Lord Anthony – The Anthem of Misfits Revealed


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Belle and Sebastian's Lord Anthony at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Trials and Tribulations of the Intellectual Outsider
  5. Unpack the Sarcastic Nuances and Witty Barbs
  6. A Portrait of Adolescence Painted in Pastel Blues and Mascara Streaks
  7. The Exquisite Pain of Intellect in a Physical World
  8. The Hidden Rebellion: Middle Fingers to the Sky

Lyrics

Anthony, bullied at school
Get your own back, now you are cool
Or are you scared?
Bunking off though you’re a toff
It’s all gone wrong again, you’ve got double maths
And the teacher’s got no control so
The boys will run riot, you will stay quiet
Or you will die

Tony at the back of the gym
Smoke another one, your chances are slim
Cause here they come again
And they got you on the ground
Tasting blood again, at least it’s your own
When will you realize that it never pays
To be smarter than teachers
Smarter than most boys?
Shut your mouth, start kicking the football
Bang on the teeth, you’re off for a week boy

You may as well take it in the guts, it can’t get worse
Take it in the guts, it can’t get worse than this
You’ll soon be old enough to leave them
And without a notion of a care
You’ll lift two fingers in the air to linger there

Tony, you’re a bit of a mess
Melted Toblerone under your dress
And if the boys could see you they would pass you right bye
Blue mascara running over your eye
When will you realize that it never pays
To be smarter than teachers
Smarter than most boys?
Shut your mouth, start kicking the football
Bang on the teeth, you’re off for a week boy

They call you Lord Anthony
But hey, it could be worse than
Lord Anthony, but hey, it could be worse than
Lord Anthony, but hey, it kind of suits you anyway
You’ll soon be old enough to leave them
And without a notion of a care
You’ll lift two fingers in the air to linger there

Full Lyrics

Emerging from the melodic streams of Belle and Sebastian’s discography comes ‘Lord Anthony,’ a song that weaves the tale of a misfit navigating the treacherous waters of adolescence. Culled from the band’s profound album, ‘Dear Catastrophe Waitress,’ the track resonates with anyone who has ever felt out of place, magnifying the small yet significant victories of the underdog.

Dripping with melancholic wit and set against an incongruously cheerful arrangement, the song perennially begs the question: is conquering the schoolyard the same as conquering oneself? Beneath the layers of storytelling, ‘Lord Anthony’ reveals more than just a character study—it’s a narrative teeming with themes of resilience, identity, and the painful rites of growing up.

The Trials and Tribulations of the Intellectual Outsider

‘Lord Anthony’ is essentially a ballad for the intellectually inclined youth, bullied and cast aside for their expanded horizons. Belle and Sebastian meticulously craft a character, Anthony, whose intelligence alienates rather than ingratiates him within his peer group. The narrative unfolds to reveal the brutal truth that schools often reward conformity over individuality.

Through the vivid depiction of Anthony’s struggles, the song poses a broader critique of an education system that can sometimes stifle and isolate those who think differently. It’s an emotional tug-of-war between standing out and fitting in, where one’s intellectual prowess becomes both a sword and a shield.

Unpack the Sarcastic Nuances and Witty Barbs

At a cursory glance, the lyrics may seem drenched in a mopey sadness, but true to Belle and Sebastian’s form, there’s a sarcastic edge that slices through the gloom. Phrases like ‘smarter than teachers, smarter than most boys’ are not meek admissions but rather biting observations on the absurdity of valuing physical prowess over mental acumen.

The wry humor embedded within these verses serves as a subtle act of defiance. It’s in this clever wordplay that Belle and Sebastian empower their ‘Lord Anthony,’ offering up a smirk in place of a white flag, drawing listeners to find solace in the intellectually superior, subtly rebellious protagonist.

A Portrait of Adolescence Painted in Pastel Blues and Mascara Streaks

With a narrative palette favoring the soft blues of isolation and the darkness of high school hierarchies, Belle and Sebastian paint Lord Anthony’s adolescence in strokes broad and personal. Symbolism in ‘melted Toblerone under your dress’ and ‘blue mascara running over your eye’ transforms typical emblems of teenage awkwardness into powerful imagery that speaks to the messy business of growing up different.

These specific details, far from being fleeting snapshots, invite listeners to conjure their adolescence, reliving painful, poignant moments. The beauty in these lines lies in their visceral nature, etching the emotional landscape of every outcast’s memory in bold relief.

The Exquisite Pain of Intellect in a Physical World

‘Lord Anthony’ isn’t merely a recount of high school woes; it’s a philosophical pondering on the place of intellect in a society that overwhelmingly glorifies physicality. The continued insistence to ‘shut your mouth, start kicking the football’ is a damning commentary on the often forced suppression of mental gifts in favor of physical aptitude.

This theme serves as a critique of cultural norms that praise the athlete and deride the thinker, leaving little room for diverse conceptions of masculinity. In ‘Lord Anthony,’ Belle and Sebastian hold up a mirror to this troubling reality, asking listeners to acknowledge and possibly challenge the status quo.

The Hidden Rebellion: Middle Fingers to the Sky

The rebellion in ‘Lord Anthony’ is not one of fiery riots but of small, decisive victories both imminent and hoped-for. The power of the song culminates not in an explosive crescendo but in a quiet promise of retaliation, afforded by age and autonomy: ‘You’ll soon be old enough to leave them… You’ll lift two fingers in the air to linger there.’

It’s a hidden meaning, rebellious not for the here and now, but for the there and then, when the chains of juvenile expectations fall away. It’s a potent reminder that the stifling worlds we find ourselves caged within are often temporal, and true freedom comes with time and self-acceptance.

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