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White Lies – Streetlights Lyrics 4 years ago
Charles as quoted as saying "it's not metaphorical but literal".

So I assume it really means what it says at face value; growing up in a dull town/suburb with nothing to do. In that context, I assume "this might be love" is kind of ironic.

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White Lies – Fifty on Our Foreheads Lyrics 4 years ago
I read a quote from Charles somewhere that this was a sort of Ender's Game analogy. Young children being sent off on some secret outer space mission, with adults taking advantage of their youth and innocence.

So I think the lyrics are meant to be taken fairly literally, not as a metaphor for love or whatever....

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White Lies – Bad Love Lyrics 4 years ago
I think it's much darker than what most people here interpret it. I think this person is a stalker/obsessive, who literally has murdered this girls' boyfriend because he wants her for himself.

"So sick of the taste of blood", "I won't ask your God for mercy...my soul is dirty" suggest that he's gone well beyond mere thoughts and into action.

"I'll write your girl a letter, it'll make everything better", he'll tell the girl that they can be together now that her boyfriend is out of the way. Classic creepy horrifying stalker stuff.

Plus the lyrics and general vibe of the chorus...."we should be together, it's our destiny, so whatever I do is justified"

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White Lies – Holy Ghost Lyrics 4 years ago
I'll take a stab at it, then....

I've always interpreted this as a religious man, seeing a woman who he regards as 'immoral' sexually, and yet being strangely attracted to her.

Like a battle between his conservative, religious side and his raw physical/sexual side.

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Weezer – The Angel and the One Lyrics 5 years ago
I always interpreted it as being about spirituality. The person is giving up an "earthly pleasure" relationship to pursue a higher, spiritual calling.

The final verse is so touching....he wants this person to come along on this journey with him, or at least to understand. He still loves them deeply, and wants to help them experience his love on this deeper, spiritual level.

Basically, it's like if you said "we can still be friends", but really, sincerely meant it.

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New Order – Ultraviolence Lyrics 5 years ago
In a similar way, I always view this song as not about rape but child abuse. The reference to "all those years ago" suggest it was something that happened a long time in the past.

I've seen very early live versions of this song that had the lyric "Who killed my father?"...which fits the child abuse theme, and suggests the song was originally going to be more obvious and explicit.

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New Order – We All Stand Lyrics 5 years ago
I always interpreted this one as being about a man walking out to face a firing squad. "We all stand" are the men all standing in a line where a "soldier is waiting for me" to shoot them.

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New Order – Age Of Consent Lyrics 5 years ago
Lines like "crucial point one day becomes a crime" and the song's title suggest that this is a relationship where one party is below the Age of Consent.

The narrator desperately wants to have sex with his too-young girl, but is either too scared or too honourable. "I'm not the kind that likes to tell you just what I want to do", "These words lying inside, they hurt me so".

"I received your message..." suggests that she wants it, and has said it's okay. But in the end, he just can't do it, so they break up.

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Tears for Fears – Suffer The Children Lyrics 6 years ago
I've always wondered if this was about a disabled/special needs child.

"When it don't turn out the way it should", "and it's so unfair...when you gave him his life".

The parents are not neglectful, just confused and uncertain what to do. We didn't do anything wrong, so how did it end up like this? The song is encouraging them that it's okay to fee like this, but they still need to love their child unconditionally no matter what.

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Wire – Marooned Lyrics 6 years ago
I've always interpreted this song literally.

But in the context of many songs on 'Chairs Missing' being about mental illness/instability, lines like "while the ship is afloat, he's losing his boat" could be a metaphor for madness/dementia.....

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Wire – It's So Obvious Lyrics 6 years ago
It seems to be about Wire becoming bored with the "obvious" punk scene.

"It's 77.....can't wait for 78!" suggests they were already looking forward to a new and more interesting music scene.

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Interpol – Rest My Chemistry Lyrics 6 years ago
It's the Interpol version of a "Sex n Drugs n Rock and Roll!!" song......

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Interpol – Ancient Ways Lyrics 6 years ago
I interpret this song as a protest against the gentrification of the old New York (or any city) neighbourhoods.

All the "Ancient Ways" are the old enclaves, street corners, grand old houses, ma and pa grocery stores etc....The developers say "F**k the ancient ways", and pave them over with soul-less new developments.

"Beneath us an empire grows" of apartment blocks and supermarkets, and all the traditional ways are "beaten by the weight of it".

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Bauhaus – Hair Of The Dog Lyrics 6 years ago
"Hair of the Dog" is an expression for curing a hangover by having another drink.

So the song's about dealing with physical or emotional torture by going back and subjecting yourself to even more.

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Wire – Used To Lyrics 6 years ago
In the context of most of 'Chairs Missing' being about mental illness/instability, I always interpreted this song as about someone with dementia...

Especially the line "The pulse is strong but the response is weak"...they are alive, but their memory is gone and they don't acknowledge you.

"You used to know" them but now they are just a shell of their former selves.

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Wire – A Mutual Friend Lyrics 6 years ago
I thought the 'moon' might be in the context of "promise you the moon"....i.e. someone who promises you everything you desire.

A guy is replacing his current girl (the subject of the song) with a girl who promises him the "moon".

Well, that's one way I interpret it....

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Joy Division – The Eternal Lyrics 7 years ago
I've heard the story about Ian writing it about a mentally disabled neighbour as well....

I have always interpreted this song as representing the frustration of mentally disabled people at being unable to express themselves. Lyrics like "tried to cry out in the heat of the moment/possessed by a fury that burns from inside" and "no words can explain, no action determine" imply that this person has emotions, thoughts and desires like everyone else, but is unable to articulate them and make people understand him.

The tragedy of the lyrics is how this person seems fully aware of his own disability. How "burdened" and "cursed" he is to spend his life "wastefully with children", looking out "from the fence to the wall" doing nothing but watching things go by for the rest of his life.

An incredibly sad song....

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Wire – The 15th Lyrics 7 years ago
Isn't the song supposed to be about abortion? "The 15th" allegedly referred to the 15th week of pregnancy which at the time was the latest date for aborting.

"As if it had no cause to live for", "As if it had sooner been destroyed" , "It was not there".....the lyrics definitely fit.

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Genesis – Eleventh Earl Of Mar Lyrics 7 years ago
I have always interpreted it a bit more generally, as a satire of how "leaders" were chosen based on social status rather than actual leadership ability. It's clear the Earl is a hopeless leader, but he's in charge because of his class.

Ironically, the song seems to imply that his hopelessness actually saves the lives of his men because he couldn't get them to the battlefront in time ("...couldn't get them down that far"), where everyone else is killed ("...and that will be their grave").

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