Lunatic Fringe

Album: As Far As Siam (1981)
Play Video
  • Lunatic fringe
    I know you're out there
    You're in hiding
    And you hold your meetings
    I can hear you coming
    I know what you're after
    We're wise to you this time (wise to you this time)
    We won't let you kill the laughter

    Oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh

    Lunatic fringe
    In the twilight's last gleaming
    But this is open season
    But you won't get too far
    'Cause you've got to blame someone
    For your own confusion
    We're on guard this time (on guard this time)
    Against your final solution

    Oh no

    Oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh

    We can hear you coming (we can hear you coming)
    No, you're not going to win this time (not gonna win)
    We can hear the footsteps (we can hear the footsteps)
    Hey, out along the walkway (out along the walkway)

    Lunatic fringe
    We all know you're out there
    Can you feel the resistance
    Can you feel the thunder

    Oh no

    Hey! Writer/s: Thomas William Cochrane
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 31

  • StevebThis song is about the Republican Party. Sadly, nothing has changed since the 70's.
  • Rock from CaThe little tidbit where they use the lyrics of this song to slander Trump is hilarious, knowing now that he was literally the exact opposite of "violence and hate" and that this has been how the democrats operate for decades. Everything was better under Trump. People who think he's awful or orange Hitler pay no attention to anything and let their blind hatred cloud their judgment. Cry more.
  • Just A Guy With The Truth from CanadaI love all the loony interpretations in the comments. Seems pretty clear from what he's said that it is targeted at the right wing fringe groups who lurk in the darkness spreading hate and only see the light of day when they feel idiotically compelled to go to a Trump rally. Think KKK, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and all the moronic insurrectionists from the Jan 6 incident. That kind of ignorance is timeless, which is why the song is just as relevant today as it was when it was released.
  • Fly Like An Eagle from Your Mom's BasementIt still amazes me that people in both political parties think their government give two s--ts about them. We are nothing but a warm body to pay taxes and rub us against us until they get their votes. We are being robbed from cradle to grave. I hold no allegiance to any political party. They're all equally worthless.
  • Jim from UsaFor Brewster: Yes, the Left is currently doing the most physical damage and earns the "fringe" title, but Trump is hardly a non-lunatic. The Right is also full of people willfully ignorant about the physics of gas molecules, or unhealthily attached to firearms for ideological reasons. Over the course of history, you can't pin lunacy on just one side.

    Also, this song's title originally denoted an 1870s haircut, then Teddy Roosevelt took it where we know it today.
  • Michael C from New YorkThe real lunatic fringe are Democrats who don’t believe in the constitution or free legal elections. Remember, it’s not every vote counts but every legal vote counts, an idea foreign to democrats and democracy.
  • Ropes from AmericaRight on Brewster from America!
  • Mgb from Camarillo, CalifI would like to know what type of organ is used in this tune and what type of steel guitar?
  • Brewster from AmericaANTIFA is today's ' lunatic fringe '. Trump supporters have nothing to do with current political violence. Runt is a moron.
  • Whisperin from Atlantic, IowaAs an old rocker (64, rhythm/lead guitar) I've always liked this tune. But like every song (for me, anyway) the lyrics are usually secondary to the music. It's always the music that catches my ear/attention first (as I believe it is with most people) and determines whether I'll listen to it further, learn how to play it, or find out more about the lyrics, lyricist(s), band, etc. I've often wondered about the meaning behind the lyrics of this song, but would still enjoy the music without them. Nice to find out he used a steel guitar to get that sound. I was thinking bottleneck slide.
  • Brewster from AmericaA great song. Probably my favorite. Definetely a studio song. You'd be highly disappointed hearing it played live I would imagine. Nonetheless a fantastic song. Damn near perfect IMO. To hell with the meaning. I listen to music to try to escape politics.BTW when you see some of your favorite bands play your favorite songs it's usually a train wreck anyway. Except for the Eagles and Blue Oyster Cult and a handful of others.
    Brewster out 8-23-2018
  • Kdryan from Fort Wayne, InBTW, it's surprising he could write a thoughtful intelligent protest song like this then follow it up immediately with a piece of cold war propaganda crap like 'Cowboys in Hong Kong.'
  • Kdryan from Fort Wayne, InCochrane has said many times he was writing about the rise of antisemitism and neo-Nazis in Europe at the time. It has nothing to do with John Lennon. If you read the liner notes, the lyrics at the end of the song are slightly different and there is a dedication to Wallenberg.

    Does anyone know what the instrument used in the solo is? It looks like a guitar mounted on a keyboard.
  • Joe from Grants Pass, OrReminds me of "All You Zombies", HUH ??
  • Joe from Grants Pass, OrHow U play slide on Hero really good; is there some cheat somewhere ??
  • Michael from Deridder, Lagood music for a montage or so....has anyone else played this perfectly on Guitar Hero? Me? Just me? Huh....one is the lonelist number, i guess....


    (p.s. I went to grooveshark.com and listened to that thing @ 0:24 and i heard it.....creeped me out a little bit....)
  • Josh from Champaign, IlThis may have been obvious to others but I just noticed what was before to me an inaudible voice under the intro keyboards and guitar 0:24 saying "We'll see you on the other side." with an echo effect.
  • Mac from Evanston, IlBentnail, the "bent" part I agree with, as in "cuckoo," although that may be giving you too much credit: sometimes people are plain evil, and not crazy at all.
  • Mac from Evanston, IlCochrane himself says the song is about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, his readings about Raoul Wallenberg (the Swedish diplomat responsible for saving a large number of Hungarian Jews during the Nazi occupation, and who disappeared after the war in a Soviet prison camp), and his feelings about resurgent anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. He wrote it before Lennon was murdered, but felt increased motivation to release it after Lennon's death. "Chris in Tulsa"- yes, all those death camps where Christians have been imprisoned, gassed and murdered by Jewish guards. Give me a frickin' break.
  • Keith from Papillion, NeThis time with a reference: Tom Cochrane did indeed write this song over concerns about rising anti-semitism in the 70s. Such Tom verified in the 22 page booklet in the three disc set of greatest hits, Trapeze (2002). Reference: http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Artists/C/Cochrane_Tom/2002/12/06/744008.html. (If you look at the cover of The Symphony Sessions, the arrangement of the guitar and drapes are strikingly reminiscent of a Menorah.) Sorry, Bentnail and James, but your musings about banks and witches are simply wrong. James, covens of Wiccans have been openly active in USA for over 50 years.
  • Rick from Alamo, Txyou want to get goosebumps? I heard that Tom wrote this song the night John Lennon was murdered. Mark David Chapman, now there's a lunatic
  • Brian from Fremont, CaIt would be nice if all of you authorities would support your "knowledge" with sources. Otherwise, this site is a useless source of information. At any rate, the Nazi/Holocaust theory seems most plausible, based on the most obvious direct reference, "final solution". Also, "we can hear your footsteps" might refer to the infamous goosestep of the Nazi troops. As well, "And you hold your meetings" could be a reference to Ku Klux Klan rallies, white supremacy groups, etc.
  • Jude from Baltimore, MdThe song, released in 1981, was widely thought by radio listeners to be a new Pink Floyd song. The song bears many similarities to Pink Floyd's sound during the 1979-era when THE WALL was released (the movie version would be released in 1982), from the Gilmour-like guitar riff to sound effects such as the sound of the ambulance.
  • Bentnail from Calgary, AbSorry to disagree, but "Lunatic Fringe" is without a doubt a song that speaks out against secret societies (hence the all-seeing eye in the video).

    Listen to the lyrics:

    Lunatic fringe, I know you're out there. You're in hiding, and you hold your meetings. We can hear you coming. We know what you're after. We're wise to you this time. We won't let you kill the laughter.

    We know you've got to blame someone, for your own confusion. But we're on guard this time. Against your final solution.

    NOTE: In other words, we know what you elite bankers are up to...we are not stupid...we realize that you are trying to establish your wicked global government, economy, and religion...BUT..."in these new dark ages, there will still be light."

    We will not go down without a fight: "Can you feel the resistance? Can you feel the thunder?"






    other words
  • Aram from Sarajevo, Bosnia And HerzegovinaI love this song. I only figured out last night who sings it by calling one of our local radio stations.
  • James from Chapel Hill, NcThe song Lunatic fringe is actually about a a witches cult that resides in chapel hill northb carolina. The name of the witches cult is the lunatic fringe and they have been around since the 1800's. They are very secretive group that ,at times, causes minor mischief and slight problems for the resident of the U.N.C. campus. The lunatic fringe has been reported as being the closest thing to a real group of witches known in the u.s.a..
  • Mick from Las Vegas, NvWhen Cochrane wrote Lunatic Fringe he was dating a Jewish girl and was disturbed by the resurgence of anti-semitism in Europe and "the lunacy of revisionist historians." His manager at the time warned him that there was no place in "this disposable pop world" for such lyrics.

    Aren't we glad he didn't listen?
  • Pat from Chicago, IlThis song gives me goosbumps everytime i hear it. When i wrestled in high school, we constantly heard this song at meets and practices and it fit perfect for kicking some ass.
  • Ray from Montreal, QcTom Cochrane and Red Rider are the opening act for Bruce Springstein presently touring Canda.
  • Annabelle from Chicago, Il I've always liked this song.It's sounds like a revenge song.The song gives me goosebumps espically after 9-11.This song takes on a whole new meaning!
  • Brad from Spencer, IaJust interested in song lyrics, meaning, and band history. Thanks!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Who Did It First?

Who Did It First?Music Quiz

Do you know who recorded the original versions of these ten hit songs?

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot

Jon Foreman of SwitchfootSongwriter Interviews

Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.

Dave Mason

Dave MasonSongwriter Interviews

Dave reveals the inspiration for "Feelin' Alright" and explains how the first song he ever wrote became the biggest hit for his band Traffic.

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)Songwriter Interviews

Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai were two of Graham's co-writers for some '80s rock classics.

Danny Kortchmar

Danny KortchmarSongwriter Interviews

Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James, Tapestry, and Running On Empty. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."

Gary Louris of The Jayhawks

Gary Louris of The JayhawksSongwriter Interviews

The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.