My Mind, She Runs
I’ve always heard them say
That Golden Brown and Perfect Day
Are smuggling in some heroin
Cos that’s so rock & roll !
But I don’t think that’s such a feat
When looking at each lyric sheet –
There’s nothing there to threaten or cajole.
The Stranglers waltz around with metaphor
About…well, what ?
Some vagaries that lapse into an ideal love, perhaps,
To fox our trot, but little more.
And Lou is not opaque at all,
Just thanks for needed company –
And if it’s from a needle, well,
He fails to wink sufficiently.
Now, there’s no reason songs can’t hide
Another message deep inside,
But usually they’re straight ahead –
And if we let our fancies fly
We’re chasing diamonds in the sky
And swearing blind that Paul is dead.
Another supposed drug song is Under The Bridge. I’m sure its author is sincere in explaining his motivation, but the lyrics themselves are far too generic, about nothing more than alienation in LA. Coming to this blind, there is little chance of the listener decyphering just why Mr Kiedis is so gloomy. Indeed, I still contest that the song is singing about lonliness, not about injections. The latter may have caused the former, but that’s completely irrelevent to the song, because the song only cares to tell us that the singer is alone, not why they’re alone.
As to that why, there is one line that identifies the eponymous bridge as the place where the narrator “drew some blood”, which might point us in the right direction, but there’s absolutely no other line to back it up – causing your teenage author to wrongly assume it was talking about self-harm.
Of course, songwriters are under no obligation for their lyrics to be able to operate in a vacuum, there’s is a different medium, but don’t be surprised if the groovy kids a hundred years from now are scratching their heads and think it’s all about urban planning.
And on a completely unrelated matter, is heroin actually golden brown in colour ? Not claiming to be an expert, but isn’t it either a black lump or a white powder ? At least, that’s how it’s always shown in the movies…