Atrocity Exhibition

  • Asylums with doors open wide,
    Where people had paid to see inside,
    For entertainment they watch his body twist
    Behind his eyes he says, 'I still exist.'

    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.

    In arenas he kills for a prize,
    Wins a minute to add to his life.
    But the sickness is drowned by cries for more,
    Pray to God, make it quick, watch him fall.

    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.

    This is the way.
    This is the way.
    This is the way.
    This is the way.
    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.

    You'll see the horrors of a faraway place,
    Meet the architects of law face to face.
    See mass murder on a scale you've never seen,
    And all the ones who try hard to succeed.

    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.
    This is the way, step inside.

    And I picked on the whims of a thousand or more,
    Still pursuing the path that's been buried for years,
    All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire,
    Can't replace or relate, can't release or repair,
    Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be. Writer/s: BERNARD SUMNER, IAN KEVIN CURTIS, PETER HOOK, STEPHEN PAUL DAVID MORRIS
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 5

  • Kat from Manchester UkDoes anyone else suspect that he wrote this following news of The Jonestown Massacre? It occurred within 2 years of the album being released.
  • Ginger_fro from IlAs it is. The lyrics reference not only Ian's own personal problems, but an author and particularly a book of the same name that Ian and other band members read and got it from.
    Author JG Ballard
    Book The Atrocity Exhibition
  • Eddy from Sf, CaIn the Joy Division documentary. Ian Curtis' wife explains that Ian went through a phase in which all that interested him was human suffering; the holocaust, wars, etc. and would research and read about it. This song is his own interpretation in how people are fascinated by human suffering. himself included.
  • Sebastian from Copenhagen, DenmarkIan Curtis was as a child very fascinated with the Roman Empire, and gladiators. So I think the meaning of the lyric is that he compares himself with a gladiator, who suffers in front of an audience. Of course meaning that he was in real life suffering with his epileptic fits. People was paying to see gladiators suffer, and the people who payed to see Joy Division, got to see Ian Curtis suffer.
  • Chere from Lumberton, TxI'm not sure of the exact meaning of this song (who does really?) but here is my own interpretation. As Joy Division's popularity grew, people stopped going to concerts for the music and began going to see if Ian Curtis was going to fall into an epileptic fit during his manic trance dance. I think that he wrote this song about his loss of control with his fans and his own personal life, while desperately trying to say, 'behind his eyes he says, "I still exist."
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