The Cure’s Lullaby: behind the meaning of the lyrics

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This article explains the meaning of The Cure’s Lullaby lyrics, running through the interpretation of the author’s message. A story based on the elements available by listening to the song.

I spy
Something beginning with ‘S’

In an initial atmosphere which is almost inviting, quiet, the beat describes us an ordinary time, the flow of usual moments of a usual evening.

However, soon that beat will change. It won’t sound like Robert Smith’s evening clock anymore. It will be something more terrifying: the march of a monster approaching silently, crossing the death border trying to reach Smith in his bed, paralyzed. Trying to eat him.

The author’s voice crawls on an assertive bassline that continues its way, despite the monster. It announces the arrival of the danger, a threat endowed with a sinister power, yet almost seductive. Something that blocks you in the bed, helpless. And it’s late to turn on the light.

On candy stripe legs the Spiderman comes
Softly through the shadow of the evening sun
Stealing past the windows of the blissfully dead
Looking for the victim shivering in bed

For Robert Smith the monster is an entity which looks like a spider. It arrived on his candy stripe legs and now Smith has to face it. It’s as fast as fear, too fast for you. It’s subtle, it can creep into the cracks open in your mind. With its thousand legs he can block every limb of you, from every angle: like a cage, like a paralysis.

Be still, be calm, be quiet now, my precious boy
Don’t struggle like that or I will only love you more
For it’s much too late to get away or turn on the light
The Spiderman is having you for dinner tonight

There are many way you can interpret the spider crawling on Robert Smith’s bed. Somebody said that the song is a reference to Smith’s drug addiction coming from the past. Some others prefer to think that the song is about the terrifying lullabies that the father sang him when he was a child.

But there is an album, its name is Disinitegration and inside it there is the despair of who’s lost, who has no strength to stop the descent. The monster is there. He fights us. He sings to Us.

Disintegration is the album that tries to exorcise Robert Smith’s state of mind, in a moment when he’s locked into himself, at a crossroads of his career. His music, at that time, is trying to crack the armour and bring to light The Cure’s true identity. A new birth.

The Cure in 1989

Lullaby is the only song where the impotence of the author is so evident. The horror mood of that album will stay locked in that room only: the room where Robert Smith look the monster in its face, where he was going to be its dinner. But he managed to lock the monster into that room.

Because the spider is totally powerless in front of a mind in its full control. Like every animal, he loses against the strength, the courage of rationality.

To accept fear means to finally face it, as Smith did that night, in that room. It’s an act of bravery.

After that, you can only win.

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