Shouldn't Have Done That

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8. A Photograph Of You
9. Shouldn't Have Done That
List of A Broken Frame songs
10. The Sun & The Rainfall
Shouldn't Have Done That
Song Shouldn't Have Done That
By Depeche Mode
Songwriter Martin L. Gore
Produced by Daniel Miller
Depeche Mode
Recorded at Blackwing Studios (London)
Length (mm:ss) 3:12
Tempo 132 BPM
Time signature 3
Key D♭ Minor
Engineered by John Fryer
Eric Radcliffe
Photography Brian Griffin
Calligraphy Ching Ching Lee
Recorded December 1981 - July 1982
Originally released 27 September 1982
Live performances as Depeche Mode 47 times *
Total live performances 47 times *

"Shouldn't Have Done That" is a song from the 1982 album A Broken Frame by Depeche Mode.


In the middle of the song, some chatter can be heard that seems to have been reversed. When this audio is reversed again, it reveals Martin Gore telling a children's story:

The big bird is pecking

The little bird is pecking as well

But the big bird has got more worms than the little bird

So the little bird doesn't like this

He's after the worms that are really owned by the big bird

He flies over to the big bird's worms

Oh and what joy it was when he got those worms

And he flew away

He flew onto the top of the mountain [Martin starts laughing]

And the big bird was too fat

He couldn't fly [Martin laughs some more]

The un-reversed audio, generated using several channels from the 2006 multichannel remaster, can be listened to here:

The story could possibly be related to the following explanation given by Martin Gore when a fan asked him in a letter (dead link; unavailable on in 1982 about the etchings on DM's vinyl single copies, including 'Leave In Silence', which has the etchings "LITTLE BIRD'S PECKING / LITTLE BIRD'S TAKEN THE WORM!"[1] Martin responded to him: "[...] These are our studio nicknames and sayings. Little Bird is the two track machine and Big Bird is the 16 track machine. Little bird's pecking means that the two track is running and LB's taken the worm means that a signal has shown that it is recording from the 16 track (Big Bird). Very stupid isn’t it (Andy's idea)."

Furthermore, singing can be heard in the background of Martin's story. It is not known which band member is singing and the song or lyrics are yet untranscribed.

Daniel Miller wrote in the sleeve notes for the A Broken Frame Remaster CD in 2006:

"I remember we got Blancmange in to do some on-the-spot marching for 'Shouldn't Have Done That' because they were in the studio next door, making their record, and they were mates with Depeche Mode."

Someone, likely Andrew Fletcher, can also be heard shouting "Left! Right!" at the beginning of the audio above, as if he were conducting the march. This originally reversed audio is heard directly before the marching audio begins in the song.


Shouldn't Have Done That

Plans made in the nursery

Can change the course of history

Remember that

Mummy's annoyed, says go and play

Don't show your face

Stay away all day

Shouldn't have done that

A small boy and his infantry

Marching around so naturally

Shouldn't have done that

Grows up and goes to school

Such a nice boy

Obeys all the rules

Mummy's proud of that

Leaves school to follow his ambition

Knows what he wants

To be a politician

Shouldn't have done that

Songwriter: Martin L. Gore
Publishing Information: ©1982 Grabbing Hands Music Ltd/EMI Music Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

Live performances

Main article: Available recordings of "Shouldn't Have Done That"
Main article: List of dates where "Shouldn't Have Done That" was played


  1. Etching of Mute 7Bong1 "Leave In Silence" 7 inch UK vinyl; Depmod page