Icon Joy Division Shadowplay
Songs and Lyrics

There is a separate page for each song recorded by Joy Division. There you will find:

  • details of every known recording and every official release;
  • the song lyrics, noting significant variations between versions;
  • other information, including cover versions by other artists.
Below is an alphabetical index of song titles. Click on the title to see the song page.
If you don't know the song title, I have also listed some key phrases from the lyrics.
There is also a page covering instrumentals and unrecorded songs not listed below.

When you have finished, click on the picture of Ian Curtis to return to the home page.

Icon No language, just sound, that's all we need know
To synchronise love to the beat of the show

 IconKey phrases from the lyrics

Many of the song titles are not easy to deduce from the lyrics. To help you to to identify a song from the lyric, I list below some of the chorus lines and other repeated phrases.

A Means to an End I always looked to you .. I put my trust in you
Atmosphere Walk in silence .. Don't walk away
Atrocity Exhibition This is the way - step inside
Autosuggestion Lose some sleep and say you tried
Ceremony I'll break them down, no mercy shown
Day of the Lords This is the room .. Where will it end?
Dead Souls They keep calling me
Decades Here are the young men .. Where have they been?
Digital Feel it closing in .. Day in, day out .. Fade away
Disorder I've got the spirit - lose the feeling
Exercise One When you're looking at life
From Safety to Where  I don't know just why .. Just passing through
Glass Hearts fail - young hearts fail .. Do it again
In a Lonely Place How I wish you were here with me now
Insight I remember .. I'm not afraid anymore
Interzone I was looking for a friend of mine
I Remember Nothing We were strangers - for way too long
New Dawn Fades A change of speed, a change of style
No Love Lost I need it - I need it
Novelty What ya gonna do when it's over?
Passover This is a crisis I knew had to come
Shadowplay To the centre of the city - waiting for you
Sound of Music I can't see it getting better
The Drawback And they left it for you - all of this for you
The Eternal Stood by the gate at the foot of the garden
The Kill (Still) Through it all I kept my eyes on you
Transmission Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio
Twenty Four Hours Now that I've realised .. Got to find my destiny
Warsaw 3-1-G .. 3-1-G
Wilderness I travelled far and wide .. What did you see there?

 IconNotes on the lyric transcriptions

I have verified all the lyrics against the original recordings rather than rely on someone else's interpretation. I am reasonably confident that I have captured accurately the main studio versions of each song. Where a song has more than one studio version I have also noted the main variations.

I have also noted some of the significant variations found in official releases of live recordings, but don't expect to find every last detail of live performances. I have concentrated on places where Ian introduces "new" lyrics, not where he sings the same lines in a different order, or omits one verse and repeats an earlier one instead. Some live versions have been left out where the recording is not clear enough for a reliable transcription.

The Deborah Curtis book is the best printed source for Ian's writings, but it does not have a complete set of lyrics, nor does Ian always sing the words exactly as they appear in the book. The lyrics from the book are reprinted (but are harder to read) in the booklet accompanying the Heart and Soul boxed set.

Design and original content copyright © Chris Warren 1997 to 2017
You may take a copy for personal use only

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