Meaning of Anarchy in the U.K. by Sex Pistols & The Story Behind

Pretending decency, through which hypocrisy appears, has never benefited society. What it can turn out for the country, the British know well. In the mid-seventies, stiff Great Britain was swept by a wave of punk rock that horrified ladies and gentlemen. Music historians call it the reaction of the younger generation to political processes full of falsehood, petty-bourgeois values ​​and the impossibility of spiritual self-realization.

The story and meaning of the song Anarchy in the UK

The main idols of the young nihilists were members of the punk band The Sex Pistols. Their first single Anarchy in the UK (Anarchy in the United Kingdom), released in November 1976, became a hit, because it reflected the mood of a huge army of rising rebels.

In the UK Singles Chart, Anarchy in the UK reached only 38th place, but it was an undoubted success, given the attendant circumstances (suspension of the release of circulation by EMI and others).

John Lydon (real name of Johnny Rotten) told Mojo magazine a few years ago that he expressed his personal experiences and emotions in the song, so it came naturally and without much effort. Probably, it was this sincerity that helped to reach the hearts of young people who are indifferent to almost everything.

Respectable citizens were, to put it mildly, outraged by the lyrics and shocked by the manner of performance and behavior of members of The Sex Pistols. But the worst thing for them was that their children sincerely admired Johnny Rotten and company. And those openly mocked the basic values ​​proclaimed in the state, and urged:

You give anarchy in the United Kingdom.

They tried to ban – to no avail. The record companies decided to refuse cooperation with The Sex Pistols – the greed of the producers won. They were invited to a popular TV show to be ridiculed – it got even worse because they insulted the host, mocked the audience and left as heroes in the eyes of the fans.

Song Achievements

The Sex Pistols did not last long, but still several of its compositions, including Anarchy in the UK, forever entered the history of rock music.

Rolling Stone ranked Anarchy in the UK #56 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Cover versions

Subsequently, Anarchy in the UK was recorded by Megadeth and other rock bands. There is also a French version. I suggest watching the online video clip Mötley Crüe – Anarchy in the UK.

Interesting Facts

  • The song contains the line “I use the NME” (“I use the NME”, a famous magazine), which is heard as “I use the enemy”. It was one of the ways to annoy the media, which members of The Sex Pistols willingly used.
  • There are several abbreviations in the text. They mean the following extremist organizations: MPLA – People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, UDA – Ulster Defense Association, IRA – Irish Republican Army.
  • The band once performed Anarchy in the UK aboard a boat called the Queen Elizabeth, sailing down the Thames under the windows of Parliament.

Anarchy in the UK Lyrics by Sex Pistols

Right now ha, ha!
I am an anti-Christ
I am an anarchist
Don’t know what I want
But I know how to get it
I wanna destroy the passer by
‘Cos I wanna be anarchy!
Ho, dogs body!

Anarchy for the UK!
It’s coming sometime and maybe
I give a wrong time stop a traffic line
Your future dream is a shopping scheme
Cause I wanna be anarchy
It’s in the city
How many ways to get what you want
I use the best I use the rest
I use the NME
I use anarchy
‘Cause I wanna be anarchy
It’s the only way to be

Is this the MPLA?
Or is this the UDA?
Or is this the IRA?
I thought it was the UK
Or just another country
Another council tenancy

I wanna be anarchy
And I wanna be anarchy
Know what I mean
And I wanna be anarchist!
Get pissed destroy!

Lyrics Anarchy in the UK by Sex Pistols Alternate

Right now, haha!
I am the antichrist
I am an anarchist
I don’t know what I want
But know how to get it
I want to destroy the passerby
Because I want to be anarchy!
No cattle!

Give anarchy in the United Kingdom!
Someday it will come and maybe
I picked the wrong time to block traffic
Your dreams of the future are a shopping list
But I want to be anarchy!
She’s already in town
How many ways to get what you want
I use the best, I use the rest
I use NME
I use anarchy
Because I want to be anarchy
It’s the only way to exist

Is this MPLA?
Or is it UDA?
Or is it an IRA?
I thought it was the United Kingdom
Or some other country
Renting out housing

I want to be an anarchist
And I want to be an anarchist
You know what I mean
And I want to be an anarchist!
Shatter everything to smithereens!

Song quote

It’s a call to arms for guys who feel like rock and roll has been taken from them. This is a declaration of self-government, complete independence.

Malcolm McLaren, manager of Sex Pistols

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