Quietly he laughs and shaking his head,
Creeps closer now, closer to the foot of the bed…
Step Into My Parlour…
For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday Jim at A Unique Title for Me is asking that we highlight a song with emotions as the central theme. The song I have chosen is filled with anxiety and fear. The tension builds as the lyrics progress and is augmented by the creeping arrangement of the song’s instrumentation.
Robert Smith and The Cure were one of the most influential bands of the 1980s. From early Goth culture, along with other bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, to superstar status as the decade wore on. Smith was known for his lush lyrics, cutting-edge experimentation and trend-setting styling.
In 1989, The Cure released their eighth studio album, “Disintegration“. The album would become the band’s biggest commercial success charting at number three in the UK and 12 in the US. The album would include the hits Pictures of You, Lovesong, Fascination Street and the anxiety-filled track I will be highlighting today, Lullaby.
Lullaby was the first single from Disintegration, reaching number three in the UK and 23 in the US where Fascination Street was the bigger hit. Smith has said that many of the songs he had written were taken from nightmares he had as a child. Lullaby is one of those songs, although some have speculated that it is about incest and pedophilia, and others about drug abuse. Although Smith denies a link the song shares many parallels with Mary Howitt‘s poem “The Spider and the Fly” including lines from the poem being used in the extended version of the song, which can found on the Mixed Up remix companion album to Disintegration.
The beauty of The Cure‘s artistry is the rich imagery the lyrics invoke allowing the listener to develop their own interpretations of the music. I hope you enjoy this 80s classic. As you listen, feel the anxiety and tension build throughout the song until it reaches its fear-filled climax.
On candy stripe legs the spiderman comes Softly through the shadow of the evening sun Stealing past the windows of the blissfully dead Looking for the victim shivering in bed Searching out fear in the gathering gloom and Suddenly! A movement in the corner of the room! And there is nothing I can do When I realize with fright That the spiderman is having me for dinner tonight! Quietly he laughs and shaking his head Creeps closer now Closer to the foot of the bed And softer than shadow and quicker than flies His arms are all around me and his tongue in my eyes “Be still be calm be quiet now my precious boy Don’t struggle like that or I will only love you more For it’s much too late to get away or turn on the light The spiderman is having you for dinner tonight” And I feel like I’m being eaten By a thousand million shivering furry holes And I know that in the morning I will wake up In the shivering cold And the spiderman is always hungry… Lyrics: Robert James Smith Music: Boris Peter Bransby Williams, Paul Stephen Thompson, Roger O'Donnell, Andrew Laurence Tolhurst, Simon Johnathon Gallup, Robert James Smith
Jim Adam’s Song Lyric Sunday.
Theme: Emotions – Anxiety / Delight / Emotions / Pain / Pride / Relief
Date: 2022-04-23 | Tags: #sls, #songlyricsunday
Photo Credit: Oleg Didenko via Unsplash / Album Art: discogs.com
Copyright 2022 Greg Glazebrook, All Rights Reserved.
Robert Smith is a bit creepy, but very talented. I heard Oriental sounds while listening to this song.
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He does give off the creepy vibes. You are right about the Asian and in particular Japanese influences. It is even more prevalent in The Cure’s earlier works such as The Hanging Garden, Let’s Go To Bed and The Caterpillar.
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