" is a Sex Pistols
song about the shock of abortion
from the 1977 album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
. The lyrics contain very graphic imagery about a terminated foetus and feature a great deal of profanity
for the time: the third and final verse begins with a couplet
in which the word fuck
is repeated five times in rapid succession. Along with the later "Belsen Was a Gas
," it is probably the most graphic and controversial Sex Pistols song in both its subject matter and style. Musically, it is also the fastest and heaviest song in the Sex Pistols canon — characterized by thudding drums, droning buzzsaw guitar, and shouted vocals.
"Bodies" is one of two songs on Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
which original Pistols bassist Glen Matlock
did not co-write. It is also the only song on the album on which Sid Vicious
actually plays bass, although his part was later overdubbed by Steve Jones, after Matlock refused to return to play the part. The song was, like all other Sex Pistols songs, credited to the entire band, though Vicious was in the hospital with hepatitis
when the band wrote it. It is mostly about a fan named Pauline, who was (as the song states) from Birmingham
. She had been in a mental institution, where she apparently lived in a tree house, in the garden of the institution. This was where the line 'Her name was Pauline, she lived in a tree' comes from. The institution was also where she seems to have been raped by one of the male nurses. When she was released, she travelled to London, where she became a punk rock fan. She had several abortions. According to legend, she showed up once at John Lydon
's door wearing nothing but a clear plastic bag and holding an aborted foetus
in a clear plastic bag. Read more...