joy division – an ideal for living

“Youth serves the leader, blond blue drummer
Black and white picture drawn for the cover” – Ryan Cox

“Joy Division” – A Circus Mind

These lines make direct reference to Joy Division’s debut album An Ideal for Living. The cover has a black-and-white picture of a blonde Hitler Youth member beating a drum, which was drawn by guitarist Bernard Sumner and the words “Joy! Division” printed in a blackletter font. The cover design fueled controversy over whether the band had Nazi sympathies. As the cover hints, the release reflects the band’s early punk influences, as opposed to the bleak post-punk the band would later develop.

Joy Division – Warsaw

The song appears to be a lyrical biography of Rudolf Hess, a Nazi and Hitler’s confidante, who later became disillusioned with Hitler’s rule and fled to Scotland to attempt to draw peace between the Axis and the Allies.

It starts with the lyrics “3 5 0 1 2 5 Go!” “350125” was Hess’ prisoner of war serial number when he was captured having flown to Eaglesham during World War II. The first verse then describes Hess’ involvement with Hitler in the Beer Hall Putsch and infatuation with the Nazi Party. The second verse describes his disillusionment and estrangement from Hitler’s inner circle. The last verse discusses his last days in prison after fleeing to Scotland to make peace for the Nazi Party.

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