That's Entertainment
The Jam Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning | Line by Line Meaning

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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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

Overwhelmed Octopus🐙

@2000toddowen oh, the man is working class. Billy Brag, Weller and the style council... I'm proud to enjoy 'this', kind of music. As are millions of others, hundreds of millions.
And will in the future, because we pass on our tastes.
You spent more time whining about the Modfather... than I probably spent on the last exam I took. And you don't LIKE it. Good for you buddy.
Go look for, Aqua, or Steps.
Probably right up your street. With an occupant of ONE.
I saw none of these comments. But wow.
Just a heads up. It's call an opinion. I don't exist under a dick-tatorship. No one thinks for me. And I'd never be so rude as to tell everyone a random gets to pick what YOU like.
Seriously.
You think you've seen it all. I LITERALLY spent am hour in my car with a friend earlier, raised voices, expressing frustration at what is judged 'impressive', these days
And if there's a place where people are sharing happy memories, you come in and stomp over all of them. Because we can't have THAT, can we?
Go buy the new COS or something. 🤣🤣 my CAT is laughing now



Andrew Collins

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



LetsDrive

A police car and a screamin' siren
Pneumatic drill and ripped-up concrete
A baby wailing, a stray dog howling
The screech of brakes and lamplight blinking

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

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

Waking up at 6 A.M. on a cool warm morning
Opening the windows and breathing in petrol
An amateur band rehearsing in a nearby yard
Watching the telly and thinking 'bout your holidays

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

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



G1 N

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



All comments from YouTube:

SerialGothQueens

Even as an American, I always connected with this song. Growing up in a working class family, in a working class neighborhood in Queens, NY, surrounded by dead end streets, train tracks, abandoned houses, auto garages and factories, this song described exactly where I came from, and what life was like.
Some feelings and experiences are truly universal, and Weller perfectly captured some of those in this incredible song.

2000toddowen

@IndiekidDrugPatrol I think it was the same way in Trinidad and Turks, but not Tabago and Caicos.

Of course others may disagree. Sort of like the way that I believe the North Eastern USA at this time was more like songs by Frankie Valli or The Bee Gees than it was by a group of pretend-to-be Beatles.

IndiekidDrugPatrol

I think North Eastern USA was very similar to the UK during this time, post industrial decay and shite weather

Shaun Boden

@Tom Parker UK Bud

2000toddowen

@Ronald Drump I agree. I grew up in a gated upper class southern California utopia with its own security force. Not one 10 acre parcel went for less than a million for the land alone not to mention the palace built on top of it. It was about as close to the Garden of Eden here on Earth as on can get.

And yet...I feel this song is all about me more than the working class or the British or the urban dwellers. They have NO idea.This isn't their anthem. It's MINE and tough toenails if they don't like it.

Ronald Drump

Yeah, man. The feelings are palpable.

47 More Replies...

Leonel Poblete Codutti

It's always struck me that Paul wrote this masterpiece in just 10 minutes. “Two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude”, one of the greatest ever lines in music, must have just slipped off his pen. What a genius.

leah white

@Paul Eyles I really don't think he cares about that type of "honour"

Aidikel

“Hot summers day, sticky black tarmac, feeding ducks in the park and wishing you were far away”
When I was young fir some reason those lyrics evoked in me the feeling of wanting to escape…..
60 now. Love this song, always have and always will.

dan banjod

That line is literally my favourite line ever. It says so much in so few words. Weller is a lyrical genius

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