New Order

About Ceremony

"Ceremony" is a song by Joy Division, released as New Order's debut single in 1981. The song and its B-side, "In a Lonely Place", were written and recorded as Joy Division prior to the death of Ian Curtis. Both were re-recorded and carried over to Joy Division's re-formation under the name New Order. New Order released the song as a single twice, firstly in January 1981 and secondly in September 1981 featuring new member Gillian Gilbert.


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This is why events unnerve me
They find it all, a different story
Notice whom for wheels are turning
Turn again and turn towards this time
All she asks is the strength to hold me
Then again the same old story
World will travel, oh so quickly
Travel first and lean towards this time

Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown
Heaven knows, it's got to be this time
Watching her, these things she said
The times she cried
Too frail to wake this time

Oh I'll break them down, no mercy shown
Heaven knows, it's got to be this time
Avenues all lined with trees
Picture me and then you start watching
Watching forever
Watching love grow, forever
Letting me know, forever

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New Order

New Order are an English rock band formed in 1980 by Bernard Sumner (vocals, guitars, synthesisers), Peter Hook (bass, synthesisers) and Stephen Morris (drums, electronic drums, synthesisers) – the remaining members of Joy Division, following the suicide of vocalist Ian Curtis – with the addition of Gillian Gilbert (keyboards, guitars, synthesizers). In 1993 the band broke-up amidst tension between bandmembers, but reformed in 1998. In 2001, Phil Cunningham (guitars, synthesisers) replaced Gilbert, who left the group due to family commitments. In 2007, Peter Hook left the band and the band broke-up again, with Sumner saying in 2009 that he no longer wishes to make music as New Order. The band reunited in 2011 without Hook, with Gilbert returning to the fold a… more »

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Written by: Bernard Sumner, Ian Kevin Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Paul David Morris

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

History of the Song
"Ceremony" is one of the last songs Joy Division wrote before the death of their lead vocalist, Ian Curtis. It was played by the band during their final live performance in 1980.
Transition from Joy Division to New Order
After Ian Curtis's death, the remaining members of Joy Division regrouped under the new name - New Order. "Ceremony" was then released as New Order's first single in 1981.
Composition and Lyrics
Except for Curtis's handwritten scribbles of the song's lyrics, no official recording or written version of the song by Joy Division exists. New Order had to rely on memory and rough listening to their old rehearsal tapes to recreate the song.
Versions of the Song
There are two different versions of "Ceremony" performed by New Order. The first version was recorded in January 1981 with Martin Hannett and the second version was recorded in September of the same year once Gillian Gilbert had joined the band.
Posthumous Release
The recording of "Ceremony" being rehearsed by Joy Division surfaced and was posthumously released on the compilation album titled "Still" in 1981.
"Ceremony" served as a transition from the post-punk sound of Joy Division to the electronic sound that New Order would eventually become famous for.
Cover Versions
Several bands, notably Radiohead and Galaxie 500, have covered "Ceremony" in live performances, showing the ongoing influence and popularity of the song.
Even though it was one of the last songs written by Joy Division and the first single from New Order, "Ceremony" is widely recognized as one of the greatest songs of the post-punk era.
NME Ranking
In 2014, NME ranked "Ceremony" 392nd on its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
Recovery of Original Lyrics
It wasn't until 2019 that the full, original lyrics, as written by Ian Curtis, were found in a notebook and displayed at the Manchester's "True Faith" exhibition.

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    "Ceremony Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Apr. 2024. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/106436/New+Order/Ceremony>.

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