Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Dan Steven: Music

A Tear for Civilization

(Dan Steven)
2000
Dan Steven
Written in a bathroom stall in the Old Market Building in London on a Saturday night. Dan had been busking outside Call the Office, a bar on York Street, when he'd been sideswiped by the scenes of lost young people standing in lines , losing their souls. When I once said, "Dan, this was the best hour you ever spent in your life!" he answered, "Mom, it took me twenty minutes to write this song."
A Tear for Civilization

I’ve locked myself in a bathroom stall
In a corner of an old abandoned downtown mall
And I’m not coming out till I’ve written an entire song

Cause it’s a Saturday night and the neon light
And the bars and the billboards are blazing so bright
And I can’t help shedding a tear for civilization

Every night I sing for my supper and my bus fare home
In this cheap reproduction of Ancient Rome
Where the gladiator fights come to the comfort of your network cable home
I see the pushers on the corner, pimps down the street
A frown on every face that you meet
And all I gotta say is “People, people snap out of it!”

There’s a price tag on everything and anything else
It’s impossible to try to have a spiritual self
Everybody else is always the one to blame
And this is totally me, being honestly real
And I’m wondering doesn’t anybody out there feel
A little disgusted for letting it get this far

It’s a Saturday night and the neon light
And the bars and billboards are blazing so bright
And I can’t help shedding a tear for civilization

Pushers on the corner, pimps down the street
A frown on every face that you meet
And all I gotta say is, “People, people snap out of it!”

I’m gonna get off of this toilet seat, go back out into the lifeless street
And watch the masses continue their search for a cheap sensation
And I hope you know people what I’m trying to say
And if you don’t, well I wish you well anyway
I’ve had enough of this claustrophobic bathroom contemplation

It’s a Saturday night and the neon light
And the bars and the billboards are blazing so bright
And I can’t help shedding a tear for civilization
It’s a Saturday night and the neon light
And the bars and the billboards are blazing so bright
And I can’t help shedding a tear for civilization
I can’t help shedding a tear for civilization