"Lament" as written by and Robert James Smith....
Today there was a tragedy
Underneath the bridge
A man walked
Cold and blue
Into La Ment
The sky coloured perfect
As the man slipped away
Waving with a last vanilla smile...

Somewhere at a table
Two drowned fools
Drinking water as they talked
Of how they loved our lady
And oh! the smell as candles die...

One more ice cream river body
Flowed underneath the bridge
Underneath the bridge

Lyrics submitted by oofus

"La Ment" as written by Murray David John Macleod Jordan Lee Smith

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Lament song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of my favorit Cure songs. So sad, concise.

    In Join the Dots, RS talks about recording the first (Flexipop) version, shortly after the band had come to blows and pasrted ways in the midst of the Pornography tour:

    "Convinced that they would never play again, Robert disappeared to the Lake District leaving no forwarding address.

    On his return, several weeks later, Flexipop magazine asked The Cure to write a track for its cover-mounted flexi-disk, and Robert was faced with the dilemma of of either doing it himslef or admitting publicly that the band was no more.

    Prudently, he chose option number one and put together a song called Lament, using his trusty old Top 20 guitar. Although credited to The Cure, the contributors are in fact Robert Smith and Steve Severin. To the best of Smith's recollection, "I wrote the guitar and bass parts, then we booked the Garden Studio, London. I phoned Severin up and said, 'Get some stuff, we're going to record a song.' I went along with my Top 20, a bass, a drum machine and two wooden flutes. Severin was nominally the producer, but but actually spent most of the session gripping the edge of the mixing desk and laughing as I staggered in and out of the control room asking, "What was that like?"The volume of the high-hat in the mix, the wild 'fish-panning' and the dubious coherence of the vocals are a bit of a give-away as to our states of mind...."

    RS goes to describe the re-worked Lament as his favorite track from the Steve Nye-produced The Walk / Japanese Whispers EP. (BTW, I've always suspected that the title Japanese Whispers a ref to the Davis Sylvian's band Japan--can anyone confirm/deny?)
    mrpinkeyeon May 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a memory Robert had as a boy as he watched a body pulled from the river.
    Bayoustormon December 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is about a scene from Robert's youth as he and friends watched a body being pulled from the river.
    Bayoustormon December 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRobert did watch a man get pulled from the river when he was young. The river was actually called La Ment, lending the title to a double meaning.
    rabbithowlon June 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI read in a Robert Smith interview that this song was about "not so true stories". Who knows. Love the imagery and sound of this song. I love the entire Japanese Whispers album. I think it's under-rated and over looked.
    monster36604on January 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    QuestionI adore this song, and while I missed the interview in question I'll trust in this explanation since enough people seem to agree about it. (Although the "La Ment" river thing, while highly tempting, is harder to believe.)

    My real question, though, is:

    I mean, that isn't a connexion I would have made. Even when I was a small child.
    GwiberWyrddon January 14, 2017   Link
  • 0
    MemoryRobert's accent is not nearly as tricky for me as those of some singers (R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe comes to mind), but occasionally I mis-hear his lyrics (the frequent obscurity of meaning and contorted context make it that much harder even if you are listening closely). This song is an amusing example: the first time I listened to it, I was really paying attention mainly to the music. Partially as a result, when it got to the last verse, between all the ice cream refs and my at-best vague understanding of the song as a whole, I heard:

    "One more ice cream river *bunny* flowed underneath the bridge."

    (oops! :) — well, it seemed to go along with the ice cream motif, )

    The frequent use of the phrase "underneath the bridge" in this song reminds me of both Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge," Even though the first was written nearly 15 years before this one and the second a nearly a decade after, I find myself tempted to look for probably-nonexistent connexions.
    GwiberWyrddon March 28, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne can't help but love the imagery in this song. If Robert did experience this as a boy, he doesn't seem in any way disturbed by the memory. The man who kills himself is smiling, and, although cold, seems perfectly happy to 'walk' into the water. There's no violence there.

    'Two drowned fools/Smoking/Drinking water as they talked.'
    An allusion, perhaps, to Love Cats, a song written to be about two lovers who take their own lives. They're talking of how they love 'our lady': Mother Nature, who founded the love which they killed themselves for.

    Then there's the whole addition of ice cream to further downgrade the seriousness of the situation. Robert feels no sympathy for these 'fools' because they killed themselves for fleeting reasons, and, like candles, are doomed to death one way or another. They'd kill themselves at any time, for one reason or another.
    Hgaudguadon March 28, 2018   Link

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