The Many Moods of Ian Curtis: Joy Division’s Happiest Lyrics

As goths and post-punk fans already know, today is the 30th anniversary of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis’ suicide. And, of course, there are no shortage of tributes: James Hopkin at the Guardian regales us with the story of his “teenage obsession” with the doomed singer. Washington City Paper tags a couple of local bands as Joy Division’s heirs. And the British press brings us news that the band’s music is about to be transformed into a symphony performed by schoolchildren, while Curtis’ hometown of Macclesfield will play host to a walking tour of landmarks significant to the band’s history.

Here at Flavorpill, since so much has been written about Curtis and the band’s darkness, we wanted to revisit a (slightly) lighter side of Joy Division. After the jump, we’ve collected 10 of the band’s happiest (read: least depressing) lyrics. Yes, we had a hell of a time finding anything that wasn’t gloom and doom. But we hope the snippets we’ve uncovered (even the possibly sarcastic ones) reveal aspects of Curtis’ work that are rarely remembered.

1. Hopeful – “New Dawn Fades”
“Oh, I’ve walked on water, run through fire
Can’t seem to feel it anymore
It was me, waiting for me
Hoping for something more
Me, seeing me this time, hoping for something else”

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2. Friendly: “A Means to an End”
“We fought for good, stood side by side
Our friendship never died
On stranger waves, the lows and highs
Our vision touched the sky
Immortalists with points to prove
I put my trust in you”

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3. Creative: “She’s Lost Control”
“But she expressed herself in many different ways
Until she lost control again”

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4. Wistful: “I Remember Nothing”
“We were strangers for way too long”

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5. Frisky: “Transmission”
“No language, just sound, that’s all we need know,
to synchronize love to the beat of the show
And we could dance
Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio”

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6. Content with solitude: “Isolation”
“But if you could just see the beauty
These things I could never describe
These pleasures a wayward distraction
This is my one lucky prize
Isolation”

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7. Constructive: “Twenty Four Hours”
“Gotta find some therapy, this treatment takes too long
Deep in the heart of where sympathy held sway
Gotta find my destiny, before it gets too late”

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8. Buoyant: “The Sound of Music”
“Love, life, makes you feel higher”

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9. Loving: “Ceremony”
“Picture me and then you start watching
Watching forever, forever
Watching love grow, forever”

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10. Bold: “Insight”
“I’m not afraid anymore”

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