"Hurt Me" as written by and Samuel Henry Lockwood Nikolas Stephan Kaloper....
Oh, love, is that a vulture? Don't tell me it's a vulture
standing beside you
and do you see your own face in his eyes?
Do you see him like I do? oh

It used to be that when you said you believed it
I would believe it too
It used to be that when you said you were leaving
I'd want to follow you
but never where the dogs bark, never where the dogs bark

and I remember, praying at the dinner table
for you to come around, maybe pat me on the back when you're able.

Now I've a dream of you with half a face
and you take me to a rooftop and skin me
come on, Abel, are you going to skin me?
and use it as a mask to keep you in the dark
when the shadow of the moon won't do

'cause on you, the moon is but a pearl
stolen from your mother's bedside the day you came into the world
still now, i can hear the dogs bark, i can hear the dogs bark

and i remember, praying at the dinner table
for you to come around, maybe pat me on the back when you're able
oh whole cities light up, but nothing can compare to you, baby
so I stay awake, laying on the dinner table

waiting for you to hurt me, come on Abel, hurt me, hurt me, hurt me
come down to the world
hurt me, come on Abel, cut me, cut me, serve me 'round the table.

and now it's laying on the table
waiting for you, on the table
to carve it up and watch the spray go across the river-bed

and sweet aromas fill the halls from all the bodies that came before
and that's the body, i swear that's the body

i remember, it was laying on the dinner table
and when you came around, said you'll be doing fine when you're able
oh whole cities light up but nothing can compare to you, baby
so I stay waiting, laying on the dinner table.

oh hurt me, hurt me, hurt me
oh cut me, cut me, serve me


Lyrics submitted by orangeplastic, edited by culprit

Hurt Me song meanings
Add your thoughts

18 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +6
    My InterpretationI'm fairly sure that it's about the singer's relationship with a family member who has at some stage abandoned her.

    Abandonment is suggested by line like "It used to be that when you said you were leaving, I'd want to follow you", "praying [...] for you to come around", "waiting for you, on the table" and "so I stay waiting".

    It's suggested that it's a family member by lines like "the dinner table", and the fact that she is "remember[ing] praying at the dinner table" backs this up since it suggests childhood.

    The desire for this family member to "maybe pat [her] on the back" also reflects a childish desire for acknowledgment, like children often crave from older siblings or parents.

    The references to "Abel" suggest to me that the family member is a brother. Hence, I think the song is about an older brother who abandoned her at some stage, that she's always looked up to and wanted approval from.

    Her idolisation of him is indicated by the lines "'cause to you, the moon is but a pearl" and "whole cities light up, but nothing can compare to you". The pearl being "stolen from your mother's bedside" alludes to the brother being untrustworthy, and perhaps a poor idol, which is why the singer expects 'Abel' to "hurt [her]", which I think means to 'let her down' and disappoint her.

    He never lives up to the image she's created of him: "Do you see him like I do?" which is that of a sort of 'hero', when in truth he's "a vulture".
    Enthused_punkon November 09, 2010   Link
  • +6
    My InterpretationBeing that I would give these lyrics to the love of my life as the perfect depiction of the way we were/are, I obviously don't think this song is about a sibling....whatsoever lol. First of all, she calls him "love" and "baby". I don't know about you, but I have NEVER called my brother love or baby. And secondly, when she speaks of his mother, she clearly says "your" mother, not our mother.

    To me, this song is about love that has gone awry and even though she knows he's bad (from the "vulture" and "Abel" references) and has probably ended the relationship with him (by not following him to where the dogs bark), she still finds herself waiting for him, waiting for him to show up, to come around--To give her any kind of acknowledgement--knowing full well that she may end up skinned again. She offers herself up regardless and simply waits for him to come around. Waits for him to serve her, to cut her, to hurt her, because nothing, not even an entire city lighting up, has been able to compare to him.

    Now if that's the way you're supposed to love a brother (wtf?), boy have I been doing it wrong! :s
    prettybrokenon March 07, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentTo me, it's not Cain speaking to Abel, it's the lamb speaking to Abel. It's the perspective of that which is sacrificed to try to please God.
    jrockleon December 18, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is such an amazing song. So intense.
    minimegooseyon October 03, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionI'll bet this is what Lana Del Ray WISHES she could do... not to hate on Lana, but this singer is just a major step beyond, and the lyrics... still trying to figure that out, have some agreement on posts above, but clearly it's really personal and deeply felt.
    gladtobeadadon April 20, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel like it's a relationship where something's gone wrong and so she still loves them but it's not the same and she knows it's wrong but can't help but let them hurt her anyway
    dreamhotelon February 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBrilliant song, brilliant band. I've seen them live three times and they just keep getting better - really gritty and intense.

    There's just a few places where these lyrics are wrong:
    In the first verse it should be 'DON'T tell me it's a vulture'; 'it used to be that when you said you believed it, I would believe it too
    It used to be that when you said you were leaving, I'd want to follow you'.

    I thought she was saying 'evil', too, but in the 'She's So Hard' lyric book it says 'Abel' throughout...

    and then in the bridge she sings '...watch the spray go across the river-bed'. In the final chorus it's '...so I stay waiting, laying on the dinner table'.
    dearclementineon January 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBrilliant track. Brilliant rhythm. Makes my heart soar!
    shockdelicaon May 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love the Jezabels! best australian band atm. i mean i'm not one to participate in nationalism (i hate that shit!) but this makes you proud to be an Aussie. now, someone please tell me, is this song about a serial killer or some other psychotic person, coz Hayley's lyrics really stump me. beautifully poetic, but damn confusing =-S
    SecretScumon September 20, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I agree with Enthused_punk, the 'Abel' reference to Cain and Abel made me think it's a sibling right away.
    poizen-ivyon December 25, 2010   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain