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Anybody notice, it may be transposed, I’m not sure, but the tune sounds a LOT like ‘Tales Of Brave Ulysses’. I’m guessing Beck has heard a lot of Cream.

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Some of the interpretations in this "Reckless (Don't be so)" thread are wild. It is not about heroin or addiction. The whole song is about being alone.

When asked about the meaning of this song during an interview, James Reyne laughed and said it has no deep meaning...it's just a collection of thoughts on being alone. He acknowledged he didn't even know if the "Russian sub beneath the arctic" reference was an actual event or simply a childhood memory.

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This site getting rid of all paragraphs is not cool.

I'm going, as I always do, with what I think I am not stating this is the actual interpretation. A few reasons for this. One is I'm not convinced that musicians always tell the truth about what their music is about. If you wrote a song about your crazy ex or some sort of dangerous criminal would you say this? Secondly, this is how I get value from all music, what does it emotionally mean to me?:

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There is the double meaning of Catherine's Wheel both being a firework and a torturing instrument. Catherine's wheel seems also to refer to the round shape of a vinyl record here. With that in mind I understand this as an ode to the nerve wrecking thrill of being a musician, hoping for success very badly. The success here is impersonated by "her", whom the lyrical person is longing for. And he knows that he stands at the crossroad of either going to the sparkling and shining world of success or experiencing the torturing experience of fading to darkness and becoming...

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Some great comments here already. I just want to add that I think the change from the original first-person lyrics is brilliant. "I'd be giving it to her" becomes "He'd be giving it to her" and now it's like a friend of the couple offering observations on their complicated relationship. The original is kind of condescending, like "if this mixed-up girl could sort herself out, she'd realize how great I am".

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Great song on an even greater movie soundtrack.

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It's about the acquired taste of fixated addictions and describing their discomforts easily surpassed compared to a specific common verbal expression

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I think this song is about her grandma who is dying, and suffering as she does so. She wishes she could save her, she also yearns for things as they used to be before life took its toll on them both. “Grandma, my sleep is narrow (she isn’t sleeping well because her mind is troubled, worrying and grieving, thinking about the past) Bid you bring me some... strong... drink (she wishes her grandma could bring her a strong drink to help her sleep, like when she used to bring her orange juice to soothe her at night) Strain out the pulps and set...

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Party girls or "Parting Girls."

The lyrics describe a dismissal of companionship at the end of summer with the anticipation of it's effect parallel to the seasons

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I remember many years ago visiting my mother's homeland in Palestine and visiting the 30 foot concrete wall surrounding the West Bank and reading the words, "The dirt whispered, child I'm coming home" spray painted on it.

I still cry when I think of it.

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