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All Music Top Ten Songs about London
"Panic" by the Smiths
by RedTimbre - 7/1/2012
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Manic as Johnny Marr maneuvers through those guitar strings, it's not hard to picture the sense of panic Morrissey describes in the lyrics (although he himself sounds the furthest thing from worried):  "Panic on the streets of London.  Panic on the streets of Birmingham.   I wonder to myself, could life ever be sane again?"  As this apparent chaos sweeps through England, we come to learn it's cause: "Burn down the disco.  Hang the blessed DJ.  Because the music that they constantly play, it says nothing to me about my life."  Morrissey seems to be making a very trenchant cultural commentary, speaking about people who don't get defensive about their own taste in music,  but are actually offended by the differing tastes of others.  Enough to where they actually get physical about it.  From the overall neutral tone of the song, and Morrissey's disengaged-sounding vocal inflection, it seems no side is taken, but rather the pitchforks and burning torches are just being overseen and reported upon from the roof of some tall building.

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