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"Senses Working Overtime" is a song by Andy Partridge. It appeared and was released as a single for the 1982 album English Settlement. Reaching no. 10 on the UK Singles chart, it is one of the band's most popular songs.

An early work tape of the song appeared on the 2002 Coat of Many Cupboards box set.

Single tracklistingEdit

7" singleEdit

  1. A-side: "Senses Working Overtime (edit)" 4:30
  2. B-side 1: "Blame the Weather" 3:37 (Colin Moulding)
  3. B-side 2: "Tissue Tigers (The Arguers) 3:55

12" singleEdit

  1. A-side 1: "Senses Working Overtime (LP version)"
  2. A-side 2: "Egyptian Solution (Thebes in a Box) (Homo Safari No. 3)" 5:11
  3. B-side 1: "Blame the Weather"
  4. B-side 2: "Tissue Tigers (The Arguers)"

Italy 7" singleEdit

  1. A-side: "Senses Working Overtime (LP Version)"
  2. B-side 1: "Blame the Weather"
  3. B-side 2: "Tissue Tigers (The Arguers)"

Canada 7" singleEdit

  1. A-side: "Senses Working Overtime (edit)"
  2. B-side: "Blame the Weather"

USA 7" promo singleEdit

  1. A-side: "Senses Working Overtime (edit)"
  2. B-side: "Senses Working Overtime (edit)"

USA 12" promo singleEdit

  1. A-side: "Senses Working Overtime (edit)"
  2. B-side: "Ball and Chain" (Moulding)

Canada 12" singleEdit

  1. A-side: "Senses Working Overtime (LP Version)"
  2. B-side 1: "Blame the Weather"
  3. B-side 2: "Egyptian Solution (Thebes in a Box) (Homo Safari No. 3)"

USA 7" singleEdit

  1. A-side: "Senses Working Overtime (early fade)"
  2. B-side: "English Roundabout" (Moulding)

QuotesEdit

Colin (on the promo video): “I think this was our highest chart entry.” Andy: “Made up from two songs. It's also the only song we've ever done with crows on.”

Andy (on the early work tape): “You see the lorries had to rev up and put their foot down to haul themselves up Kingshill, while anything coming down, just went full throttle bananas fast. So that's why I've got such glorious stereo traffic on this cassette. I'm sat in the empty front room, upstairs in 46 Kingshill Road, Swindon. I say empty, well, not quite. There's a battered '40's sofa covered in scraps of black and white window display fabric, liberated from McIlroy's department store and about 3 to 4 thousand old American comics laid in piles on the floor. This, despite the traffic from Hell, was my writing room, and here I am trying to get through a new song I've just come up with. It's a couple of half songs Frankensteined together, but I think there's something in it. You won't hear all the correct chord changes, words or middle section, they're not thought up yet. But you will get a cassette quality ultra scan of the soon to be born. To the average English listener this song came to represent their concept of our high water mark in the English charts, i.e., If you're not on ‘Top of the Pops’, you don't exist. Although after the Senses single our fellow countrymen felt they should confine us to the ‘has been’ drawer, ironically our best sales, by far, were yet to come from the so far undented monolith of America and from a joyously appreciative and loyal Japanese following many years down the line.

“But at this point in the tale, all I knew was that I was a married man living in a couple of damp rooms, rent free, above an empty shop, and I had a new album to write. Was this one that would make it?”

LyricsEdit

Hey, hey

The clouds are whey

There's straw for the donkeys

And the innocents can all sleep safely

All sleep safely


My, my

Sun is pie

There's fodder for the cannons

And the guilty ones can all sleep safely

All sleep safely


And all the world is football-shaped

It's just for me to kick in space

And I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste

And I've got one, two, three, four, five

Senses working overtime

Trying to take this all in

I've got one, two, three, four, five

Senses working overtime

Trying to taste the difference 'tween a lemon and a lime

Pain and pleasure and the church bells softly chime


Hey hey

Night fights day

There's food for the thinkers

And the innocents can all live slowly

All live slowly


My, my

The sky will cry

Jewels for the thirsty

And the guilty ones can all die slowly

All die slowly


And all the world is biscuit-shaped

It's just for me to feed my face

And I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste

And I've got one, two, three, four, five

Senses working overtime

Trying to take this all in

I've got one, two, three, four, five

Senses working overtime

Trying to taste the difference 'tween a lemon and a lime

Pain and pleasure and the church bells softly chime


And birds might fall from black skies (woo-woo)

And bullies might give you black eyes (woo-woo)

And buses might skid on black ice (woo-woo)

But to me they're very, very beautiful (England's glory)

Beautiful (a striking beauty)


And all the world is football-shaped

It's just for me to kick in space

And I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste

And I've got one, two, three, four, five

Senses working overtime

Trying to take this all in

I've got one, two, three, four, five

Senses working overtime

Trying to tell the difference 'tween the goods and grime

Turds and treasure


And there's one, two, three, four, five

Senses working overtime

Trying to take this all in

I've got one, two, three, four, five

Senses working overtime

Trying to taste the difference 'tween a lemon and a lime

Pain and pleasure and the church bells softly chime

VideosEdit

PromoEdit

Promo video for "Senses Working Overtime." Uploaded by YouTube user "familycat."

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