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Europe is Lost

Kate Tempest

Twelve fictions about the future of Europe
Pau Badia (@nomdenoia)
05 July 2019
Kate Tempest - Europe Is Lost (Official Video)

Kate Tempest (2017) Europe Is Lost, Let Them Eat Chaos. London: Fiction Records


In the basement flat, by the garages

Where people dump their mattresses

Esther's in her kitchen, making sandwiches

The slats on her blinds are all wonky and skewed

You can see her from the street before she moves out of view

To kick her boots off tired feet

She wipes her forehead with her wrist

She's just back from a double shift

Esther's a carer, doing nights

Behind her, on the kitchen wall

Is a black and white picture of swallows in flight

Her eyes are sore, her muscles ache

She cracks a beer and swigs it

She holds it to her thirsty lips

And necks it till it's finished

It's 04:18 AM again

Her brain is full from all she's done that day

She knows that she won't sleep a wink

Before the Sun is on its way

She's worried 'bout the world tonight

She's worried all the time

She don't know how she's supposed

To put it from her mind


Europe is lost, America lost, London lost

Still we are clamouring victory

All that is meaningless rules

We have learned nothing from history

The people are dead in their lifetimes

Dazed in the shine of the streets

But look how the traffic's still moving

System's too slick to stop working

Business is good

And there's bands every night in the pubs

And there's two for one drinks in the clubs

And we scrubbed up well

Washed off the work and the stress

And now all we want's some excess

Better yet

A night to remember that we'll soon forget

All of the blood that was bled

For these cities to grow

All of the bodies that fell

The roots that were dug from the earth

So these games could be played

I see it tonight in the stains on my hands

The buildings are screaming

I can't ask for help though, nobody knows me

Hostile, worried, lonely

We move in our packs

And these are the rights we were born to

Working and working

So we can be all that we want

Then dancing the drudgery off

But even the drugs have gotten boring

Well, sex is still good when you get it


To sleep, to dream

To keep the dream in reach

To each a dream, don't weep, don't scream

Just keep it in, keep sleeping in

What am I going to do to wake up?


I feel the cost of it pushing my body

Like I push my hands into pockets

And softly I walk and I see it

This is all we deserve

The wrongs of our past have resurfaced

Despite all we did to vanquish the traces

My very language is tainted

With all that we stole to replace it with this

I am quiet

Feeling the onset of riot

Riots are tiny though

Systems are huge

Traffic keeps moving

Proving there's nothing to do

Because it's big business

Baby, and its smile is hideous

Top down violence

A structural viciousness

Your kids are dosed up on medical sedatives

But don't worry about that

Man, worry about terrorists

The water level's rising

The water level's rising

The animals, the elephants

The polar bears are dying

Stop crying, start buying

But what about the oil spill?

Shh! No one likes a party p**ping spoil sport

Massacres, massacres, massacres, new shoes

Ghettoised children murdered in broad daylight

By those employed to protect them

Live porn streamed

To your pre-teen's bedrooms

Glass ceiling, no headroom

Half a generation live

Beneath the breadline

Oh, but it's happy hour on the high street

Friday night at last lads, my treat!

All went fine till

That kid got glassed

In the last bar

Place went nuts

You can ask our Lou

It was madness

Road ran red, pure claret

And about them immigrants?

I can't stand them

Mostly, I mind my own business

They're only coming over here to get rich

It's a sickness

England! England! Patriotism!

And you wonder why kids

Want to die for religion?

It goes, work all your life for a pittance

Maybe you'll make it to manager

Pray for a raise

Cross the beige days off

On your beach babe calendar

The anarchists are desperate for something to smash

Scandalous pictures of fashionable rappers

In glamorous magazines, who's dating who?

Politico cash in an envelope

Caught sniffing lines

Off a prostitute's prosthetic tits

Now it's back to the House of Lords

With slapped wrists

They abduct kids and f*ck the heads of dead pigs

But him in a hoodie with a couple of spliffs

Jail him, he's the criminal

Jail him, he's the criminal

It's the bored-of-it-all generation

The product of product placement

And manipulation

Shoot them up, brutal, duty of care

Come on, new shoes, beautiful hair, bullshit!

Saccharine ballads and selfies

And selfies, and selfies

And here's me outside the palace of me

Construct a self and psychosis

Meanwhile the people were dead in their droves

And, no, nobody noticed

Well, some of them noticed

You could tell by the emoji they posted


Sleep like a gloved hand

Covers our eyes

The lights are so nice and bright

And let's dream

But some of us are stuck

Like stones in a slipstream

What am I going to do to wake up?


We are lost, we are lost, we are lost

And still nothing will stop, nothing pauses

We have ambitions and friendships

And courtships to think of

Divorces to drink off the thought of

The money, the money, the oil

The planet is shaking and spoiled

And life is a plaything

A garment to soil

The toil, the toil

I can't see an ending at all

Only the end

How is this something to cherish?

When the tribesmen are dead in their deserts

To make room for alien structures

Develop, develop

And kill what you find if it threatens you

No trace of love in the hunt for the bigger buck

Here in the land where nobody gives a f**k