More about: The 1975Matty Healy
As well as being the lead singer of one of the most game-changing bands of a generation, one of the foremost meme merchants of the modern world, and one of the most provocative interviewees journalists can hope to meet, 1975 frontman Matty Healy is also prone to writing lyrics that get people talking.
His words are witty, topical, explicit, relentlessly self-referential – and however much people want him to, it really doesn’t seem like he’s going to stop talking about his penis any time soon.
Below, we take a look at 11 of Matty Healy’s most outrageous lyrics from across the 1975’s career...
1. “I’m feeling apathetic after scrolling through hell and I think I’ve got a boner but I can’t really tell” (‘The 1975’, Being Funny in a Foreign Language)
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It takes less than a minute for Healy to start talking about his dick on the band’s new album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language. He sings this lyric just over thirty seconds into the opening track, amongst a string of half-observations about body image, QAnon and Aperol Spritz. Like almost everything he does, this feels like a deliberate troll.
2. “I know that maybe I’m too sceptical – even Guy Debord needed spectacles” (‘Loving Someone’, I like it when you sleep…)
For the uninitiated, the joke here is that French philosopher Guy Debord, known for his book ‘The Society of the Spectacle’, was also a glasses-wearer. This lyric always makes me laugh because on one level it’s a very clever and amusing pun, but on another level…it means literally nothing!
3. “My Mum’s not a fan of that line about her back, she said it makes her sound frumpy and old. I said WOMAN, YOU ARE SIXTY-FOUR YEARS OLD!” (‘Wintering’, Being Funny in a Foreign Language)
In this lyric from ‘Wintering’, Healy takes an ageist jab at his TV personality Mum Denise Welch, known for her acting work and for appearing on ITV’s Loose Women. Ahead of the release of the song, she retweeted a Twitter user quoting the lyric, so I can only assume she sees the funny side. Either way, the really outrageous thing about this line is the choice to rhyme ‘old’ with ‘old’.
4. “She was part of the air force, I was part of the band. I always used to bust into her hand in my imagination” (‘Part of the Band’, Being Funny in a Foreign Language)
I’m sure if you looked hard enough you’d find that all of pop music’s best lyricists (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen…) have opened songs with couplets about fantasies of ejaculating into women’s hands. Right? Right?!
5. “I took shit for being quiet during the election. Well maybe that’s fair but I’m a busy guy!” (‘Roadkill’, Notes on a Conditional Form)
In ‘Roadkill’, Healy almost apologises for his perceived lack of engagement with the 2019 general election, before offering up the excuse that he was busy. In my view, it’s Healy’s laissez-faire attitude to political campaigning that’s directly to blame for us having had three prime ministers in the space of two months.
6. “I touched down en route to my connection. A man in the gift shop, he called me a f*g. I feel like my tucked-up erection – there’s a pressure all over my head.” (‘Roadkill’, Notes on a Conditional Form)
Another one from ‘Roadkill’, this lyric is a story in two parts. The first point of note here is obviously the use of the f slur, which has continually been a point of controversy since the song came out in 2020 (I’m going to wisely refrain to comment on that one). The second is the admittedly astute but completely juvenile erection simile. Pure unadulterated Healy.
7. “Am I too old to be this stoned? Was it your breasts from the start? They played a part.” (‘A Change of Heart’, I like it when you sleep…)
No-holds-barred honesty is one of the special ingredients of Matty Healy’s song writing. Sometimes it results in romantic lines like “Just tell me you love me, ‘cause that’s all that I need to hear”. Other times it results in…this.
8. “It was poorly handled the day we both got cancelled, because I’m a racist and you’re some kind of slag” (‘When We Are Together’, Being Funny in a Foreign Language)
In 2020, Healy faced a backlash after tweeting a link to his own song, ‘Love It If We Made It’, at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. It was a tone-deaf move that resulted in him retreating from Twitter for a couple of years, and you’d think he might be keen for people to forget it had ever happened. Apparently not, because this is one of two references to his ‘cancellation’ on the new album, and cancel culture has also been a hot topic in several of Healy’s long-read interviews lately. He’s an agent of chaos for sure.
9. “I think I’ll say a couple of words if you don’t mind – I never really got on with your bird the first time I met her out, dressed in nowt, telling everybody you were shagging about. Well who’s this, going for the kiss? I’m probably gonna yosh in your mouth.” (‘Menswear’, The 1975)
This entire verse from ‘Menswear’, a song about the events of a wedding, is the dictionary definition of…charming. My favourite thing about it is that these lyrics represent the only recorded use of the word ‘yosh’ – which I can only assume means vomit – anywhere online. Matty Healy coined this word! Like Shakespeare!
10. “I never fucked in a car, I was lying. I do it on my bed lying down, not trying.” (‘Nothing Revealed/Everything Denied’, Notes on a Conditional Form)
The 1975’s 2018 single ‘Love It If We Made It’ opens with Healy screaming “Fucking in a car, shooting heroin!” An album later, he’s back with his hat in his hands, making this admission. It still makes me laugh every time.
11. “A sycophantic, Socratic, prophetic junkie wannabe. And there’s so much skin to see – a simple Epicurean philosophy.” (‘The Sound’, I like it when you sleep…)
I’m including this one on account of how outrageously pretentious it is. Healy invokes two Ancient Greek thinkers in order to tell us that he enjoys booze, drugs and shagging. Classic.
Being Funny In A Foreign Language is out now
Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.
More about: The 1975Matty Healy