Punk Icons SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES Released Their Stunning Debut Single ‘HONG KONG GARDEN’ 40 Years Ago…

When timeless in sound and vision…


18 August 2018

Forty years ago today – on 18 August 1978 – punk icons SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES released their stunning debut single HONG KONG GARDEN. A tremendous jigsaw ripper named after a Chinese take-away in London. Distinctive vox and charismatic frontwoman Siouxsie Sioux (born Susan Janet Ballion) said at the time that the lyrics refer to the racist activities of skinheads visiting the take-away: “I remember wishing that I could be like Emma Peel from The Avengers and kick all the skinheads’ heads in, because they used to mercilessly torment these people for being foreigners. It made me feel so helpless, hopeless and ill.”

The first version, an instrumental entitled ‘People Phobia‘ was composed by guitarist
John McKay in 1977. The band heard it for the first time on the road, in their tour bus.
The single reached number seven on the UK singles chart. Here’s that cutting classic…

Harmful elements in the air
Cymbals crashing everywhere
Reaps the fields of rice and reeds
While the population feeds
Junk floats on polluted water
An old custom to sell your daughter
Would you like number 23?
Leave your yens on the counter please

Hong Kong Garden
Hong Kong Garden

Tourists swarm to see your face
Confucius has a puzzling grace
Disorientated you enter in
Unleashing scent of wild jasmine
Slanted eyes meet a new sunrise
A race of bodies small in size
Chicken Chow Mein and Chop Suey
Hong Kong Garden Takeaway
Hong Kong Garden
Hong Kong Garden

SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES: Facebook – Biography – Discography

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