The so-called Silly Walk Song by the Monty Python troupe (lyrics and video here, lyrics in text form here) is mostly a lament of the tedium and futility of a life of money-induced drudgery. But there are a few lines which are much darker and don't quite seem to fit with the tone of the rest of the song:

Life is a silly walk in the park,
A knife in your throat held after dark.
Life is a terrible joke a lark,
A spoken word then it all goes dark.

Where does the idea of a "knife in your throat held after dark" come from? What does it mean and how does it fit with the overall theme? What does bloody murder have to do with working uselessly in an office for money, or is there some indirect or symbolic meaning in this phrase?

  • 1
    For that matter, I'm also curious about why this is called the Silly Walk Song. MP had a famous Silly Walk sketch, but that doesn't seem to have much to do with the topic of this song, and the only mention of "silly walks" in the song is in the very verse quoted in this question. But that's probably unrelated enough to this issue to be worth another question.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 12:13

2 Answers 2


I would take it as meaning that life can spent be in a carefree way doing a meaningless job but can be taken from us unexpectedly at any moment.

This song was written by Eric Idle for their final ever shows in London in 2014 - it replaced the silly walks sketch which Cleese is far too old to perform now. A troupe of dancers performed it instead.

Since these were their last ever performances, with Graham Chapman long gone and Terry Jones terminally ill, there is an air of melancholy and fatality about it, which Python have never shied away from.

  • How does this idea specifically related to having a "knife in your throat"?
    – bobble
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 18:27
  • You've been stabbed in the throat\had your throat cut? It is emphasizing the contrast between your life as a carefree walk in the park and then suddenly it being dark and someone is sticking a knife in you, i.e. something unexpected and life-threatening can occur at any time.
    – Alan B
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 8:00
  • What is the point of the first sentence of your comment?
    – bobble
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 2:23

The song addresses different aspects of having to work for your money, living to work and working to live.

This part addresses dying before being able to enjoy your retirement, before enjoying the fruits of your labour.

Consider the lines right before it (emphasis mine):

Work hard every single day
Work, work, work your life away
Don't question what, don't question why
Just keep working 'till you die

Money is the root of evil
Money is the fruit of sin
Money is the root of everything
The grim reaper's coming in

The knife in your throat is the unexpected visit from the grim reaper.

As for the reason for choosing bloody murder over other causes of a sudden demise, I can only speculate that it's the most sudden and blameless death. A heart attack could be blamed on an unhealthy lifestyle, a car accident on reckless driving, but this is truly unexpected.

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