"Songs Of Love" as written by and Neil Hannon....
Pale, pubescent beasts roam through the streets
And coffee-shops
Their prey gather in herds in stiff knee-length skirts and white ankle-socks
But while they search for a mate my type hibernate
In bedrooms above
Composing their songs of love

Young, uniform minds in uniform lines
And uniform ties
Run round with trousers on fire and signs of desire they cannot disguise
While I try to find words as light as the birds
That circle above
To put in my songs of love

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice
So sing while you have time
Let the song shine down from above
And fill you with songs of love

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice
So let's sing while we still can
While the song hangs high up above
Wonderful songs of love
Beautiful songs of love


Lyrics submitted by JON

"Songs of Love" as written by Neil Hannon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, DOMINO PUBLISHING COMPANY, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Songs Of Love song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI think this is ultimately a song about youth, and the joys and larks of being young. There are two types of schoolboy in this song. The narrator takes a very animalistic view on the first type, with frequent animal imagery or direct references, whereas the second type is the deep, meaningful poet. Much as the teenage peers are compared to animals, there doesn't seem to be any malice toward them, and in fact a certain desire of the narrator to identify with them as peers to some extent.

    'Pale, pubescent beasts' is descriptive of every run of the mill Britsh adolescent male. 'Their prey' being the peer schoolgirls, 'stiff knee-length skirts and white ankle socks' obvioulsy describing the school uniform (the word 'uniform' coming up later).

    'my type hybernate, In bedrooms above, Composing their songs of love' is the other stereotype, and more empathic (reinforced by the narrator's identification by using the word 'my') socially awkward teen who is trying to prove he's got more substance than the 'beast' whose 'trousers (are) on fire', an obvious metaphor for aroused genitals.

    'sing while you have time' means 'enjoy your youth while you have it' and embrace the emotion of puppy love that every teen feels, even if not directed to a specific person. This idea of there being 'someone out there' is something I think most teens can relate to.

    'sing while we still can' to me, is a reminder that no matter how old we feel, we are only getting older, and should embrace what youth we have left, even at 90 years old. Singing is a positive thing as well, so in a metaphorical sense, this line means to generally enjoy and take advantage of life. Which I think is the most important meaning of this song. Although it can be interpreted as a song about love, there is no specific recipient of that love, it seems to be suggested that the narrator is projecting this unused, perhaps frustrated, love outward to the world and life in general.
    xaulon April 23, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe line with "masturbate" / "hibernate" used the first one in some versions of the song. I think it's Mr Hannon in his youth as a Morrissey-listening artistic teen, crippled by his sensitivity, quite wishing he was out chasing girls round bus-stops instead of writing poems about imaginary ones. Makes more sense with "masturbate" in there.

    The Smiths / Morrissey did a couple of songs on that theme.
    greenaumon September 04, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is more well known as being the theme tune to the 'Father Ted' television programme.
    JONon January 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthankyou JON. I have been wandering around for days puzzled over why I recognise this song.
    Sianon May 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs well as the theme to a great TV programme this is lyrically brilliant and original. How clever that although he is saying how beautiful love songs can be he is comparing it to the raw animal nature of the people who will go and buy these records, he paints himself to be an outsider poet and does it so well.
    siradskion June 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts such a beautiful song. I think he's saying how he'd rather be writing songs about love than be with all the people who are out running around trying to find love. It gives me such a nice picture in my head of someone who lives above a coffee shop trying to write a love song.
    jennifer00777on August 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that he can't decide which he'd rather be pursuing -the high ideal of love or the gratification of sex.
    ShineYouDiamondon August 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentben folds covered this song.
    zeppelinbeatle52on January 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's actually a sad song despite the upbeat tone. It seems to me that the singer is describing a happy love situation downstairs and everyone is invovled in the whole circle of life thing but the singer is alone upstairs with nobody and the job of making these people happy. it's no easy task because he's pretty much faking all these love emotions that he's not experiencing and trying form them into words as light as the birds.
    Commyeskimoon March 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentApparently instead of "my type hibernate" Neil wrote "my type masturbate" but since the song was associated with Father Ted he had to change it.
    Lazy_wolf_eyeson June 16, 2008   Link

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