the idles of march


Indigenous Peoples Lead People’s Climate March in New York

Indigenous leaders at the People’s Climate March in New York speak to the urgency of Climate Change and the need for all of us to be #IdleNoMore. From the Amazon to the Arctic, Indigenous Peoples are defending our climate and teaching allies about how extractive industries are directly connected to sovereignty, colonization, and violence against Indigenous women.

"Let It Reign" referencing Peter

I don’t know if someone already did this but I really, really feel the need to talk about all the allusions to Libertines / Babyshambles / Peter solo / stuff Carl and Peter were into which can be found on “Let It Reign”.

Please do add if you’ve noticed something else!

Glory Days

  • (conjecture!) “Glory days / You threw them all away / You should have known better” –> Peter’s drug addiction spiralling out of control and making it impossible for Carl to carry on with The Libertines, thus putting an (then) premature end to their glory
  • (conjecture!) “You should be crying freedom but it’s nothing but a yawn” –> heroin enslaving Peter, making him torpid
  • (conjecture!) lines like “You’re a marked man now” and “We all saw the footage, it was up on the net” referring to Peter’s image distorted by media

Victory Gin

  • “This is not a song for lovers” –> “This is for lovers” (For Lovers by Wolfman feat. “Pete” Doherty)

Summer in the Trenches 

  • well, simply the title. A modification of Suicide in the Trenches
  • “You and me, it seems, we dream of ships / Galleons to carry us away” –> Albion to Arcadia
  • (conjecture!) “Got so low with just myself to blame / So now I’m going to blame you” reminds me very much of the old question of guilt also expressed in Can’t Stand Me Now (The Libertines) and Bang Bang You’re Dead (Dirty Pretty Things), Faultlines (Dirty Pretty Things) and many, many more
  • “When there’s nothing left to live for / And nothing left to die for” –> reminds me very much of Gin And Milk by Dirty Pretty Things: “No one gives a fuck / About the values I would die for […] No one gives two fucks / About the values I would kill for / Give me something to die for […] I’ve been trying all my life / Until there’s nothing left to try for / No one’s too perturbed / About the things that I would live for /Give me something to try for”. To me, both seem to refer to the loss of a friendship and a shared dream. (conjecture!
  • Also in Gin and Milk: “I live in old movies”. In New Love Grows on Trees by Peter Doherty: “Are you still talking to / All of those dead film stars like you used to?”. Here: “I woke to find all my heroes were dead / No ships to carry me to sea” –> addressing the loss of the world Peter and Carl had built together (semi-conjecture)
  • “co-dependency’s a bore” –> Peter’s addiction and Carl’s difficulties in trying to deal with it (as he once said: “There was one point where I very very nearly, just to be close to him, started taking full on heroin”) (conjecture!)

A Storm Is Coming

  • “Rain, rain, rain for forty days / To wash away the faithless sons” & other apocalyptic imagery –> biblical allusions to the punishment for the sins of a Libertine life (whatever you think that implies). Also somewhat present in “And I know that when I die / I’m gonna go down with the general / Up with the general smuts” (General Smuts by The Libertines)

Beginning to See

  • “I don’t agree with hell / Why would someone threaten their sons and daughters / With damnation and torture / When they mean well / We’ve dirty hands / But our hearts are clean” –> see above. Both semi-conjectures.
  • “And all our best laid plans / Lay scuppered out at sea” –> referring to the “wrecked” plans of The Libertines when they fell apart (see also: Plan A by The Libertines)

March of the Idle

  • Alright, so I honestly think this whole song is super obviously addressing Peter’s addiction and resulting apathy. Carl has often enough stated that heroin leads to a “life long, dull as fuck battle where you end up a shell of a man” and similar things. 
  • “Are you alive? / Hold your breath and count to twenty-five” –> “And if you’re still alive when you’re twenty five / (why) should I kill you like you asked me to?” (New Love Grows on Trees)
  • Also, on a personal note, I think that the whole passage going “Are you alive / Hold your breath and count to twenty-five / Remember cigarettes and moon lit drives / And think of me, my love, ‘till sleep arrives” is incredibly beautiful and very similar to “As you lie on your own / Remember this, you’re not alone / There’s a song that will bring me to side” (Shadows Fall by Carl Barât) which seems to be a song for Peter but, again, that’s only me conjecturing. (And it also somehow reminds me of “Bring tin cups of wine and cigarettes / Come to me in pirouettes” in Anything But Love by The Libertines)
  • “When you find your friend is your rival / It shouldn’t hurt at all” –> well ..

War of the Roses

might also be about Peter’s unreliability (references to not showing up, bruglary) … but this now is nothing but idle speculation.

Let It Rain

This is also a favourite of mine. It sounds a lot like Faultlines and seems to be dealing with the same topic of the David and Goliath-like strugge of rising up against an unchangable fate (be it pulling a friend off a dark path or trying to get along when all you do is fight). It’s very, very sad. And (don’t know if I already mentioned this) very beautiful. And the best thing about it:

  • “You were cruel to be kind” which is not only a verbal allusion to Music When The Lights Go Out by The Libertines – in this line, there’s also a musical allusion to it! Listen to it! It’s the same cadence and melody as in the twin line from The Libs’ song. Pretty brilliant, Carl!


EDIT: I forgot about the lines “Do I carry on in vain / Just smile on through just like I do” in Let It Rain. Here, Carl’s quoting Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again (“Keep smiling through / Just like you always do”). Peter and Carl loved to sing this together and — after the breakup — individually every now and then (which would always make your heart hurt a little or very much with nostalgia, hope, pure sadness or whatever). Then finally, the song got its happy ending when it became an opener for their reunion concerts. Which was fucking moving. Clever bastards. I love them so much. 


Eric Idle - Closed

DOB: March 29th, 1943. Age: 26

Occupation: Comedian, actor, composer

Terry Jones - Open

DOB: February 1st, 1942. Age: 27

Occupation: Comedian, actor

John Cleese - Open

DOB: October 27th, 1939. Age: 30

Occupation: Comedian, actor

Michael Palin - Open

DOB: May 5th, 1943. Age: 26

Occupation: Comedian, actor

Graham Chapman - Open

DOB: January 8th, 1941. Age: 28

Occupation: Comedian, actor

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