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I'll Wear It Proudly Lyrics

I hate these flaming curtains they're not the color of your hair
I hate these striplights they're not so undoing as your stare
I hate the buttons on your shirt when all I wanna do is tear
I hate this bloody big bed of mine when you're not here
Well I finally found someone to turn me upside down
And nail my feet up where my head should be
If they had a King of Fools then I could wear that crown
And you can all die laughing because I'll wear it proudly

Well you seem to be shivering dear and the room is awfully warm
In the white and scarlet billows that subside beyond the storm
You have this expression dear no words could take its place
And I wear it like a badge that you put all over my face


I'll wear it proudly through the dives and the dancehalls
If you'll wear it proudly through the snakepits and catcalls
Like a fifteen year old kid wears a vampire kiss
If you don't know what is wrong with me
Then you don't know what you've missed

We are arms and legs wrapped round more than my memory tonight
When the bell rang out and the air outside turned blue from fright
But in shameless moments you made more of me than just a mess
And a handful of eagerness says "What do you suggest?"

Song Info
Submitted by
Submitted on
Jul 02, 2002
3 Meanings
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The way I interpret it, it's sung from the point of view of a man who's fallen head over heels for a woman in a way he didn't expect and is perhaps a bit ashamed of. He talks about his feelings for this woman in a way he admits sounds stupid and makes him feel like a fool, but decides to ignore that and wear his "crown for the king of fools" proudly.

"Like a fifteen year old kid wears a vampire kiss" "And I wear it like a badge that you put all over my face" "But in shameless moments you made more of me than just a mess"

To me, they all seem to be lines that indicate a sense of shame over what he feels, but in one way or another still gives the impression that he thinks his feelings are justified, no matter how stupid they make him seem.

I agree that "The bell rang out and the air outside turned blue from fright" is probably a reference to the building being set on fire, but I would say it's probably a metaphorical fire, rather than a literal one.

I could be missing something here, early Elvis Costello lyrics about love and relationships are mostly known for being spiteful and cynical. But given that he was recently married to Cait O'Riordan at the time, maybe the idea that he would write a more straightforward love song is not that much of a stretch. It does appear on the same album as Jack of all Parades, which is also a lot less cynical than his other love songs.

My Interpretation
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Maybe I have a gruesome imagination, but this seems to be about someone who has just killed his lover. First, the refererence to "this bloody big bed of mine". While this of course could just be mild profanity, if we take it literally then the "white and scarlet billows" could refer to bloodstained sheets. The lover "shivering" while "the room is awfully warm" could be bleeding to death, while the murderer quite naturally feels overheated. And the air turning "blue with fright" could be the flashing lights of a police car.

Have I been reading too much pulp fiction?

Song Meaning

Follow-up to my own post: the murderer has set fire to the room: "flaming curtains", "the room is awfully warm", "the bell rang out" (fire alarm).

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I think this was about his new wife at the time, Cait O'Riordan of the Pogues. Instead of flames and murder, I'm sure this is about sex. References to being upside down is oral sex, shivering is orgasm, the blue light, arms and legs wrapped round my memory tonight. It's all there.

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