General Cure song meanings discussion thread

Started by SueC, December 24, 2019, 05:31:39

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SueC

I saw this on another thread this morning - and hope it's OK with @piggyinthemirror if I quote this here because it seems like an excellent springboard for comparing how we are all reading the tealeaves.   :winking_tongue

And that could be soooooo interesting!   :cool


Quote from: piggymirror on December 23, 2019, 23:39:40Of course they vary all over time, but as of now...

1) Piggy In The Mirror - One of the songs where we get the closest to "hear" Robert telling us "I'm in the song and it hurts". The Top always got panned, very unfairly in my opinion. To me it was always a brilliant album. Only recently there seems to be more appreciation for it.

2) Pictures Of You - That 6-string bass is simply unforgettable. Never heard anything as close to an instrument actually crying, and I suppose I never will.
3) Closedown - Dunno why, but it always had a special something for me.
4) Disintegration - Needs no explanation.
5) A Thousand Hours - Never paid much attention to it, but it's growing on me.
6) Kyoto Song - A very dark song disguised in exotism. Hospitals are exotic, I suppose... if you look at it from a certain point of view.
7) Subway Song - Pay attention to the Three Imaginary Boys lyrics... and they're absolutely NOT light. In fact, Robert hasn't written many happy songs, and many of the poppier stuff has actually a twist, albeit not always evident. This song is about an assault...
8) Like Cockatoos - And this song is about another? assault.
9) At Night - Nice subtext.
10) The Hanging Garden - More subtext and... regret?
11) Cold - Regret... abortion? 
12)  A Strange Day - I love the middle eight guitar part, gives me the chills, Phil Thornalley and Robert were brilliant there. Live it loses intensity, I think.
12) One Hundred Years - The opposite of Disintegration ("It doesn't matter if we all die" vs "How the end always is").
13) The Caterpillar - Brilliant... and on drugs. And contains trousers as an instrument!!
14) The Funeral Party - Abortion?
15) The Birdmad Girl - The inevitable companion to Piggy In The Mirror.
16) Pornography - Robert realising he's doing no good. It's funny, but Pornography is perhaps (just a little bit!!!) less dark than Disintegration. I mean, the lyrics. It's the music that is darkest.
17) Boys Don't Cry - Lennon/McCartney would have been envious.
18) Charlotte Sometimes - Ouch! Wife-beating? Terrific (and horrific) song!!
19) Homesick - Sex!! The two consecutive "honey" are fantastic. But the song is dark as can be.
20) Untitled - Incoming death. Cancer? This is the darkest song ever, by anyone. Spine-tingling on a good day. On a bad day, simply unbearable.

I think @Ulrich has quite a few times expressed appreciation for many Cure songs fitting a number of different contexts and how this makes the songs more accessible / relatable to people in general, even if the meaning that's in it for them isn't necessarily the meaning that was in it for the writer(s).

And @word_on_a_wing has mentioned that she thinks RS writes songs "in persona" a fair bit rather than necessarily from his own personal perspective, in part perhaps to encourage thought (if I am paraphrasing that correctly?  ...if not please jump in and say it how you would say it!  :smth023 ).

Just to mention a couple of people's ideas in relation to this subject... and it would be great if others put forth their own here.  :heart-eyes

I basically keep coming back to intertextuality - how what we've each read / listened to / experienced previously affects the way we interpret another "text" (which may or may not be verbal - to me, an instrumental can also be "text" in the sense that it can convey meaning, often actually better than words - and with The Cure's music, I think both music and words often speak very intricately, which is a huge reason I enjoy their music).  Also, how we all generally relate from our own experiences / inner worlds first - and how our own interpretations often mirror us, rather than what was in the mind of the writer(s) - especially if there is ambiguity in the lyrics (/music).

So @piggyinthemirror, I thought what you posted on that other thread was really interesting, which is why I sort of stole it and put it here, and I hope that's cool with you, but if not, I'll remove it...  Re (19), I re-read the lyrics and can see how you see that.  I always thought it was about drugs - and in this case, I'm not mirroring, just was assuming it, probably because of what I read last Christmas about the recording of Disintegration... :angel ...and in terms of the mirroring, I didn't read it as sex because this is basically sex as drugs, which isn't necessarily how I personally relate to sex.  But I can see how it would work for both contexts, and also that the brain regions / brain chemistry are related anyway.

Had to laugh at (15)!  :rofl  Thank you!  We like that album too, and for me, the title track is the personal favourite off it.  How are you reading that one (title track)?  It's very tea-leafy... ;)

(13) Thank you very much for this information re trousers.  Can we get more details?   :)   I thought it was really funny that in Babble, there was allegedly a dog pawing the keyboards somewhere...

(2) Try this: 


Personally I actually don't necessarily see the pain in this (because of how I'm wired), but a lot of people do, and a friend of mine won't listen to it because of this... when I listen to this section of Tabula rasa it gives me the same feeling as being barefoot in a field in the middle of nowhere during a massive electrical storm - something I've experienced - and the feeling of that is unbelievable, and so awe-inspiring and joyful that it is almost painful, but on the right side of pain - like when you're crying for joy.  It's moments like that you actually realise both that you're alive in an extraordinary universe and that you are here for a short time (as is true for every living being you love), and the joy and sadness of that are like two sides of the same coin, and perhaps that's why I can never see one without the other.

A lot of songs from The Cure get me to that same territory.  It goes with a quote from Sophie's World:

    To summarize briefly: A white rabbit is pulled out of a top hat. Because it is an extremely large rabbit, the trick takes many billions of years. All mortals are born at the very tip of the rabbit's fine hairs, where they are in a position to wonder at the impossibility of the trick. But as they grow older they work themselves ever deeper into the fur. And there they stay. They become so comfortable they never risk crawling back up the fragile hairs again. Only philosophers embark on this perilous expedition to the outermost reaches of language and existence. Some of them fall off, but others cling on desperately and yell at the people nestling deep in the snug softness, stuffing themselves with delicious food and drink.

    "Ladies and gentlemen," they yell, "we are floating in space!" But none of the people down there care. "What a bunch of troublemakers!" they say. And they keep on chatting: Would you pass the butter, please? How much have our stocks risen today? What is the price of tomatoes? Have you heard that Princess Di is expecting again?


    ― Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World

Lots here but got to go do actual work... but would be great if this could result in a nice thread we can all pitch into...
SueC is time travelling

SueC

I need to get me one of these...



...because I don't understand why so many people look at threads but don't chime in...
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on December 27, 2019, 11:35:58...I don't understand why so many people look at threads but don't chime in.

Well I can only speak for me, but in this case I didn't wanna get involved (already mentioned some Cure songs and what they mean to me in other topics, plus also there were useless discussions back in the day, e.g. when one forum member refused to give examples (like a line from the lyrics) to indicate why he thought they might mean something which I didn't see in them at all)!

Also, don't forget in many internet forums there are many unregistered "readers" who never do participate.  :disappointed:
It's never enough...

SueC

Quote from: Ulrich on December 27, 2019, 12:04:40Also, don't forget in many internet forums there are many unregistered "readers" who never do participate.  :disappointed:

Yes, that is exactly what I can't understand - why anyone would just want to read without participating at all, ever.  But that's how it is on every forum Brett and I are on.  HF is about the most participatory I've seen.

What are these silent readers getting out of this stuff?  :1f634:

I can understand why you don't want to re-hash - and also I've seen quite a few strong views with little actual evidence re lyric meanings on archived posts here, so I get why it gets painful.  Hopefully some new people will be interested.  I'd hate to write another long monologue... and I won't be turning this thread into one!
SueC is time travelling

dsanchez

Quote from: SueC on December 27, 2019, 11:35:58...because I don't understand why so many people look at threads but don't chime in...

As its peak in 2008 curefans.com had about 20K posts/year. Ten years later we have 3K posts/year. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram rule now the social space and people has got used to just hit 'like', re-share and nothing else. Very few are interested anymore in writing insightful topic or replies. It's sad :( but it's what it is. To not go off-topic :) we can continue this discussion in another thread.

I will get back to your initial topic later :smth023
2019.06.08 Dublin
2019.07.04 Novi Sad
2019.07.17 Athens

SueC

This is great, looking forward to it. :cool

(I won't go off-topic, just letting you know briefly that the same kinds of things happened on my "other" forum which turned much smaller when FB kicked in.  On the other hand, we got rid of some shallow, argumentative members that way and the community that remained behind is extraordinarily literate, friendly, genuinely supportive and excellent to have discussions with. :heart-eyes  There is no reason we can't make this the place, the genuine go-to site on the topic as well - it's so easy to be better than shallow media. :evil:.  You could do a better job with smoke signals even. If you wish to discuss this further, by all means start another topic.  ;) I'm not breathing another word on it here!  :))

Just a little thing on the general topic of this thread (because I really need to go to bed) - I was just saying this to another member of this fine forum and think I could throw it out there:  I read on Genius lyrics or one of those places that The Walk is allegedly about "romance from the perspective of a dog."  No citations and I'm not buying it.  Are you?  I don't know any dogs who kiss each other in the water and make their partner's dry lips sing, sorry.

I kind of think it might be about a romantic walk around a lake that turned into some interlude in the bushes somewhere, and now there's subtext when the guy says, "Let's go for a walk!"  ROFL  And he's suddenly very keen to go walking.  But that's just my mind constructing a situation that may or may not fit.  There are some puzzling lyrics in there.  Maybe I need to be on whatever they were on to understand it properly... :angel

Tealeaves... ;)
SueC is time travelling

piggymirror

Piggy in the mirror

Shapes in the drink like christ (drink like christ = wine, also blood. Shapes= delirium tremens, spitting blood)
Cracks in the pale blue wall (pale blue wall= sky, horizon. Cracks=things breaking apart... OR ALSO cracks revealing hidden things, as in Bowie's "Oh! You Pretty Things" "crack in the sky and a hand reaching down to me/all the nightmares came today/and it looks as though they're here to stay")
I'm walking slowly and quickly
but Always away ("away" from... life? walking slowly means being a good boy, and walking quickly means "wanting to die"?)
Twisting twisting to the floor (drunkenness... or illness)

Flowers in your mouth and the same dry song (flowers in mouth=vomit... with blood?. Dry song=hangover?doctor's orders?)
the routine from laughter land
16 white legs and a row of teeth (people watching a sorry scene)
I watch you in secrecy (poetic license in both ways, and a pun so terrific it's scary, all in one short verse, and hiding in plain sight. This is the core of the song, of course. MOTHERFVCKING MASTERFUL!!!)

You're dying for the hope is gone (piggy tells it like it is... to himself)
From here we go nowhere again
I'm trapped in my face
and i'm changing Too much
I can't climb out the way i fell in (/piggy tells it like it is)

Jump with me
For that old forgotten dance (sex? drink? drugs? it all?)
The midnight sun will burn you up (sleeplessness)
Your life is cold
Your life is hot
Your life's too much for words

<insert great guitar solo here> :D

These occasions are such a relief
Another point another view to send
We start to talk
And it's all so safe
I feed you in my dreams

Footsteps on a wire (I'm playing a dangerous game and I know it)
High above my head
The stain reveals my real intention (stain=vomit?blood?)
I'm the waiting beast
I'm the twisted nerve (twisted nerve=twisted verse, nice pun)
As i dance dance
Back to the body in my bed (extracorporeal experience, drug-induced? drink-induced?)

Look at the piggy
Piggy in the mirror (look at me, this is me, sorry little me)

====================================================================================

Piggy tells it like it is. Pity that Piggy is, er... Robert. He really was in bad shape in 1983/84...
People actually think that Pornography is darkest, and sonically it is very much indeed...
But lyrics-wise, The Top is even darker, although the music is "happier" (except Shake Dog Shake and Give Me It, of course).

It's like on the Wish album credits, there is a quote from some author I forgot, saying "our sweetest songs are the ones with saddest thoughts".
The Top is a very fine example of this thinking.

This song is key to understand Robert's lyrics. This song is like an onion or an artichoke, it has layers (and then some).

Footnote: remember that on Cured, Lol said that Robert studied literature. My, I believe it.

Ulrich

Quote from: piggymirror on January 02, 2020, 16:36:42... Robert. He really was in bad shape in 1983/84...
People actually think that Pornography is darkest, and sonically it is very much indeed...
But lyrics-wise, The Top is even darker, although the music is "happier" (except Shake Dog Shake and Give Me It, of course).

Not that the title track or "the empty world" do sound utterly "happy"...  :1f636:

Quote from: piggymirror on January 02, 2020, 16:36:42This song is key to understand Robert's lyrics.

Is it? To me some of these lyrics scream "mind-bending drugs" (or should we blame it on Anderson's mushroom tea, he apparently brewed for them during the recordings?)...
Because, when you see "shapes in the drink like Christ" it might be a religious experience - or maybe just too much acid?  :angel  :evil:
 :-D
It's never enough...

SueC

I think it's important when discussing song meanings to understand that we're often going to have different interpretations of lyrics, and that for many songs there is a spectrum of interpretations which can be validly made - rather than one "right" interpretation.  From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea is a nice example of a song which fits a number of different contexts reasonably well (and we can go into that if anyone wants to), and it's often a good thing for a song to have that kind of flexibility.

If there is a "right" interpretation, I think the person(s) most qualified to give it is/are the writer(s).  I don't think any of us are mind-readers and can therefore arrive at the "definitive interpretation."  Literary criticism is not a simple, formulaic, cut-and-dried thing, and it recognises things like intertextuality, layers of meanings and a variety of different readings (e.g. feminist readings, Marxist readings, psychoanalytic readings, etc etc, and they can't all be applied to every text).

So I think while there's some nice ideas in @piggyinthemirror's annotations, they are not the only possible ideas, and lots of them are contestable, and were I marking this as student work (because I've marked Literature examinations, etc), I'd caution the student to look further and deeper and not fall into the trap of thinking there was only one way to look at it.  Thinking you've discovered the key to the author's other work is another trap - you're more likely to have discovered which particular colour lens you personally like looking through best, when you're looking at the author's other work - and this most likely reflects who you are psychologically, rather than who the author is and what their work means.

I think @Ulrich made valid points contesting @piggyinthemirror's interpretations.  He's reminding everyone of some key contexts behind the writing of this material, which actually do need to be taken into account.

If I'm sounding like the chair umpire, it's because I'm watching tennis with half an eye and this may be influencing how I'm stringing this together!  :lol:

Good tennis game - ATP Cup - Australia vs Germany.  Our guy (Nick Kyrgios) got your guy (Jan-Lennard Struff) in the first match, @Ulrich, but now your guy (Alex Zverev) is getting ours (Alex de Minaur), and it will come down to the doubles!  :cool
SueC is time travelling

word_on_a_wing

Quote from: SueC on January 03, 2020, 11:51:29Thinking you've discovered the key to the author's other work is another trap - you're more likely to have discovered which particular colour lens you personally like looking through best, when you're looking at the author's other work - and this most likely reflects who you are psychologically, rather than who the author is and what their work means.

Very well said!
This idea has arisen for me too, and I've come to wonder if music can in some ways be experienced like a playground for projection for the audience. 
I'd love if it was possible to know the true meaning of the lyrics, but it will undoubtedly be influenced by the lens through which the audience member is viewing it. I find a lot of RS's lyrics are so ambiguous that it seems to really make this more likely
"Where the flesh meets the spirit world,
Where the traffic is thin..."

SueC

You know something funny, @word_on_a_wing:)  I once spent much of my time attempting to decipher fairly inscrutable, but very poetic, lyrics (not from The Cure, lots of people do it ;)) as a teenager, and then I heard an interview with the person who'd written the lyrics, and he said he wasn't quite sure what he meant himself!  :beaming-face

I think the projection thing is very common when people look at lyrics, and text in general. I know I do it, and can usually tell (having acquired some metacognition) by strong feelings associated with it.  It's usually in my snap reaction to something, rather than when I take the time to do a careful, considered, intellectual analysis.  And you should have heard my snap reaction to From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea, when I first looked at the lyrics!   :rofl  :evil:  When I sat down subsequently to look at it more intellectually rather than just emotionally, I saw that I had initially only seen one of several possible situations that the song could be about - and I knew why that was, in terms of my own experiences.  So I tend to distrust strong emotional reactions in myself, when interpreting stuff - because that can blind you to other possibilities.

Lyrics are often a bit of a Rorschach test.   :winking_tongue

Which has me thinking about another related thing - that a lot of people make the more serious songs from The Cure out to be ultra-sad and tragic, when that's not necessarily so.


I think it's more of a reflection on them personally seeing things in an ultra-sad and tragic way, rather than it being necessarily intended like that by the writer(s).  I think The Cure get a lot of psychological projection from ultra-sad and tragic persons.  I can't believe some of the comments I've read on YouTube, and on Song Meanings sites etc.
SueC is time travelling

SueC

Quote from: Ulrich on January 03, 2020, 09:30:51To me some of these lyrics scream "mind-bending drugs" (or should we blame it on Anderson's mushroom tea, he apparently brewed for them during the recordings?)...
Because, when you see "shapes in the drink like Christ" it might be a religious experience - or maybe just too much acid?  :angel  :evil:
 :-D

Yeah, I had that impression very strongly when I made my way through Disc One of Join The Dots as well... some of the songs on that, I think if you sift for deeper meanings you may get disappointed.  :angel  I think their more mature stuff is so much better...
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on January 03, 2020, 11:51:29If there is a "right" interpretation, I think the person(s) most qualified to give it is/are the writer(s)

Yeah, and as you said, sometimes even they don't know or don't remember.  :lol:

Personally, I do believe that Robert Smith (and other writers) try to shape their lyrics so that other people (the fans) can somehow relate to them. Whatever the inspiration may be (own experience, literature, poem, movie, other songs), the listener should take something from the lyrics (e.g. with those rather sad songs: the feeling that you're not alone feeling sad) and (in the best case) feel better about his situation, especially when at the concert he/she sings or screams along...

Take "Plainsong" for example. Whatever the exact inspiration was (a "real" or an "imagined" conversation for example?), RS wrote "...'and the wind is blowing like it's the end of the world', you said".
Thus, this part of the lyrics is not about the end of the world, it's just about someone saying something about the wind... but still, the listener might think about the end of the world - or about someone saying something similar (who knows?)...

With The Cure, it's often about mood(s) and if the lyrics fit, the songs are all the better for it!
It's never enough...

word_on_a_wing

Quote from: SueC on January 03, 2020, 15:17:52you should have heard my snap reaction to From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea, when I first looked at the lyrics!  :rofl  :evil:  When I sat down subsequently to look at it more intellectually rather than just emotionally, I saw that I had initially only seen one of several possible situations that the song could be about

I'd be interested to hear more of your ideas about these lyrics.
"Where the flesh meets the spirit world,
Where the traffic is thin..."

SueC

Sometimes, in order to be honest, I have to take a big breath, and I'm doing that now. So here goes, @word_on_a_wing...

So, in preamble, From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea is a musically gorgeous number that both of us were, independently, very drawn to when first listening to Show (for me, that was many years after my husband first heard it).  It's exactly the sort of musical arrangement I don't tire of with repeated listening.  You know how with many pieces, you can hear them too often and they wear out?  Some compositions are the opposite, and the musical aspects you're familiar with are so beautiful and mesmeric that you enjoy hearing them over and over, and at the same time you can dive deeper and deeper into them and always find something else...

When I was a university student, I once had a particularly boring assignment to do and took a break from it, in the library, to go read a paper, and that paper happened to have in it a feature on a world chocolate cake competition, which gave the recipes of the ten winning cakes.  I copied out five I thought sounded promising, and that week made one of these recipes:  French Provencial Chocolate Cake - made with a whole bar of top-quality dark cooking chocolate, some butter, sugar, eggs, coffee, brandy, natural vanilla essence and no flour at all - just ground almond and / or hazelnut meal.  It's an innocent-looking square brown thing when it comes out of the oven, but when you have a slice, it's culinarily orgasmic, and totally unlike any other chocolate cake I've ever eaten.  In the nearly thirty years since, I've never made the other recipes I've copied out - I always come back to this one.  I no longer make any other chocolate cake, and nobody ever asks me to, because this is so good.  I made it on the first weekend I ever spent with my husband, before we were married, when we were first getting to know each other, and he often looks back and laughs, and says that was really unfair, and that I'm a witch, making things like that and just in general, and of course he was going to marry me. :lol:

And some music is exactly like this too, like From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea, or Plainsong, or Arvo Pärt's Tabula rasa or Allegri's Miserere - for those who've not heard that one:



I get goosebumps, and eventually tears in my eyes, every time I listen to this, and not because I'm sad but because it's so incredibly beautiful.  Some music can deeply affect you on a visceral level, as well as on an emotional level, and an intellectual level - all three of those levels, which makes it really profound, and really complete.

But even if you just take components - like, for instance, the bass line on Pictures Of You - some components are so good they only improve on you upon repetition; and then with that particular song you've also got so much more, in the way the other guitars and the keyboards are layering with it and making contrasts and highlights, and that it's also part of a highly effective rhythm section, and that the music as a whole is incredibly evocative, etc etc...

Quite a few Cure songs are like this, and From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea is one of them. Funnily though, both of us had difficulty catching the words to it.  We each got about 50% of them without looking at a lyric sheet, and the general idea that it's about a fraught romantic relationship.

So I looked up the lyrics one day:

FROM THE EDGE OF THE DEEP GREEN SEA

Every time we do this
I fall for her
Wave after wave after wave
It's all for her
I know this can't be wrong I say
And I'll lie to keep her happy
As long as I know that you know
That today I belong
Right here with you
Right here with you...
And so we watch the sun come up
From the edge of the deep green sea
And she listens like her head's on fire
Like she wants to believe in me
So I try
Put your hands in the sky
Surrender
Remember
We'll be here forever
And we'll never say goodbye...

I've never been so
Colourfully-see-through-head before
I've never been
I've never been so
Wonderfully-me-you-want-some-more
And all I want is to keep it like this
You and me alone
A secret kiss
Don't go home
Don't go away
Don't let this end
Please stay
Not just for today
Never never never never never never never never never
Let me go she says
Hold me like this for a hundred thousand million days
But suddenly she slows
And looks down at my breaking face
Why do you cry? what did I say?

But it's just rain I smile

Brushing my tears away...
I wish I could just stop
I know another moment will break my heart
Too many tears
Too many times
Too many years I've cried over you
Over you
Over you
How much more can we use it up?
Drink it dry?
Take this drug?
Looking for something forever gone
But something we will always want?
Why why why do you let me go?, she says
I feel you pulling back I feel you changing shape...
And just as I'm breaking free
She hangs herself in front of me
Slips her dress like a flag to the floor
And hands in the sky surrenders it all...
I wish I could just stop
I know another moment will break my heart
Too many tears

Too many times
Too many years I've cried for you

It's always the same
Wake up in the rain
Head in pain
Hung in shame
A different name
Same old game
Love in vain
And miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Away from home again...



And this is lovely poetry, but when I got to the last verse the first time, I flipped, because the last verse would be consistent with serial infidelity, and I was like, "Oh, I've just found out one of my favourite songs is actually about serial infidelity! Grrrrrr!"  :evil:

And then if you read the lyrics of Trust back-to-back with that, in that context, you can get even growlier, if you're me, and go, "Man, what is this?"  In the words of the famous tennis player, John McEnroe, "You cannot be serious!!!"

Anyway, yes, it could be about serial infidelity, or actually about just repeat infidelity with an old flame when you're, for instance, married to someone else because your old flame was unavailable that way and you got on with life, and now you're trapped and you don't want to do what you might feel is an even more wrong thing and jettison your spouse, whose fault this was not, but you're unable to stop yourself from getting together with this other person because you're so apocalyptically drawn to them, and you know that is also wrong.

In general, because I got incredibly hurt in my first long-term relationship as a young person by serial infidelity, I am deadly allergic to songs about infidelity, especially if I get the feeling it's trying to romanticise that in some way, which is exactly what my cheating partner did - write himself as the tragic figure in all of the webs he was spinning, instead of waking up to the pain he was causing other people.  He had a pattern that continued after I broke off with him, that he always seemed to need to have someone he lived with, so that he could fully enjoy the all-around tragedy he was creating by falling in love with other people, and I think for him he couldn't fully enjoy a relationship, or a sexual encounter, unless he was compromising another person with it, or feeling that it was in some way forbidden, or able to write himself as the sort of tragic, poetic figure with whom women just fell in love, and how could he possibly deny them?  (He was an arrogant prat, actually, about that - and you also see quite a few musician types write songs of that tone.)

I am so, so glad that the person I married didn't turn out to be like that, and that we both just simply love only each other, and want only each other, and unlike what some people seem to think, it's not a boring arrangement at all, but a deep dive you can't have if you're always fracturing yourself with multiple affairs or even serial short relationships and never anything for the long haul.

But because that formative experience for me, my first romantic relationship, was painful like that, I've got this inbuilt ambulance siren that goes off in me whenever the subject of infidelity comes up, and I'm also very suspicious of a lot of love songs.  And I know that about myself, so when I've calmed down a bit after an incident of the ambulance siren getting set off, I try looking at different angles.

By the way, that second scenario I was describing, of cheating on a spouse with an old flame, I actually have some sympathy for, because that's potentially an awful situation to find yourself in, when the one you really wanted but you thought was unavailable suddenly becomes available and you've already committed to someone else.  Thankfully, I've never been in that kind of scenario.  Also, I do think that one can rise above poetic tragedy mode when actually confronted with such a scenario, and be practical and above all honorable.  I think living a double life isn't honorable, or fair on people.  I also think one can tend to suffer from grass-is-greener syndrome.  It's so easy to romanticise people you've never actually lived with for long periods of time, so an old flame you've never actually lived with for years and years is likely to be more of a fantasy construct in your own head, rather than you seeing the actual person... and fantasy constructs tend to outcompete realities, in the less experienced anyway.  So if you ditch your spouse and go marry your old flame instead, that balloon can deflate pretty quickly once you come down from cloud-cuckooland and re-enter reality.  And though I have sympathy for a protagonist and an old flame in that scenario, my biggest load of sympathy is always reserved for the actual spouse, who was brought into all this, and usually blind.

So anyway, when you do look at From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea, there actually is a way of looking at that song that's not about infidelity to a partner, but about being in love with a person when it's in conflict with you in some other way.  You could actually look at that song in terms of breakup sex.  You've officially ended it because it just keeps snagging, but you can't stay away from each other, and you keep going back for more, against what you think is your better judgement.

And there's probably other variations in how you could look at that song, but right now I'm starving and we're going out to lunch, which I'm really looking forward to after three weeks straight of doing Airbnb and having a full house and not being able to go to town because of it.  There's a lovely Turkish bakery in York Street that makes sublime kebabs and there's a steak kebab with crisp lettuce and tabbouleh and feta and garlic sauce and sweet chilli sauce with my name on it half an hour away.  :yum:  I'll be back this evening if anyone wants to get into supporting evidence for various ways of looking at this song.
SueC is time travelling