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Message 39: Holy Roman Empire

The opening lyrics of “You and Whose Army,” track 4 on Amnesiac, read:

Come on, come on
You think you drive me crazy
Come on, come on
You and whose army?
You and your cronies
Come on, come on
Holy Roman empire
Come on if you think
Come on if you think
You can take us on
You can take us on

The Holy Roman Empire is likely a sarcastic description of the addressee’s poorly arrayed forces (metaphorical or otherwise) that will fail to match those of the song’s speaker. Sarcastic because from c. 1550 to 1806 the HRE was little more than a loose federation of German princes and was never a unified military power.

One reply on “Message 39: Holy Roman Empire”

It is also possible that the phrase ‘Holy Roman Empire’ is used satirically to emphasise the corruption, greed and hypocrisy of current existing govermments. While also reflecting their perceived attitudes towards foreign policy: brutal, imperialistic and dominant. Bloody, merciless and unforgiving.

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