When routine bites hard
And ambitions are low
And resentment rides high
But emotions won't grow
And we're changing our ways, taking different roads

Then love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again

Why is the bedroom so cold?
You've turned away on your side
Is my timing that flawed?
Our respect runs so dry
Yet there's still this appeal
That we've kept through our lives

But love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again

You cry out in your sleep
All my failings exposed
And there's a taste in my mouth
As desperation takes hold
Just that something so good just can't function no more

But love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again

Lyrics submitted by numb

Love Will Tear Us Apart Lyrics as written by Ian Kevin Curtis Bernard Sumner

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Love Will Tear Us Apart song meanings
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  • +30
    General Comment

    this song is about 2 people who have known each other and loved each other so much that they have grown apart. love made them see each other's flaws. they have gotten sick of each other and are realizing how diferent they really are.

    dysphoriaon April 16, 2002   Link
  • +19
    General Comment

    This is quite possibly the greatest song ever written. Certainly the most truthful ever written about love.

    ReActoron July 10, 2002   Link
  • +13
    General Comment

    this song basically says everything about love. it never dies, yet it somehow does.

    loveisadiseaseon February 03, 2005   Link
  • +13
    Song Meaning

    I take him to be saying something along these lines–you and I have grown apart, we're in a rut, and we are all too aware of each other's failings. And yet, there's still some attraction there. So, rather than make a clean break, what love we still have for one another is causing us to stay together, to stay miserable, to tear each other apart, long after the point when we should have moved on.

    lmnon July 11, 2011   Link
  • +12

    I have always enjoyed reading people's takes on songs, but never chimed in. This will be my first and last, but please bare with me, this post is a way for me to cleanse my soul in a way.

    I've listened to this song for 30 years, always thought it was cool, very sad, but in a far off way. Didn't really listen to the lyrics much, just the song title mostly. Ian's voice so monotone, almost like he's got no feeling. Never really understood.

    I am writing this at almost 4 am, on my laptop. To my left, with her back to me lays my wife, asleep but restless, and almost every night she whimpers in her sleep, and it kills me. Together for ten years, married for 3. She's my best friend, I love her very much, but the love I feel isn't the way it was, as she still loves me. We have grown apart in so many ways, to many to name. I have felt this way for a couple years, and always thought it's OK, it will change, it's just temporary. Than I met someone at work, that over several years of working together brought back feelings I used to have, those sparks only love can bring, and I remembered how it was supposed to be, and I hated myself, and I quit my job, because it's so painful to realize how something just a wall over can make you so happy, but know it will never be, and the betrayal these feelings were to my wife. My Wife knows there is something wrong, and it is scaring her to death. I have lashed out, been cold and distant, yet she still tries. And I love her for that, but...starting to hate it. We are so the same as when we met, but so different, I try to bring it up but it's always deflected, and everyday I feel more suffocated. I know what I have to do, they always say the truth will set you free, but the suffering I feel now, I do not want her to feel. So I lay here sometimes, hoping I never wake up. She will never know the darkness in my heart, and thus will never be scarred.She has did nothing wrong but love me and count on me to do the same.

    The monotone in Ian's voice is the realization that what you thought was the greatest thing ever, that made you happy to be alive, has turned into something that can only be described as cancer of the soul, and it grows, and it leaves you numb, because it is always there, and never goes away, and the acceptance that comes with that, and the realization that your only options are to bring complete sorrow to the one you least want to hurt in the world, or just suck it up, which I have decided since I'm a coward, being numb is the only way to survive.

    Love will tear you apart is the most beautiful, truthful and painful song I have ever heard, or felt. Just pray to God that you never truly understand it's meaning.

    theduke77on June 22, 2014   Link
  • +10
    General Comment

    This is simply the most honest and sad song ever written about love and relationships.

    Sometime ago I read in an interview with Bernard Sumner that the other members of Joy Division never realised that all the lyrics written by Ian were about his own life. They always asked themselves from where he took all the sinister ideas / stories for his songs. If you now look back, it was so obvious... Maybe they were to young and blinded by the success of the band at that time.

    Shadowinthelighton October 24, 2009   Link
  • +5
    My Interpretation

    There's a definite irony to the song; a sense of strange doom, despite the inclusion of 'love'. While this was clearly never intended, it's often struck me as reminiscent of a failed friendship, rather than a romance. For whatever reason (other partners, obligations, so forth) they can't have a romantic relationship, and there's too much intensity for the dynamic to remain platonic. And thus, 'love' will 'tear them apart'. Why again? Meh. Maybe this isn't the first time. They could've been battling it awhile.

    At first, the more intimate lyrics seemed irreconcilable for such an interpretation, until I presumed, as friends in an 'it's complicated' sort of situation tend to do, some form of sexual relationship of a casual nature emerges - and that won't do, either. The feelings run too deep, and there's really no middle road. Damned if you do - and if you don't.

    In the end, irony of ironies, it was love that tore them apart. Again.

    Any fellow fans of BSG (Battlestar Galactica) would see this sort of thing playing out pretty clearly between Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace and Lee 'Apollo' Adama. A great, close friendship torn apart by the intensity introduced by love that neither could ever seem to handle at the same time. ('Is my timing that flawed?')

    Alas, only my musings on one of the quirkier songs of the era.

    mindhuntresson November 10, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    Although this is a great song, Joy Division are much more than love will tear us apart.. a lot of people don't realise that.

    Minor_Disturbanceon March 09, 2003   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    they are much more than this one song. but this song opens up a lot of people to this great band.

    LastGreatMistakeon April 26, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    As with the comment left by the above (reactor) This is one of the greatest songs ever written and without a doubt the most truthful about love. God rest Ian Curtis in a deep and peacefull sleep.

    LVNGDEADon July 28, 2002   Link

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