What does Boys Don't Cry mean?

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The Cure: Boys Don't Cry Meaning

Song Released: 1979


Boys Don't Cry Lyrics

I would say i'm sorry
If i thought that it would change your mind
But i know that this time
I've said too much
Been too unkind
I try to laugh about it
Cover it all up with lies
I try and
Laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
'cause...

  1. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 8th 2022 report

    I would say I'm sorry
    If I thought that it would change your mind
    But I know that this time
    I have said too much
    Been too unkind

    The lyrical main character is going through a breakup that he views as being his own fault. Whatever he did made their relationship fail so badly that his girlfriend doesn't want to be so much as friends with him anymore.

    I tried to laugh about it
    Cover it all up with lies
    I tried to laugh about it
    Hiding the tears in my eyes
    'Cause boys don't cry
    Boys don't cry

    Whatever caused the relationship to fail so utterly is something the main character does not want the rest of the world to know.

    I would break down at your feet
    And beg forgiveness, plead with you
    But I know that it's too late
    And now there's nothing I can do

    However, while their relationship broke down, the main character doesn't hate his ex-girlfriend enough to not want to be friends with her anymore, even though she does.

    I would tell you that I loved you
    If I thought that you would stay
    But I know that it's no use
    And you've already gone away

    He doesn't love her, or maybe he does, but he also thinks she wouldn't believe him if he said he did. This, together with the observations about the refrain, gives us a sense that the main character could be gay. He tried to cover it up by laughing about it or lying, and this is why he entered into a relationship with a girl who did love him in the first place, even though he never loved her back, and knew he never could. Yet he pretended to do so, to avoid anyone thinking he is gay.

    Misjudged your limits
    Pushed you too far
    Took you for granted
    Thought that you needed me more, more, more

    Eventually, the time came that he had to admit it to her. He knew she would have to know eventually, so at some point, he told her himself instead of waiting until someone else does. Perhaps this is because he is secretly in a relationship with another boy. However, his girlfriend did not take the news well, and broke up with him now that she knew he never loved her in the first place, and refuses to talk to him.

    Now I would do most anything
    To get you back by my side
    But I just keep on laughing
    Hiding the tears in my eyes
    'Cause boys don't cry
    Boys don't cry
    Boys don't cry

    However, despite all of this, while he never loved her, he still likes her enough to want to be friends with her, even now that she doesn't want to even talk to him anymore.

  2. Idafreak
    click a star to vote
    Mar 10th 2017 report

    Boys Don't Cry

    Interpretation of this song can be two fold.

    1. The literal interpretation. There is a man who sabotaged his relationship by over valuing his worth and completely taking the woman forgranted and ignoring her needs until she ultimately leaves him.

    2. Deeper interpratation of the song depicting an immature man that is presented as a boy. From the childish title "boys don't cry" to each stanza where, he is given every opportunity to fight for the relationship but chooses not to. The "boy" is resigned to the thought that there is nothing he can do even though it pains him. Although he is hurting, he will not let it show or do anything to fix things. His pride prevents him from begging, pleading, apologize and ask for forgiveness.

    All the time hiding his feelings like a hurting child that does not want to seem week to his friends because boys don't cry.

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 9th 2012 report

    This is an awesome song. This guy screws up and he really loves her, he'd do anything to get her back, but he has way to much pride, and he's sadly just gonna let her go. Still I like to listen to this song when i'm sad.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 17th 2010 report

    I've always seen the stanzas about the failed relationship as being a backdrop for the purpose of the chorus, a situation in which it would be right and appropriate to shed tears or show emotion. I think the choruses are the things that really convey the meaning of the song; a criticism of expected gender behaviour, for men to hide what they feel regardless of circumstances and to reject what their true, natural reactions to sadness, fear, disappointemnt, etc. The title and lines "Boys don't cry" seem to me to be an ironic reflection on the band's other work, since their lyrics usually concern emotional reactions to repressive, painful situations. In affect, I think, Robert Smith is using bitterly poking fun at the irony of most Western cultures' portayal and expectation of how men should conduct themselves.

  5. quailhunter
    click a star to vote
    Mar 28th 2007 report

    The first verse basically is a guy saying he has wrecked a relationship and he is beginning to realize he screwed up and he didn’t want to wreck the relationship. He probably said something he can’t take back, and it’s too late to win the loved one back.
    The pre-chorus/chorus is focusing on the guys pride; he doesn’t want to show that he is sad about screwing up, so he just laughs it off and pretends everything is okay. He doesn’t want to admit that he is sad about it because he wants to come out on top in what was probably a fight with a loved one. Also, society doesn’t usually understand boys crying, so this is his justifications for not really expressing himself.
    The next verse is when the guy admits he really wants to fix things, but at this point, things are too broken to fix. The chorus means the same as it did before.
    After, the next verse basically says the guy is willing to admit defeat, but it’s yet again pointless because it is already to late, because the loved one is now gone.
    After the verse, the climax of the song is the mistake that the guy realizes he made. He thought he could keep doing things that the loved one didn’t like, and it would be okay, but obviously it wasn’t. He took advantage of the loved one’s tendency to turn a blind eye to the antics that she didn’t like. He then admits that he caused the fight and left her because he thought she would come back. She apparently didn’t need [have an interest] him as much as he thought she did.
    The last chorus basically says us that as he tells the listeners the tale, he realizes he really misses the loved one, but in the long run, he has to stick it out and accept the fact that she’s gone, and he can no longer sulk about it, so he’ll keep pretending everything's alright because boys don’t cry.


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