What does Plainsong mean?

The Cure: Plainsong Meaning

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Album cover for Plainsong album cover

Plainsong Lyrics

"i think it's dark and it looks like rain" you said
"and the wind is blowing like it's the end of the
world" you said "and it's so cold it's like the
cold if you were dead" and then you smiled for
a second.

"i think i'm old and i'm in pain" you...

  1. anonymous
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    Jan 5th 2023 !⃝

    I heard it was about him stubbing his toe. Oh. I'm being told it MUST be at least 100 characters. So. I repeat. I heard it was about one time when he stubbed his toe and he felt like it was the end of the world; then he smiled.

  2. anonymous
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    Oct 26th 2021 !⃝

    I just always thought this was about his moms death. I had heard or read that he wrote this album during a deep depression after losing his mom.

  3. anonymous
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    Dec 13th 2020 !⃝

    I honestly think this song is like Robert Smith looking in the mirror and expressing his thoughts about his current state of mind. Remember, Disintegration came about because of Robert's desire to do something big, yet artistically sound, and fast as he was steadily approaching 30. He felt that everyone else who has done something big in their career had already done it before that age, which left him depressed and longing for that piece that "defines" him as an artist, a piece that people look back at when they think of Smith's work and can get a pretty good idea of what he is about (I'd say he did so pretty successfully). The fact that this song opens the very project that was driven by this fear of aging and longing for a definitive work is a good indicator of such an argument. The lyrics start with "I think it's dark and looks like rain...Like its the end of the world" (Keep in mind throughout this analysis that I believe he is talking to himself), which to me is Smith thinking that once he reaches that dreaded age of 30 he could never reach that feat that he noticed other artists having and it terrified him, like being in the dark and the rain waiting for the end of the world. He goes on to say he smiles for a second. To me this is him realizing that he needs to get to work, determined to create that work that defines him (This line repeats later as well and I believe means the same thing). Later he literally states that he thinks he's old, which is what he thought of himself in real life at this point, and that, again, the end was approaching. He then smiles again and goes on to say "Sometimes you make me feel like I'm living at the edge of the world" which instantly makes me think of the multiple instances in which Smith has stated that he treats each tour, each album like its the last he'll ever do, and Disintegration was no exception. He is telling himself that by treating everything like its the last thing he does he feels like he's always "at the edge of the world", at any minute everything he could ever want to do could cease to exist with one wrong step. But with this mentality it brings out the best in Smith's ability, drives him to give it everything he's got. At this point in life he is desperate to make the best album he can make, so this mindset is very present in his situation. He ends with "It's just the way I smile", sending the listener off to hear the rest of Disintegration, Smith's "Mona Lisa" if you will, thinking about how that smile, that determination, has cut through thoughts of Smith's personal "end of the world" and has guided the way for a musical masterpiece.

  4. anonymous
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    Jun 19th 2020 !⃝

    I took 'the edge of the world' to be synonymous with the smile he talks about and, as contrast to 'the end of the world', all the words spoken and these swirling weather events, mean that the world is still whirling around them and that they might exist in the calm eye of a storm for a second, and (in classic Smith fashion) he's able to appreciate what he's looking at.

  5. anonymous
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    Apr 14th 2020 !⃝

    I took it to mean a person near the end of life looking back dying and telling the person they love and have spent their life with how death will feel without them. Donna I love you too.

  6. anonymous
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    Sep 1st 2018 !⃝

    the song is about the darkness withing and the conversations he remembers having her smile the whole album leads to these things. Depression and memories..

  7. anonymous
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    Jul 23rd 2018 !⃝

    It's about drug addiction.

  8. anonymous
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    Jan 13th 2018 !⃝

    Knowing how moody/downtrodden Robert gets I see him standing along the British coast with his girlfriend during a winter storm exaggerating the situation.

  9. anonymous
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    May 15th 2014 !⃝

    This may be some sort of metaphor, but I took it literally, maybe it is the end of the world, or maybe just a big storm or something, and she's smiling sadly and they're just standing there waiting for it or something to come, and maybe destroy them . . Thought of it as they're standing "On the edge of the World", in some big vast space . . .


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