Bloc Party’s “Hunting for Witches” Lyrics Meaning

Bloc Party’s “Hunting for Witches” is premised on the terrorist attacks which rocked New York City and London respectively in 2001 and 2005. Or more specifically, it is Bloc Party’s take on the popular media’s reaction to such events. And basically what they are doing, in a roundabout way, is accusing said socializing institution of fearmongering in the wake of those incidents. Thus the title of the track alludes to the infamous Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century, which stands as one of history’s most-glaring incidences of mass hysteria gone wrong. And similarly Bloc Party is accusing the modern media of likewise inducing fear, basically transforming the singer from an “ordinary man with ordinary desires” to someone more akin to a vigilante.

NOTE: The Salem witch trials took place between 1692 and 1693 in Massachusetts, U.S. During the trials, over 200 men and women were accused of being involved in withcraft. At the end of the trials, thirty of the accused were found guilty of witchcraft. Nineteen of the guilty were eventually killed via hanging.

Witch Hunt

The song’s title is also apparently inspired by the English word, “witch-hunt“. A witch-hunt can be defined as the process of blaming a particular group for a wrongdoing and trying to make them pay for it. More often than not, the accused group is actually innocent of the crime they are accused of. But despite their innocence, they are searched for and harassed. Victims of witch hunt are often targeted because of who they are and the views that they hold.


Simply put, On “Hunting for Witches”, Bloc Party is accusing the mainstream-news media of fearmongering in the wake of notable terrorist attacks.

Release Date of “Hunting for Witches”

This track is from Bloc Party’s second album, which is entitled A Weekend in the City.  Said project was officially released by Wichita Records on 24 January 2007.

Writing Credits

“Hunting for Witches” was written by all the then members of the band. As of that time, Bloc Party consisted of the following musicians:

  • Russell Lissack
  • Kele Okereke
  • Gordon Moakes
  • Matt Tong

The track was produced by Jacknife Lee. 

Did “Hunting for Witches” chart?

Yes. It made it into the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart. And it went on to break the top 30 of the aforementioned singles chart.

Music Video

Bloc Party brought on Alan Smithee to direct the music video to this song.

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