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This Is A Lie

Started by Poe, December 25, 2008, 18:02:50

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Poe

Quote from: rubcure on November 07, 2008, 03:29:35
Quote from: KingOfSomeIsland on November 07, 2008, 01:11:55
Apparently the only time Mary ever confronted Robert about a song was "This is a Lie" from Wild Mood Swings


Could you tell me more about it KingOfSomeIsland... I like too much "This is a Lie" Thanks for the Info  :smth023


I don't read that many Cure interviews, but I actually did happen to read an (the?) interview where he mentions this recently. Here's the part with This is a Lie:

QuoteIn "This Is a Lie", one of the most sombre songs on "Wild Mood Swings", you describe life as a lie. You sing that every love relationship is a lie, since by choosing one person, you deny everyone else in the world, without being able to know if you have made the right choice or not. That you only pretend, all the way until the end. Is this something that you feel very strongly or is this only a thought?

It is something that I feel strongly since I don't think it can be any other way. It is like that. No one can be sure. But you can't walk around thinking about it either, you would become insane. That very text is the only one I had to defend in front of Mary, the only one that made her upset. What "why each of us must lose everyone else in the world"? What do you mean?'

"The 13th", which is the first single, has a very lustfilled text that seems to be about a dancer in some kind of Latin club. How did it go with that one? Didn't you have to explain that one?

Ha! No, there's no danger. Mary likes me. She knows I'm not perfect, she loves me as I am. "The 13th" is about a sensational dancer in a club in Colombia. But it's ok. I managed to get it through without any major problems.


http://www.musicfanclubs.org/cure/press/I22.html (1996, Pop magazine)

Not often you hear "sensational" dancer, sensationally...nude?  :P  :lol: Anyhow, I did hear about one, ONE "incident" from a few years back that probably did happen, but christ, who cares, and Mary knows her man. Like spiltmilk says, Rob's been writing "suggestive" lyrics for ages. Things change over the years, people change, but with the risk of sounding soppy, I think she still means the world to Rob, regardless of what fame has brought him. This is the end of the interview above, touching and a bit scary at the same time:

QuoteYou talked about how your relation with The Cure has changed. I have gotten the impression that Mary has been just as big necessity in your life for a long time. Do you think that the band would have existed today if she had disappeared seven-eight years ago?

No. Mary means so incomprehensibly much to me. I actually don't think she has ever realized how dependent I've been of her during all these years we've been together. She's always been the one that has saved me when I have been the most self-destructive, she's always been the one that has caught me when I have been so very close to fall apart completely, and if she would have disappeared - I am sorry, I know that I'm falling into my irritating miserable image by saying it - then I would have killed myself.

Soppy moment's over. 
Betty said she prayed today
For the sky to blow away...

dsanchez

Quote from: Poe on December 25, 2008, 18:02:50
QuoteIn "This Is a Lie", one of the most sombre songs on "Wild Mood Swings", you describe life as a lie. You sing that every love relationship is a lie, since by choosing one person, you deny everyone else in the world, without being able to know if you have made the right choice or not. That you only pretend, all the way until the end. Is this something that you feel very strongly or is this only a thought?



Wow. I never payed much attention to this song, but now that I read the lyrics, it's very interesting. I guess many of us have thought in some moment of our lives, "what if?".

For instance, I was just talking some days ago to a friend about this casual meetings on a train, when you meet random people and have a really a very nice chat, but that's all. Then you start to wonder what if you asked for an email or a phone? What if? I guess many have asked themselves at least once in a life "why is this way?"
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Chain Of Flowers

It's interesting how different people interpret Cure songs, and the fact that the songs can mean something different to so many people is one of the things that makes them special.

I never really thought of 'This Is A Lie' in a way that would make a wife raise her eyebrows at all (I'd expect that from 'Watching Me Fall' or 'Open').  I saw that song as one of those wondering concept tracks like a lot of what Bloodflowers is, just wondering about life and why we all play the role we play.  That line about loosing everyone else in the world I took as the fact that some day we'll all be gone, therefore nobody stays around forever.

Matti

Quote from: KingOfSomeIsland on November 07, 2008, 01:11:55
Apparently the only time Mary ever confronted Robert about a song was "This is a Lie" from Wild Mood Swings


At least the only time we know of. From VOX magazine, June 1996 (Oi, Britpop! Bob's your uncle!):

Quote"It's the first thing I've written that Mary came and asked what I meant by it. [...] because it was so anti-monogamy, she came up and said, 'is this really what you think?' It was much worse before. The original lyric to This is a Lie actually had as final line: 'Travel a long road ... in chains'."
Charming.
"Exactly", he laughs. "That was her word - charming..."
...hold me like this for a hundred thousand million days...

word_on_a_wing

Jeez!!  ...still digesting it all.
I must admit I prefer the idea of such lyrics being him contemplating philosophical ideas, and the idea of what is a 'norm' in society (ie monogamy) rather than a reflection of actions.

I wonder if there's truth in it all though.  I've come to the view that having a soul mate is a lie ...we are meant to deeply connect with our own soul (so our 'soul mate' is our own soul!). And given our soul is part of the infinite, real love is without limits.

....I think both is possible though... to be in a loving monogamous relationship & be in love with ALL that is, recognising we are all part of the infinite
....and now a fitting track to listen to...Modern Love by David Bowie 😁

...would love to hear others views (and feel free to disagree)
"Where the flesh meets the spirit world,
Where the traffic is thin..."

chemicaloverload

Quote from: word_on_a_wing on December 24, 2018, 08:37:45
Jeez!!  ...still digesting it all.
I must admit I prefer the idea of such lyrics being him contemplating philosophical ideas, and the idea of what is a 'norm' in society (ie monogamy) rather than a reflection of actions.

I wonder if there's truth in it all though.  I've come to the view that having a soul mate is a lie ...we are meant to deeply connect with our own soul (so our 'soul mate' is our own soul!). And given our soul is part of the infinite, real love is without limits.

....I think both is possible though... to be in a loving monogamous relationship & be in love with ALL that is, recognising we are all part of the infinite
....and now a fitting track to listen to...Modern Love by David Bowie 😁

...would love to hear others views (and feel free to disagree)


I prefer your thinking WOAW. It's a hard sell isn't it, this soul mate business, as is monogamy. I'm not sure most are programmed for such things, if thats what you have or want, that is ok but to not want it or have it, that too is ok, however, society would have you believe that you are somehow incomplete if you don't. That is the part that bothers me and why I reject all of it. Just live and try to do what makes you happy in that moment.

All we have are moments because one day, they are gone and the person is gone. I treasure what I have in front of me for now.
Life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves

dsanchez

QuoteWhy each of us must choose
I've never understood
One special friend
One true love
Why each of us must lose everyone else in the world


I suppose the meaning of the word world depends on the perspective of each person. After all, the world for some people living all their lives in the same village/town/city is very different than the "world" for someone who had the chance to live and travel abroad and had the chance to meet a LOT more people. Now this part of "Sit Down" by James comes to my mind:

QuoteIf I hadn't seen such riches, I could live with being poor


People in the second group (those who were lucky enough -or so we think- to see more of the world) will most likely feel identified with Robert's lyrics because they had the chance to meet and interact with a bigger sample of people, and therefore the likelihood that they would be/feel in that situation (i.e. already with someone but interested in someone else) would be higher. Also, consider the many variables that have changed the situation over the last years:

- In the past, men worked and women mainly stayed at home taking care of the children, therefore, men had little chance to met other women (and vice versa). In other words, a person's circle was very small compared to today, with almost no room to meet new people.

- Moving from one place to another was more difficult. Just for example, before the Berlin wall's fall you needed a permission to cross from Czechoslovakia to Austria (and it was difficult to get it!). Today, in Europe, many countries share the same border (i.e. Schengen) and you are not controlled when going from one to another country. Also, flight tickets are cheaper and you can travel easily. In other words, is easier to meet new people.

- Technology makes a lot easier to meet someone. Take for example this forum. You not longer will go alone to a Cure show (unless you want to!). And of course, you have thousands of apps in the Google store to make connections (dating or not). So on top of meeting lots of new people at work, school, etc. you can also meet people online (and then in real-life).

I think Robert's questioning on This Is A Lie is very relevant, perhaps even more in this ever-changing society and there's really not a right or wrong answer here, nor if marriage -as we know it today- will work in the future. After all, the fact that in many countries divorce rates are over 50% must bring to the table the question on what's wrong.

And of course, when listening "why each of us must choose one true love... and we must lose everyone else in the world" I couldn't but think on The English Patient (one of my favorite movies). I think Katharine (Kristin Scott Thomas) was asking herself exactly that and I am sorry for everyone reading this who was ever in the same situation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK49SBXBK_U

Or this another movie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAqyy-OJrec

And I think this is an interview worth listening:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulfw5r-hrqM
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Ulrich

Quote from: dsanchez on December 25, 2018, 00:47:53
QuoteWhy each of us must choose
I've never understood
One special friend
One true love
Why each of us must lose everyone else in the world


I suppose the meaning of the word world depends on the perspective of each person.


Well that's right, but in my humble opinion the emphasis in this part of the lyric is not on "the world", but on "lose everyone else" in contrast to "one special friend, one true love".

In short, RS questions the concept of monogamy in this song - which does not mean he does in "real life"!
As a songwriter (or author of books, movies etc.) a person has the "freedom" to explore many facets of life - and that's a good thing!

Personally, I can add that when I was young, I did dream of the one special person to come into my life... but she didn't (or left again). Thus, I'm still looking for a special person, however if she will be "the one" forever (that is a looong time), I just don't know...
Can't you see I try? Swimming the same deep water as you is hard...

dsanchez

Quote from: Ulrich on December 25, 2018, 10:31:54
Quote from: dsanchez on December 25, 2018, 00:47:53
QuoteWhy each of us must choose
I've never understood
One special friend
One true love
Why each of us must lose everyone else in the world


I suppose the meaning of the word world depends on the perspective of each person.


Well that's right, but in my humble opinion the emphasis in this part of the lyric is not on "the world", but on "lose everyone else" in contrast to "one special friend, one true love".


That's probably correct, but I was trying to see this from the listener's perspective. People who didn't see the world would have a hard time trying to understand why Bob is questioning this in the first place.

Quote from: Ulrich on December 25, 2018, 10:31:54
In short, RS questions the concept of monogamy in this song - which does not mean he does in "real life"!
As a songwriter (or author of books, movies etc.) a person has the "freedom" to explore many facets of life - and that's a good thing!


Agree too. In the end, no-one knows what Bob does or does not in his private life.

Quote from: Ulrich on December 25, 2018, 10:31:54Thus, I'm still looking for a special person, however if she will be "the one" forever (that is a looong time), I just don't know...


"Forever is a long time, baby". Now a quote from Bitter Moon comes to my mind. Warning: Oscar's (Peter Coyote) speech below can be brutal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvSOdeVs5Ls
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Ulrich

Quote from: dsanchez on December 25, 2018, 10:42:59
That's probably correct, but I was trying to see this from the listener's perspective. People who didn't see the world would have a hard time trying to understand why Bob is questioning this in the first place.


Erm, I don't think so. Even a man living in a small village can see or meet 2 beautiful women (or more) in his life and imagine what Robert wrote about here...
Can't you see I try? Swimming the same deep water as you is hard...

dsanchez

Quote from: Ulrich on December 25, 2018, 16:37:01
Erm, I don't think so. Even a man living in a small village can see or meet 2 beautiful women (or more) in his life and imagine what Robert wrote about here...


I never said is impossible, but rather than more interactions increase the likelihood of being in the situation described by Bob.
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Ulrich

Once again: anyone who ever was in love, then was rejected or whatever, then later fell in love with someone else, will be able to understand the emotion in that lyric.
Can't you see I try? Swimming the same deep water as you is hard...

MeltingMan

Quote from: undefinedWhy each of us must lose(...)

Hmm. Interesting books have been written about this complex topic.
One of them is The esthetic validity of marriage by Kierkegaard. There are
three determinations:

Lover= a sensual, mental and spiritual determination
Friend= a mental and spiritual determination
The "next"= (that means every person) spiritually determined

You can lose a lover or friend, but you can't lose the "next" one. The person next to you.

PS: Maybe I should mention that Kierkegaard has solved his first and only engagement. What led to this, everyone can literally read in his works. He describes exactly what it means to love only one person and exclude all others. A lie, on the other hand, is almost commonplace. We humans lie, even when we are not aware of it. When I first heard the song, I wondered, knowing Robert was married. It looked like he was questioning his marriage. I was single at the time and I am back today. Nevertheless, I would define myself as a "relationship man" - if I consider my horoscope.😉 For example, Mary is Libra, and without her "compensatory" influence, the group The Cure would not exist anymore. So I can not prove it. It's just my guess.
La femme reflète la pensée de l'homme et l'homme reflète l'âme de la femme.

Le livre du sceptre: politique, p.48

dsanchez

A related topic:

Quote from: japanesebaby on May 21, 2009, 08:33:57i still don't believe there's such a thing as "the right one" or "one true love" out there. i don't think it's true. there are simply more or less good matches. mostly less. mostly a lot less. sometimes we meet a bit better match and we might start thinking "this is it". but is it really that or is it just us in love with ourselves and our feeling of being in love?  loving that feeling makes us think we're in love with someone else. it's about illusions. and our society keeps those illusions up, by romanticizing everything. we're being bombarded by ideas of one true love all the time. go back in time 100 years and it's not there. go back in time 200 years, 300 years and so on. in a way the idea of one true love is a rather modern-day invention. and as such it's perhaps just one more thing in the long serious of things that we somehow must achieve in this world, just like good job, money, wealth, status, youth, physical beauty, fitness etc. it's sad that it's become like that, we've become slaves to that belief, just like we've become slaves to money and entertainment.
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SueC

Quote from: undefinedIn "This Is a Lie", one of the most sombre songs on "Wild Mood Swings", you describe life as a lie. You sing that every love relationship is a lie, since by choosing one person, you deny everyone else in the world, without being able to know if you have made the right choice or not. That you only pretend, all the way until the end. Is this something that you feel very strongly or is this only a thought?

It is something that I feel strongly since I don't think it can be any other way. It is like that. No one can be sure. But you can't walk around thinking about it either, you would become insane...

It's been interesting reading everyone's discussion on this topic over the years!   :smth023

I just wanted to say that I personally very much disagree with the idea that a love relationship is somehow a lie just because it's not the only one of all the possibilities that might have worked out for you.  I think that part is a given - like a few of you have mentioned, I don't believe in a "soul mate" either, but I do think people can be right for each other, sufficiently compatible so that they're not going to be driven up the wall by, for example, one person being a neat freak and the other leaving their crap all over the place, or one person being a leftie and another a far-right Neo-Nazi, or one person being interested in self-education and the other a total anti-intellectual - things like that (and obviously then some).

I think it's a given that there is more than one person in the world who would potentially be right for you.  If you're conventional, you have a statistical advantage for bumping into someone who will work for you.  If you're a bit of a black sheep, finding such a person can be a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack, and that was very much the case for my husband and me - we didn't meet until our mid-30s, and then only with the help of a good database that assisted in searching for outliers.

But we're not each other's only possible theoretical matchups.  So what?  We're very happy.  We don't spend a millisecond wondering if we could be marginally happier with somebody else.  That's like not fully enjoying a really fantastic book because you're worried that you should be reading some other book that's marginally more fantastic that you happen not to have come across.  Or that the wonderful song you're listening to is potentially less wonderful than some other song you happen not to have heard.  Or that you're wasting your time with the lovely dog you've got because you could theoretically have a better dog. Or that the A+ essay you're reading is perhaps surpassed by something else out there and that this other thing would somehow be more worthy of your time.  (These analogies are limited analogies for the situation, but do illustrate a point that also applies to that situation.) To me, thinking like that is self-defeating, and kind of insane.

Anyway, the book, or song, or dog, or partner you're enjoying isn't a lie because you might be enjoying another book, or song, or dog, or partner that you don't have in front of you.  You make choices - hopefully well-informed choices - and that's a valuable part of the whole story.  I'm way more interested in living the life I have than belly-aching over the lives I could have had.

And marriage, to us, was saying, "You mean enough to me that I actually don't want to explore other alternative paths, but get to know this particular path really well - and that I want to get to know you better than anyone else in the world; and this means more to me than all that philosophical analysis on the merits of alternative possibilities."

People think monogamy is such a chore, and we don't find it so at all - to us it's the privilege of getting to know each other far more deeply than anyone playing the field can get to know any of their partners.  It's saying, "You are worth that to me."  It's having someone say that to you.  It's working towards common goals, as a team.  It's making memories in common, and as the years go by, looking at where you've been together as human beings, like travellers looking at photo albums of their trips.  It's looking at how you've had to grow as people to accommodate each other, what you've learnt about yourself and the other person, how difficulties you've had have forced you to become a better you.  All sorts of things like that, and all of them valuable, and none of them a lie, or a pretence.

Who here has heard of Buridan's Ass?  It's the classic idea of a hungry donkey starving to death between two equally attractive bales of hay, unable to make up its mind about which one to eat.  Real donkeys don't do that, nor do they have philosophical conniptions when they're tucking into good-quality hay...



This is Sparkle, who's not worried about whether this bale of hay is a lie, just because it's not the only bale of hay in the world that is compatible with her.  She's fully enjoying her hay, and is pretending nothing.  :angel



Quote from: Chain Of Flowers on December 30, 2008, 16:08:29It's interesting how different people interpret Cure songs, and the fact that the songs can mean something different to so many people is one of the things that makes them special.

I never really thought of 'This Is A Lie' in a way that would make a wife raise her eyebrows at all (I'd expect that from 'Watching Me Fall' or 'Open').  I saw that song as one of those wondering concept tracks like a lot of what Bloodflowers is, just wondering about life and why we all play the role we play.  That line about loosing everyone else in the world I took as the fact that some day we'll all be gone, therefore nobody stays around forever.

I think my initial reading of This Is A Lie was more along the lines of COF's reading - especially about losing everyone else in the world, which made me think about how we will all lose each other to mortality eventually - and that kind of thing serves as a memento mori to me, and helps to stop me taking things for granted, or wasting time.  I've sometimes wondered how much procrastination would be going on if all of us lived eternally.  "Oh, I'm not getting out of bed until next year."  - "I want to learn a musical instrument; I guess I'll book in for 300 years from now." - "Oh, I can do that tomorrow / next year / next century / next millennium."

When lyrics or poems are sufficiently murky, reading them can be like reading tea leaves!  ;)   And in that case, I think we're all going to look first of all at meanings that make the most sense to us personally.

I remember a couple of weeks ago I had a bee in my bonnet because of another Cure song I'd listened to, and then when I re-listened to This Is A Lie I said, "Oh, I could also read it as a whine about relationships / angsting about not having the most perfect of all the theoretical possibilities!  Like, "What I have is really excellent, but what if..." and I've got to say, I want to shake people like that, make them spend time in a slum in India with an extreme deformity that means no chance of any romantic partner whatsoever, let them experience some existential problems which are on an entirely different order of magnitude to what Western people with a happy marriage and stable financial arrangements and good friends and nice surroundings experience - and then maybe bring them back after ten years or so, and see how they feel then. :evil:

By the way, I think Watching Me Fall is sufficiently murky that you could read it so it's not necessarily about an extramarital affair - e.g., my husband and I regularly have affairs with each other - and we can play on the joke by one of us, or both of us, not wearing our rings.  Of course, every relationship is different, and I'd hate to extrapolate from our relationship to anyone else's...

SueC is time travelling