Fan video with lyrics:
Apparently, “The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death” is about the English royal family. I just thought it was an upbeat song about people who were poor and starving but kept on smiling anyways.
See, I should know better than that. At the time, the two main interests of Housemartins singer/songwriter Paul Heaton were Marxism and Christianity – and always biting commentary. Almost all of The Housemartins songs make more sense when viewed through that lens.