Outside the cafe by the cracker factory
You were practicing a magic trick
And my thoughts got rude, as you talked and chewed
On the last of your pick and mix

Said your mistaken if your thinking that I haven't been called cold before
As you bit into your strawberry lace
And then a flip in your attention in the form of a gobstopper
Is all you have left and it was going to waste

Your past-times, consisted of the strange
And twisted and deranged
And I love that little game you had called
Crying lightning
And how you like to aggravate the ice-cream man on rainy afternoons

The next time that I caught my own reflection
It was on it's way to meet you
Thinking of excuses to postpone
You never look like yourself from the side
But your profile did not hide
The fact you knew I was approaching your throne

With folded arms you occupy the bench like toothache
Stood and puff your chest out like you never lost a war
And though I try so not to suffer the indignity of a reaction
There was no cracks to grasp or gaps to claw

And your past-times, consisted of the strange
And twisted and deranged
And I hate that little game you had called
Crying lightning
And how you like to aggravate the icky man on rainy afternoons

But not half as impossible as everyone assumes
You are crying lightning

Your past-times, consisted of the strange
And twisted and deranged
And I hate that little game you had called
Crying lightning
Crying lightning
Crying lightning
Crying lightning

Your past-times, consisted of the strange
And twisted and deranged
And I hate that little game you had called

Lyrics submitted by olliemilton, edited by jackson1151

Crying Lightning Lyrics as written by Alex Turner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Crying Lightning song meanings
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  • +23
    General CommentNot about an ex-girlfriend, but about falling for a bad girl.

    At first it's good fun being with her: She's kind of crazy, and he likes her hard-to-get games (that's crying lightning). The line, "her past-times consisted of the strange, the twisted and deranged," means she likes messing with this guy's mind. She's all over him one day, but fighting him the next. Toying with his feelings is fun for her. In the song's context, "past times" means hobbies, or things to do for fun— not a past experience.

    He knows the girl is bad news, but he goes with it ("I love that little game you call crying lightning"). I think he tried to avoid getting involved with her ("the next time that I caught my own reflection it was on its way to meet you, thinking of excuses to postpone") because he knew she played games, but he was too attracted to her...

    However, as he spends time with her, he realizes her games aren't fun anymore. Now he sees her attitude as mean and conceited with no regards for his bruised feelings ("..stood and puffed your chest out like you never lost a war..") He doesn't want to be a brokenhearted wimp about realizing she's really a bitch, so he doesn't say anything and holds in his emotions ("..I try so not to suffer the indignity of a reaction.."), but he does conclude that being her boy toy and emotional punching bag is not what he wants to be. She's been a hard pill to swallow, but even if it was fun in the beginning (she was "uninviting, but not half as impossible as everyone assumes"), he doesn't want to play crying lightning anymore.

    In the end, he's changed his mind: "I hate that little game you had called crying lightning."

    This is so good. I love how Alex Turner's given a name to the teasing games some girls play, and kind of uses it as a metaphor to show how guys can also get hurt. Arctic Monkeys back, and still really fucking good. No surprise there, though.
    bueller84on July 07, 2009   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think of you listen to the acoustic version of this song, it makes it alot clearer as to what its about. There's an extended verse and it goes;

    "Well you were reading a book about some idiot, and telling me about another. I was so severely underwhelmed I thought I might never recover. Straighten the rutter girl and sail me upstairs, and go and find somebody who cares. Well we might not make the perfect partners but tonight we make the pair."

    This verse implies that the girl Alex had been seeing before had a past lover (ex boyfriend) who she might not been able to get over. She still had interest in him. TO ALEX, her past times consisted of the strange, a twisted and deranged. This girl appears to show a great level of disinterest as his "thoughts get rude as she talks and chews on the last of her pecan mix" its kinda like she uses her phone when she's out with him.

    Things also seem a bit awkward between the both as he wishes to postpone meeting with her. She's uninviting but not half as impossible as everyone assumes she is. Think about it. This girl underwhelmes him, disappoints him coz she can't shake off her emotions with her past lover and Alex is stuck in the middle and he's pits off and a little sad.

    A writer or a poet usually are the socially awkward type. You can see this in interviews with Alex he usually has a hard time looking for things to say and people confuse this with being stuck up.
    jppj13on June 26, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General CommentNah, Ritz17 got it right. Crying Lightning is a variant of Crying Wolf. The trick is you go to the ice cream van guy and say you've seen lightning over east and there's a storm coming any second. The idea is to make the ice cream guy think he's going to lose all his stock of ice cream (which will go to waste when everyone goes inside and the sunny day suddenly ends) and so is more likely to give out some free ice creams to the girl and all her friends.

    So basically, he used to have fun with this devious chick, but he eventually figured out that she's a bit of a rotten apple!
    sper12on November 13, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"twisted and deranged" surely?
    scummymanon February 05, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentFrom the lyrics above, it seems to me like he crossed paths with an ex girlfriend. She is trying to get him to remember the past, when they were together so maybe they can be together once more, but he remembers the pain; "twisted and arranged/deranged (deranged fits better). "Crying Lightning" might refer to a shock-and-awe strategy for the girl to get him back. After all this time apart, the first time they see each other after the break-up she just starts crying, which is a suprise to him. Its so sudden, like lightning.

    However, the line "And how you like to aggravate the ice-cream and on rainy afternoons..." makes me think that this break-up wasn't too long ago. Despite the pain he suffered, he could still miss her. His sadness is the rainy afternoon, and he tries to cheer himself up with a soft-serve...soon to be interrupted.
    olMUSICHnjon June 22, 2009   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningI think its about the so called bitch shield(crying lightning) that women put up after having been approached by guys that couldn't handle them.

    And your past-times consisted of the strange,
    And twisted and deranged,

    She knows he is gonna go talk to her so she perks up her boobs and crosses her arms to be as unapproachable as possible, but alex admits that it is a front

    But not half as impossible as everyone assumes

    the reason he loves it at first "I love that little game you play called crying lightning" is because it is a small challenge but over time he becomes tired of it when she proves impenetrable..

    And I hate that little game you have called, Crying.....

    i love how alex can take the same line and change the way we feel about it every time he sings it. i love this band

    echerrron July 11, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's not past-times, its pastimes...a pastime is something you do to kill time...

    Crying lightning is probably crying in a manner that grabs everyone's attention..

    ZuLion July 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with olMUSICHnj on sth, this is my point of view:

    With past times can't he mean the last experiences with other boys of the girl? They are strange, twisted and deranged because they're based on the crying lightning magic trick (and maybe with those guys it worked). He likes it in the beginning (And I love that little game you have called, crying lightning And how you like to aggravate the ice-cream and on rainy afternoons) since it's not a threat, and he's not scared by the rainy afternoons either because it looks like sth he can stand and off course he's different from the previous guys of the girl, he actually enjoys the situation. But then the magic trick becomes more and more effective and it starts rising some doubts in him (And I hate that little game you have called, crying lightning, And how you like to aggravate the icky man (?) on rainy afternoons), not because he wants to get back with her but just cause it's harder and rough at that point to dump her easily(And my thoughts got rued as you talked and chewed) and eventually also rainy afternoons become unpleasant; besides, he thought he was different from the other guys but in fact he may be not,as he shows some doubts as well (The next time that i caught my own reflection it was on its way to meet you, Thinking of excuses to postpone); he also becomes part of a group ,accused by her to be uninviting (Uninviting, but none of us impossible as everyone assumes you are), which is the one of her ex-boyfriends.
    At last, I think he blames her not to be able to understand the normality of the end of a relationship since she acts like it's some kind of war not to be lost while for him it's just the usual evolution of stories, and the chance of still being friends or sth like that is ruined by her proud behaviour(With folded arms you walked aside the bench like toothache, Saw them puff your chest out like you'd never lost a war), with the subtle move of the Crying lightning which eliminates that chanche(And though i tried not to talk for the indignity of a reaction, There was not cracks to grasp, or gaps to claw.).
    booyakaon July 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnybody consider that perhaps "Crying Lightning", is similar to crying wolf? Seems like something you could do to aggravate people on a rainy day. Not sure if the ice cream man has to shut it down when it lightnings or something.. but either way.. Something to consider.
    Ritz17on September 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe what it means is that he ran into an old girlfriend and that she goes up to him and just starts crying and surprising him with a "magic trick" to try and get him back and he is shocked like a lightning strike (hence crying lightning). He admits that at first he likes this and he likes seeing her coming back wanting to go back with him, and he likes how in bad times or "rainy afternoons" she goes to him and tries to make him feel bad or "aggravating the ice cream man". He then says that as he himself was about t fall for the trick he tells himself to stop falling for it because he also sees that she knows he's falling for it, so he says o to her. So she, being so proud, gets mad because it always works for her and he then starts to hate that shes trying to trick him because they'res no "cracks to clasp or gaps to claw" or that she has no way of convincing him.

    this is my interpretation
    jlopez0309on September 01, 2010   Link

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