I know you
I know you've seen her
She's a sad tomato
She's three miles of bad road
Walking down the street
Will I never meet her?
She's a real woman-child
Oh, my kiss breath turpentine

I am smitten
I'm the real thing (I'm the real thing)
Have you seen her come around?
My crush with eyeliner

I'm in like
I'm infatuated
It's all too much, the pressure
She's all that I can take
What position should I wear?
Cop an attitude? (you fake her)
How can I convince her? (fake her)
That I'm invented too, yeah

I am smitten
I'm the real thing (I'm the real thing)
We all invent ourselves
And, uh, you know me

She's a sad tomato
She's three miles of bad road
She's her own invention (she's her own invention)
That gets me in the throat
What can I make myself be?
Life is strange, yeah (life is strange)
What can I make myself be? (fake her)
To make her mine?

I am smitten
I'll do anything (I'll do anything)
A kiss breath turpentine
My crush with eyeliner

I am smitten
You know me (yeah, you know me)
I could be your Frankenstein
My crush with eyeliner
I am smitten
I'm the real thing (I'm the real thing)
Won't you be my valentine?
My crush with eyeliner

Lyrics submitted by Novartza

Crush With Eyeliner Lyrics as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Crush With Eyeliner song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentWell whatever sexuality, the Troubadors always used their "crushes" in their songs in the opposite sex as they were, just to keep the identity unknown, or to indicate that they were powerful, or...something. Of course, they sang about how they didn't want their objects of affection because they knew they'd only be disapointed if they got them (or they simply were not good enough). Actually, I see a sort of similarity. The fact that you want someone who is fake, rather than real. What is that? Why do we want to be who we are not to get those who are not real? I mean, to get someone who is honest, and themself.

    Actually, I lie, I have no idea what this is about. But that's what makes it cool.
    CÆTon February 20, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI like songs with deep lyrics, especially those that delve into psychology. In my opinion, this is one of those songs. It's a recognition that other's are fake and we know they are fake, and we will act fake in order to attract a fake person. We are all acting fake to get attention and eventually love. We end up judging other people, not by who they really are, but by their fake persona and what others say about them. Throughout the song he is asking himself what “fake” person should I act like to attract this other fake person? From the song: “What position should I wear? Cop an attitude? (you fake her) How can I convince her? (fake her) That I'm invented too, yeah”. He says, “We all invent ourselves and Uh you know me”: We invent ourselves by saying things like, Uh you know me, I'm Mr Organized. We give ourselves labels hoping they will stick and that's how people will remember us. Not only are most of these labels not true, they are usually the opposite of the truth. What's with the Frankenstein reference? He was a person built with the parts of multiple people. “I could be your Frankenstein” is saying I can be who you want me to be. He is trying to figure out which fake personality he should use to attract the fake person he has a crush on. Guess how these relationships usually end? Which, I think, is part of the point of the song. Another point is that we sometimes believe other's perceptions of people without finding out for ourselves and stick lasting labels and judgments on them. “She's a sad tomato” and “She's three miles of bad road”. Why are those in this song about a woman he is smitten with? Is he asking around about her and this is what others say about her? He does say, “I know you've seen her”. Is part of his brain saying on the surface she seems like a train wreck, but I can see past the fake roles she is playing and find something lovable about her? Maybe the next line, “she's her own invention” tells us. He is realizing that we are all fake, but as long as we are all inventing ourselves, maybe instead of playing the typical “tough guy” “wise guy” “drama queen” “professional business person” “know it all” roles that everybody else is pretending to be, we should be our own invention and be uniquely ourselves. Maybe that is why he is still smitten with the “sad tomato” that is “three miles of bad road”. Maybe that's why he says, “I'm the real thing” (a Coke advertising slogan). And “what can I make myself be to make her mine”. He knows that he is trying to find fake roles to play to attract her, and so is she. And if they get together after a while, when they get past the fake roles they are playing, he wants her to know that deep down he is “the real thing”; and that he can see past her fake eyeliner and the superficialness of the role she is playing being a “sad tomato” and he can see through to the uniqueness of her being “her own invention”, which is what she is down deep. Maybe he is saying that I can see past the fake roles you are playing and I am smitten with the real you. Maybe that is why the first three words to the song are, “I know you” even though most of the song is about being fake. I also noticed that one line of the song says, “how can I convince her that I'm invented too?” Why would he want to do that? Most people aren't very honest about being fake. What if he chose a fake role to play to get her attention and it didn't work? Then he has to backtrack and tell her, “that other guy you met last night, that wasn't me! It was a jerky fake version of me. Could we start all over again?” Anyway, that's my take!
    Lyrics2Deepon June 16, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWho cares either way? I always thought the song was sung from the point of view of an older man trying to act hip (i.e. the faker) to get the attention of a younger woman he's smitten with. I never thought it was about Courtney, but whatever...I always saw as Michael portraying this letch character. Then again, the younger woman in the song isn't any angel, hence the "three miles of bad road" comment. Just my opinion.
    BigPoppaChidogon July 04, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the title "crush with eyeliner" is used to describe how peple "love" to invent an image of themselves, that they think is going be accepted by the others, instead of showing who they really are. "Eyeliner" stands for anything that people do to cover their true personality.
    algunmaeon December 10, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDoes anyone remember the music video for this, with a group of punkily dressed japanese teenagers pretending to play the song the whole time? It really fits the song in a strange way, because if you think about it the lyrics tend to sort of read like someone with a tenative grasp on english trying to write a "sexy" glam rock song ("she's a real woman child/ kiss breath with turpentine"?).
    destroyalltacoson April 18, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSorry for posting 3x in a row but I just I had a brainwave.

    The "I'm the real deal" line could be a reference to Kurt Cobain being terrified of being thought of as a phony corporate rock sell out. Remember reading about him giving away a brand new Volvo Courtney bought him for fear of looking like he had any money?
    guanxiion October 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I hear this song, I always imagine a straight-edge and somewhat socially awkward teenager feeling a strange attraction to a punk rock girl. Despite knowing they have nothing in common. After reading the lyrics more carefully, it seems more likely that, as other people have said, the song is about being fake in relationships. When I just listen to the song without listening hard to the lyrics, however, this is just what it feels like to me.
    Jiubon May 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlways thought it was about Courtney the 'breath turpentine' reference (hole have a song called Turpentine) her make up look around this time was heavy kohl "she's her own invention" could be a reference to all the different Courtney's we have seen grungy kinderwhore to glamour puss etc also the fake thing could be about her plastic surgery?
    Rabbidfoxon March 20, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCourtney Love thought it was about her? Did she not realize Mr. Stipe is gay? Or was that the point, he was trying to pretend he isn't gay so she'd like him? But what would be the point in pretending ur not gay to get a girl? Because if u really r gay u wouldn't like her in the first place and if u really like her that would make u not gay. O well.
    ZinbobDanon April 01, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti should also add that courtney love thought kurt was cheating on her with mr. stipe...so it might be kinda like angela bowie catching david in bed with mick jagger and then when the song "angie" comes out it's...ok, i guess not...

    ...urban legends . . .
    ZinbobDanon May 03, 2003   Link

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