That's Entertainment
The Jam Lyrics


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A police car and a screaming siren
A pneumatic drill and ripped up concrete
A baby wailing and stray dog howling
The screech of brakes and lamp light blinking

That's entertainment, that's entertainment

A smash of glass and the rumble of boots
An electric train and a ripped up phone booth
Paint splattered walls and the cry of a tomcat
Lights going out and a kick in the balls

I tell ya that's entertainment, that's entertainment

Days of speed and slow time Monday's
Pissing down with rain on a boring Wednesday
Watching the news and not eating your tea
A freezing cold flat and damp on the walls

I say that's entertainment, that's entertainment

Waking up at six AM on a cool warm morning
Opening the windows and breathing in petrol
An amateur band rehearsing in a nearby yard
Watching the tele and thinking about your holidays

That's entertainment, that's entertainment

La la la la la la
La la la la la la
La la la la la la
La la la la la la

Waking up from bad dreams and smoking cigarettes
Cuddling a warm girl and smelling stale perfume
A hot summer's day and sticky black tarmac
Feeding ducks in the park and wishing you were far away

That's entertainment, that's entertainment

Two lovers kissing amongst the scream of midnight
Two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude
Getting a cab and travelling on buses
Reading the graffiti about slashed seat affairs

I tell ya that's entertainment, that's entertainment

La la la la la la
La la la la la la
La la la la la la
La la la la la la

La la la la la la
La la la la la la
La la la la la la
La la la la la la

La la la la la la




La la la la la la
La la la la la la

Overall Meaning

The song "That's Entertainment" by The Jam is a commentary on everyday life, presenting a world full of chaos and despair through its lyrics. The song can be seen as a call to action, urging the listener to be aware of their surroundings, to find beauty in the mundane and to take action where necessary. The first verse describes a scene of urban life, with a police car sounding its siren, a pneumatic drill tearing up concrete, and a baby crying while a stray dog howls. The second verse brings in more elements of chaos, such as a smashed window and the sound of boots rumbling in the street. However, despite such scenes, the song never loses sight of the fact that this is still entertainment, hence the recurring refrain, "That's entertainment".


The chorus is reminiscent of a showman's declaration, as if the lead singer is presenting the scenes of everyday life to an audience, while the verses detail the actions and emotions that make up the "entertainment". The song continues with the description of other everyday scenes, such as a cold and damp apartment, an amateur band rehearsing next door, and waking up from bad dreams. The final verse is somewhat bittersweet, describing two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude, and reading graffiti about slashed seat affairs.


In summary, the song is a powerful commentary on urban life and how the mundane can be both chaotic and entertaining.


Line by Line Meaning

A police car and a screaming siren
The chaos of sirens and emergency vehicles rushing by is viewed as entertainment


A pneumatic drill and ripped up concrete
The destruction of urban landscapes through construction is seen as entertainment


A baby wailing and stray dog howling
The disturbing sounds of everyday life are viewed as entertainment


The screech of brakes and lamp light blinking
The mundane sights and sounds of city life are surprisingly entertaining


A smash of glass and the rumble of boots
The violence and destruction in society are somehow entertaining


An electric train and a ripped up phone booth
Even modern technology and infrastructure being damaged or broken is seen as a form of entertainment


Paint splattered walls and the cry of a tomcat
The chaos and disorder of the city, even in the form of graffiti and stray animals, is still viewed as entertaining


Lights going out and a kick in the balls
Violent or destructive events, even those that are unpleasant or painful, are entertaining to witness


Days of speed and slow time Monday's
The ups and downs of everyday life are somehow enjoyable


Pissing down with rain on a boring Wednesday
Even the dreariest of days and the most unpleasant of weather can be seen as entertaining


Watching the news and not eating your tea
Even mundane or depressing activities like watching the news or skipping a meal can be entertainment in their own way


A freezing cold flat and damp on the walls
Living in less than ideal conditions can still be considered entertaining or exciting


Waking up at six AM on a cool warm morning
Simple pleasures, such as feeling the cool morning air, can be sources of entertainment


Opening the windows and breathing in petrol
Even the smell of pollution can be seen as a form of entertainment


An amateur band rehearsing in a nearby yard
Witnessing the creative process of others, even if they are not professionals, is considered entertaining


Watching the tele and thinking about your holidays
Even mundane activities like watching TV and daydreaming can be considered a form of entertainment


Waking up from bad dreams and smoking cigarettes
Even the unpleasant experiences of life, like bad dreams, can somehow be seen as a source of entertainment


Cuddling a warm girl and smelling stale perfume
Even experiences that may not be considered conventionally pleasant, such as smelling stale perfume, can still be viewed as entertaining


A hot summer's day and sticky black tarmac
Even the unpleasantness of hot weather and sticky tar can be viewed as entertainment


Feeding ducks in the park and wishing you were far away
Even the simple act of feeding ducks in a park can be seen as a form of entertainment, while also longing for escape


Two lovers kissing amongst the scream of midnight
The intimacy of romance amidst the chaos of life is considered entertaining


Two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude
The chaos and noise of life can make moments of private solitude even more entertaining and desirable


Getting a cab and travelling on buses
Even the routine and mundane aspects of transportation can be seen as entertainment


Reading the graffiti about slashed seat affairs
Even acts of vandalism and destruction can be seen as entertaining, as evidenced by the graffiti about romantic affairs




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Paul John Weller

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@oreally8605

13 year old black kid in Chicago listening to the Jam. Now im 54, and I love it still..

@draganadc

Congratulation for good taste

@colinsvid

Sheldon Harris I'm 54 and I'm still listening from Essex , great memories flood back from the 70,s &80,s people, parties, Lambretta's

@alicegibson63

Love The Jam still at 62 and still have a scooter:)

@monstermarkone

I’m 55, from Suffolk, England. A biker all my life, rode a scooter once and crashed it (weird thing to ride 😂) Love the Jam!

@Bigyin600

The love of good music never dulls with age. I remember loving this as a 13 year old and now also 52 and always draws me back when its you tube wormhole time looking for music i love...... my dad was an original 60's Mod with a scooter but for me it was and is always bikes ;)

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@Smartass_Jedi

1980: masterpiece
2024: masterpiece

These guys had a bunch of em

@ScrewyDriverTheMan

Greatest band ever, for me! The Jam till I die

@petermcclenaghan5735

this song stands up brilliantly in 2024 - fantastic boys

@toolatehello3345

For me this was the Jam's best song.

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