"All Cats Are Grey" as written by Robert James Smith, Laurence Andrew Tolhurst and Simon Gallup....
I never thought that I would find myself
In bed amongst the stones
The columns are all men
Begging to crush me
No shapes sail on the dark deep lakes

And no flags wave me home
In the caves
All cats are gray
In the caves
The textures coat my skin
In the death cell
A single note
Rings on and on and on

Lyrics submitted by oofus, edited by itamonkey

"All Cats Are Grey" as written by Robert James Smith Laurence Andrew Tolhurst

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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All Cats Are Grey song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentNot about death about life.

    "I never thought that I would find myself
    In bed amongst the stones = means I find myself thinking in bed but not asleep like those around me

    The columns are all men" = means the prison is mankind = the world

    "Begging to crush me" = on a planet of 6.7 billion people do I really matter?

    "No shapes sail on the dark deel lakes" = In a sea of people how can we be individuals?

    "and no flags wave me home" = There is no guide through life.

    "In the caves" = World / mind / place
    "All cats are grey" = we are all the same - its hard to be unique

    "The textures coat my skin" = even if we strive to be unique we are still a part of the whole - we absorb it

    "In the death cell
    A single note
    Rings on and on and on... " = with all this in my mind I now understand that a single moment of beauty will last forever.
    ex1ton October 23, 2008   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI thought this was a decent song when I first heard it a few years ago, but didn't think much of it. It took on an important and personal meaning for me around the time my aunt died of cancer. She was just 53, having suffered horribly for two years. She finally died on 25 April 2009; it was one of the saddest days of my life. I recall coming to this site in the months before that, reading the interpretations here, and thinking that this song represents the shock and surprise of finding one's self suddenly and prematurely dead. I couldn't get this song out of my head. It upset me so much that I couldn't bring myself to listen to it after she died. At the time, I thought I may never listen to it again. It was that terrible of an association.

    Things went from bad to worse. My mother (my aunt's sister) because very unexpectedly and gravely ill that October. She died two days later, on 21 October 2009, aged 59. So I lost two of the very dearest people in my life over the span of just six months.

    Still I could not listen to the song, though luckily I had associated it more strongly with my aunt's death. Finally, on 26 April 2010, a year and a day since she passed, I listened to All Cats Are Grey. Very loud. In my office after everyone had left for the day. It was a tremendous relief for me to find that, somehow it didn't carry with it the same awful emotional resonance as a year earlier. The time that had passed since those deaths had also healed, in some ways, the weight of this song.

    Now I can listen to the song somewhat freely. I'll always associate it with tremendous loss, but at least I no longer fear it. I'm a pretty casual Cure fan, but there have been very few songs in my life that can compare with the impact that this one made. It is truly unforgettable.
    Starqueston March 03, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentTo me, the caves symbolize depression. Even amongst people, the person is alone -- other people are just stone columns that are impending doom via pressure: "begging to crush me." In the depths of depression, there are no markers toward escape, there is only a terribly isolated feeling. The deep lakes of introspection offer no sensible reprieve, either. "No shapes sail on the dark deep lakes
    And no flags wave me home." Everything that could once inspire happiness becomes drab, incapable of inspiring any feeling whatsoever: "In the caves
    All cats are grey."
    Th0rnon May 29, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commentwurby is right

    death with an absence of afterlife.

    an athiests view of death
    fuckoffanddieokon March 30, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"All cats are grey in the dark"
    -english proverb
    laurelinwyntreon August 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo unlike other cure songs... its like, 6 minutes long, with barely 40 seconds of vocals. Very sad. All I can think of is a man imprisoned, perhaps in a cave somewhere, lost forever.
    GothicBladeon April 11, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh oh such a beuuuuutiful song, shit. yeah i was imagining a guy in a cave too. he has such obscure lyrics, god i wish i knew what he was talkign about. i would give anything to be in his mind for like a day.
    rainydayboyon April 16, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe cave is probably a metaphor that describes an imprisoned state of mind. And the feeling of being locked in forever with grey cats - maybe that are deteriorating - is just as haunting as the song can be in its morbid beauty. I love it.
    movitzon April 24, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs far as i can see it the cats are grey because of the light, like early morning light, it makes everything dull and the same colour, i suppose this could relate to his state of mind at the time, and certainly one that i can relate to, a feeling of nothingness, when you just don't feel anything, it's all "grey".
    The_Codfatheron June 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhen i hear this song, i think about the gormenghast novels by mervyn peake. i know the drowning man was based on these books, but im not sure about this one. there is a charachter in the books that owns hundereds of white cats and lives in a monstrosity of a castle who's corridors carry on forever and ever. and id think that in the dark cells of the castle, the cats would look grey. who knows. but i also think about a man traped in a cave where the lights slowly begin to fade and everything starts to turn grey until there is no colour left at all.
    saturnineon September 17, 2004   Link

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