And maybe you're the Circle Line girl
trying so hard not to let on you know
I'm looking at the way your toes poke out through your sandals
at funny angles to your feet
and how you know it turns me on

Or maybe you're the Spanish girl
playing with your hair as you wait for your friend
in that wild octagon of mirrors the Tate calls a coffee shop
And I can smell that hair from here
and I can see from eight different angles
the way your nipples look through that thin black cotton top
reflected to infinity
And oh God, it's places like that and purple-tipped prose like this
that's going to haemorrhage me, girl

Ooo, it's true:
Girl, I'm only doing it to be closer to you

Or maybe you're the bay window girl
in Wandsworth Town, in ripped jeans and open venetians
painting the difficult corner of an empty room
white under a naked bulb
leaning across the bar at the top of your stepladder
at the precise moment I'm passing on the steep street
at the bottom of your garden in the gathering night
voyeur's delight

Ooo, it's true:
Girl, I'm only doing it to be closer to you

Or maybe you're the foundation painter
at the Central School, looking so fine-boned
I could carry you home in your portfolio case
laced up gently so you won't cry out on the bus
and give the game away
tied up lightly, because girl
how could I knowingly injure someone
with your perfect lips and wrists, your exquisite structure
Oh, little acrylic painter, I can kiss eggshells, I can be ginger
all the critics say I'm such a sensitive singer

Ooo, it's true:
Girl, I'm only doing it to be closer to you

And maybe you're listening to my voice now
on your Walkman or your bedsit Dansette
letting my songs slip into you on this quiet night
in with your pads of doodles and your fingers full of pencils
and low tar cigarettes
And the music's light and pleasant so you hardly notice
what I'm singing about in "Paper Wraps Rock"
And "Murderers, the Hope of Women,"
my voice is just a sound that pleases you
that enters you and leaves you just the same
and that's how I want it to stay, because, you know

Ooo, it's true:
Girl, I'm only doing it to be closer to you

But some of those were bitter records
records which accuse women, girls like you
of using your attractiveness wantonly and wilfully
to trap and to paralyse men
who wanted you and could never have you
men who sometimes felt the perverse urge
to trash the women they desired the most
men who imagined they despised all those immaculate visions
what adolescent crap, what kind of idiot would sing that?
Oh, not me because, you know

Ooo, it's true:
Girl, I'm only doing it to be closer to you

But sometimes I think that every man who writes
every man who paints or composes, deep soul or symphonies
it makes no difference, all those men are only making do with substitutes:
Solomon, Confucius, Franz Kafka
they'd never have done it if they'd been as beautiful as you
sitting cross-legged there with gentle music
lapping around a promise, there where your thighs meet
of fertility a million artists couldn't compete with

Ooo, it's true:
Girl, I'm only doing it to be closer to you

And all the time I see you there
in the eye of my mind, and all that cheap macho stuff
about de Sade and misogyny vanishes into thin air
and I'm moved to tears just like any other sucker
who's been bruised by all the things that weren't to be
and yet who's ready to fall down on his knees
in front of a woman, and say:
"Whatever you may do, whatever you may be to me
despite the times we disagree, your ridiculous ambitions
your conventional inhibitions
I want you to know that I respect you
I accept you and I want you to accept me
I want to kiss you, kiss your stockinged knee
accept the uniquely soft flesh
on the undersides of your hips,"

Ooo, it's true:
Girl, I'm only doing it to be closer to you

And when I've won you
when I've fallen down in front of you, and said:
"Damn Franz Kafka, damn the Thin White Duke
(damn the Thin White Duke)
it's you and you alone I'm doing this for,"
When I'm through with heroes and pastiche
(throwing darts in lovers' eyes)
when you've let me make love to you
the slowest, deepest way that I know how
(when you do that for me, baby)
and it feels so good (bear with me)
that's when I'll think of Paul Klee's epitaph:
"Here lies the painter Paul Klee
somewhat closer than usual to the heart of creation
but far from close enough,"

And girl, here I lie
far from close enough to you...


Lyrics submitted by delial

Closer To You song meanings
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