"Doors Closing Slowly" as written by James Bradfield, Richard Edwards, Nicholas Jones and Sean Moore....
Realize how lonely this is
Self-defeating, oh, fuck, yeah
Drowned in love and false kisses
A gathering of no meaning

That shadow is a cross okay
Judgment must willing today
Silence is not sacrifice
Crucifixion is the easy life

Who threw the first stone
If the stone is you
Forgive them forsaken
Bleeding feet an angel's savior

That shadow is a cross okay
Judgment must be willing today
Silence is not sacrifice
Crucifixion is the easy life

Embrace to betrayal
An arms army salvation
Listen to the selfish ones
They are the voice of accomplishment


Lyrics submitted by deltasunlight, edited by teaspill

"Doors Closing Slowly" as written by Nicholas Jones James Bradfield

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Doors Closing Slowly song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think this one is in part looking at the sacrifice of relationships people feel the need to make to be successful at their occupation of choice. You can’t obsess over work (especially in the entertainment field) and be away from home endlessly and expect to have a happy family waiting on you. You’re going to have a mate feeling lonely and rejected and children you sacrificed the joy of parenting in watching them grow up. You can’t have it both ways. “Listen to the selfish ones. They are the voice of accomplishment.”

    Also looking at the religious imagery combined with the sacrifice of relationships is quite interesting. Christianity is all about sacrificing and maybe even suffering for salvation. Relationships also have that same need to make sacrifices that you might not want to do to appease your mate, or in religion’s case your god. Like those in the Catholic Church who deny themselves human relationships for religious relationships, it's the same thing in a way. (Except without the whole Altar Boys thing....)
    MBlackon June 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's much more of a critique of the hypocrisy in religion, esp. the religious right. A gathering of no meaning=church service? The shadow is a cross okay=the dark/evil acts people do in the name of Christianity. I noticed though that he didn't say the cross is a shadow okay, implying that all Christianity is evil, instead the other way round. Judgment must be willing today=people who judge based on religion.

    Other than that the rest is pretty self-explanatory. Listen to the selfish ones
    They are the voice of accomplishment is a critique of capitalism i think...
    musicizmylifeon June 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe quote at the end is from The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides.

    "In the end we had the pieces of the puzzle, but no matter how we put them together gaps remained. Oddly shaped emptinesses mapped by what surrounded them, like countries we couldn't name."
    jim82on June 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis might sound crazy, but I feel like this one might be autobiographical.

    Realise how lonely this is?
    Self-defeating oh fuck yeah
    Drowned in love and false kisses
    A gathering of no meaning

    Love and false kisses in the setting of a large gathering brings to mind the devotional ritual of a concert.
    By the end of Richey's time with the Manics, he was going out to perform, and then spending prettymuch all the rest of his time alone, either in his flat or a van while the rest of the band and the fans kept away. No matter where he was, it was loneliness, with his only real human contact being in the context of being worshiped on a stage in a meaningless display.

    The shadow is the cross ok

    To live in the "shadow of the cross" is to live one's life as Jesus did. Here, we have the shadow itself being the cross. The implication I pull from this is that the emulation of himself he could see in his fans was a source of guilt and pain for him, a cross he had to bear.

    Judgement must be willing today

    This can be read multiple ways. 1. One must be willing to do what one must, according to one's good judgement.
    2. One must will one's own judgement day to come (suicide).

    Silence is not sacrifice
    Crucifixion is the easy life

    A logical permutation of "silence is not sacrifice" is speaking is sacrifice. Pair that with the next line, and you can draw the conclusion that speaking, being open about his thoughts and life and opinions, led to his crucifixion -- and hence to his worship, and the easy life of being a rockstar.
    It's also worth noting, as MBlack pointed out, that he did give up any chance for a normal life by choosing that life path. This is almost certainly one of the doors being referenced as closing in the title.

    Who threw the first stone?
    If the stone is you

    The Manics got a decent amount of flak for encouraging their fans to be damaged -- cutting, anorexia, et al -- due to Richey being so open about matters. I think this line questions whether he may have thrown the first stone at himself simply by being open about who he was. It may also question whether he is genuinely culpable for the damage he's been accused of producing in his fans.

    Forgive them forsaken
    Bleeding feet an angels saviour

    Both lines, once again, reference Jesus. Forgiving those who forsake him references Peter thrice-forsaking Jesus, the second line references the nativity.
    Forgiving those who forsook him may reference forgiving people for leaving him alone and lonely, forgiving people for throwing metaphorical stones at him, or both.
    The second line speaks more of his legitimate capacity to help the depressed/eating disordered/self-injuring fragments of the population by bringing their shared issues to light and making them feel less alone (even in the midst of his own loneliness).

    Embrace to betrayal
    Unarmed army salvation

    The second line here is a clear reference to the Salvation Army, who were some of the very first people dedicated to getting drunks and addicts sober.
    A few months before Richey was institutionalized and started working through a 12-step program, the band stopped letting him be alone with fans. I'm not inferring exactly what happened, but clearly there was some betrayal involved with letting worshipful fans get too close that would cause that to happen. It was obliquely referenced in several interviews as one of the main motivations he had to get sober.
    This would be another door closing: Drugs and alcohol were removed, soundly so. This left him with the act of being worshiped exclusively from afar, in a concert setting in which he merely pretended to play guitar, by worshipful fans he would not let himself touch or get too close to, while he was actively criticized for encouraging them to emulate him, without even having the escape hatch of obliterating his mind to stop thinking about the meaningless, lonely joke of it all. (Sorry if that sentence verges on incoherence.)
    If one thinks about it, this leaves very few options. He can't live a normal life, he's in a band. He can't enjoy decadent band life, he's chosen definitively to be sober and not exploit his fans.
    The last doors closed, the solutions to the miseries of existence were removed. What's left? What options did he have?

    Listen to the selfish ones
    They are the voice of accomplishment

    I'm honestly not sure how facetious this line is meant to be. On one hand, it may be legitimate advice. Richey spent his life trying, passively and obediently, both not to hurt anyone and to fulfill what people wanted and expected from him.
    And what did he get for it? Nothing but flak from the media, and worship from people he may well have been damaging as much as he helped.
    If he'd been selfish, maybe he could have had a normal, productive life rather than the crucifixion he found.
    On the other side of the coin, accomplishment is not virtuous, and inevitably involves stomping people down and standing on the backs of other people to pull off.
    Whether you aim for passive obedience or selfish accomplishment, evil gets produced, and you have to take part in it if you're going to be alive.

    Rambly, I know. And quite possibly trying to pull too many nuances out of one lyric. But it does seem to encapsulate a lot of what Richey said of the world, as well as a lot of what he must have been feeling by the end.
    teaspillon January 27, 2015   Link

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