"Cruel" as written by and Anne Erin Clark....
Bodies, can't you see what everybody wants from you?

Forgive the kids, for they don't know how to live
Run the alleys casually cruel
Cruel, cruel

Bodies, can't you see what everybody wants from you?
For you could want that, too
They could take or leave you
So they took you, and they left you
How could they be casually cruel?
Cruel, cruel, oh
Cruel, cruel, oh

Bodies, can't you see what everybody wants from you?
If you could want that, too, then you'll be happy

You were the one waving flares in the air so they could see you
And they were a zephyr, blowing past ya,
Blowing fastly so they can see ya
Cruel, cruel, oh
Cruel, cruel, oh

Cruel, cruel, oh
Cruel, cruel, oh


Lyrics submitted by j0nnynoname

"Cruel" as written by Anne Erin Clark

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Cruel song meanings
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  • +10
    Song MeaningI don't know that I feel this has to do with societal pressures on women (but then again, I'm not female, so Annie Clark may have more to say about that) so much as it has to do with the anxiety of being seen as the means to an end and the nature of objectification that is essential in treating another person as something sub-human–that is, cruelty.

    Cruelty, at its core, is defined as indifference to or pleasure in the suffering of another person. "They could take or leave you / So they took you / And they left you" is an exceptionally demonstrative verse–the person at the core of the lyrical narrative is being treated by others more so as a set of options or preferences than as a living, breathing individual with emotions and desires. Not only that, they are being callously "taken" and "left" … like a bit of used up crayon that someone has discarded after they wore it down to a wax nub. The narrative voice is defined by what "… everybody wants from [her]"; taken and left–she's denied intrinsic value and expected to derive worth solely from what she's provides others, from what utility she serves to those around her.

    I'd say we don't need to pigeonhole the gender of the narrative voice–the song's about our society's casual dehumanization/objectification of its constituents and the resulting turmoil and distress this causes to the individual. Brilliant music and lyrics always … god, Annie has a knack for formulating a phrase, lyrically and musically.
    sumeragi_sluton September 03, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentAbsolutely beautiful. I think its about the standards society sets for woman. This is evident in her music video as well. Society wants woman to be the perfect house wife or whatever, but she can't conform to this standard but understands how much easier life would be if she just gave in.
    spammusibi29on August 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis feels like it's a song about celebrity. We take what we want from them but the minute they fuck up and do something we don't like we discard them. More so with female celebrities. Or maybe it's about the standards that people set for us and we just never want what they want us to want or what they want us to do we never do right then people just give up and move on.
    Eggos=yumon November 11, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel like this song is the cruelty a mother/wife has to face, being the perfect woman to her youngings, and being a perfect housewife and how unappreciative children and husbands may be.
    BestNameEveron November 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's "they were the zephyr blowing past you, glowing fiercely so they can't see you"
    smallatomicbombon September 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correctionyea these lyrics are not so correct... the zephyr part is " they were the zephyr blowing past you, going fast (or fastly) so they can't see you. This song is actually more obvious in terms of what it means than her other songs... her video is definetly about a woman, but the other characters do seem to feel the same way she does if you look at their expressions... I love Annie Clark, I already got a lyrics tattoed on me, she's a freakin poet... fantastic, an instant classic in my mind, I'll be forcing my kids and grandkids to listen to her records... even my great grandkid if I'm still around.
    DaniellePastirchakon September 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel like this song is the cruelty a mother/wife has to face, being the perfect woman to her youngings, and being a perfect housewife and how unappreciative children and husbands may be.
    BestNameEveron November 23, 2011   Link

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