What does One Night in Bangkok mean?

Search Login

Murray Head: One Night in Bangkok Meaning

Tagged: Cities [suggest]

Song Released: 1984

One Night in Bangkok Lyrics

Bangkok, oriental setting
And the city don't know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world
In a show with everything but Yul Brynner
Time flies, doesn't seem a minute
Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in...


    click a star to vote
    Mar 17th, 2012 3:00am report

    This song comes from the musical "Chess." The lyrics were written by Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber's old partner, and the music was written by Benny and Bjorn of Abba.

    The musical is about a world chess championship match which is taking place in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. The singer is one of the chess masters who's going to be competing. And the song describes his feelings as he looks over the city of Bangkok.

    Millions of people visit Bangkok each year, for very different reasons. Some come to see the ancient temples and statues of Buddha and the gods. Millions more come to visit prostitutes or watch live sex shows, since Bangkok has a famous red light district and lots of "Sex tourism."

    But the singer makes it very clear that NEITHER of those things interests him in the least. He's an arrogant intellectual who ONLY cares about chess. To him, religion and sex are trivial and boring, and only the intellectual competition of chess is truly exciting.

    The singer is saying, "Millions of people flock to this city, and think it's wonderful. But to me, one city is just the same as another. I came to win a chess match, and that's my only priority."


    click a star to vote
    Sep 18th, 9:36pm report

    Enter a place with one thing in Mind but there is so much temptation that u fall victim to it. One night and the city has got u, For good. Everything comes with a price and the devil is there to pursuade you.


    click a star to vote
    Nov 20th, 2019 11:31pm report

    Astorian is wrong! Its about sex and the chess peices are metaphors for the game of life. "If you're lucky then the girl's a she" and not a shemale, aka "ladyboy" as they are known in Asia.

    Watch Hangover 2 and you will get it. Why in the world would you go to Thailand to play chess regardless of a tournament?!?


    click a star to vote
    Jun 23rd, 2019 6:19pm report

    I like the use of double meanings, i.e. The kind of "mating" I am contemplating or the "Queens" would not excite you


    click a star to vote
    Apr 10th, 2018 4:38pm report

    everything in the world is the chess game, and siam will be the nation to witness a large puzzle piece fall into place.
    the sex and temple are allusions to sinners in the world, and what happens either you have an angel to get you out, or if you ignore the angel, the devil will be the one next to you... theres more in there, its just beyond me.. these are what i glean innately tho.


    click a star to vote
    Apr 5th, 2013 4:50am report

    Is there room for the main character in this song to be tempted by the night life of Bankok? He takes a ridigid stance that his interest is the thrill of the chess game but also says he feels an angel sliding next to him and feels the devil walking next to him? Could the angel be a seductive girl? Could he be caught between two things the vulnerability of a seductive city and its sex trade and the need to stay in his head to win the chess game. Is the game an allusion to the game of life with its logic and its dark side?

More Murray Head song meanings ยป


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

WHATS POPPIN anonymous
Delta Dawn Sexiscomedy
Lips of an Angel Angelboo
The Knife in my Back anonymous
Paper Crown anonymous
Birthday Suit anonymous
I See Red anonymous
Russian Roulette anonymous
My City Was Gone anonymous
Neon Moon anonymous
A Thousand Years, Pt. 2 anonymous
Blue Eyes anonymous
Human anonymous
You Are Not anonymous
Forsaken anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Dirt Road
Kidd G
We Didn't Have Much
Justin Moore
Come As You Are
Tenille Townes
Make It A Good One
Brothers Osborne
If It Wasn't For Trucks
Riley Green
Baby, I'm Jealous
Bebe Rexha
My Way, Soon
Greta Van Fleet
Show Them The Way
Stevie Nicks