What does Lullaby mean?

The Cure: Lullaby Meaning

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Album cover for Lullaby album cover

Song Released: 1989

Lullaby Lyrics

On candystripe legs spiderman comes
On candystripe legs spiderman comes
Softly through the shadow of the evening sun
Softly through the shadow of the evening sun
Stealing past the windows of the blissfully dead
Stealing past the windows of...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 13th 2008 !⃝

    I think it's about a male child (maybe Robert) who gets raped frequently, probably by someone who lives in the same house as him.

    Actually the lyrics is longer then posted here, at the start of the song Robert whispers "I spy something beginning with s..." and I'm pretty sure the word is 'sex'

    the song end with Robert whispering "'Come into my parlour' said the spider to the fly ' I have something for you here"

    further more a line in the song is "His arms are around me and his tounge in my eyes"

    I think it's pretty clear what the following part of the song means "'be still, be calm, be quiet now, my precious little boy, don't struggle like that or I will only love you more'"

  2. anonymous
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    Jul 6th 2023 !⃝

    I think it's about a nightmare most kids had at least once in their life, and the lyrics are metaphorical, well mostly.
    And this is it's called lullaby, it's about going to sleep as a child abd being scared of monsters, even the most benevolent beings you know scare you, also if you've ever had a nightmarish sleep paralysis experience the lyrics make way more sense, also possibly what inspired the lyrics were childish fears he still remembered coupled with hallucinogenic experiences

  3. anonymous
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    Jun 14th 2021 !⃝

    Guys,guys,guys.It’s clearly about sleep paralysis.And Spiders.
    It’s kind of obvious from the lyrics that whoever this song is about can’t move or speak. “It’s much too late to get away now or turn on the light”.Sound familiar?When you were a child that was the kind of feeling you would get when you thought a so called “Monster” was about to eat you up when you were trying to sleep.But if you would turn on the light you would see that this monster would actually just be some combination of a washing basket and a hockey stick that looked like a poltergeist when you turned the lights off.But it would take a lot of courage for you to get of the safety of your bed and flip the light switch,right?Often victims of sleep paralysis feel helpless,but just when the thing was right up close and about to do something really scary to you,it would usually vanish.Suddenly you could move and speak,and everything would be alright.The song kind of talks about how the monster COULD hurt the person,and MIGHT hurt the person,but,gradually,recoils and disappears towards the end of the song.I can see why some of you thinks this is about Child Abuse,and you could well be right,and I can see why you would think that,BUT,this is how I interpret this song.

  4. anonymous
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    Feb 25th 2021 !⃝

    Once I was reading an article, about this song, and it was saying that Robert Smith's uncle, used to like to try to scare him, when he was a young boy. He used to hide under beds, or in wardrobes, etcetera. According to this page, it said he once went so far as to climb through his window in the night. Smith is known for lying about the reasons for his songs, so it could be incorrect. I don't think he literally wrote a song about the things his uncle did. I think he perhaps used this example as metaphor for other things. I see it as the Spiderman being a metaphor for time or sadness, and how its grasps you, surprises you, and never let's go. It can be draining or even feels like you're in a tight cage sometimes. In the quote, "don't struggle now, I'll only love you more," (at least it's similar to that), I think it is talking about depression. Maybe how it is a vicious circle. A random example, is if you're depressed you have no motivation to do anything, for me its washing and tidying, but if you don't tidy or wash, you feel gross which makes you more upset. The "love you more" part, is how it gets harder and harder to grasp and tiny gram of motivation when you already feel bad. You're trapped in this awful cycle of it all getting worse.
    The best part about music in general, is how none of you are wrong. It is all about inference. Some of you see it about child abuse, and I totally see where you are coming from with that.
    Overall, it is a great song, and that's just my opinion and my view. Thanks for reading! Xxx

  5. anonymous
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    Jan 24th 2021 !⃝

    I think the spiderman represents anxiety and how it eats away at people and every night it creeps up on him

  6. anonymous
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    Aug 15th 2020 !⃝

    Why are so many people convinced it's about child abuse? It could be but its far from a foregone conclusion. I never once thought that tbh. As for the "precious boy" line (it doesn't say little), I just thought it was the 'Spiderman' being condescending to Robert. Personally, I think it's about the negative thoughts that can flood your mind when you're trying to sleep and it's dark, etc. I think the lines people are taking quite literally are more metaphorical, such as the arms all around him and tongue in his eyes - this would be a feeling of being completely overwhelmed and held captive and possibly even the visual representations that are conjured by these dark thoughts. As for it being too late to turn on the light - although the thoughts come because it's dark (no sensory input to distract his mind), once his mind is spiralling even putting the light on won't help him counter them. Just my two pence.

  7. anonymous
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    Jan 6th 2020 !⃝

    It's about spiders. He said in an interview that his grandfather told him a story about how spiders always grow and that they watch you. Because of that it's one of his fears that he decided to Express and share to the world.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. anonymous
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    Sep 29th 2019 !⃝

    I think it is about a Dead of the Soul experience, after he realized that he loved the girl he had caused serious damage.

  9. anonymous
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    Sep 29th 2019 !⃝

    Dark night of the soul experience, after hurting the girl you loved.

  10. anonymous
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    Sep 17th 2019 !⃝

    I Think it is about someone getting raped like when he says "his arms around me, or it's much too late to get away"
    This can be about the feeling of helplessness that you experience if you are sexually assaulted. He also says " be still, be quiet now my precious little boy don't struggle like that or I will only love you more" This is also could be a father figure or something like that saying to him that he needs to be still in order for him to be molested which could also be a sign of child abuse. I think that the song is actually about being sexually molested as a child and then the nightmares that comes with. also you are mostly sexually assaulted in the night so he's used to hearing this lullaby when he falls asleep because that's when it happens, and then he dreams about it and fears it.

  11. anonymous
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    Mar 8th 2018 !⃝

    I remember reading in an article somewhere that it could be about a drug based nightmare world / the bizzare things you would experience when you were under the influence of LSD , which Robert has a history with, by the way. The " Spiderman " was not only representative of the terrifying nightmares he would experience but also a metaphor for his addiction. As well as that , I think it is also genuinely a song intended to be creepy that could be relatable to many different dark situations ( including addiction ,rape and depression) . No one is wrong , this is an incredible and unnerving song that gives you chills. What i like even better is the incredibly ironic title - this is anything but a gentle good night lullaby!

  12. anonymous
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    Feb 26th 2018 !⃝

    I think the song is about a child who gets raped frequently, maybe by someone who is related to him.
    "be still, be calm, be quiet now, my precious little boy, don't struggle like that or I will only love you more"

  13. anonymous
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    Feb 26th 2018 !⃝

    i would say that it´s about a boy being molested by his dad.

  14. Loana
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    Dec 8th 2017 !⃝

    The song is about a boy who is afraid to fall asleep because he is afraid of spiders. He imagines that the spider in his room grows big, and is able to eat him or hurt him. The reason why it is a spider is maybe because he might has had a bad experience with spiders earlier in his life. I'm sure of that because I have talked to Sophie (a dear lady) about that.
    xoxo Loana the 3rd

  15. anonymous
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    Dec 8th 2017 !⃝

    The story is based around a gay man, and him being gay. The man is scared to come out of the closet, and the spider is a metaphor of his fear for telling people about it.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  16. anonymous
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    Dec 4th 2015 !⃝

    I hate to ruin all the darkness, but the song is about the experience one goes through when crossing the British Channel with their car via ferry service. The term "Candy Stripers" refers to what happens to your arms and legs while sitting in your car waiting for the ferry to take you.
    "Being eaten by a thousand furry holes" refers to how a persons bottom feels after sitting for so many hours. "Spiderman" was the name of one of the most well known ferries.
    Anyone who has ever had to go through this process knows exactly what this song is about. A cruel, yet voluntary experience that takes many hours to complete. A time during which you cannot fall asleep, and you cannot get out of line, or you end up at the back of the line again.
    Never the less, a great song. Enjoy it!

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