"Play for Today" as written by Robert James Smith, Laurence Andrew Tolhurst, Simon Gallup and Matthieu A. Hartley....
It's not a case of doing what's right
It's just the way I feel that matters
Tell me I'm wrong
I don't really care

It's not a case of share and share alike
I take what I require
I don't understand
You say it's not fair

You expect me to act like a lover
Consider my moves and deserve the reward
To hold you in my arms and wait, wait
Wait for something to happen

It's not a case of telling the truth
Some lines just fit the situation
Call me a liar
You would anyway

It's not a case of aiming to please
You know your always crying
It's just your part
In the play for today


Lyrics submitted by oofus, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Play for Today" as written by Matthieu A. Hartley Laurence Andrew Tolhurst

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Play for Today song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentSmith said:

    "The fraudulent aspects of an insincere relationship".

    This song is so good. One of my favorites.
    monster36604on December 05, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthehehe selfish teenage love here..
    i still like to listen to this song though when i am feeling immature and spiteful... giggling away the uncomfortable feeling of the responsibility of someone elses tears..
    Ratzodyon September 15, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPure teenage angst and rebellion. I feel its about this girl she expects Robert to do things for her benefit and Robert is saying no, I am my own individual, don't expect me to do this and that, don't expect me to bow down to your laws of relationships/sex whatever, I will do as I feel and I'm not playing your games!!!

    I can't relate if you can't tell
    KWizzy02on March 27, 2005   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningFor me he is talking about that kind of relationship where one of the parts is always complaining and blaming the other.

    "You expect me to act like a lover
    Consider my moves and deserve the reward"

    It sounds to me that his relationship was a bit stagnated and his lover is telling that he should earn her love, "deserve the reward" but if he would, he would just "wait for something to happen" cause in the end she is asking him to deserve her love but not doing much effort to make the relationship fun or worth it.

    "It's not a case of aiming to please
    You know you're always crying"

    Might be the case that she is doing so much just to please him, but always waiting something back so she is always end up crying.

    "It's not a case of telling the truth
    Some lines just fit the situation"

    In the end I think he liked her at first and wanted the relationship to work so is not a case that he was lying, it is in fact that she is asking so much to hear the truth (which for her is that he doesn't love her), that that in fact is becoming an annoyance, and if she continues with that, it might just become the truth and the line will fit the situation.
    talytalyon December 04, 2013   Link
  • +1
    QuestionI think there is a degree of sarcasm and/or cynicism in this one - kinda like "Let's Go to Bed." The narrator seems to be describing a relationship that has become so annoyingly predictable that he views it as a sort of "play" they're acting out. It appears that he is something of a jerk ("I take what I require"), but perhaps this can be
    GwiberWyrddon January 22, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General Comment17 Seconds was kinda a concept album. I feel this song has a darker meaning it seems to reflect a boy stalking an ex-girlfriend vica versa. This is my favorite The Cure song aswell.
    Bliss Freakon December 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really love this song i think because it's so blah and in your face in a way. but i think overal it's saying," just do whatever whenever" in a more mean way than that. favorite lines:

    "It's not a case of telling the truth
    Some lines just fit the situation
    You call me a liar
    You would anyway"
    fly me highon March 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentooooo!! maybe it's not so much a girlfriend/boyfriend lovers things, but just friends in general? like that point where a relationship with a friend just starts to spiral down to nowhere?
    fly me highon March 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMmm. I've thought along those lines as well, but the lines, "You expect me to act, Like a lover." kind of dispell that idea for me.
    tokyo_eyeon March 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI read somewhere that Seventeen Seconds was about a broken romance. I definately can see that.
    This song, however, means something deeper and less specific to me. It about the age old theme of human rationality conflicting with human emotion. The opening line alludes to the assumption of human rationality that was attacked by the romantic movement. fort exmaple romantic literature such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
    The opening line "It's not a case of doing what's right
    It's just the way I feel that matters" alludes to one of societies greatest and oldest problems - the belief in morality, fairness and justice when human actions are guided largely by animal-like base instincts like sexual desire, deire to dominate - like what Freud said, we would be ashamed if we could see what our unconscious desired.
    The message of song for me is that often human beings are frustrated at this and often feel a selfishness and crude desire to solely gratify.
    whitenoiseon April 11, 2006   Link

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