A whole new generation of teenagers is now relating to The Living End’s hit song “Prisoner of Society”, as Melbourne endures its fifth lockdown. The teen angst anthem, first released in 1998, has reportedly experienced a sharp increase in plays on Spotify and other music streaming services in recent days, as local millennials discover the lyrical stylings of guitar virtuoso Chris Cheney.
Industry insiders are claiming that the best-selling Australian single of the 1990s is resonating with our disenchanted youth as they attempt to come to terms with another extended bout of social distancing and home schooling. According to local music critic Theodore Crimmins, the themes expressed in “Prisoner of Society” are both universal and timeless. Crimmins said, “If you analyse the lyrics, which I obviously have, they manage to pinpoint many of the feelings and frustrations that youth confront in every generation.”
Crimmins also suggested that there are parallel references to what teenagers living in the current global pandemic are currently experiencing. He said, “Lyrics such as ‘Oh yes, we’re on our own and there’s nothing you can do’ and ‘I’m not the enemy, just a prisoner of society’ are quite relevant. And that’s before you even contemplate the many conspiracy theories that are starting to build. Do I need to spell out the poignancy of a line like ‘we don’t need no one to tell us what to do’? Nah, didn’t think so.”