"Nylon smile" as written by and Beth Gibbons Adrian Francis Utley....
I'd like to laugh at what you said
But I just can't find a smile
I wonder why you can't
I struggle with myself
Hopping I might change a little
Hopping that I might be
Someone I wanna be

Looking out I wanna know someone might care
Looking out I want a reason to be there
'Cause I don't know what I've do to deserve you
And I don't know what I'll do, without you

Looking out I want to know some way might clear
Looking out I want a reason to repair
'Cause I don't know what I've done to deserve you
And I don't know what I'll do without you

I can't see nothing good
And nothing is so bad
I've never had the chance to explain
Exactly what I meant


Lyrics submitted by macieq, edited by hippiejolle, Wormsie, JudasDenied

"Nylon Smile" as written by Beth Gibbons Adrian Francis Utley

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Nylon Smile song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +3
    Song MeaningI think the subject of the song is her depression, and she is talking to it, as she says "cause I don't know what I've done to deserve you and I don't know what I'll do without you" like she doesnt know what she did to deserve all of her sadness, but shes had it so long that she doesnt know if she can live without it, she "wants a reason to repair", or "a reason to be there", basically she wants to have a reason to be happy, because right now she is kind of ok with her sadness, as shown by this line "I can't see nothing good and nothing is so bad", but she also doesnt want to be ok with her sadness, she wishes she cared enough to change it, and she cant explain what she means because she feels all alone, and like no one would really care, good song i must say
    bobolsonon November 29, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentA nylon smile is not an authentic smile; it is a pretense, slipped on like some piece of lingerie designed only to please one's partner.
    Anarchitecton March 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentUneasy feeling of looking at oneself and not liking what one sees.

    Makes me wonder about the space between who I am and how I present myself.
    jfugelsoon October 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHaunting as always from portishead
    osberton March 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe fake smile on the surface that you show to the world when you are depressed
    belvedere918on March 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe fake smile on the surface that you show to the world when you are depressed
    belvedere918on March 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe fake smile on the surface that you show to the world when you are depressed
    belvedere918on March 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat's the only song on Third I feel already able to understand a bit, because the lyrics can be taken rather literal:
    The situation is a relationship and the woman does realize, that nothing better can happen to her than her man. But still she isn't able to feel love for him nor change this fact.
    BattleMageon May 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHow I feel every fucking day unfortunately, even when someone extremely lovely comes into my life out of the blue.
    clarellevon March 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI just read a couple of comments above (from writing this since the box is below) and realized something. If this person has a husband who she feels cold about then maybe that is what he wants her to change so she can feel remorse for any further situations. It's quite possible that she will feel a sense of sanity after the guilt and therefore find herself outwardly manifested as true happiness instead of pretense that is a white line and blob of nylon-related despair upon her smiling lips--that only smile sarcastically.
    She may be singing from a past view in a way to make these ideas coexist, however, if she is speaking from the point of her life she sung this song, then it's quite possible that the character (who may be her) is feeling a sense of sadness and remorse for the inability to change her coldness to make her husband be more faithful as a human reaction similar to karma. (If she believes in that) 'I never had the chance to explain exactly what I meant' may be a feeling of guilt that she has today if this is a past, but regardless of it being past or present, she definitely is feeling a sense of coldness that she cannot explain and therefore cannot let go of the prime reason she still (from the past) feelings of guilt. She sings like that guilt is what is within her today--her smile coated in deep sarcastic whiteness (under symbolic interpretation and representation) She cares within a coldness.
    ChasingChinaRainbowson July 31, 2011   Link

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