(In live versions only:

I'm waiting for the crunch of another naked lunch
I'm waiting for the crunch of another naked lunch
I'm waiting for the crunch of another naked lunch
I'm waiting for the crunch of another naked lunch)


There's a man lying down in a grave somewhere
With the same tattoos as me
And I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him

There's a man lying down in a bed somewhere
With a different set of sex aspects
And I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I love...

This is me here now
Pining like a dog, whining like a dog in a thick harbour fog
Waiting for a ship
Making sick
And when the ship comes
In trouble
His trouble will begin

And the church bells chime the colour of wine
And the angels devil fight to snatch back the lost time

And there's a man lying down with a blade somewhere
With the same tattoos as me
And I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him

There's a man lying down in a bed somewhere
With a different set of sex aspects
And I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I love...

This is the dark age of love
This is the dark age of love
This is the dark age of love
This is the dark age...

And I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him

There's a man laying down
There's a man laying down
There's a man laying down
There's a man laying down somewhere...

Somewhere


Lyrics submitted by Cynothoglys

Tattooed Man song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentFrom an interview with Peter Christopherson, linked here:

    brainwashed.com/…

    [GR] And does [Tattooed Man] have anything to do with Marc Almond specifically, as he has sung on a few Coil tracks in the past ("Slur", "Titan Arch", "Dark Age Of Love" etc.) ?

    [PC] I believe its about Ian [Johnstone, Jhonn's partner,] rather than Marc (Jhonn and Ian did have some of the same tattoos), but as with all of Jhonn's lyrics there is ambiguity everywhere. Of course the man lying down in a grave with the SAME tattoos was himself.

    Despite being friends (off and on) for 20 years, Marc and Jhonn had been estranged for a few years as a consequence of some misunderstanding that was publicized on the internet—I dont know what exactly—and at the time of the Jesi show they had just gotten back in touch on a friendly basis. I think that's all there was to it.
    nicktasticon November 21, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationthese lyrics are great not just because they present lyrical prowess, but also because it can be interpreted in so many ways.
    I see it as the lyrical ego's relation to himself, with the multitude of decisions, and indecisions, thoughts, questions and doubts, pains and memories which populate his personality so insistently that he becomes confused, and he's divided in multiple characters. and that man whom he loves or hates it's just the same man.
    "This is me here now
    Pining like a dog, whining like a dog in a thick harbour fog
    Waiting for a ship
    Making sick
    And when the ship comes
    In trouble
    His trouble will begin "
    Here he attempts to reaffirm himself, get out of the confusion, awaits the moment of sanity, in which he will get rid of the old self.
    With this attempt to get rid of the old/unsatisfactory self, he loses a part of his integrity too.
    "There's a man laying down somewhere...

    Somewhere"
    FieryTailon April 22, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationA hint to this song's meaning is given in the name of the album itself: "ape of Naples". What does it mean to 'ape'? It means to imitate someone absurdly, or without logic. The man with "the same tattoos" as the narrator is the one aping him, and the narrator loves him. Tattoos in this case are used as a metaphor for sexual orientation.

    The man with the "different set of sex aspects" (this I interpret as different sexual orientation than the narrator) is the one the narrator hates. However, an important detail here is that the one the narrator hates is also the one lying in bed (possibly with some sexual connotation), while the one the narrator loves is the one lying in a grave. This can possibly mean that certain people with specific sexual orientations don't ever get to experience the wonder of love and sex with another person of their same orientation, perhaps through circumstances out of their control.

    One detail that greatly seems to support the above is the phrase "pining like a dog". From google, to pine means to: "suffer a mental and physical decline, especially because of a broken heart."

    So the man the narrator loves is dead, either literally or figuratively (my guess is figuratively, as the whole song seems to suggest the narrator's hope for love will never reach fruition). This is confirmed with the phrase "This is the dark age of love". He wouldn't have used the term "dark age" for some temporary form of lovelessness, which is why I think the narrator suffers from a permanent affliction.

    Another clue to support the above claims is the stanza:

    "And the church bells chime the colour of wine
    And the angels devil fight to snatch back the lost time "

    The narrator's lack of love is characterized by a sense of "lost time". There is no more time for the narrator to find his love, his "ship" (another metaphor for love), and

    "And when the ship comes
    In trouble
    His trouble will begin".
    VoVoVoioVoVoVon March 15, 2015   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThis song is excellent. I think it might refer to caring about people when their dead/in pain, say how people can hate someone their entire life and then when they die they start to regret it. This is the dark age of love. I think I get it; but it's difficult to explain.
    DJgifon December 12, 2009   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThe Dark Ages were a miserable time in human history. Little was done to progress our species. Little art was being created, few inventions or innovations, it was a time of survival. The sky was literally black with soot and ash from massive volcanic activity. So, if this age is the dark age of love, we are loving one another for the sake of our own survival. We have yet to realize our potential and the part that love will play in that.
    sixfngrdealon August 19, 2010   Link

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