Mystery achievement
Don't breathe down my neck no
I got no trophies on display
I sign them away
I mean what the heck
All of your promises
Don't fill me with pride no
I just wanna get out on the floor
And do the Cuban slide, slide, slide, slide

But every day, every nighttime I find
Mystery achievement
You're on my mind
And every day, every nighttime I feel
Mystery achievement you're so unreal

Mystery achievement
Where's my sandy beach? Yeah
I had my dreams like everybody else
But they're out of reach
I said right out of reach
I could ignore you
Your demands are unending
I got no tears on my ice cream but you know me
I love pretending

But every day, every nighttime I find
Mystery achievement
You're on my mind
And every day, every nighttime I feel
Mystery achievement you're so unreal

Lyrics submitted by spliphstar

Mystery Achievement Lyrics as written by Christine Hynde


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Mystery Achievement song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentAdding to cystermisterie, it seems like the song is about being on the cusp of fame - that she hasn't "made it" yet, but she can practically sense gold-record albums in her unseen future.

    The Pretenders did make it, so the third stanza could be playing both sides to this unknown future, success or failure. It also seems to suggest that she knows she'll have unrealized expectations, either way it goes. "No tears in my ice cream" is like crying over spilt milk, and maybe a play on words inside it, just like "pretending".

    "Cuban Slide" was single form a vinyl EP release on the heels of their successful debut album. It stands to reason that that song was written or in the works when "Mystery Achievement" was written.

    And the tune is one of the greats, one of those that just gets better the more you platy loud.
    Danieletcon September 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat song - been looping it for days! I think it's about someone's personal goal, something they just want to accomplish in life but it keeps getting put aside for various reasons.

    There's so much pressure to get this done ("dont breathe down my neck, no"), yet you still sometimes want to forget about it and just have fun for a bit. It even seems like the goal is unneccesary when she is singing "I could ignore you / Your demands are unending / I got no tears on my ice cream but you know me / I love pretending". It's the pull between wanting something badly and lacking ambition to get it.
    HandClapWhoreon April 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think it's about chrissie's personal struggle with the demands of fame, and with becoming a famous musician/rockstar. i mean, mystery achievement, couldn't that be another way of saying stardom? i think if i'm not mistaken, the pretenders were sorta gaining popularity during that time frame, and maybe this is her way of addressing fame? re-read the lyrics, and someone tell me if this helped them make sense of them at all.
    cystermisterieon October 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt’s about Capitalism and how we are trained to believe that just being a good human is not enough, that we have to “do our part”, which in the case of Capitalism is, “achieving” so that we can “earn” enough to be a GOOD CONSUMER. I think it’s no accident that the first verse mentions “Cuba” in the form of a dance.

    I can tell CH is calling “bullshit” on this form of brainwashing because she says this “thing” is on her mind all the time, but when she can just find time to gather her thoughts “every nighttime I feel...” that it’s not “real”, not intrinsic to HER individual nature, but it’s been expressed to her so much throughout her life that she must be a good member of society (i.e. CONSUMER) that It o era some her, it sometimes she can actually parse thru the “fake” in order to see the “real”.

    Also, AFA “Cuban Slide” goes, i know it’s the name of another song on Pretenders 2, but in Mystery Achievement I think she’s criticizing ALL NATIONAL GROUPTHINK AS bad for the individual.
    force263on August 09, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat Song that is very under-rated. Don't know what it means.
    kfe2on February 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have no idea what the "Cuban slide" reference is, so I googled it and apparently there is another Pretenders songed titled - "Cuban slide." No other major references to this phrase, but there is no such song in the songmeanings lyrics collection right now. Does anyone know what the "Cuban slide" thing means? Or what this song is about? Drugs?
    stoolhardyon November 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm on here trying to find out what the meaning behind this song is. I have been asked to sing it, and I just can't get into it because the lyrics seem trite to me. I think that HandClapWhore's interpretation is a logical possibility. Any input to help me make a personal connection to this song would be greatly appreciated.
    eventide-7on February 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song sounds to me like a person who has been thrust into fame quickly and does not really resonate with being a star just yet. It's as if the world is waiting to anoint her and the rest of the band as this great thing and to give them credit for something they didn't feel like they have yet earned (This is the mystery achievement). Meanwhile, she's still trying to come to terms with the dreams, goals, and ambitions of a young woman she is who is really in it for the music. "All I'm doing is singing my songs" she seems to be saying.
    piouspogoon November 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree that this seems like it's about the allure of fame, and that she really just wants to dance and sing for the love of it. But she finds that fame/achievement is still "on my mind". It's embarrassing how long it took me to realize that "I love pretending" means, "I love my band".
    gammahortonon September 13, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentImmediately on first hearing it thought Mystery Achievement maybe meant male sexual orgasm - but probably not. But who knows for sure. Thought she sang "I got no tears on my screen" the first time I heard her sing it. Thought possibly meant no would-be or former boyfriend crying outside her window/window screen to get in, or back in.
    beaver1142on January 26, 2019   Link

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