"Primary" as written by Robert James Smith, Laurence Andrew Tolhurst and Simon Gallup....
The innocence of sleeping children
Dressed in white and slowly dreaming
Stops all time
I slow my steps and start to blur
So many years have filled my heart
I never though I'd say those words

Further we go
And older we grow
The more we know
The less we show

The very first time I saw your face
I thought of a song and quickly changed the tune
The very first time I touched your skin
I thought of a story and rushed to reach the end too soon

Oh remember
Please don't change

And so the fall came thirteen years
A shiny ring and how I could forget your name
The air no longer in my throat
Another perfect lie is choked
But it always feels the same

So they close together
Dressed in red and yellow
Innocent forever
Sleeping children in their blue soft rooms
Still dream

Lyrics submitted by oofus

"Primary" as written by Robert James Smith Laurence Andrew Tolhurst

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Primary song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentA set of gauzy, indistinct impressions of the contrast between the time before first love and the time after it. The singer drops a couple of spare references to his own such transition and finds absolutely nothing positive to say about it.

    "Primary" means first, and so it's a reference to first love and first sex -- "reach the end too soon" is a stereotyped failure of a boy's first sexual encounter.

    "Primary" also refers to precisely three colors, and they are all mentioned in the last stanza. In art, one may see them as the pure colors one begins with, which mix to create the others. So the primary colors in which these children dress and live are the last purity they'll know in life before things become more complex.

    The driving bass of the song seems to alienate the tortured lyrics -- a perfect match to the lyrics. This is maybe the quintessential Cure song.
    rikdadon May 25, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentLove held back by existensialist angst?
    Arieson December 18, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentForgot to add what Smith said about Primary:

    "Toying with the idea that it may be better to die very young, innocent and dreaming...or even to murder as a gift..."
    monster36604on November 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe chorus says it all, really. It's about how people change as they grow older, how they become wiser and more immune to being hurt, while young children still retain the capacity to be idealistic. My interpretation anyway. What I like best, though, is the fact that this song actually tells a story instead of trying to convey feeling via pure repetition.
    Salmon of Doubton September 02, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPrimary was first played as "Cold Colours". Except for the chorus, the lyrics were different. I read somewhere that it was dedicated to Ian Curtis. ??? Don't know if its true. One of The Cure's best.
    monster36604on November 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, he really does!
    curedollon February 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentperhaps being in a relationship for the wrong reasons?
    lokithecaton April 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about falling in love, and trying to push it away because of past bad experiences.

    Then the regrets kick in.
    jesusfcukon January 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthey the peel session lyrics are different :(
    stereocaseon November 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, it's about the first love and the feelings that come with it....only that they inevitably change and the love ends and suddenly, we're affected by the repercussions of it ending.
    xcentricon February 11, 2010   Link

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