"A Little Death Around the Eyes" as written by Peter Doherty and Carl Barat....
A little death around the eyes
Your boyfriend's name was Dave
I was bold and brave
And now you're mine

You cook and clean and sew
When I tell you to, when I ask you to,
If I ask you to,
But I don't want you to..

You don't need tellin' twice with me,
You don't need tellin' twice
You know who wears the trousers
No one wears the trousers
In a nutshell
To break free,
Ya well, you'll never break free of me

Your boyfriend's name was Dave
I was bold and brave
And now you're mine

You cook and clean and sew
When I tell you to
Dance and screw when I want you to
In a hotel room you take your medicine
On all fours, that's your medicine
Feeling better son?
Filling in the cracks
In a nutshell
Feeling any better now?
Wish upon a star..

Some vague idea of the man you used to be
Oh the man you used to be to me

(Filling in the cracks)
Fe fi foe thumb
I smell the blood of an Englishman
Be he alive or be he dead
(Filling in the cracks)
Wish upon a star

A little death around the eyes...


Lyrics submitted by sloathy

A Little Death Around the Eyes song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentnickdon72 is probably right, except it's not about a girl at all, it must be about a man, since Pete sings, "The MAN you used to be", and asks the subject of the song, "That's your medicine / Feeling better SON?"
    backinburntcityon May 18, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningMay the "A Little Death around the Eyes" bit be about a black eye or rings under the eyes? I think the latter is more plausible.
    sanieson July 07, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning"nickdon72 is probably right, except it's not about a girl at all, it must be about a man, since Pete sings, "The MAN you used to be", and asks the subject of the song, "That's your medicine / Feeling better SON?"
    He is talking to himself. The kind of talk you have with yourself in the mirror, when you look at yourself and you do not see yourself there anymore " Some vague idea of the man you used to be
    Oh the man you used to be to me", he is talking to himself. As a junky you never know who you are and you only remember some vague idea a projection of yourself from the past like a ghost that is hunting you. I am a writer and an ex heavy drug user and a psychologist so I can only share my opinion as both. Most drug users with an IQ above the average, have an intense love hate relationship with their drug, to the point of personification. A fairytale putrid princes with her fixed beady eyes staring into your soul, your mind, the abis staring right back at yourself, dancing you to the grave while the walls changes its rhythm. You can see her, feel her, taste her, kill her, make love to her, have countless arguments all this while you are talking to yourself also, dancing with yourself. It is a very complex and intense situation, if I may it is a Shakespearean situation with all the ups and falls of life, lust, love, doubt, pure hate, the past and the present all happening at once(and this dosen't cover it at all). Going back to the song "A little death around the eyes Your boyfriend's name was Dave I was bold and brave And now you're mine You cook and clean and sew...When I tell you to, when I ask you to, If I ask you to, But I don't want you to.. You don't need tellin' twice with me, You don't need tellin' twice You know who wears the trousers No one wears the trousers In a nutshell To break free, Ya well, you'll never break free of me Your boyfriend's name was Dave I was bold and brave And now you're mine You cook and clean and sew When I tell you to Dance and screw when I want you to In a hotel room you take your medicine On all fours, that's your medicine Feeling better son? Filling in the cracks In a nutshell Feeling any better now? Wish upon a star..Some vague idea of the man you used to be Oh the man you used to be to me(Filling in the cracks)Fe fi foe thumb I smell the blood of an englishman Be he alive or be he dead (Filling in the cracks) Wish upon a star A little death around the eyes..." . The song start with "A little death around the eyes Your boyfriend's name was Dave I was bold and brave And now you're mine" probably the first time they Pete and Carl used it(the drug), the guys who introduced them to the drug was named Dave and this is where the story of the song starts "and now you're mind" now the drug and the first love you have with it, it is his now. "You cook and clean and sew...When I tell you to, when I ask you to, If I ask you to, But I don't want you to.." this is a standard comparation to the real life relationships that we have, where we do not find this kind of submission as the way the drug does what you want as long as you have the money to buy it, the drug dosen't disappoint you in this way, it cooks and clean and sew, when you tell it to, but then he continues with " BUT I DON'T WANT YOU TO" which is where the decay starts and the regrets of the things happening to yourself and those around you, socially speaking, the way it alters the course of thought and feelings, leaving you into a place where you question if it real what you feel and think, or not? and then you get tiered of fighting and just want everything to be quiet again..so you use it so you can feel peace inside yourself and then the circle starts all over, with everything from the past flooding you, drowning you". You don't need tellin' twice with me, You don't need tellin' twice You know who wears the trousers No one wears the trousers In a nutshell", "you don't need tellin' twice" the use and then "you know who wears the trousers No one wears the trousers", the lack of control in this putrid fairytale, no control"In a nutshell", the state of dispersion and madness, hopelessness."To break free, Ya well, you'll never break free of me" dreams of a catharsis, getting back the old self you miss so much, cleaning up, hope for a future and then again a love-hate conversation/promise with the drug and himself "Ya well, you'll never break free of me". And the walls continues"You cook and clean and sew When I tell you to Dance and screw when I want you to" like a sick french triangle the boy the men and the drug and his best-worst relationship of his life.."In a hotel room you take your medicine On all fours, that's your medicine Feeling better son? Filling in the cracks In a nutshell Feeling any better now? Wish upon a star..Some vague idea of the man you used to be Oh the man you used to be to me(Filling in the cracks)" this is his medicine, the only thing that makes all go away for that exact moment when it hits the heart, the soul, the brain and the blood, not really alive not really dead, like being stuck on the boat that floats on the river Styx, never really crossing it but not into the "alive"world ether..he fills his cracks from the past, feeling whole for a second the death drive complex "alive and well" in Pete driving him towards death, self-destruction and the return to the inorganic state where he feels and felt as we all did safe, inside this metaphorical cosy womb. It is pretty much a constant that as soon as you are high and in that instance where you are feeling beyond heaven peacefully, like being into a divine presence, but as soon as you come down from the high you start feeling regrets and the real world hits you again and feeling the cracks again and you start arguing with yourself again and being ironic" feeling better son?" the kind of tone and voice that a dad has towards his son.."Wish upon a star..
    Some vague idea of the man you used to be" regrets and wishing..
    One of the best verses in this song it is "Fe fi foe thumb I smell the blood of an englishman" witch comes from "Fee-fi-fo-fum" is the first line of a historical quatrain (or sometimes couplet) famous for its use in the classic English fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. The poem, as given in Joseph Jacobs's rendition, is as follows:

    Fee-fi-fo-fum,
    I smell the blood of an Englishman,
    Be he alive, or be he dead
    I'll grind his bones to make my bread.[1]

    and part of the English literature so he pays tribute to the past, to the "Englishman" before him and before all to the other writers, at the same time talking about his own fingerprint, his existence, by changing "Fee-fi-fo-fum" to "Fe fi foe thum" witch is an old technique used for fingerprinting, so he uses fe fi foe thum to talk about himself and the print he will leave behind, while making a historical reference to the english history and english literature. "Be he alive, or be he dead" it is a line he uses for the suicidal pressure of the crowd the media, plus the way depression makes you think "everyone would be better of if I am dead"
    He ends the song with the same sentence he starts "A little death around the eyes..."sums it all up, the way you look, think, feel and where you are going, the gloomy way you feel and have as you look at the world and yourself while being high, while "Filling in the cracks" just for that false and perfect second and then coming back to the whishes, the feelings and the ever tiring regrets..ending it all on a positive wishfully note"Wish upon a star" his struggle with himself and the drugs continues, he hopes praying for a form of help from something beyond the stars, a prayer to and for the Gods.
    Hope this helps anyone in anyway..it is only my subjective opinion. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Pete stares into the abis and for the sake of art he puts his own self-sacrifice on paper..the few man that returns from there and are able to turn it into art. We "call it art" cause its the ultimate sacrifice one will do, if bless or cursed with this gift. You cannot dip in the wells of reflection and not loose or win in the same sentence. Poets lead the masquerade because they hear the sound..of everything.
    I am sorry for my poor English grammar but I am not an Englishman-man.
    kafka28on November 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation'You know who wears the trousers' - the addiction has taken him over, it is now in control of him rather than the other way around.
    'I was bold and brave, and now you're mine' - it takes a certain amount of guts to try something for the first time, but the hierarchy of man v substance has been inversed. What once was in Doherty's control 'now you're mine' later goes on to take over him.
    It is conveyed through the metaphor of a controlling relationship, which romanticises his drug use. Great song.
    ninahallon January 06, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbeautiful music,
    angry and triumphant

    little death around the eyes - come on your face? waddya reckon!
    Streetearon March 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti actually agree with streetear.
    its about this girl who absoloutely adores him and she is willing to do anything for him even act out his sexual fantasises. Its quite a dark song.
    nickdon72on December 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe lyrics to this song were taken from a novel Lucie Barat (Carl's sister) wrote some time ago
    caro92on April 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDon't want to seem typical in suggesting that every song's about drugs but...
    "In a hotel room you take your medicine...
    Feeling any better son?
    Filling in the cracks (in a nutshell)
    Feeling any better now?
    Wish upon a star...

    Some vague idea of the man you used to be
    Oh the man you used to be to me.

    (Filling in the cracks)
    Fe Fi foe thumb
    I smell the blood of an Englishman
    Be he alive or be he dead
    (Filling in the cracks)
    Wish upon a star"

    Being a slave to them as the woman is to her partner.
    Anyway, one of my favourite songs off the album. (this & Broken Love Song)
    Epthson February 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaning"nickdon72 is probably right, except it's not about a girl at all, it must be about a man, since Pete sings, "The MAN you used to be", and asks the subject of the song, "That's your medicine / Feeling better SON?"
    He is talking to himself. The kind of talk you have with yourself in the mirror, when you look at yourself and you do not see yourself there anymore " Some vague idea of the man you used to be
    Oh the man you used to be to me", he is talking to himself. As a junky you never know who you are and you only remember some vague idea a projection of yourself from the past like a ghost that is hunting you. I am a writer and an ex heavy drug user and a psychologist so I can only share my inside opinion. Most drug users with an IQ above the average, have an intense love hate relationship with their drug, to the point of personification. A fairytale putrid princes with her fixed beady eyes staring into your soul, your mind, the abis staring right back at yourself, dancing you to the grave while the waltz changes its rhythm. You can see her, feel her, taste her, kill her, make love to her, have countless arguments all this while you are talking to yourself also, "dancing with yourself" as they say. It is a very complex and intense situation, if I may it is a Shakespearean situation with all the ups and falls of life, lust, love, doubt, pure hate, the past and the present all happening at once(and this dosen't cover it at all). Going back to the song "A little death around the eyes Your boyfriend's name was Dave I was bold and brave And now you're mine You cook and clean and sew...When I tell you to, when I ask you to, If I ask you to, But I don't want you to.. You don't need tellin' twice with me, You don't need tellin' twice You know who wears the trousers No one wears the trousers In a nutshell To break free, Ya well, you'll never break free of me Your boyfriend's name was Dave I was bold and brave And now you're mine You cook and clean and sew When I tell you to Dance and screw when I want you to In a hotel room you take your medicine On all fours, that's your medicine Feeling better son? Filling in the cracks In a nutshell Feeling any better now? Wish upon a star..Some vague idea of the man you used to be Oh the man you used to be to me(Filling in the cracks)Fe fi foe thumb I smell the blood of an englishman Be he alive or be he dead (Filling in the cracks) Wish upon a star A little death around the eyes..." . The song start with "A little death around the eyes Your boyfriend's name was Dave I was bold and brave And now you're mine" probably the first time they Pete and Carl used it(the drug), the guys who introduced them to the drug was named Dave and this is where the story of the song starts "and now you're mind" now the drug and the first love you have with it, it is his now. "You cook and clean and sew...When I tell you to, when I ask you to, If I ask you to, But I don't want you to.." this is a standard comparation to the real life relationships that we have, where we do not find this kind of submission as the way the drug does what you want as long as you have the money to buy it, the drug dosen't disappoint you in this way, it cooks and clean and sew, when you tell it to, but then he continues with " BUT I DON'T WANT YOU TO" which is where the decay starts and the regrets of the things happening to yourself and those around you, socially speaking, the way it alters the course of thought and feelings, leaving you into a place where you question if it real what you feel and think, or not? and then you get tiered of fighting and just want everything to be quiet again..so you use it so you can feel peace inside yourself and then the circle starts all over, with everything from the past flooding you, drowning you". You don't need tellin' twice with me, You don't need tellin' twice You know who wears the trousers No one wears the trousers In a nutshell", "you don't need tellin' twice" the use and then "you know who wears the trousers No one wears the trousers", the lack of control in this putrid fairytale, no control"In a nutshell", the state of dispersion and madness, hopelessness."To break free, Ya well, you'll never break free of me" dreams of a catharsis, getting back the old self you miss so much, cleaning up, hope for a future and then again a love-hate conversation/promise with the drug and himself "Ya well, you'll never break free of me". And the walls continues"You cook and clean and sew When I tell you to Dance and screw when I want you to" like a sick french triangle the boy the men and the drug and his best-worst relationship of his life.."In a hotel room you take your medicine On all fours, that's your medicine Feeling better son? Filling in the cracks In a nutshell Feeling any better now? Wish upon a star..Some vague idea of the man you used to be Oh the man you used to be to me(Filling in the cracks)" this is his medicine, the only thing that makes all go away for that exact moment when it hits the heart, the soul, the brain and the blood, not really alive not really dead, like being stuck on the boat that floats on the river Styx, never really crossing it but not into the "alive"world ether..he fills his cracks from the past, feeling whole for a second the death drive complex "alive and well" in Pete driving him towards death, self-destruction and the return to the inorganic state where he feels and felt as we all did safe, inside this metaphorical cosy womb. It is pretty much a constant that as soon as you are high and in that instance where you are feeling beyond heaven peacefully, like being into a divine presence, but as soon as you come down from the high you start feeling regrets and the real world hits you again and feeling the cracks again and you start arguing with yourself again and being ironic" feeling better son?" the kind of tone and voice that a dad has towards his son.."Wish upon a star..
    Some vague idea of the man you used to be" regrets and wishing..
    One of the best verses in this song it is "Fe fi foe thumb I smell the blood of an englishman" witch comes from "Fee-fi-fo-fum" is the first line of a historical quatrain (or sometimes couplet) famous for its use in the classic English fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. The poem, as given in Joseph Jacobs's rendition, is as follows:

    Fee-fi-fo-fum,
    I smell the blood of an Englishman,
    Be he alive, or be he dead
    I'll grind his bones to make my bread.[1]

    and part of the English literature so he pays tribute to the past, to the "Englishman" before him and before all to the other writers, at the same time talking about his own fingerprint, his existence, by changing "Fee-fi-fo-fum" to "Fe fi foe thum" witch is an old technique used for fingerprinting, so he uses fe fi foe thum to talk about himself and the print he will leave behind, while making a historical reference to the english history and english literature. "Be he alive, or be he dead" it is a line he uses for the suicidal pressure of the crowd the media, plus the way depression makes you think and feel "everyone would be better of if I am dead"
    He ends the song with the same sentence he starts "A little death around the eyes..."sums it all up, the way you look, think, feel and where you are going, the gloomy way you feel and have as you look at the world and yourself while being high, while "Filling in the cracks" just for that false and perfect second..and then coming back to the whishes, the feelings and the ever tiring regrets..ending it all on a positive wishfully note "Wish upon a star" his struggle with himself and the drugs continues, he hopes praying for a form of help from something beyond the stars, a prayer to and for the Gods.
    Hope this helps anyone in anyway..it is only my subjective opinion. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Pete stares into the abis and for the sake of art he puts his own self-sacrifice on paper..the few man that returns from there and are able to turn it into art. We "call it art" cause its the ultimate sacrifice one will do, if bless or cursed with this gift. You cannot dip in the wells of reflection and not loose or win in the same sentence. Poets lead the masquerade because they hear the sound..of everything.
    I am sorry for my poor English grammar but I am not an Englishman-man.
    kafka28on November 08, 2010   Link

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