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Verse-Chorus-Verse: "Lovesong" - The Cure

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Monday, Mar 15, 2010
Artist/producer PC Muñoz mines for gems and grills the greats.

“Lovesong” - The Cure
Lyrics by Robert Smith
Music by Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Porl Thompson, Roger O’Donnell, and Laurence Tolhurst
From Disintegration, Elektra Records, 1989

An earlier edit of this V-C-V was first published December 6, 2005 on

I’m the first to admit that I was quite the funky-come-lately when it comes to The Cure. When they first came to my attention in the early ‘80s, I was too knee deep in funk and early hip-hop to give them much of an ear, even though I definitely dug Gary Numan, Lene Lovich, and other darkish new-wavey types who were flirting with the funk/dance rhythms of the day.

The Cure’s absence from my collection doesn’t mean I wasn’t aware of why the group was popular, or what Smith was all about. I had heard their more popular songs all over the place, and as a young musician, I made a habit of reading all of the interviews in the music magazines I purchased, whether or not I was a fan of the interviewee. Over the years, I found that I always enjoyed reading interviews with Robert Smith, though I still resisted picking up the albums, for some reason. They became one of those bands whom I respected by default, but never really investigated.
That changed when I heard “Lovesong”. The music is credited collectively to the group, and it is not unfamiliar territory for the Cure—big beat, ringing guitars, catchy keyboard hook, heartfelt vocals, a strong emphasis on rhythm. Lyrically, it might be one of the most effective love songs I’ve ever heard. Smith’s declarative directness here not only trumps the manipulative sugar-talk we encounter much too often in “love” songs, but also renders superfluous any kind of analysis of his true intention. It’s all there in the lyric, clear as day:

Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am home again
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am whole again

However far away
I will always love you
However long I stay
I will always love you
Whatever words I say
I will always love you
I will always love you

When Smith sings those last lines of the chorus, there’s no question that he means it. There’s a magnetic combination of determination, tenderness, wistfulness, and desperation in his vocal, which makes the entire track compelling. It’s not suprising that this song has been covered many times—there are few love songs that possess this kind of direct emotional quotient, minus any sap or syrup. Some may find irony in the fact that these words were penned by someone known for writing brooding, moody songs, but I wasn’t surprised at all to hear this lyric from Smith. After all, “Lovesong” is not filled with promises of a trouble-free future, or visions of endless joy. It simply expresses an unconditional, unwavering love, very beautifully.

And the title is perfect.

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