Louise only got from me innocent poetry
Although she played to not listen
But still I can hear myself speak as if no one else
Ever could offer the same

Some say she knowingly tastes like a recipe
All those so foolish and willing
I said, "Babe, I can picture you bend as if wanting to
Bow as the curtain goes down"

Cuckold some men, they'll remember you bitterly
Fuck them, they'll come back for more
I asked my Louise, would she leave and so, cripple me
Then came a knock at the door

I came for my woman, he came with a razor blade
Bound like us all for the ocean
I hope that she's happy, I'm blamed for the death
Of a man who would take her from me

Some say they saw in me innocent poetry
Some say they'll never be certain
But still it's been written, a history of lovers
In giving, and taking, and ink

Cuckold some men, they'll remember you fittingly
Cut them, they'll come back for more
I asked my Louise, would she leave and so, cripple me
Then came the knock at the door

Louise came to rescue me, missing the irony
Blood made her heart change its beating
I hope that she's happy, I'm blamed for the death
Of a man she found better than me


Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher, edited by redundent1

A History of Lovers song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentAt first glance, this song seems to be about a jealous guy killing his ex-girlfriend's new lover. However, I don't think it's that simple.

    So this guy was imploring Louise to stay with him when her new lover knocked on the door.

    "He came with a razor blade"
    Her new lover was carrying a weapon. Maybe he took it for self-defense but it makes more sense to me that his intention was to hurt the singer.

    "Louise came to rescue me, missing the irony
    Blood made her heart change its beating
    I hope that she's happy, I'm blamed for the death
    Of a man she found better than me"

    This verse is key and shows what really happened. The new lover was beating the hell out of the singer. Louise, upon seeing his blood, tried to intervene and in so doing, managed to kill her new lover.
    The razor blade mentioned earlier was the murder weapon and they threw it into a river in their attempt to cover up the killing ("bound like us all for the ocean").
    When the murder was uncovered, this guy took the blame for it, probably because he was so infatuated with Louise. Even the word "blame" is one that seems to imply innocence, at least to me. Nowhere in the song does he ever admit guilt.
    bearhugon February 22, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionThey fuck us, and we come back for more. They cut us, and we come back for more. We're ready to kill those "bastards" who get in the way, but of course, "she" has already made her decision, so you might as well shut and let her go do what she wants, go where she wants, with whoever she wants... She's not evil: it's just her nature to want what she wants.

    Ah, men, men, men. It's not just our dicks, of course. It's our hearts, our foolish hearts that make our lives miserable.

    We're all just looking for happiness, however we can find it...
    Goodkind20902on April 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLouise only got from me innocent poetry
    Although she played to not listen
    But still I can hear myself speak as if no one else
    Ever could offer the same

    Some say she knowingly tasts like a recipe
    Although so foolish and willing
    I said Babe I can picture you bend as if wanting to
    Bow as the curtain went down

    Coddle some men, they’ll remember you bitterly
    Fuck ‘em, they’ll come back for more
    I asked my Louise would she leave and so cripple me
    Then came a knock at the door

    “I came for my woman,” he came with a razor blade
    Bound like us all for the ocean
    I hope that she’s happy I’m blamed for the death of
    The man who would take her from me

    Some they saw in me innocent poetry
    Some, some they’ll never be certain
    But still it’s been written, a history of lovers
    Given and taken in ink

    Coddle some men, they’ll remember you fittingly
    Cut ‘em, they’ll come back for more
    I asked my Louise would she leave and so cripple me
    Then came the knock at the door

    Louise came to rescue me; listen, the irony:
    Blood made her heart change its beating
    I hope that she’s happy I’m blamed for the death of
    The man she found better than me
    robadonkadonkon September 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHoly hell. The lyrics are inside the album jacket. They're not these.

    Correct lyrics as follows:

    Louise only got from me innocent poetry
    Although she played to not listen
    But still I can hear myself speak as if no one else
    Ever could offer the same

    Some say she knowingly tastes like a recipe
    All those so foolish and willing
    I said, "Babe, I can picture you bend as if wanting to
    Bow as the curtain goes down"

    Cuddle some men, they'll remember you bitterly
    Fuck 'em, they'll come back for more
    I asked my Louise, would she leave and so, cripple me
    Then came a knock at the door

    I came for my woman, he came with a razor blade
    Bound like us all for the ocean
    I hope that she's happy, I'm blamed for the death
    Of a man who would take her from me

    Some say they saw in me innocent poetry
    Some say they'll never be certain
    But still it's been written, a history of lovers
    In giving, and taking, and ink

    Cuddle some men, they'll remember you fittingly
    Cut 'em, they'll come back for more
    I asked my Louise, would she leave and so, cripple me
    Then came the knock at the door

    Louise came to rescue me, missing the irony
    Blood made her heart change its beating
    I hope that she's happy, I'm blamed for the death
    Of a man she found better than me
    itsameta4on November 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHey guys, both sets are right. The lyrics that were originally posted are for the song's original incarnation. The version on In The Reins was changed a little bit to fit the different pace and instrumentation of Calexico.
    kareyn01on December 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw this song performed on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and it was excellent. I think this song is about the downfall of a once very passionate relationship and it fell into hard times. At the end, the man kills the one that his ex loved and he ends more lost than before. I love the way Sam Beam can write a song, he ranks up there with Dylan and Young!
    OpinionHeadon February 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is a pretty sad song, sad for the writer...

    I asked my Louise, would she leave and so, cripple me

    i think this is a pretty powerful line
    BlackGhoston March 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThe song would be better if it was: cuckold some men - not coddle.

    The second stanza is the strange one of the bunch.

    Some say she knowingly tastes like a recipe
    Although so foolish and willing
    I said Babe I can picture you bend as if wanting to
    Bow as the curtain went down

    The first line seems as if it has several meanings.
    1) That she tastes like the idea of a thing -- that she lacks concrete substance.
    2) That she herself samples the world as if it were a recipe she is following -- which could be a somewhat convoluted way of saying that she is promiscuous.
    When added with the second line this second interpretation seems fitting to the song - that she Louise has a habit of being somewhat wantonly foolish - like a child sampling sweets with little regard to consequence.

    (Once more, cuckold would suit this song much better than coddle).

    The third and fourth lines are also enigmatic. The only real determination I have is that she enjoys attention and performing for others. There seems to be a sexualization here, with the association of her bending over - which may or may not be intentional - particularly with the implication that she sleeps around.


    The line -- A history of lovers, given, and taken, in ink. Probably connects to the lines about innocent poetry - that the narrator began his courtship of Louise by writing her poems, which he gave, and she took - in ink.
    Which some people consider to be innocent, when it comes to light after the death of Louises main stooge -- but others treat with uncertainty and perhaps condemnation.

    The song seems to imply that the narrator killed the man who came with a razor blade, probably in self defense. It is possible that the man intercepted or discovered the narrators love letters.
    The last stanza seems to imply that Louise came to rescue the narrator -- from her angry boyfriend, the irony being that the one she was going to rescue him from is the one who perhaps needed saving. This seems to imply that she got there when the conflict started, or towards the end or after it - since it is the sight of blood -- death -- that changed the way that she felt.
    redundent1on April 03, 2013   Link

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