PJ Harvey’s England

For a few months now, I’ve had PJ Harvey’s album ‘Let England Shake’ going round and round in my head. And I’m still not sick of it.

I think this is testament to her unlike-any-other, ever-changing voice and singing style, catchy tunes and, above all for this album, incredible lyrics.

I came across this interview with her online, which helps to explain why her lyrics work alone as poetry in their own right.

The words of the song ‘England’ are perhaps my favourites. They capture my own love for and ambivalence towards this country.


I live and die through England
Through England
It leaves a sadness

Remedies, never were
Within my reach
I cannot go on as I am
I cannot leave

A withered vine
Reaching from the country that I love
You leave a taste, a bitter one

I have searched for your springs
But people stagnate with time
Like water, like air
To you England, I cling

Undaunted, never failing love for you