"The Strangers" as written by and Anne Erin Clark....
Lover, I don't play to win
Befall the thrill until I'm spent
Paint the black hole blacker
Paint the black hole blacker

I threw flowers in your face on my sister's wedding day
Paint the black hole blacker
Paint the black hole blacker

You showed up with a black eye looking to go start a fight
Paint the black hole blacker
Paint the black hole blacker

Playboys under your mattress, like I wouldn't notice
Paint the black hole blacker
Paint the black hole blacker

What do I share?
What do I keep from all the strangers who sleep where I sleep

Desperate don't look good on you, neither does your virtue
Paint the black hole blacker
Paint the black hole blacker

Good souls have won better sons, better sons were worse once
Paint the black hole blacker
Paint the black hole blacker

What do I share?
What do I keep from all the stranger who sleep where I sleep

You showed up with a black eye looking to finish a fight
Lover, I don't play to win
Befall the thrill until I'm spent
Paint the black hole blacker
Paint the black hole blacker


Lyrics submitted by iambones

"The Strangers" as written by Todd Clark Jason Saenz

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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The Strangers song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +7
    My OpinionI love this song. Annie Clark is awesome. Her melodies are delicate and sweet, and yet they have a dark side, something going on underneath the surface. A unique combination of her soft voice with guitar distortion.

    In my opinion, the song is about a woman and her relationships. Almost everything in the song is a metaphor or a symbol.

    ======

    "Lover, I don't play to win, but for the thrill, until I'm spent" -
    "Lover" - she is addressing her partner, but he represents all her lovers.
    "I don't play to win" - winning is metaphor for a meaningful, loving relationship. She's clearly not looking for that, but just for a thrill. When she doesn't feel like playing anymore, it's over.

    "Paint the black hole blacker" -(whispering to herself) the black hole is her emotions, her heart, her relationships, the situation that she is in. Every meaningless relationship makes things worse, makes her emptier, heartless, and drives her further away from the possibility of a successful relationship.

    "I threw flowers in your face on my sister's wedding day" - Even when someone close to her is 'winning', she does not feel the need, or does not wish to experience it herself - she throws the flowers in his face (again a symbol that the relationship is meaningless...).

    "You showed up with a black eye looking to go start a fight" - A fight symbolizes a relationship. He'd been hurt before (= a black eye), in a previous relationship with someone else, but when he met her, he was willing to try again.

    "Playboys under your mattress, like I wouldn't notice" - She does not trust him. Even though he wants to be with her, she is being cynical, as if she knows it's going to go wrong, and doesn't want to get her hopes up.


    The woman had been hurt herself, in a previous relationship. That is why she does not trust men. That is why she compares a relationship to a fight. That is why she is not allowing herself to love again, or to feel anything, and declares in advance that her relationships are just for the thrill.

    "What do I share?
    What do I keep?
    From all the strangers who sleep where I sleep?..."

    - (to herself, not the lover) She is asking herself whether she is happy with this situation. The men in her life, the men who she shares her bed with, are just like strangers. They might as well be strangers. She does not allow herself to open up to them; she does not trust them, and keeps herself from feeling anything.


    "Desperate don't look good on you, neither does your virtue" - The guy is trying to make this work, but she does not appreciate his efforts. She thinks he's 'desperate' for trying to make it more than it is. She is also not impressed when he does something good; In other words, nothing is going to make her budge.


    "You showed up with a black eye looking to finish a fight" - The guy is giving up - this is the end of their relationship. He is hurt (just like he was before), and he wants to end it.

    "Lover, I don't play to win, but for the thrill until I'm spent..." - She, on the other hand, does not want to get hurt again. She acts as if it doesn't matter. She had told him at the very beginning, that she doesn't play to win - he should not have expected anything.

    =====

    That's it... I don't know what Annie meant, but I had fun giving it some thought... :)

    tomjion December 17, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentTo me, this song is about a jilted lover. She's discovered that her significant other is a liar and a cheater. She says that she threw her flowers in his face at her sister's wedding, and you can picture her being pissed when she sees him and throwing her bride's maid flowers at him. "Paint the black hole blacker" to me, refers to her anger building as the situation escalates. And worse, he's shown up at her sister's wedding to confront her, potentially ruining her sister's day. It talks about how he had a black eye when he showed up and that he looked as if he was wanting to finish a fight. The song also makes mention to some other problems they were having, like finding playboys under his mattress. And she asks him what really seperates her from the other girls he has lieing in his bed. However, for all her anger, she goes out of her way to say that she wasnt really dating him to "win", but that she was going for the thrill of it until she got bored. .....So, Iguess in the end, if she didnt really care, then she didnt lose too much.
    Teyaon May 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLover, I don't play to win,
    Befall the thrill until I'm spent

    Paint the black hole blacker
    Paint the black hole blacker

    I threw flowers in your face
    On my sisters wedding day

    Paint the black hole blacker
    Paint the black hole blacker

    You showed up with a black eye
    Looking to go start a fight

    Paint the black hole blacker
    Paint the black hole blacker

    Playboys under the mattress
    Like I wouldn't notice

    Paint the black hole blacker
    Paint the black hole blacker

    What do I share
    What do I keep
    From all the strangers who sleep where I sleep

    Desperate don't look good on you
    Neither does your virtue

    Paint the black hole blacker
    Paint the black hole blacker

    Good souls have won better sons,
    Better souls grow worse ones (?)

    What do I share
    What do I keep
    From all the strangers who sleep where I sleep

    You showed up with a black eye
    Looking to finish a fight

    Lover, I don't play to win
    Befall the thrill until I'm spent

    Paint the black hole blacker
    Paint the black hole blacker

    letmegohomeon March 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDirect from the vinyl slipcover:
    "...but for the thrill until I'm spent"
    BrentLongon October 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song very closely  mirrors the old standard "Bye Bye Blackbird".  If you listen to the two songs side by side, the melody, chords, and structure are all very similar, to the point where this song could be considered a cover of that tune.  But while Bye Bye Blackbird is an optimistic song about leaving a troubled past behind and being welcomed home, The Strangers is about making a desperate situation worse and alienating your loved ones.
    Jzylkinon January 14, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLover, I don't play to win,
    "befall the thrill until I'm spent"


    letmegohomeon March 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDesperate don't look good on you, neither does your virtue
    Paint the black hole blacker

    i love that part, i have no clue what does song means well,nothing
    relevant at least.
    shakelly_blackmouthon May 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentShe's sort of like a demented Disney character, a photo-negative Snow White. I like it.
    DevastatorJr.on May 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaningi kind of agree with teya, but to me, its like she just found out that her lover ahs been a liar and cheated on her or something and like when she says "Paint the black whole blacker," shes saying that everything the guy does now is just making it worse, like he just keeps digging his whole deeper with every apology with flowers or guilt trips and shes not falling for them.

    i love this song anyways hahaha she says that she likes to make music thats all nice and pretty, but then there's a dark weird side in them. like a faitytale/nightmare thing happening and i totally see it! GREAT song :D
    cinderphantomon May 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think third to last verse should be:

    Good souls have won better sons
    Better sons won worse ones
    rjdon May 22, 2009   Link

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