The Jam - Wasteland

Artist: The Jam

Song: Wasteland

Album: Setting Sons (1979)


The Jam was an English rock band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. While they shared the "angry young men" outlook and fast tempos of their punkrock contemporaries, The Jam wore neatly tailored suits rather than ripped clothes and incorporated a number of mainstream 1960s rock influences rather than rejecting them, placing them at the forefront of the mod revival movement.

Setting Sons was originally planned as a concept album about three childhood friends who, upon meeting after some time apart, discover the different directions in which they've grown apart.


(…) It had been reported prior to release that the album would deal with the concept of how 3 childhood friends had changed as they became adults after a modern-day English civil war (described in the song "Wasteland"). In essence, it was to be a Weller-generation version of The Kinks album Arthur,or: The Decline and Fall of the British Empire. (The two albums do make very good companion pieces.)





Meet me on the wastelands - later this day,
We'll sit and talk and hold hands maybe,
For there's not much else to do in this drab and colourless 
We'll sit amongst the rubber tyres,
Amongst the discarded bric-a-brac,
People have no use for - amongst the smouldering embers of 

And when or if the sun shines,
Lighting our once beautiful features,
We'll smile but only for seconds,
For to be caught smiling is to acknowledge life,
A brave but useless show of compassion,
And that is forbidden in this drab and colourless world.

Meet me on the wastelands - the ones behind,
The old houses - the ones - left standing pre-war -
The ones overshadowed by the monolith monstrosities - 
councils call homes.

And there amongst the shit - the dirty linen,
The holy Coca-Cola tins - the punctured footballs,
The ragged dolls - the rusting bicycles,
We'll sit and probably hold hands.

And watch the rain fall - watch it - watch it -
Tumble and fall - tumble and falling -
Like our lives - like our lives -
Just like our lives.

We'll talk about the old days,
When the wasteland was release when we could play,
And think - without feeling guilty -
Meet me later but we'll have to hold hands.
Tumble and fall - tumble and falling -
Like our lives - like our lives -
Exactly like our lives.

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