Riot Van
Arctic Monkeys Lyrics


Up rolls a riot van
And sparks excitement in the boys
But the policemen look annoyed
Perhaps these are ones they should avoid

Got a chase last night
From men with truncheons dressed in hats
We didn't do that much wrong
Still ran away though, for the laugh
Just for the laugh
And please just stop talking
'Cause they won't find us if you do
Oh, those silly boys in blue
Well, they won't catch me and you

"Have you been drinking, son?
You don't look old enough to me"
"I'm sorry, officer
Is there a certain age you're supposed to be?
'Cause nobody told me"
And up rolls the riot van
And these lads just wind the coppers up
They ask why they don't catch proper crooks
They get their address and their names took
But they couldn't care less

Thrown in the riot van
And all the coppers kicked him in
And there was no way he could win
Just had to take it on the chin

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Alex Turner

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Joseph Melgarejo

Up rolls a riot van
And sparks excitement in the boys
But the policemen look annoyed
Perhaps these are ones they should avoid

Got a chase last night
From men with truncheons dressed in hats
We didn't do that much wrong
Still ran away though, for the laugh
Just for the laugh
And please just stop talking
'Cause they won't find us if you do
Oh, those silly boys in blue
Well, they won't catch me and you

"Have you been drinking, son?
You don't look old enough to me"
"I'm sorry, officer
Is there a certain age you're supposed to be?
'Cause nobody told me"
And up rolls the riot van
And these lads just wind the coppers up
They ask why they don't catch proper crooks
They get their address and their names took
But they couldn't care less

Thrown in the riot van
And all the coppers kicked him in
And there was no way he could win
Just had to take it on the chin



All comments from YouTube:

Chad mbuara

dont tell my other black friends im here

Shaun Maguire

why u weirdo guarantee ur a yank u race obsessed mongs

Swift Animations

@Beefy Teefy .

Hugh Kay

@Sadia Aden With all due respect to the current context and your opinion, my comment was referring to the very real fact that many black people such as the OP feel they cannot listen to certain music for fear of shame from their friends and family. The point I was making is that nobody should be the arbiter of what music you enjoy.

As for the song itself, again - you are entitled to your view. However, my understanding of the lyrics is that it's less to do with police brutality as it is youthful naïveté and the yearning to just 'feel' something at a young age but ultimately having such thrills taken away from you at the peak of enjoyment ("All the coppers kicked him in/no way he could win/had to take it on the chin").

Having grown up in the North of England myself, my friends and I had many run-ins with the "men in truncheons, dressed in hats", and that was almost always due to our own idiotic antics as teens. We almost always tested our resolve "just for the laugh" and would utter similar sentiments like "Is there a certain age you're supposed to be/cause nobody told me". Anyway, I can understand that some of the lyrics may be triggering at this point in time depending on how you choose to interpret them - but I'm quite sure the then 19 year old Alex Turner had another set of motifs in mind.

Sadia Aden

Hugh Kay Have another listen to the lyrics and then assess what is happening to people within black communities. Police brutality is defo a thing in the UK too. Love the artic monkeys, always have but the song makes me cringe now

Hugh Kay

Here since 2010. Don't ever feel ashamed for the music that interests you because of your race.

8 More Replies...

beautsoup

Perfect theme for this mess

JustGame

Underage drinking on a field dodging coppers, nothing more British than that

Tragedy Has Found Us

when you see the title "Riot Van" you think that this is going to be a loud and funky song but this is such a beautiful,calm story :)

Michael Eroyan

So many good memories to this album.

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