You’ll Follow Me Down: the meaning of Skunk Anansie’s cry of pain

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Going down.
Raising up.

Survived
Tonight

Still breathing heavily.

You’ll Follow Me Down is the third single from the album Post Orgasmic Chill, released by Skunk Anansie in 1999.

In this song, Skin is the wind, strong and big, a priestess and narrator with a vital impact on the song.

As you watch me crawl
You stand for more

It happens, sometimes in life, that you get hurt. It happens that you want to punish yourself in the wrong way, and that you are unable to forgive yourself. It happens sometimes in life and in love. And sometimes it happens to drag those who love each other down into their own prison.

You do so much harm as two. You consume yourselves, and the more you do it, the more you punish yourself, the more you indulge in this masochistic game of self-destruction, looking for a way to delegitimise yourself.

You are in a tunnel without forgiveness, a tunnel without excuses. A tunnel of solitude.

I don’t want you, to forgive me,
You’ll follow me down

It’s the lament, the desperate scream of Skin. She already knows how it will end; she knows very well the game of both parties in this massacre, when you can’t see the end of the tunnel and you can only scream pain from deep within your throat. And then, somehow, the exit is there, before you.

When you are one in another’s arms, it’s hard to tell what the rules are, or what the meaning of sin is. You forget what you were and what you’ve become, whether something brought you to this point or if you arrived by ourselves in this spiral of pain. If you are that way interminably, or whether one party has transformed the other.

And you’re panic-stricken
Blood will thicken up
Tonight

And silence will tear you apart.

Fear: this old lady who loves to make fun of brilliant minds, who wants to decrypt the codes of the most profound intellects, the puppet master of a theatre, manipulated by her wise claws. She knows perfectly how to bring these hypnotised actors into the dangerous path of irrationality.

I don’t want you to forgive me. First, I have to forgive myself.

That’s what will happen after Skin’s scream of pain, like a wounded beast, roaring and then rising up.

That’s how you win your battle.

As your emotions fool you, (my) strong will rule

I won’t feel restraint, watching you close sense down,
I can’t compensate, that’s more than I’ve got to give.

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