Icon Joy Division Shadowplay
Songs and Lyrics
 
Colony

This page contains the following information about this Joy Division song:
  • details of every known studio recording and every official release;
  • details of any live performances which appear on an official release;
  • my transcription of the song lyrics, noting any significant variations;
  • known cover versions by other artists, and any other interesting facts.
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Track history
Live performance on November 2nd 1979 in Bournemouth released on Heart and Soul
Recorded on November 26th 1979 at BBC Studios, Maida Vale for John Peel
Released on Second Peel Session and on Peel Sessions album
Also released on Heart and Soul and on Complete BBC Recordings
Live performance released from February 28th 1980 at The Warehouse, Preston
Recorded in March 1980 at Britannia Row Studios, Islington, London
This version released on Closer and on Heart and Soul

Lyrics
The first two verses on the Closer version are as follows:
A cry for help, a hint of anaesthesia
The sound from broken homes - we used to always meet here
As he lays asleep she takes him in her arms
Some things I have to do, but I don't mean you harm

A worried parent's glance, a kiss, a last goodbye
Hands him the bag she packed - a tear she tries to hide
A cruel wind that howls down to our lunacy
And leaves him standing cold here in this colony

The first two verses on the Peel version are as follows:
A cry for help - a hint of anaesthesia
The sound from broken homes - we used to always meet here
I watched all hell break loose, confined and unprepared
Is this what life's about? Is this the dream we share?

Can you help me? Can you spare some time?
No apologies for all these thoughts of mine
I hope to find some friends to maybe lead astray
To wake his daughter's sleep - to turn his father grey

The first two verses on the Heart and Soul live version are as follows:
Afraid to look - afraid to stand behind
Afraid to walk - afraid to fall in line
Hope I find some friends to maybe lead astray
To see what we could find before it slipped away

Can you help me? Can you spare some time?
No apologies for all these thoughts of mine
My brother thought that I could take the blame
Now I stand right here before the greatest game

All three versions then converge for the remainder:
I can't see why all these confrontations
I can't see why all these dislocations
No family life - this makes me feel uneasy
Stood alone here in this colony
In this colony --

God in his wisdom took you by the hand
God in his wisdom made you understand --
In this colony --

Other information
There is at least one live version with significantly different lyrics from those above
Cover versions by:Released on:
The DifferenceSomething About Joy Division (Vox Pop VP3 1989)
Peter Hook
  and The Light
Unknown Pleasures / Closer: Live in Macclesfield (Play Concert 2013)
So This Is Permanence: Live in Macclesfield (Play Concert 2015)
Closer: Live in Manchester (Westworld 105 2017)
Julie's HaircutA Different Story (Spazio Gerra Produzioni SGP01 2010)
LULColony (Eksakt 043 12" / Eksakt 044 7" 1989)
Nut Cane LizzyWarszawa: Tribute To Joy Division (Kuka KR001CD 2007)
ShadowhouseCVLT Nation Sessions: Closer (CVLT Nation 2015)

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