Meltdown (At Madame Tussaud's)

[Image: 'Meltdown' Front Cover]

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Lyrics

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
The queen is losing face
Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
A national disgrace

It's the middle of the night at the London shrine
Could have been the janitor, could have been divine
Someone said the thermostat never did work
Now we've got the temperature going berserk

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
The queen is losing face
Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
A national disgrace

Celebrities, statesmen, history's elite
They're dripping in the hallways, they're starting to secrete
They're pouring out the pores, they're shrinking on the spot
Someone take a photograph--get 'em while they're hot

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
The president looks alarmed
Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
A general's been disarmed

Feverish at Fleet Street--story of the year
"Get the Facts--House of Wax Photo Souvenir"
"Shameful" Says the Times, "Maybe Done By Vandals"
Panic on Wall Street--put your stock in candles

I thought I heard a ghost say
"Had my hands in my pockets on the Judgment Day
Nobody told me there's fire in the hole
Had the world by the tail but I lost my soul"

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
A rock and roll hotel
Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
They're blending very well

Elvis and the Beatles have seen a better day
Better off to burn out than to melt away
Dylan may be fillin' the puddle they designed
Is it gonna take a miracle to make up his mind?

Athletes on the floor
Meltdown
They're running out the door

Bad boy McEnroe couldn't keep his cool
Now he's with the rest of 'em, wading in the pool
"Howard Hughes--Billionaire" says the written guide
Pity that his assets have all been liquefied

"Celebrity status only got in the way
Had my hands in my pockets on the Judgment Day
You can't take it with you--there's fire in the hole
Had the world by the tail but I lost my soul"

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
The queen is losing face
Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
A national disgrace

Down in the dungeon--the Chamber of Horrors
Look at all the criminals soften to the cores
They're mixing with the head of state floating down the lane
Good, bad, there they go down the same drain

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
(It really is a pity you know)
Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
(A lot of bees gave their all for this)
Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's
Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's


Recorded Appearances


About The Song

From Clone Club News Flash Spring/Summer 1984, Spring/Summer 1984:

The most popular tourist attraction in London is the world famous wax museum, Madame Tussaud's. I visited the museum like any other tourist, but while everyone else was staring in awe at the wax figures of history's illustrious men and women, I remember wondering what would happen if someone turned up the head. Jesus said, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" "Meltdown (At Madame Tussaud's)" simply uses a new metaphor to ask that same question.

From Who Does Not Want To Be a Clone?, Campus Life, January 1987:

I think the fact that "Meltdown" did reasonably well helped to say to other Christian artists, you can write something using a metaphor for the whole song. Maybe I'm just fooling myself and no one knows what the song means, they just like the beat or something. But I would like to think that people catch the message without being pounded over the head with it.

Musically, I go back and listen to some of this stuff and it sounds kind of puny now. But I decided eventually I'll get everything together.

...

The thing I worried about when I wrote "Meltdown" was that it was going to be too topical. People may soon forget who Howard Hughes was or who John McEnroe is. That'll be kind of too bad for the song, I guess.

From Now The Truth Can Be Told Liner Notes & Song-By-Song Essays, Now The Truth Can Be Told Insert Booklet, August 23rd, 1994:

It all started with my first trip to London's famed tourist waxtrap--"I wonder what would happen in here if someone turned up the heat?" Surrounded by so many illustrious faces, it all seemed like a fine metaphor for Jesus' words, "what good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"

I was originally concerned that the song's topical references might lose some kick in later years (do the youngsters out there remember John "The Bad Boy" McEnroe?), and my then manager begged me not to include the line about Dylan, but ten years later, the lyric seems to me to hold up pretty well, which is more than I can say for some of the instrumentation.