --Source: Juju liner notes

Only at night time I see you
In darkness I feel you
A bride by my side
I'm inside many brides
Sometimes I wonder

What goes on in your mind
Always silent and kind
unlike the others

Fuck the mothers kill the others
Fuck the others kill the mothers
I'll put it out of my mind because I'm out of my mind with you
In heaven and hell with you

My night shift sisters
Await your nightly visitor
They don't bother me no
No they don't bother me

The cold marble slab
Submits at my feet
With a neat dissection
Looking so sweet to me, please come to me

With your cold flesh, my cold love
Hissing, not kissing
A happy go lucky chap
Always dressed in black
He'll come to you, he'll come to you

My night shift sisters
With your nightly visitor
A new vocation in life
My love with a knife

Fuck the mothers kill the others
Fuck the others kill the mothers
I'll put it out of my mind because I'm out of my mind with you
in heaven and hell with you

 

You are the melting man
You are your situation
There is no time to breathe
And yet one single breath
Leads to an insatiable desire
Of suicide in sex

So many blazing orchids
Burning in your throat
Making you choke
Making you sigh
Sigh in tiny deaths

"So, melt!
my lover, melt!"
She said, "Melt!
my lover, melt!"

You are the melting man
And as you melt
You are beheaded
Handcuffed in lace, blood & sperm

Swimming in poison
Gasping in the fragrance
Sweat carves a screenplay
Of discipline and devotion

"So, melt!
my lover, melt!"
She said, "Melt!
my lover, melt!"

Can you see?
See into the black of a long, black car
Pulling away from a funeral of flowers
With my hand between your legs
Melting
"So, melt!
my lover, melt!"
She said, "Melt!
my lover, melt!"

 

GRAFFITI STUDY WALL: MUSIC & VIDEOS
SEX PISTOLS
KRAFTWERK
THE CLASH
PUBLIC IMAGE LTD.
JOY DIVISION
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
AU PAIRS
COCTEAU TWINS
ARTERY
HUMAN LEAGUE
HEAVEN 17
THE SPECIALS
CABARET VOLTAIRE
TEARS FOR FEARS
DEPECHE MODE
THE SOUND
THE GLOVE
THE CURE
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN
A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS
GANG OF FOUR
NEW ORDER
U2
THE POLICE
CRASS
NEW MODEL ARMY
ELVIS COSTELLO
SPLIT ENZ
THE THE
XTC
THE EXPLOITED
DISCHARGE
THE SMITHS
THE HOUSEMARTINS
RADIOHEAD
PORTISHEAD
PET SHOP BOYS
M Y BLOODY VALENTINE
SLOWDIVE
CRASH MUSIC
MUSIC OF THE TROUBLES

VIDEOS:

SEX PISTOLS
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES (LIVE)
THE CURE (LIVE)
COCTEAU TWINS (LIVE)
NEW ORDER (LIVE)
PORTISHEAD (LIVE)
JOY DIVISION MINI-DOCUMENTARY
NUCLEAR WAR PREPAREDNESS: PROTECT & SURVIVE MANUAL