This song is so fucking poetic... It blows away your mind and leaves you numb.
Lyrics meaning from songmeanings.net:
Lord, hear me now
Junk boats and English boys
Crashing out into the mouths
Electric fences and guns
You swallow me
I'm a pill on your tongue
Here on the nineteenth floor
The neon lights make me numb
And late in a star's life
It begins to explode
And all the people in a dream
Wait for the machine
to Pick the shit up leave it clean
Kid hang over here-
What you learning in school?
Is the rise of an eastern sun
Gonna be good for everyone?
The radio station disappears
Music turned into thin air
The DJ was the last to leave
She had well conditioned hair
Was beautiful, but nothing really was there
I believe this song to be about how depressingly beautiful Hong Kong is. It's not about some battle or anything but simply about how gorgeous the city is yet so depressing b/c it seems as if Hong Kong is slowly dying. As if it's a farewell song to Hong Kong.
The first stanza suggests that the main character of the story (Damon I guess) kicks off with his plea to god as he see's such beauty being laid to waste slowly from all the tourists and trash that fills the once respectful and powerful city. Now it just seems like everyone is fenced in by guns and electric fences. Than referring to himself as a pill on the tongue of Hong Kong being swallowed by the culture and beauty that surrounds him while looking out on Hing Kong from the nineteenth floor of a hotel. He is so overwhelmed by the culture that he feels numb.
He then resumes in singing about how Hong Kong is like a star on the verge of exploding (Burning out) and everyone can see the destruction of Hong Kong coming so they are just waiting on the downfall of Hong Kong for it to finish exploding and some machine (person or force) to come and sweep it all away as if it never happened, as if it was all a nostalgic dream upon waking. The people being depressed as they know that they have to accept the truth; that their beloved icon of happiness, hope and respect is dying and will some day soon, be gone.
He then begins a conversation with a child near by and tries to gently let him know after some small talk about school that Hong Kong is dying and that it will soon be gone. (Kind of how a father would let his son/daughter know about someone/something that is dying) He asks the child if he thinks Hong Kong will be good enough to still remain or will it be gone forever soon, hinting at the negative being the most reasonable answer.
He then begins to talk about the radio station and the music in Hong Kong as a way of describing the spirit or soul of Hong Kong. Talks about how everything else is gone except for the last thing that breathes life into Hong Kong, the spirit being the last to leave and the most important. That it's not just leaving either...that it's dead. A ghost. Something that you think is there but nothing is really there. The woman representing the last bit of life and beauty that Hong Kong still reatains.
...simply beautiful...yet tragic at the same time... The death of something truly beautiful is what Damon is trying to tell us about...what a genius of words...