I know when to go out
Know when to stay in
Get things done

I catch a paper boy
But things don't really change
I'm standing in the wind
But I never wave bye-bye
But I try, I try
There's no sign of life
It's just the power to charm
I'm lying in the rain
But I never wave bye-bye
But I try, I try
Never gonna fall for

(Modern love) walks beside me
(Modern love) walks on by
(Modern love) gets me to the church on time
(Church on time) terrifies me
(Church on time) makes me party
(Church on time) puts my trust in God and man
(God and man) no confession
(God and man) no religion
(God and man) don't believe in modern love

It's not really work
It's just the power to charm
I'm still standing in the wind
But I never wave bye bye
But I try, I try
Never gonna fall for

(Modern love) walks beside me
(Modern love) walks on by
(Modern love) gets me to the church on time
(Church on time) terrifies me
(Church on time) makes me party
(Church on time) puts my trust in God and man
(God and man) no confession
(God and man) no religion
(God and man) don't believe in modern love

(Modern love) walks beside me
(Modern love) walks on by
(Modern love) gets me to the church on time
(Church on time) terrifies me
(Church on time) makes me party
(Church on time) puts my trust in God and man
(God and man) no confession
(God and man) no religion
(God and man) I don't believe in modern love

Modern love (modern love)
Modern love (modern love)
Modern love (modern love)
Modern love (modern love)
Modern love (modern love)
Modern love (modern love)
Modern love (modern love)
Modern love (modern love)
(Modern love)
(Modern love)
(Modern love)
(Modern love)
Modern love, walks beside me
(Modern love)
Modern love, walks on by
(Modern love)
Modern love, walks beside me
(Modern love)
Modern love, walks on by
(Modern love)
Never gonna fall for
(Modern love)
(Modern love)


Lyrics submitted by capitol76

"Modern Love" as written by David Bowie

Lyrics © TINTORETTO MUSIC

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Modern Love song meanings
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  • +3
    My InterpretationI think a lot of people are taking things too literally (what the backup singers are saying while he sings each part of the chorus).

    The "hook" of this song is how it's cyclical. The way I always hear this song, it's about a guy and his conflict between "modern" cosmopolitan relationships and more "traditional" ones that still hold some draw.

    On one hand you have modern love. No religion (tradition, maybe outdated and stodgy) and no hangups. It's freeing and liberated. It can be amazing when you have truly uninhibited love with someone...

    ...but at the same time that other side of you. Maybe it's upbringing. Maybe just tradition. Either way it's the desire for stability and safety that those traditions imply. "Gets you to the church on time" is a reference to getting married. The whole cliche is about making sure the bride or groom make it to the church on time.

    That's where the cycling choral verses start to represent the thoughts of a young guy who is trying to find just what he really wants. Modern love is cool. It makes you happy and feels cool. You think you're happy but then you start to settle down and you think that maybe you want to marry. This terrifies you and brings a load of anxiety because you may not have thought that far ahead so your reaction is to go party and deny what you don't want to acknowledge. So before the relationship goes down that path toward stability (and maybe stagnation) you reject it all and go back to modern love...starting it all over again.

    This sticks out because it's a cycle I've seen and experienced first hand. (hence tagged as personal interpretation). On one hand, freedom and liberation leads to passion and love. That naturally leads to talk of settling down which can be scary and restricting. As a young guy, that makes you want to react by rejecting all of that and splitting off to become single and repeat the process again.

    Always dug this song. As a kid I just liked the upbeat tune with the dark lyrics. Now it hits all too close to home. Too bad I'm not David Bowie and can't just keep that cycle of arrested development going forever, huh? ;)
    serlentcerlaon January 07, 2014   Link

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