Country House – Deciphering the Satire of Suburban Dreams


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Blur's Country House at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The High Price of Urban Affluence
  5. A Sardonic Twist on the Pastoral Ideal
  6. Discovering the Simple Life Isn’t So Simple
  7. The Hidden Meaning Behind the Animal Imagery
  8. Memorable Lines that Speak Volumes

Lyrics

City dweller, successful fella thought to himself
Oops I’ve got a lot of money
Caught in a rat race terminally
I’m a professional cynic but my heart’s not in it
I’m payin’ the price of livin’ life at the limit
Caught up in the century’s anxiety
Yes, it preys on him
He’s gettin’ thin, try the simple life

He lives in a house
A very big house in the country
Watchin’ afternoon repeats
And the food he eats in the country
He takes all manner of pills
And piles up analyst bills in the country
Oh, it’s like an animal farm
That’s the rural charm in the country

He’s got morning glory and life’s a different story
Everything’s going jackanory
Touched with his own mortality
He’s reading Balzac, knocking back Prozac
It’s a helping hand that makes you feel wonderfully blind
Oh, it’s a century’s remedy
For the faint at heart
A new start, try the simple life

He lives in a house
A very big house in the country
He’s got a fog in his chest
So he needs a lot of rest in the country
He doesn’t drink, smoke, laugh
Takes herbal baths in the country
You should come to no harm
On the animal farm in the country
In the country, in the country, in the country

Blow, blow me out, I am so sad, I don’t know why
Blow, blow me out, I am so sad, I don’t know why

Oh he lives in a house
A very big house in the country
Watchin’ afternoon repeats
And the food he eats in the country
He takes all manner of pills
And piles up analyst bills in the country
Oh, it’s like an animal farm
That’s the rural charm in the country

Oh he lives in a house
A very big house in the country
He’s got a fog in his chest
So he needs a lot of rest in the country
He doesn’t drink, smoke, laugh
Takes herbal baths in the country
You should come to no harm
On the animal farm in the country

Full Lyrics

Blur’s ‘Country House,’ a chart-topping single from the band’s fourth album ‘The Great Escape,’ not only captured the zeitgeist of mid-90s Britain but served as a sardonic commentary on the seductive illusion of pastoral life for the urban elite. Packed with vivid imagery and wrapped in a catchy Britpop melody, the song unravels the narrative of an affluent man’s escape to the countryside, only to face the emptiness beneath his ostensibly idyllic retreat.

More than a melodic concoction for the airwaves, ‘Country House’ stands as a cultural artifact that pierces through social pretense, shining a light on the paradox of modern success and the yearning for a simpler existence. Through an exploration of the song’s lyrics, a deeper level of artistic craft is revealed, beckoning listeners to delve beyond the surface of its bouncy chorus and into the profound statement being made.

The High Price of Urban Affluence

The introduction of ‘Country House’ sets the stage with a city dweller realizing the toll his wealth and professional cynicism has taken on him. Lyrics such as ‘Oops I’ve got a lot of money’ and ‘Caught in a rat race terminally’ immediately hint at a juxtaposition – economic affluence against personal deficiency. This successful fella embodies the societal archetype that measures success through financial gain while deteriorating from within due to the race for more.

As the man is ‘payin’ the price of livin’ life at the limit,’ Blur paints a portrait of someone whose existence is defined by pushing boundaries, yet those very limits have led to a life filled with anxiety. This commentary on the ceaseless demands of modern urban life highlights the mental and emotional costs, setting up the character’s transition to the perceived tranquility of rural living.

A Sardonic Twist on the Pastoral Ideal

The chorus brings the song’s title into play, emphasizing the ‘very big house in the country,’ which might traditionally symbolize serene refuge. However, the subsequent lines, describing the protagonist’s life filled with afternoon television repeats and over-reliance on medications, undercuts the idealized vision with a dose of stark reality. Blur is not simply mocking the man’s choice but the wider cultural assumption that escape to the countryside equals a better, purer life.

In what could be mistaken for a bucolic paradise, the narrative instead offers a tableau of alienation and medicated existence. It suggests that no matter where one resides, the problems of the individual – and perhaps of the times – will follow, implying those who seek solace in geographic change might only find a different set of issues.

Discovering the Simple Life Isn’t So Simple

Blur continues to unravel the story of this man whose venture into ‘the simple life’ seems to fall flat, revealing lines like ‘He’s got morning glory, and life’s a different story, everything’s going jackanory.’ The transformation anticipated by rural life doesn’t materialize, and instead, he resorts to reading Balzac and ‘knocking back Prozac.’ Here, the band crafts a wry correlation between the literary pursuit of understanding human nature and the modern solution of pharmaceuticals to cope with one’s existence.

Through these lyrics, the illusion of pastoral simplicity is shattered. The character seems caught between an existential overhaul and the escape into comforting numbness. This deep-seated irony sheds light on the band’s critique of how attempts to overhaul one’s life can be thwarted by deeply ingrained habits and the cultural malaise of the era.

The Hidden Meaning Behind the Animal Imagery

A standout line in ‘Country House’ is the comparison to ‘an animal farm,’ which appears innocuously at first – a nod to the rustic setting. Yet, the allusion to George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ is hard to ignore, with its themes of disillusionment with utopian visions. Blur’s use of the phrase ‘animal farm’ is a clear nod to the breakdown of egalitarian ideals, suggesting a degree of social commentary on the class struggle within British society.

Considering the man’s luxurious surroundings and the explicit reference to analyst bills, the song posits a detached, almost voyeuristic existence within the upper class. This Orwellian metaphor suggests that despite attempts at reinvention, the man’s situation remains part of a larger satirical folly, linking societal structure and individual discontent.

Memorable Lines that Speak Volumes

Amidst a chorus that ingrains itself into the listener’s consciousness, some lines of ‘Country House’ linger long after the song has ended. The emotive call, ‘Blow, blow me out, I am so sad, I don’t know why,’ captures the existential ache that resonates well beyond the narrative’s central character. It’s a heartfelt confession, encapsulating the broader human plight of searching for happiness and often not finding it where most expected.

This sense of sadness—unexplained and unexplored—acts as a stark counterpoint to the colorful splash of Britpop’s upbeat aesthetic. It’s a reminder that Blur’s songwriting prowess extends into the depth of human experience, making ‘Country House’ much more than a cleverly written pop song but rather a profound cultural touchstone.

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