The Lumineers: Cleopatra Meaning
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Song Released: 2016
anonymous Jul 7th 2020 report
I think cleopatra is about being resigned to destiny, and the timing of love being off and realizing that there’s nothing you can do about it. “I was late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life/ and when I die alone, I’ll be on time”- the narrator saying that only in death will the timing ever sync up and she’ll finally be with her love. “But I’ve read this script and the costume fits, so I’ll play my part”- this is a really sad line to me, because it’s about her, cleopatra, being resigned to the fact that she has to live out her days unhappy because things didn’t work out as they were meant to, but that’s she’s already given up. “Now a nurse in white shoes leads me back to my guest room, it’s a bed and a bathroom and a place for the end”- I didn’t realize what the last lines meant until I’d listened to the song many times, but now it seems like the song is her reflecting and looking back on her whole life as she’s in a nursing home, old and dying, and thinking about her life and what it could’ve been if her father hadn’t died and she said yes to her love.
anonymous Mar 10th 2017 report
5. "Cleopatra" was based on a true life story of a woman Wesley had briefly met through his wife's best friend, and is the first song the band has written from a female perspective.
"It's told from the perspective of a female, and I don't think we've really done that in a song. Its this person that I [Wesley] met through my wife's best friend. She's the first female taxi driver in the Republic of Georgia. The story that got me going to be even interested in writing about from that perspective, [is] I had heard that she was in love when she was younger, this is all in the song if you just take a look at the lyrics, its pretty spelled out. But she was young, and her father had passed away, and so shes mourning the death of her father. Shes 16, and her boyfriend asked her to marry him. And shes so numb from the loss of her father that she doesn't say anything back when he proposes. It was raining that day, and he had tracked in this mud on her carpet. And so, he leaves, she never sees him again because he leaves town heartbroken, and she doesn't clean the footprints off of the floor ever. That's her last piece of him. So it's an interesting start to the story, and then hearing all about her life, a lot of it is referring to her. Shes a badass, shes a hard-living, tough person I met very briefly, but super interesting lady."
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