"The Love Parade" as written by Nick Laird-clowes and Gilbert Alexander Gabriel....
Look out your window any day
From June to September the love parade's
Out on the street where you live and you know
It's just a matter of time before it takes over

They've been married for so many years
Now a young love seranade blows sweet nothing in her ear
They're lonely together, when they're not apart
It feels like she's holding on to someone else in the dark.

Oh the love parade is on
Even against all odds
It'll go on forever
The love parade
Only matinee shows
The love parade.

But if he could put himself into a different skin
He'd be worrying about what he's let himself in for
Hanging in the air apparent
A point of view almost transparent

So you sold your soul for a pocket full of sweet talk
Forget-me-not kisses at the end of a slow walk
And when it's done you put your world back on
'Cause she's otherwise engaged married to someone

Oh the love parade goes on
Even when you're gone
It'll go on forever
The love parade
Only matinee shows
The love parade.

Lyrics submitted by fletch699, edited by MichaelLinder

"The Love Parade" as written by Nick Laird-clowes Gilbert Gabriel

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Love Parade song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think that Nick Laird-Clowes loved to observe things. I could see him just sitting and watching the world go by, imagining what other people are saying or thinking.

    In this song, he sits out by his window and watches 'The Love Parade" go by, and dreams what the passing people are thinking about.

    What I find most interesting here, is his opinion on love... That it's all a big show.

    The elderly woman who's been 'married for so many years', hears a song that wistfully reminds her of her younger days when she was less lonely by herself! Wow! That hurts!

    Then He MUST not doubt or express his doubts or else she will leave him for someone else. Is that the only reason he stays with her?! Sounds like it!

    For as easygoing a song as this is, lyrically, it's a punch in the stomach! To sum up, apparently 'love' is a liar's game. The 'parade' is all for show - the truth, more sinister.
    ctlizyrdon September 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis simple song, off of 'Life in a Northern Town', is one of at least two songs on the album that seem autobiographical or semi-autobiographical in a lot of ways. It talks about a certain type of relationship or relationship with details that have to be the result of experience or direct observation.

    The first verse talks about "the Love Parade" - which happens from June to September - the time of year when couples enjoy the outdoors together, with walks in the park, picnics, places where they publicly show their affection for each other. In most places (in the Western Hemisphere) the weather is good and being out with the person you love with other people who are in love *is* like a "Love Parade". And even when you don't have someone you love to be in the love parade, you wish that you did.

    The second verse talks about an older, established couple whose wife (or girlfriend) is being romantically seduced by a younger man. Although she's married, she feels just as alone when her husband is with her as she does when he's not there. And he can feel that she's attracted to someone else when they make love "in the dark". This isn't about just sex; it is about the cuddling, the spooning, the kissing - all of the little things that show affection - and all of the things that aren't happening with the older couple.

    The refrain, which is repeated at the end of the the song, simply states that the public displays of affection, "the Love Parade" will go on, despite what happens in established relationships. Anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows that what starts off as passionate as, say, Romeo and Juliet turns into something else over the years. High school romances (and the required "acts" like holding hands, kissing, doing everything together) changes as a couple becomes older. The burning desire which is "the Love Parade" exists forever like "Happily Everafter..." in the fairy tales - only in old, black and white movies and matinee shows.

    Yet even when we're in an established, comfortable relationship, we still crave the passion, the desire of "the Love Parade" when the weather is good and love is in the air. We fantasize, romanticize and think of other infatuations.

    The third real verse talks about the "young man" in the triangle and his precarious position in the relationship. His infatuation and real love, he is courting her romantically, as the "heir apparent" of her affection if her current relationship should crumble (which he not so secretly hopes). His display of affection is also "in the air apparent", creating a smart play on words.

    The fourth verse is where "the rubber hits the road" in this song. Because while he does feel like he truly loves her (and not just in a sexual way), really all he's gotten is sweet talk and kisses while walking in the park. Despite loving the attention, the woman isn't willing to give him any more than the walks in the park - regardless of what's going on in her other relationships.

    He will never get the woman he feels is his true love because she's not interested in him in that way. She's just interested in "the Love Parade".

    I think the music is what makes this song catchy - it's not quite pop, not quite modern, not quite old... Commercial sounding, but also very personal too. Definitely one of the Dream Academy's best.

    As far as "the real story" of this song, I think it is about Brix Smith Start's romance with violinist Nigel Kennedy. She was a member of the post-punk band, The Fall and married to Mark E. Smith (also of the fall) at the time of this song. You can check out some of the few details about the romance in her book, "The Rise, The Fall and The Rise". Most importantly, in the relevant passage where she mentions the relationship, she also describes Nick Laird-Clowes of the Dream Academy as "a great friend and musician". I suspect he cribbed a few lines about the relationship because he found it interesting.

    Also, there is a famous Maurice Chevalier movie (circa. 1929/30) called 'The Love Parade' in which a philandering Prince Consort marries the Queen of Sylvania after a string of scandals with others in high society. I will say that I suspect that particular ending was better than the one between Brix Smith Start and Nigel Kennedy!

    Hoops McCann
    Hoops McCannon March 21, 2017   Link

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