"New Dawn Fades" as written by Ian Kevin Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Paul David Morris and Bernard Sumner....
A change of speed, a change of style
A change of scene, with no regrets
A chance to watch, admire the distance
Still occupied, though you forget

Different colors, different shades
Over each mistakes were made
I took the blame

Directionless so plain to see
A loaded gun won't set you free
So you say

We'll share a drink and step outside
An angry voice and one who cried
'We'll give you everything and more
The strain is too much, can't take much more

Oh, I've walked on water, run through fire
Can't seem to feel it anymore
It was me, waiting for me
Hoping for something more
Me, seeing me this time
Hoping for something else


Lyrics submitted by typo

"New Dawn Fades" as written by Ian Kevin Curtis Bernard Sumner

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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New Dawn Fades song meanings
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  • +11
    My InterpretationFirst of all, that's my favorite Joy Division song. Everything is perfect: the bass line, the drums, the guitar solos and the arpeggio when Ian sings. The break between the two verses is so pure and natural. This song goes so fluent... Ian's voice rising at the end of the song and of course, great lyrics. To me, this is why the word masterpiece exists.

    As for the meaning, in my opinion, it's only about suicide after a break-up. Nothing more. Maybe I'm "down to earth" on it... On the first verse, he calmly looks at his relationship with his wife and realizes that it's all wrong. He realizes that they can't match with each other. I think it's all about differences between people and when people love each other, they don't care about their differences and moreover, they dig the differences of their lover that enrich them. And when it's over, one has the impression that the person whom he loved has changed. "a change of speed, a change of style..."
    He thought they could match and he still loves her, so he plans to commit suicide and he has already told her so. What is really powerful and poignant is how aware and lucid he is about his situation and his decision. His situation is so directionless that he knows he can go away with no regrets. And at the same time, he's been too far with her, so he knows there is only one solution.
    "a loaded gun won't set you free - so you say" So powerful...
    Second verse: an angry voice and one who cried is also beautiful. It shows how different they are and how, now, they can't deal with it. Now, the final lines are really deep. "Cant's seem to feel it anymore". He once loves a girl but now he does not feel it anymore. He wish he could feel it because he does not want anything else in his life. But she is too distant from him now. So he says one last time "it was me..." He talks about him in the past which means I don't exist anymore. She was hoping for something more from him but he tells her "that's me, I can't offer more than me!"

    Just my interpretation on it... it's just that i've experienced in real life that a ot of break-ups happen because of differences between people and one of the two lovers reproaching the other not being this or that and the other "takes the blame" (while there's no blame, there is just a mistake, it was the wrong person, that's it!) and when they finally break up, the one who took the blame has to say "hey, that's me, that's how I am, if you're not good with it, don't blame me. If you look for smthg more, it's not my mistake". So basically, the problem is that Ian Curtis was suicidal. A random man would have a two months depression and would say "life goes on".

    Sad song created by a sad genius.
    garveymon August 18, 2010   Link
  • +6
    General Comment"After pondering over the words to New Dawn Fades, I broached the subject with Ian, trying to make him confirm that they were only lyrics and bore no resemblance to his true feelings. It was a one-sided conversation. He refused to confirm or deny any of the points raised and he walked out of the house. I was left questioning myself instead, but did not feel close enough to anyone else to voice my fears." ~Deborah Curtis

    I think it's about running away, bacause one can't stand/is overwhelmed by the current situation.
    Ana-chanon December 20, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentLyrically this is one of my favourite songs.
    I like the eeirily slow/peaceful tempo he uses in the first verse.
    It's like he's decided to make a change and is stepping back no longer being a part of something(relationship?). Supposedly there are "no regrets"
    but I believe there are HUGE regrets and this is more
    about quiet resignation and self blame for everything that is wrong (this isn't about a single mistake).
    He can only see an extreme solution, there
    are no more answers only freedom.

    The tempo of the last verse is frenetic.
    There is a conflict about trying to please
    and giving it everything but
    becoming overwhelmed and numb.
    Lastly there is dissappointment or "regret"
    of expectations not met I dont know
    if this is from his relationship, someone else
    or himself.
    Grovergeeon December 26, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI wonder if it's not about how life seems to speed by and constantly change, but really stays the same. Despite all the changes that occur in entertainment, with various new fashions and stars dominating the headlines, or in your personal life, with mistakes you swear you'll never make again and fears you thought you'd overcome, that the person you are deep down inside never really changes.
    j0nnynonameon March 07, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWhen I read the first three lines, I feel like maybe Ian was trying to write down or give creedence to things that he thought would help his predicament at the time (depression, infidelity, failing marriage, epilepsy, etc) - that if he had a change of scenery and whatnot, he would feel better. But then, it seems like on the fourth line, he breaks that - so often, depression is made worse by being idle, but in his case, he was VERY occupied - with the band gaining popularity and acclaim, touring all over, a US tour on the horizon... and yet, he forgot that things were looking up, that he was no longer just moping about Manchester, he was a rock star.

    It seems like he felt as though he'd tried many different ways of living, being, acting, thinking, etc. ("different colors, different shades") and that he'd bombed-out on all of them ("over each, mistakes were made") and that he had resigned himself to this reality, and the attitude that he was a failure ("I took the blame"). He goes on to repudate anything eariler about things that may help him ("Directionless, so plain to see" / "A loaded gun won't set you free"), and I wonder whether he meant that it was plain to see he was directionless, or it was plain to see that a loaded gun won't set you free. The way that he says "or so you say" in the song after almost seems like he's mocking that attitude that "you" have, and that he feels like suicide would free him - he descends into his depression and seems to almost dare you to prove him wrong.

    Then in the next verse, he starts off with a completely different mindset, and again, when you listen to him sing it, it sounds almost like he's trying to push aside those thoughts by thinking about other people, about socializing - almost chummy in a sense. The angry voice and the crying one could be the two emotions he felt in himself... anger and sorrow. People around him try to support him on his rise to fame and respect as an artist ("we'll give you everything and more") but he can't hear or feel anything but his own pain ("this pain's too much, can't take much more," which is about as desperate as it gets). He feels like he's done everything he can to feel alive again and it hasn't worked ("I've walked on water, can't seem to feel it anymore"), and then refers to the part earlier in the song where noted having tried to change, viewing himself in the past: that he felt that doing these things, that getting to where he was with the band or having a tryst with a music journalist or then trying to reconcile and be a husband and father all were things that would get him to where he wanted to be, hoping for something better, and better never came. He never shook the depression that ultimately led him to kill himself.
    tristan_son November 06, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJoy Division were a very very very dark band. "New Dawn Dades" is one of the saddest and darkest song I've ever heard. Ians voice is so haunting :( obviously about suicide.

    R.I.P Ian:(
    Labertascheon July 21, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI reached the same conclusion of "thebodiesobtained". The song, to me, clearly is written by two people: A recently dead (post-suicide) person and one that is about to commit suicide. Of course, they are the same. It talks first about a change of scene, of style, chance to see with no regrets. The "loaded gun won't set you free" is where this person talks to the loved one.
    "We'll gave you everything and more" basically expresses the feeling that the song is written by a dual voice in the same discuss.
    "Oh, I've walked on water, run through fire
    Can't seem to feel it anymore" - In this part the person that will commit suicide is in a state of deep depression and can't even feel the external world, as it often happens in deep depression, and at the same time, a dead person won't feel sensory stimula likewise.
    Now the most beautiful part of the song: The meeting of the "about to die" person (past) with the "recently dead" person: Like two people meeting each other, the recently dead person going towards the "light at the end" and meeting himself (already dead)
    "It was me, waiting for me
    Hoping for something more." The already dead person was wating to welcome himself (that just was killed), but hoping for something more. Someone bigger, more experienced from this life, now over.
    and...
    "Me, seeing me this time, hoping for something else"
    The over point of view: the recently dead person seeing that what he found at the end of the "road", when he killed himself, was himself only, and not "something else", like another being.

    If a person already knows that he will commit suicide, he won't picture his future of someone old, but focusing in the point of death. what he will find, and in this case, Ian curtis thinks the person will only find himself, frustrated for not welcoming a bigger self, and at the other side, the one that commited suicide won't find anything better, like God or whatever, will find, to his utter dispair, his own self.
    banaahon May 07, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentone theme that connects almost all joy divsion songs- longing for the present to change and frustration on its current state- is a prominent presence even in this song
    such heart crushing power, it makes me weep
    ian, you were a genius
    iancurtisfeelingon April 30, 2009   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis song is about the pain of not being able to be yourself. You are alive but you do not feel that you exist. You can't or don't know how to.

    The first verse talks about the usual cures for feeling down - you just need to put the past behind you, meet new people and do new things. But that obviously won't work - it's just adding some more meaningless events to all the meaningless stuff that went before. More random changes aren't really going to solve anything, but apparently suicide is not a solution either (so you say).

    The second verse is about the hope and pain of human contact. You are in terrible pain and you are angry because the pain is unbearable and does not make any sense. Someone has a sense of your pain, but their tears don't really change things. And then some idiot talks to you about the bright tomorrow without realising that you don't feel you can cope with one more second of anything. Of course, if you have got this far it is because you yourself have tried to convince yourself about how wonderful you are, but even those things that you have told yourself don't make any sense any more. It wasn't really about being extraordinary and doing fantastic things. You just wanted to have some sense of existing, some me rather than this burning pain where the me should be. But that hope is fading. It seems there is never going to be a me.
    frankgoodmanon May 27, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNostalgia and regret.... Everything changes and you realize the past is almost always better than the present in most situations. This song and "Insight" seem to share the same meaning.
    NewDawnFadeson December 22, 2004   Link

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