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Blue Lights

Jorja Smith

Blue Lights Lyrics

[Intro]
I wanna turn those blue lights into strobe lights
Not blue flashing lights, maybe fairy lights
Those blue lights into strobe lights
Maybe even fairy lights, not blue flashing lights


[Verse 1]
Don't you run when you hear the sirens coming
When you hear the sirens coming

You better not run 'cause the sirens not coming for you
What have you done?
You went to school that day
Was a bit late but it was a Monday
Kept after class for answering back
You apologized, where's the harm in that


[Chorus]
I wanna turn those blue lights
What have you done
Into strobe lights
There's no need to run
Not blue flashing lights
If you've done nothing wrong
Maybe fairy lights
Blue lights should just pass you by

[Verse 2]
Gun crime into your right ear
Drugs and violence into your left
Default white headphones flooding the auditory
Subconscious waves you accept
You're sitting on the 4 back home
"Where you at, G? Answer your phone!"
Pause the poison to answer his message
Your boy sounds rushed, fears for his adolescence

[Chorus]
I wanna turn those blue lights
What have you done
Into strobe lights
There's no need to run
Not blue flashing lights
If you've done nothing wrong
Maybe fairy lights
Blue lights should just pass you by


[Verse 3]
Tall black shadow as you're getting off the bus
Shadow shows no emotion so what's even the fuss?
But the face of your boy casts a darker picture
Of the red handed act, he's gonna whisper;
"Look blud I'm sorry 'cause I know you got my back
He was running, I couldn't think, I had to get out of that"
Not long ago you were miming to the "Shook Ones"
Now this really is part two 'cause you're the shook one
Hands you the tool as you question your friendship
How's man like you gonna make me a convict?
Level of a felon when I've done nothing wrong
Blood on my hands but I don't know where it's from, oh
You got blood on your hands but you don't know where it's from


[Bridge]
You better run when you hear the sirens coming
When you hear the sirens coming
Better run when you hear the sirens coming
'Cause they will be coming for you
Run when you hear the sirens coming
Better run when you hear the sirens coming
When you hear the sirens coming
The blue lights are coming for you


[Chorus]
I wanna turn those blue lights
What have you done
Into strobe lights
There's no need to run
Not blue flashing lights
If you've done nothing wrong
Maybe fairy lights
Blue lights should just pass you by


[Outro: Jorja Smith & Dizzee Rascal]
"Blud, when you hear the sirens coming"
Don't you run when you hear the sirens coming
"Blud, when you hear the sirens coming"
Don't you run when you hear the sirens coming
What have you d-d-d-done done
Don't you run
Don't you run
Don't you run when you hear the sirens coming

About “Blue Lights”

“Blue Lights” is the debut single from Jorja Smith. The song is questioning why you should have a guilty conscience if you’ve done nothing wrong, with a fitting sample from Dizzee Rascal’s 2007 single “Sirens” from his Maths + English album.

“Blue Lights” received rave reviews upon its release for its introspective songwriting and co-signs from Skrillex and Stormzy have helped its rise in popularity. It was also featured on the sixteenth episode of OVO Sound Radio.

Jorja spoke with Pigeons & Planes on how she juggles studio time while working at Starbucks and the story behind “Blue Lights”:

The song is the beginning of my journey, and I wanted to start from home. Back home in Walsall is where I started writing, and this song is influenced by what I grew up around.

  • What inspired this song?

    Jorja Smith:

    When I wrote “Blue Lights,” I took a break from doing my media course work. I was looking at post-colonialism in grime music. A video I was watching was Dizzee Rascal’s “Sirens.” I was inspired to write this song. I was listening to some beat in my room, and I found this one, called “Jamie Keys” produced by Joyce. That’s who produced “Blue Lights.” I just started free styling it. Also I wrote this song because I was talking to loads of young kids. Part of my coursework was to do a little documentary, and I was looking at police versus grime music. I just went around interviewing kids at school asking them what they thought of the police. These little boys, mostly it was black kids that I was interviewing, people of color. Well everyone, but that was the main focus.

    These 11-year-olds, I was like, “Oh, what do you think of the police?” They were like, “Fuck the police! I hate them.” And I was like, “What have you done?” “Nothing, but I hate them,” And I was like, “It’s sad,” you know?It’s sad because we’re kind of … It’s instilled in us to have, well fear the police. You know? That’s what I was writing the song about. And it was about walking around with this guilty conscience, even though you haven’t done anything wrong.

  • Did any real people inspire this song?

    Jorja Smith:

    It was based on two of my friends. One of them left their bag at my house, and I’m really nosey. I found their bag, and I picked it up, and it was really light. I was like, “What the hell has he got in this bag, like this? Why’s he got this pouch and there’s nothing in there?” I opened it, there was a knife in there. I pulled out this knife. It was a flicky one, and I got it out as well. I was like, “Fuck.” I actually had to put it back. “I don’t want to tell my dad, I don’t want to tell anyone about this knife.” Then I put it back in the bag.

    Gave him his bag back and never told him. Then I wrote this song, because I was just imagining if he did something. He’s the tall black shadow. I’m writing this song in perspective of his friend, who I was. His character was a person that wouldn’t have done anything, because they’re such good friends.

    I was just imagining if, the tall black shadow did do something, and he was asking his friend like, “Can you cover up what I’ve done? You’ve got my back in all of this?” That’s how I wrote the story.

  • How does Jorja describe the tone of the song?

    Jorja Smith:

    I was trying to give some hope saying, “Don’t run, don’t you run when you hear the sirens coming.” Then it flips at the end because I’m saying, “You better run now because the sirens are coming for you.” I feel like the song’s a bit of a circle, and that’s like life. Everything just repeating, everything’s just going in a circle.

  • What has the media said about the song?

    In 2018, NPR ranked this as the #183 greatest song by a female or nonbinary artist in the 21st century, saying:

    All it took was one viral single to springboard Jorja Smith from a Starbucks barista job in Walsall, England, to international stages. ‘Blue Lights,’ the R&B star’s debut single, questions the social constructs that have led black and brown men to feel tension around police with surprising poignancy and frank delivery. Invoking the drowsy drawl of Amy Winehouse, trying her hand at a Mobb Deep-inspired rap and sampling grime pioneer Dizzee Rascal, Smith proves on this layered ballad that she did her musical homework and didn’t merely luck into a Soundcloud hit.