The Many Moods of Ian Curtis: Joy Division’s Happiest Lyrics


As goths and post-punk fans already know, today is the 30th anniversary of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis’ suicide. And, of course, there are no shortage of tributes: James Hopkin at the Guardian regales us with the story of his “teenage obsession” with the doomed singer. Washington City Paper tags a couple of local bands as Joy Division’s heirs. And the British press brings us news that the band’s music is about to be transformed into a symphony performed by schoolchildren, while Curtis’ hometown of Macclesfield will play host to a walking tour of landmarks significant to the band’s history.

Here at Flavorpill, since so much has been written about Curtis and the band’s darkness, we wanted to revisit a (slightly) lighter side of Joy Division. After the jump, we’ve collected 10 of the band’s happiest (read: least depressing) lyrics. Yes, we had a hell of a time finding anything that wasn’t gloom and doom. But we hope the snippets we’ve uncovered (even the possibly sarcastic ones) reveal aspects of Curtis’ work that are rarely remembered.

1. Hopeful – “New Dawn Fades” “Oh, I’ve walked on water, run through fire Can’t seem to feel it anymore It was me, waiting for me Hoping for something more Me, seeing me this time, hoping for something else”


2. Friendly: “A Means to an End” “We fought for good, stood side by side Our friendship never died On stranger waves, the lows and highs Our vision touched the sky Immortalists with points to prove I put my trust in you”


3. Creative: “She’s Lost Control” “But she expressed herself in many different ways Until she lost control again”


4. Wistful: “I Remember Nothing” “We were strangers for way too long”


5. Frisky: “Transmission” “No language, just sound, that’s all we need know, to synchronize love to the beat of the show And we could dance Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio”


6. Content with solitude: “Isolation” “But if you could just see the beauty These things I could never describe These pleasures a wayward distraction This is my one lucky prize Isolation”


7. Constructive: “Twenty Four Hours” “Gotta find some therapy, this treatment takes too long Deep in the heart of where sympathy held sway Gotta find my destiny, before it gets too late”


8. Buoyant: “The Sound of Music” “Love, life, makes you feel higher”


9. Loving: “Ceremony” “Picture me and then you start watching Watching forever, forever Watching love grow, forever”


10. Bold: “Insight” “I’m not afraid anymore”