"Journal For Plague Lovers" as written by James Bradfield, Richard Edwards, Nicholas Jones and Sean Moore....
Pretend prayer
Pretend care
Makes everything seem so fair
These perfect abattoirs
These perfect actors
These perfect abattoirs

Only a god can bruise
Only a god can soothe
Only a god reserves the right
To forgive those that revile him
Only a god can bruise
Only a god can soothe
Only a god reserves the right
To forgive those that revile him

Oh, such love
Sweet stimulus
PG certificate and cuts unfocused
Stitches and wounds
Doctored divinity
So much love there's blind affinity

Only a god can bruise
Only a god can soothe
Only a god reserves the right
To forgive those that revile him
Only a god can bruise
Only a god can soothe
Only a god reserves the right
To forgive those that revile him


Lyrics submitted by deltasunlight

"Journal for Plague Lovers" as written by Nicholas Jones James Bradfield

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Journal For Plague Lovers song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThe message here is in line with sentiments presented by Dostoevsky and Camus regarding an omnipotent-omniscient deity and humans' free will. As stated by Dostoevsky in I believe "Demons," if an interventionist God exists, by the concept's very design and definition we can do nothing outside of His will. Only if He does not exist are humans truly independent and free. To claim we are all part of God's divine plan, but to also maintain in the same breath that we have free will is an innate contradiction, which is what I think Richey is pointing out here with bitter sarcasm. For many who do not recognize the blatant discrepancy, when something beneficial occurs, it is because God caused it to happen; when something harmful takes place, it is because humans choose of their own free will to do evil. What Dostoevsky and Camus pointed out--and, again, what Richey is echoing, at least in my interpretation of this song--is you can't have it both ways. Either everything comes from God or from us.
    DollarShorton July 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe ????? is "Oh such love smeared stimulus, PG Certificate all cuts unfocused."
    Owen999on May 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis definitely seems to be about people who believe god is responsible for everything that happens and life is destiny over choice. True believers always say they leave their life in god’s hands, and justify misery in the world as “part of god’s plan” instead of wanting to do something about it. This song definitely could have fit in on The Holy Bible since so much of the world’s evil is done in the name of some kind of god, which somehow makes it okay. And unfortunately, with the war on terror, this sentiment sounds incredibly fresh even though it was written in 1994. Some things never change. But just think about how great Richey's songs about the post-9/11 world would have been. It's something Nicky doesn't touch on nearly enough.
    MBlackon June 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe way I interpret it -- all of the songs in Journal for Plague Lovers were written during Richey's last days, when he was undergoing psychiatric treatment. Some parts of the treatment that he underwent (like for his alcoholism) required him to believe in a god-like 'higher power', but because Richey didn't believe in a benevolent higher power he eventually rejected the treatment.

    One of the things Nicky and James DB said about the treatment was that it threatened to change Richey into a different person and required him to embrace all the ideas that he had mocked when he was 'okay'. It resulted in really erratic behavior, like writing the word 'Love' on his knuckles. I think Richey wanted to get better, but he couldn't do it on the terms that he was given, and in fact, absolutely hated how it destroyed him as an individual. He cruised along with the treatment ('pretend prayer / pretend care'), but held bitter resentment against the values the treatment endorsed (like love, which he rejected).

    The reason I interpret it this way is because elsewhere in Journal for Plague Lovers Richey expresses similar distrust and discontent with the psychiatric treatment he was undergoing. It made him feel as if he was a sick person who was unfit for society and going to be weeded out of the gene pool, figuratively speaking ('Me and Stephen Hawking' and 'Virginia State Epileptic Colony' being the most prominent).
    Lovelymaggotson September 08, 2011   Link
  • -1
    General CommentIts about people who use religion to justify their actions when really their just serving their own agenda. If god really cared/existed he would do something about it
    King of Some Islandon May 21, 2009   Link

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