Heart and Soul
Joy Division Lyrics


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Instincts that can still betray us
A journey that leads to the sun
Soulless and bent on destruction
A struggle between right and wrong

You take my place in the showdown
I'll observe with a pitiful eye
And humbly ask for forgiveness
A request well beyond you and I

Heart and soul, one will burn
Heart and soul, one will burn

An abyss that laughs at creation
A circus complete with all fools
Foundations that lasted the ages
Then ripped apart at their roots

Beyond all this good is the terror
The grip of a mercenary hand
When savagery turns all good reason
There's no turning back, no last stand

Heart and soul, one will burn
Heart and soul, one will burn

Existence well what does it matter?
I exist on the best terms I can
The past is now part of my future
The present is well out of hand
The present is well out of hand

Heart and soul, one will burn
Heart and soul, one will burn




One will burn, one will burn
Heart and soul, one will burn

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Joy Division's song "Heart and Soul" are a meditation on the human struggle between good and evil. The opening lines describe the fragility of our instincts, which can sometimes lead us astray. The journey that leads to the sun is a metaphor for our quest for enlightenment, for a higher understanding of the world around us. But the song quickly takes a darker turn, presenting a world that is soulless and bent on destruction. The struggle between right and wrong is a battle that we all face, but the song suggests that it is a battle that we cannot always win.


The chorus of the song speaks to the heart of this struggle. "Heart and soul, one will burn" suggests that we cannot escape the consequences of our actions. There will always be a price to pay for the choices we make. The abyss that laughs at creation and the circus complete with all fools are metaphors for the chaos and absurdity of existence. The foundations that lasted the ages are the institutions and beliefs that we take for granted, but that can be ripped apart at any time.


The final lines of the song are a reflection on the present moment and the uncertainty of the future. The past is now part of our future, a reminder that the choices we make today will shape our tomorrow. The present is well out of hand, suggesting that the chaos and uncertainty of the world are beyond our control. But even in the face of all this, the chorus reminds us that one thing is certain: heart and soul, one will burn.


Line by Line Meaning

Instincts that can still betray us
Our basic impulses can sometimes lead us astray and cause us to do things we later regret.


A journey that leads to the sun
Life is a journey that leads us towards the light and warmth of the sun, symbolizing hope and happiness.


Soulless and bent on destruction
Some people lack a moral compass and are driven by a desire to cause harm and destruction.


A struggle between right and wrong
Life is a constant struggle between doing what is right and what is wrong.


You take my place in the showdown
I'm too weak to stand up for myself in this conflict, so I'm going to let you take my place and fight for me.


I'll observe with a pitiful eye
I'll watch from the sidelines with sadness and pity, feeling helpless to intervene.


And humbly ask for forgiveness
I'll acknowledge my mistakes and ask for forgiveness, even though I may not deserve it.


A request well beyond you and I
This is a difficult request that neither of us may be able to fulfill, but I'll ask anyway out of desperation.


Heart and soul, one will burn
Both our hearts and souls are at stake in this conflict, and one of us will ultimately suffer great pain and loss.


An abyss that laughs at creation
The universe is vast and mysterious, and sometimes it seems as if it is mocking and belittling our very existence.


A circus complete with all fools
Life can sometimes feel like a chaotic circus filled with foolish people and ridiculous situations.


Foundations that lasted the ages
Despite their many challenges, some things in life endure and remain strong for generations.


Then ripped apart at their roots
But even the strongest foundations can be torn apart and destroyed at their very core.


Beyond all this good is the terror
Beneath the surface of all that is good and hopeful in life lurks an underlying terror and darkness.


The grip of a mercenary hand
Sometimes we are at the mercy of people who are only motivated by money and self-interest rather than compassion or morality.


When savagery turns all good reason
In the face of extreme violence and cruelty, logic and rational thought often become irrelevant and useless.


There's no turning back, no last stand
In some situations, there is no hope for redemption or salvation, and we must accept our fate and move forward.


Existence well what does it matter?
Sometimes life can feel meaningless and futile, and we wonder if our very existence is pointless.


I exist on the best terms I can
Despite the harsh realities of life, I am doing the best I can with the circumstances I have been given.


The past is now part of my future
The events of our past shape who we are and influence the decisions we make in the future.


The present is well out of hand
Life is chaotic and unpredictable, and sometimes it feels like everything is falling apart and we have no control over the situation.


One will burn, one will burn
This repetition emphasizes the idea that someone will ultimately suffer great pain and loss, and there is no avoiding it.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Peermusic Publishing, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Ian Kevin Curtis, Bernard Summer, Peter Hook, Stephen Paul David Morris

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@katerinadiamantaki8433

You're never the same person after you've heard "Heart and Soul". Challenges listeners with its existential truth, while at the same time provides a cathartic listening experience. "Closer" is a cornerstone album in post-punk, truly pioneering.

@danielreinhardt8455

I'm 60 and this is my favorite band and song

@dryroastedpnutta6253

The drums are exceptional on this and the lyrics so purposefully prophetic...RIP Ian Curtis

@johnoreilly8641

I first heard Closer in 1983 as a 16 year old. The second side (from this on) are as perfect as music gets. I'm still listening to it 40 years later.

@akisasimakopoulos7639

Every single track of this group is a masterpiece!! Literally!! There are no words describing the loss of IC then!

@seanmcnally4818

Joy Division was the ultimate what could've been.

@mbellsanchez8926

Me lleva a un momento de mi vida de depresión . Tengo 47 años escucho esto y siempre llamo a la nostalgia a los recuerdos esos de profunda tristeza esos que te sacuden el alma 🥺

@beatboxer1494

I thank my dad every day for telling me about Joy Divison. Absolute masterpieces they made i’m 15 and Enjoy every single album released by them. Ian helps me up everytime i’ve called to a sad moment in my life. I’ll go to his grave in macclesfield to the day i die. Absolutely changed me. Thank you JD

@dazpowell5075

After all these years , I still love this track, their best imo , 44 years ago , just crazy

@eloisemusgrove6210

my favourite song!! i’m only 15 but this sure is my favourite band ever. they’re so brilliant.

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