Song with lyric: "The lights are out all over Europe"?
June 23, 2016 11:43 PM   Subscribe

Thoughts of Brexit tonight put a song in my head — or, more accurately, a line from a song that I just can't place. I've tried to Google the lyric with no luck. Can you pin it down for me?

A woman, probably with some reverb applied to her voice, sings, "The lights are out all over Europe" or "The lights go out all over Europe." (I've always imagined her singing on an empty stage, perhaps to an empty theater.) I'm aware that the line paraphrases Sir Edward Grey; I've always found it very stirring, though when I first heard the song as a callow twerp I didn't get the reference. Here's what else I think.
  • The line is from the verse of the song, not the chorus. I believe it's only sung once.
  • Instrumentation beneath her voice, if any, is spare.
  • I believe it dates to the early 1990s or further back.
  • The performance has a very theatrical quality.
  • It's not the Divine Comedy song.
  • I thought it might be Laurie Anderson, but if it is I can't find it.
  • I thought it might be Chumbawamba, but if it is I can't find it.
  • Annie Lennox would be another good guess based on the qualities of the voice, but I'm certain she's not the singer.
Ring a bell with anyone? I'm on my way to bed now but it's kind of driving me nuts. I fully expect that it will seem completely obvious when I figure out what it is.
posted by Mothlight to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is it The Mekons - Secrets?

(City of London is also apropos)
posted by chbrooks at 12:07 AM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ding ding ding ding ding. Thank you SO MUCH.
posted by Mothlight at 12:11 AM on June 24, 2016

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