"Ribbons" as written by and Andrew Taylor....
I'm lying on my back now
The stars look all too near
Flowers on the razor wire
I know you're here
We are few
And far between
I was thinking about her skin
Love is a many splintered thing
Don't be afraid now
Just walk on in
(Flowers on the razor wire)
(Walk on in)
Her eyes were cobalt red
Her voice was cobalt blue
I see no purple light
Crashing out of you
So just walk on in
(Flowers on the razor wire)
(Walk on in)
Her lovers queued up in the hallway
I heard them scratching at the door
I tried to tell her
About Marx and Engels, God and Angels
I don't really know what for
But she looked good in ribbons
So just walk on in
She looked good in ribbons
So just walk on in

Tie a red red red red red red ribbon
Love is a many splintered thing
Tie a red red red red ribbon
Don't be afraid
Just walk on in

Just walk on in
(Incoming...)
(Incoming...)
Just walk on in
Just walk on in
Flowers on the razor wire
Just walk on in...
INCOMING!



Lyrics submitted by o0Sid0o

"Ribbons" as written by Andrew Taylor

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Ribbons song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentInteresting, I had always thought the song was about communism.
    KWizzy02on August 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"She looked goon in ribbons" purportedly means *cut* to ribbons. If so, "tie a red red red red ribbon" suggests a rather violent scene.

    I've heard it said that "lying on my back" refers to an experience at a drug or alcohol clinic, where the stars painted on the ceiling "look all too near".

    "lovers queued up in the hallway" and "scratching at the door" recall references in Some Kind of Stranger (a much earlier, and perhaps less bitter song) to "footsteps in the hall outside". Hallways are mentioned also in Flood I & II ("and her hallway.. moves..") - take the Freudian interpretation if you like.
    vigilanton July 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf I'm not mistaken "flowers on the razor wire" is anti-war.

    I'm not sure if the song is anti-war, making fun of anti-war, or has nothing to do with war.

    I really love this song. Part of me is dieing to know what it means. But another part is worried that knowing what it all means will ruin the song for me.
    Jouatton April 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've always interpreted this song to be about resting in your bed and wanting to be in a relationship with someone who's afraid to get into one right then because of the pain involved.

    The first two lines are talking about lying in bed and looking at the glowinthedark stars people put on their ceiling.

    "We are few and far between" is the narrator saying that not many people have a connection like the narrator and the person to whom he's talking.

    The next lines are a play on "Love is a many splendoured thing." The narrator isn't BSing, he's telling her that love involves a lot of pain. But that she shouldn't be afraid and should start a relationship with him.

    "Flowers on the razor wire" is referring to love. The razor wire is referring to the pain of love and flowers to the pleasure.

    The next lines about her eyes and the purple light are just one more time he's convincing her to be in a relationship with him. If you've ever been to a camp where they seperate the girls and guys, oftentimes they'll tell you "No making purple" as the rule. It's the same concept, where he's saying "I see no purple light crashing out of you" It means that she's single, so jsut walk on in (to love)

    The lovers queued in the hallway and such is saying that there are a lot of people who are interested in her and he's telling her about just random things so that she'll pay attention to him (as guys will do) rather than the lovers scratching at the door.

    I've always taken "She looked good in ribbons" to be just a way of saying she was attractive artistically. Along the same lines as "I was thinking about her skin" mentioned earlier in the song and it being a red ribbon as red is the color of love, typically (rose colored glasses, red hearts, etc...)
    Severanceon August 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me this has always been about a girl that has tried to commit suicide and now works as a prostitute....

    "flowers on the razor wire" A flower tattoo over the razor scars on her wrists.

    "she looked good in ribbons" Bondage

    "i tried to tell her about marx and engels, god and angels" trying several arguments to get her out of prostitution.

    "her lovers cued up in the hallway i heard them scratching at the door" her other clients.
    rex666on September 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI once read in an interview that Eldritch had said that the "she looked good in ribbons" line meant actually "cut to ribbons". So there's another path for song interpretation.
    Moshon February 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems to me a relationship of two people who want each other, but in which the author gets disgruntled by the ignorance/lack of intellect on the partner's side, and finally decides to kill her in a most gory manner ("Incoming!" makes me think of the blade approaching quickly to my face).
    I tried to tell her
    About Marx and Engels, God and Angels
    I don't really know what for
    but she looked good in ribbons.
    Cut to ribbons, that is.
    Moshon February 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPersoanl experience may have some bearing on this, but I've always seen it as explaining to new love why old relationshiip failed.

    "I know you're here
    We are few
    And far between"
    We are similar and have a connection

    "I was thinking about her skin"
    I may not be entirely over her yet

    "Love is a many splintered thing
    Don't be afraid now
    Just walk on in"
    but these things are always complicated and messy, so don't let that fact put you off.

    "Her eyes were cobalt red
    Her voice was cobalt blue
    I see no purple light
    Crashing out of you
    So just walk on in"
    You're nothing like her, and that is a factor in your attractiveness

    "Her lovers queued up in the hallway
    I heard them scratching at the door"
    She was unfaithful

    "I tried to tell her
    About Marx and Engels, God and Angels
    I don't really know what for
    But she looked good in ribbons"
    it was physically intense but we had no real connection, we couldn't have a conversation on any interesting level.
    mejoffon April 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe line 'she looked good in ribbons' is a double meaning.

    Ribbons is about ending a relationship because of intellectual incompatability. Lying on your back thinking of the stars refers to lying in bed at night with your partner, but being unable to share your thoughts.

    Flowers on the razor wire is about the fact that while the destruction of the relationship is necessary, there's a lot of lustful attraction there.

    'I tried to tell her about Marx and Engel, god and angels' is about wanting to talk about politics, religion, and other weighty topics, while your partner doesn't think on that level, but is beautiful anyway.

    'Her eyes were cobalt red, her voice was cobalt blue' means she is an irrational person - seeing red and talking blue (using poor or offensive language).
    Purple, on the other hand, is normally seen as a 'royal' colour, or in new-age spirituality it's seen as a 'mystic' colopur - having the highest frequency in the visible spectrum, it also often signifies a deep person....
    sylphon February 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh, and of course, 'she looked good in ribbons' refers to both the fact that she was beautiful, and the fact that she's beautiful and lovable even after he's upset her ('cut her up') by killing the relationship.
    sylphon February 05, 2008   Link

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