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 Lyrics 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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  • +5
    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
  • +4
    General Comment"All cats are grey in the dark"
    -english proverb
    laurelinwyntreon August 17, 2007   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
  • +1
    General CommentLol Tolhurst claims credit for this lyric. He says he wrote it about the death of his mother.
    SkaSongon February 23, 2021   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOMG! I just heard this song for the first time, it is is so beautiful and so very haunting at the same time. I know my thoughts about the lyrics will may not be very well received but are not all songs, poems, literature, written words, etc. open for self interpretation? It is indeed about depression and being in a dark, lonely and hard and very sad place in life but the reason for this is due to being much older and not ever thinking you would be in this particular horrible place, realizing that all of your hopes and dreams have not come true and everyone and everything around you feels lifeless, drab, colorless (grey) phony and stone- like with no feelings at all. "I never thought I would find myself, in bed among the stones." The next lines, "the columns are all men, begging to crush me". This to me, because I am a female, (yes I know this song was written by a male) means all the relationships throughout her life with men have only crushed and defeated her, leaving her very depressed, feeling nothing (grey,) worthless and totally all alone. "No shapes sail on the dark deep lake" is a feeling of true despair because she knows there is no hope, no happiness, no future, nothing at all. "And no flags wave me home", she has spent her life trying to finding "the perfect person/life partner" and has ignored all family, friends and relationships who now care nothing about her. "All cats are grey In the caves", she only associates herself with sad, lonely people as herself and feels dead, no feeling at all, "the textures coats my skin". The last three lines, she is alive but feels dead and enclosed in a cell and the single note that "rings on and on and on".....regret, regret for all the choices in life that has now made her life so very sad and so very lonely (grey) that she wishes she was dead. Even though the lyrics are sad this song is incredibly beautiful and I cannot quit listening to it repeatedly!
    Gigipion October 26, 2019   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song can bring me to tears. There's a video someone posted on YouTube and at around 3:38 there's this poor dog standing at a grave... so very sad. I always loved this one.
    You know how sometimes people will say "that's the song I want played at my funeral"? (I had a friend who wanted REO Speedwagon "Time For Me To Fly" played at his), I used to tell people I wanted All Cats Are Grey by The Cure played at mine. When I was younger and somewhat vain. Now I just want to be cremated.
    YN1Fon March 03, 2021   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFurther to my previous comments. This was a lyric written by Lol Tolhurst as his mother was terminally ill. She had lived through the black-outs and aerial bombardments of the Second World War and often used the expression 'All cats are grey' to describe how everything was indistinguishable in the dark. All of these thoughts came back to him as he anticipated her death.

    So, with that in mind here are some thoughts on the lyric.

    Being in bed amongst the stones is a reference to your house being rubble around you.

    The columns are all men begging to crush me refers to the formations (columns) of planes trying to inflict death.

    No shapes sail on the dark deep lakes makes reference to how dangerous it was for the merchant navy on the seas.

    In the caves would therefore be the air-raid shelters.

    The texture coating the skin would presumably be the dust from destroyed buildings.

    The single note accompanying death would have been the drone of the planes.

    So, this is a song about his mother's imminent death, using recollections of her wartime experiences as a focal point.

    Tolhurst later named his son Gray but says that was NOT because of this song.
    SkaSongon February 24, 2021   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

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