"Plainsong" as written by Robert James Smith, Simon Gallup, Roger O'donnell, Porl Thompson, Laurence Andrew Tolhurst and Boris Williams....
I think it's dark and it looks like it's rain, you said
And the wind is blowing like it's the end of the world, you said

And it's so cold, it's like the cold if you were dead
And you smiled for a second

I think I'm old and I'm feeling pain, you said
And it's all running out like it's the end of the world, you said

And it's so cold, it's like the cold if you were dead
And you smiled for a second

Sometimes you make me feel
Like I'm living at the edge of the world
Like I'm living at the edge of the world
It's just the way I smile, you said

Lyrics submitted by oofus

"Plainsong" as written by Laurence Andrew Tolhurst Boris Williams

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Plainsong song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentI don't know what inspired Robert to write this song, or how he happened to write it, but the way that I imagine the song coming to be is what makes it one of my favorites. I'm not sure I actually really want to know.
    I imagine Robert perched alone on the edge of a very high cliff above the sea tides (naturally), staring without intent out into the horizon. The expanse above him is mostly grey, except for a few breaks in the sullen shroud of the sky where wisps of sunlight form symbolic tangents between the sea and sky, causing a few random pieces of water to do a shimmering, defiant dance against the gloom.
    The chilling breeze of a lingering English winter whips his tousled, inky, tumbleweed locks against his pallid face and he shudders. Still, those little glimpses of sunlight hold memories of warmth, and even though the wind is wicked and cold, there's a hint of spring carried in from behind the horizon with every gust, and he knows that eventually it will come.
    That's all probably just complete nonsense, and it really has very little to do with the lyrics, but I enjoy it all the same.
    sorrywrongnumbahon January 14, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentDisintegration is the best album ever!

    I think this song is about the beauty of life. Someone smiling as they're dying, to me, conveys that sentiment.
    cmw000on December 16, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commentto me, i think this song reflects on the turmoil of life, all of its imprisoning effects on hope, and how a simple smile from a loved one can replace all those moments of sadness and despair with something beautiful.
    wallofsoundon January 25, 2006   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI think it's a conversation between 2 people. The girl is describing the weather in the first part, while at the same time describing how death may feel. The second part, she's talking about how time is passing, she's feeling old. Her smiles imply that death doesn't scare her.

    The last part is his reaction to what she's said. Her ease with death, makes him closer to it (living at the edge of the world). Then, she says he feels that way because that she's so comfortable with describing it.
    teknofetishon August 19, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis is a really incredible song, and i just recently discovered it. Funny as this may seem, i never really listened to it , but instead skipped past in on my disentigration CD because the intro was so long,and i didnt have much patience. So i suppose this song taught me patience! because without it, its fucking impossible to enjoy basically any of the songs on the Disentigration CD, and alot of the other cure CDs too..
    what do you think its about? im not real sure..
    thatsjustlovelyon March 08, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I hear this song, I picture Robert out in a heavy snowstorm with Mary. I saw a band called Year of the Rabbit open a gig with this song. It was all hard guitars and bright white lights behind them. Pretty freakin cool, and I was the only one in the crowd who knew it.
    spokexxon February 10, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI wake up to this song everyday. its so beautiful. i love its epic feel. I do feel the song is about death. its dark...the cold... "its all running out", i believe he is refering to life.
    i imagine you are watching someone die, its dark, the wind is blowing, its cold. life is running out. but its a welcomed death. this could also be death of his love.
    DepartedFateon March 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRecently an acquaintance of mine died in a car crash. His girl friend was driving, and the roads were icy. The driver lost control and swerved into another car. The passenger was killed. I listened to this song shortly after hearing the news, and it made me weep. This song is horrifyingly beautiful.
    nazor1on February 26, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentits about love. she loves him. his only thoughts are..Sometimes you make me feel like I'm living at
    The edge of the world like I'm living at the edge
    Of the world ...which mirrors all the... the you saids

    It is about emotional reciprocation.
    tebdanneron May 11, 2013   Link
  • +1
    MemoryI was once lying beside my closest friend in the park, watching the sunset, this album was on, but I had started it from Lullaby and put it on a loop. This song came on just as the sun began to hide behind the trees and the sky was a thousand shades of orange. It was summer, but it was cold.
    I remember looking over him trying not to cry as we rocked back and forth as we lay side by side on one of those oversized childrens swings. He was completely still, just watching the sky with his big pale eyes.
    He was bipolar and in the middle of a manic episode, when he was like that he'd keep you on your toes, you know? You always had to try and keep one step ahead of him, or else you could end up anywhere, he made everything seem so fragile. But suddenly for the first time in a while it was so calm and I remember this, and I remember not wanting this song to end or to ever go home and I loved him so much. I hope he knew that.
    This song is more than just that memory though. He always spoke about death with this kind of hopefulness and dark optimism. The thought just makes me angry.
    LukaSambucaon November 27, 2013   Link

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