Saturday, February 2, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 268 SONG # 299

Day 268: A Song about Love & Hate & Understanding

The Cure are a well-known band, so I do not have to say too much about them. They are regarded as somewhat like "The Godfathers of Gothic". I never will forget the picture of Bélvarosi Híd in Szeged, Hungary, filled with gals'n'guys in dark clothes, with their backcombed hair, doc martens and so on, who all were walking to a festival starring The Cure - as if they had all come out of their coffins... Robert Smith is the only constant member of the group that did not only undergo changes in line-up, but in musical style as well. Their 1987 (vinyl: double) album Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me is normally regarded as one of the more "pop-style" recordings they have done. I own it and the song on it that struck me when I first heard it and that is still the one I remember from that album is about human relationships, about the impossibility of understanding each other. In a way, it leaves the question open which one of the two main characters has interpreted the situation  in the right way - it ends, in a Nietzschean sense, with stating the impossibility of understanding, and, therefore, love. The concept of love behind that is an idealistic, Platonic one, and there are other theories of love, like the Christian idea of agape, varying ideas of compassion and the like. The song also refers to differences between the way that people are - the boy (at least; thinks to) share/s his feelings with  the poor ragged people staring at his girlfriend. In a way, these poor people are compassionate, as they take his point of view (in his point of view), they see the beauty he so adores, they share his passion. Therefore, he is filled with shame because of the difference between human beings he and his gilrfriend establish by "the way they are". On the other hand, in an aristocratic gesture, SHE just feels embarrassed by the way they look at her, denying them to be the same human beings as she is with the same feelings and passions as she might experience. So he understands that not only understanding but also compassion "is a dream". Great lyrics (although Robert Smith could have done better in ways of not repeating the same words...), with Spanish translation, and a beautiful song, too.

You want to know why I hate you?
Well I'll try and explain...
You remember that day in Paris
When we wandered through the rain
And promised to each other
That we'd always think the same
And dreamed that dream
To be two souls as one
And stopped just as the sun set
And waited for the night
Outside a glittering building
Of glittering glass and burning light...

And in the road before us
Stood a weary greyish man
Who held a child upon his back
A small boy by the hand
The three of them were dressed in rags
And thinner than the air
And all six eyes stared fixedly on you

The father's eyes said "Beautiful!
How beautiful you are!"
The boy's eyes said
"How beautiful!
She shimmers like a star!"
The childs eyes uttered nothing
But a mute and utter joy
And filled my heart with shame for us
At the way we are

I turned to look at you
To read my thoughts upon your face
And gazed so deep into your eyes
So beautiful and strange
Until you spoke
And showed me understanding is a dream
"I hate these people staring
Make them go away from me!"

The fathers eyes said "Beautiful!
How beautiful you are!"
The boys eyes said
"How beautiful! She glitters like a star!"
The child's eyes uttered nothing
but a quiet and utter joy
And stilled my heart with sadness
For the way we are

And this is why I hate you
And how I understand
That no-one ever knows or loves another

Or loves another

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