Madness - Take It Or Leave It Lyrics

How come he enjoys himself not me? (I don't know)
How can she smile a good morning to me?
How do they make a hard day's work easy?
Tell me something I'll put it to the test
Take hold of yourself and you will see
How lucky we are to be free,
Now you take for granted,
Life and country.

How come he jokes with friends but not me?
How can she sing out of tune not me?
How do they find time for kids on Sunday?
I can't express uncalled for agress,
You're in one-way traffic can't you see?
Before a head-on crash steer free,
When if it's too late,
Don't come and cry to me.

How come they get on with but not me?
How can they walk arm-in-arm happily?
How does that old boy dance down the street?
Tell me something I'll put it to the test,
Take hold of yourself and you will see,
How lucky we are to be free,
Now you take for granted,
Life and country.

How come we never get on you and me?
How can we find out the remedy?
How does that old lady's home look neat?
How does that old lady's home look neat?
How does that old lady's home look neat?

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Madness Take It Or Leave It Comments
  1. Martyn Law

    Been a madness fan for more years than I care to remember first time ive seen this,i knew about it,bloody brilliant,national treasures now,saw them live a few years ago at the county ground Northampton (my home town) best night in ages.

  2. katoness

    If you read Before we was we, there is a lot more detail about their early days and all the scallywag things they got up to. It made me laugh out loud, I thought what a bunch of rascals. I just loved their honesty. Love this band.

  3. Tarantulas Fun

    Fuck me. Mike Barson is fucking stunning, and he married some woman who tried to stifle is musical career and creativity.

  4. Anne Frank

    Love ska just listened to madness on the El train and I'm hooked. Every song amazing. I knew them before but only for "Our House". Theres so much I've been missing it's pure madness I tell ya!

    Ian Mangham

    I'm glad you're out the attic

  5. sid vicious

    Anybody remember the film called dance craze

    Bob Carter

    sid vicious still waiting for Dance Craze to be released on DVD or BluRay

    Doireann Ní M

    sid vicious ahh I bloody love it!!

    sid vicious

    @Bob Carter yeh it's well over due those were the days

  6. Peter Woodmountain

    Ian Stuart appears in this movie.
    RIP Hero of the White Race

  7. Sircumsczixszyo

    i'm sure i heard some little thing say these guys were racist, with the skinhead thing.
    first 2 minutes here-and this from some years ago-'you can be black, white, chinese, or whatever-just shut up and dance.' well, there you go.
    just watched their recent walking tour called past, present, and future. awesome.


    Well, Suggs hung out with Ian Stuart of racist band Skewdriver. Stuart is actually in Take it or Leave it. He's one of the guys at the party in the garden. Obviously those types of elements hung around with Madness and went to their gigs but Madness have always been staunchly anti-racist.

  8. Bella Official

    46:26 what was the title of the song??


    Rockin in A Flat


    You effing star for posting this.

  10. sergioalberto munguiasanchez

    Como se llama la cansion del minuto 26:34., alguien que me diga ??

    Anton Robles de Medina

    La cancion se llama: "See you later Alligator", original de Bill Haley, de 1960.

    sergioalberto munguiasanchez

    Primazo Anton Robles de Medina disculpe pero esa no es, claro que es ta muy chingona, pero la que le digo empieza en el minuto 26:35 es Romanticona por lo que se oye, y la e estado buscando por mucho tiempo Suggs la canta como 30 segundos nada mas y llega la Novia De Miky Barson y paran de tocarla., y no logro encontrarla es muy buena la cansion solo que tocan un pedaso y no logro entender bien lo que dice., si usted sabe como se llama y la puedo encontrar se lo agradeceria mucho., saludos primo👍, y la que me dijo de see you later igual es muy buena.

  11. sergioalberto munguiasanchez

    The Name Of Song 26:34 ??

  12. Paul Byrne

    40 years still selling out can they not had a brit award lol.thats just crazy.claasic brit band more than any other says a lot about the Brits show meaningless. America missed a huge talent their songs were funny yet a very serious meaning to them.

  13. Jim Byrne

    How good does ‘Night boat to Cairo’ sound here?!!!!

  14. Brecconable

    36:15 Has anyone ever witnessed that in real life!? LOL!

  15. MaSoNGaMeR115

    the fight at the acklam gig was filmed in tilbury

  16. Mike James

    Played with my Madness Tribute band Baggy Trousers in the Dublin Castle ...lived the dream...

  17. strumbolli

    Glitch in the matrix/ mandella effect etc etc.Some of them Madness songs hadn't been
    written untill 1980/81??

  18. TONE 007

    Thought I would never see this again. Remember watching this with my mates at school.

  19. Stock Holm

    This is a real treat! :)

  20. Mr. Moon

    I guess this is about from the time...that any sort of musical talent and ability
    were cast aside for less demanding forms of left wing indoctrination.

  21. Ken Green

    Hey, was that Ali Campbell of UB40 as the record store guy at the beginning? FOLLOW-UP: Nope, saw the end credits.

  22. ourplanetdiaries

    Mike Barson's drive & determination is jaw dropping....No wonder the band are now a National Treasure

  23. Tony Bcfc

    Wish I was alive back then

  24. Department S

    I was at the Premier of this in Camden. Still got my invite ticket.

    Joe e

    Department S same


    Is Vic there?

  25. Miranda M Guzmán Madrigal

    Me encantaaaaAaa

  26. mcsofserv

    As an American who'd loved Madness since the 80s... I'd never heard of this film. It's fantastic.

  27. User Name

    PSA: Many of Madness's albums are on Spotify, including the Take it or Leave it tracks.


    The Bird @ 52:17, Nice.

  29. Steve Morgan

    Love MADNESS with a passion, but Barson I could batter.

    S R

    Still, without him there would have never been any Madness .Plus he's one of the main songwriters of the band.We owe him a lot. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

  30. Al Strac

    Best ever British band in my humble opinion. Just back from House of Common 2 in Lodonis last weekend ;) Still brilliant :)

  31. Random Restoration

    Chris has got sensational Alex Harvey band , next in his record collection! Nice one ..

  32. luis borel

    26:44 the name of song, please

  33. Firstname Lastname

    There's quite a few scenes that feature Si Birdsall. His brother Jesse Birdsall became an actor with quite a successful career on British TV. Jesse was in the crowd at the Dublin Castle scene but he's difficult to spot. I only know he was there because I was there too and Jesse had been at the same school as me a few years before. I was around 17 at the time.

  34. José Lobato

    46:26 name of song please :)


    Rockin in Ab from One Step Beyond....LP

  35. Gary Lee

    Lucky for them they were around then because nowadays the only thing they'd be playing with is their phone.

  36. David Wright

    Happy Days-1982 Birmingham Bingley Hall. Then it burn't down-'Oh what fun we had...'

  37. herbert norkus


    Otto Acid

    Ian doesn't seem to enthusiastic to be there ha ha.

    herbert norkus

    Otto Acid he's not exactly over excited is he!

    Steve Morgan

    People notice who is there. ISD

  38. jennbeth1

    Thanks for being such an important musical chapter in my life!

  39. katoness

    Barson's such a moody fucker.


    @Napoleon Nikolai Zivkovic Why?

    SixDeathWish BBK

    ɷɷ I Havee Watched Thiss Movie Leakedddd Versionn Here : -

    Uwe Reichelt

    i think Barson is madness ;-)

    Steve Morgan

    Said to be the bully in the band.

    Richard -D-

    watched the movie loads of times now,the way it's made is terrific like it's just being done for first time,madness and the specials were 2 of my most influential bands growing up in 80s Britain:)

  40. ratalien69

    song at 50:39???????

    Ramiro Novoa

    ratalien69 swan lake

  41. Extreme Weather

    Feels nice to be English

  42. Extreme Weather

    Interesting fact plasters were real - fucking shit = don't quote me all night

  43. Kirbyeltel Terry Gooner kirby

    Love it London Town
    as I remember it
    shame it's changed so much...

  44. Mike Beeby

    Loving this film. Great music and it is fantastic seeing how London used to be and trying to recognise places. At 35.52 they are driving down Finnis Street, Bethnal Green!

  45. Lightfootlad Two

    Oh for the days of our misspent youth. Great days great band great times.

  46. herbert norkus

    16:53...HAIL!!!!!!! ✋

    stephen pfrimmer

    better than elvis

  47. TheRollthedice

    57 minutes...who knows the station??when they jump the barrier...thanks

  48. Simon Davies

    I went to see them on the #GrandSlam Tour near my neck of the woods in Rhyl, North Wales last weekend. The last time I saw them was back in 1980, I never thought I would be able to see them again in my lifetime. What a band, what a sound!

  49. centralscrutinizer66

    Wow, I can't believe I watched it all seeing I should be studying. I can't say I understood everything that was said, but that was really good. What was the issue the skins had with them?


    @Greatest1979 Thanks 79, ignoring my studies was well worth it. I guess it didn't take much to start a row in 76! The movie also shows that the band didn't just "fall" together, the key lineup took many players to achieve, seeing all the auditions and players that were canned or didn't make the cut. The blond guy was a very good sport about being replaced repeatedly. I saw Suggs on BBC last Christmas as London's unofficial good will ambassador. I also heard that is the early days, NF skins would frequent shows, was this because Suggs was a roadie for Skrewdriver before they went WP? Were you around to see all this.....Madness? 


    @centralscrutinizer66 Actually that scene with the skins was on November 10th, 1978, to be exact. But yeah, all them years were "interesting"! The Invaders had quite a bit more members who came and went, one of them was even a girl named Lucinda who played sax in the period when Lee had disappeared (again). That blond fella's name is John Hasler. He started out as the drummer, then singer and finally manager for the band. He also wrote a couple of songs for Madness such as Believe Me and Stepping Into Line. The song Bed and Breakfast Man was written about him. Suggs was indeed a roadie for Skrewdriver for a while back in 1977. Suggs used to be in a skinhead gang along with Chas and future Madness-roadies Chalky and Toks. They used to go to Skrewdriver gigs and SD singer Ian Stuart Donaldson would hang out with that gang that called themselves The North London Skinhead Elite. Ian Stuart appeared in TIOLI in the scene of the backgarden gig at Si Birdsall's party and at the Acklam Hall toilet-fight. When 2-Tone broke out in 1979, a lot skins followed bands like The Specials, Selecter, Bad Manners and Madness. NF skins where especially  interested in Madness because they where a all-white band playing ska music. And that was also why campagners for the NF and BM would target Madness gigs to rally support among the skins. This caused all hell of alot trouble for the band because they weren't policitally engaged and did not want to have anything to do with fascists and sorts. I didn't see all this ruckus myself cuz I was just a 10 year old kid back then. I became a Madness fan in 1980 when they released Baggy Trousers and still am an avid fan to this very day. They will always be my fave band.   


    @Greatest1979 Thanks for taking the time to edify sir. So The Invaders were essentially Madness in their infancy with an ever changing lineup. Theres not much about them save for a 30 second piece of silent footage that actually speaks volumes. That and The House of Fun event where Madness is playing with / as the Invaders and the Dangermen and a ton of guests the 21-23 of this month! Wish I could be there!! I guess John Hasler was a silent member of the band judging by the Lyrics of Bed and Breakfast Man, nice tribute to a really good sport. I'll look for Ian next viewing the movie, not that I'm a fan of any stripe. I figured Madness didn't encourage the WP element, but they must have forged some bonds in the early days they couldn't break easily. I was active in the Detroit punk / Hardcore scene in the early 80's. I still have my roots as you do, but the English ska bands have a real and distinct flavor and attitude and weren't afraid to touch on relevant issues concerning race and politics. You know better than I, but I saw some footage of current Madness, and yes they aged and may have some new members but they still sound great. Ska ages well, not so much for punk, no?


    No problem, mate. I love talking about Madness ; ) ! They just released a re-issue of One Step Beyond to celebrate the 35th anniversary of OSB and they've added a cd of a rehearsal tape they did back in 1979 with the songs they used to rehearse and play when they still were The Invaders and the early days as Madness. Although Suggs and Ian Stuart went completely different directions, they've always stayed mates. Ian stayed at Suggs' mom's house for a while in those early days of Invaders/Madness. The Sun, a tabloid over here, did a story about Ian and Suggs being 'secret' mates in a way to stirr shit between them. Ian and Suggs never fell out as mates. They lived in two different worlds and didn't hung out like they used to but they've always thought of each other as good mates. It's a wonderful thing to still be able to go and see Madness play with the same seven original bandmembers even after 35 years. And even though those early days of 79-81 will always my fave period, it's great to see (and hear of course) that Madness keeps getting better and better as they get older!.


    @Greatest1979 Mate, that is still an ingredient for Claret Imminent to this day. Especially if drinks are knocked over.

  50. ravingandeating

    they were days, english culture is shit now compared to those times

    James Cashin

    Yeah, too f-ing write mate. I no wha you mean fur sur, sunshine.  I mean really, Gov- dem days are well missed, know wha I mean.  I was telling da wife da same shit just last week, I mean, wha da fuc.......


    English culture isn't shit nowadays. It's just gone.

  51. Cosmic Apple

    i am so happy i found this

    Nick Coultish

    As am I!!

  52. Vajda Veronika

    I love them.(:

  53. Shawnkells

    A Fine Madness!

  54. rudy81

    Super Superb!!!!!

  55. Hendrix Collector 999

    fucking love it I live were this film was set thank god nothing changes

  56. hatednyc

    I've never even HEARD of this in the States. Thanks so much for uploading


    Better late than never, eh?! 

  57. gee grey

    time in life  i 4 1980 newcastle   bed and breakfast man live.. the place jump ... loved it i 15

  58. bill1234bob1

    what is the song at 43:28


    It's called "Rough Kids" and it's a cover. The original is by Ian Dury's old group Kilburn and the High Roads. 

  59. bill1234bob1

    who else noticed gray day on the radio at 32:07 

  60. bluemansham1

    Cool as ever! :-)

  61. Ron D

    I found this to be a very good film about a band we Americans sadly underappreciated. I've been learning more about Madness, The Beat and The Specials 30 years later, but they were all great. Thanks for posting this on YouTube!


    I'm talking main stream commercial radio. In the USA, punk wasn't treated like it was in England by anyone's measure. Here in Detroit we didn't have radio like in LA and the anti disco thing was really a pushback on more than just disco. Overseas punk bands were regularly on the charts from the get go with bands like the Jam in 74.

    stephen pfrimmer


    Dave Sanderson

    Is it not correct to say that the comment above from an American shows that watching Take It Or Leave It crosses the cultural divide without the issue of it being 'too English'. I think it's fair to point out the American media were largely at fault for misinterpreting Madness, not 'Americans' themselves. Meanwhile the UK media, as switched on as it may be, is by no means in the clear. For instance a band like XTC, whose music blossomed in the eighties into something extraordinary, were well loved in the US during that time....whereas the UK dropped them like a hat seemingly! Horses for courses. There are many stories of under-appreciation in the UK too.

    sid vicious

    @centralscrutinizer66 I dont think the jam were in the charts in 1974


    @Dave Sanderson Billy Zoom (a musician) has talked about how the US radio industry basically stifled new types of music. There was a rigid format that had to be adhered to, where a song or band had to be in a particular category, otherwise it wouldn't be played. I don't fully understand it, but that's the gist of it. The bottom line is that there were only about five radio stations in the country that played music such as this (KROQ being one of them). But "college radio" helped in some small way.

  62. TheBigbeanos

    Dublin Castle, still a great place for a drink and a dance down Camden Town.