• True Love Waits

    Article by Ey@el and music & lyrics by Radiohead

    Original en français

    To illustrate the theme of the week set by Saint Valentine's Day, I was looking for a love song neither too namby-pamby nor over-versed in pathos or cheap romanticism, and yet still within my musical preference — which, frankly didn't leave much choice. First of all, I obviously thought of The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love", much too clichéd and overused for the occasion. I had finally opted out for a track by Muse called "Endlessly" when all of a sudden, I heard this wonderful tune and the little voice of Thom Yorke popped in my head,  repeating over and over that “true love waits”. So yes, of course, it was exactly THE song I had to post (and dammit if Bellamy is sore about it). Although true love in here is quite desperate, even cynical and disillusioned (well, it's Thom Yorke not Paul McCartney, okay!), it gives much to ponder about the true meaning of love in itself.  Love is much talked about, but, in truth, how many really get to experience it? In the realm of appearance, ruled by ego and the degradation and subjection of human beings, this strikes me as not particularly frivolous nor insignificant. In fact, love conveys both great strength and inspiration, whether you're lucky enough to share it or simply hold it within you. So in direct reference to yesterday's repost (see Related articles) and to reformulate the lyrics of the song Serge Gainsbourg wrote for Vanessa Paradis, why so much Y in I love U?

    I'll drown my beliefs
    To have your babies.
    I'll dress like your niece
    And wash your swollen feet.

    Just don't leave —
    Don't leave.

    I'm not living,
    I'm just killing time.
    Your tiny hands,
    Your crazy-kitten smile.

    Just don't leave —
    Don't leave.

    And true love waits
    In haunted attics.
    And true love lives
    On lollipops and crisps.

    Just don't leave —
    Don't leave.

    Just don't leave —
    Don’t leave.

    © Thom Yorke, 2001

    About this song

    Although this video shows a solo performance by Thom Yorke, this track was actually played for the first time by Radiohead on tour in 1995 after the release of their second album The Bends. It soon became an all-time favourite live request, but has never been recorded yet as a studio version.

    The lyrics are from the perspective of a woman longing for true love and the « simple desire not to be alone ».

    About the line “I'll dress like your niece”, Yorke explains he's referring to “the difference between young and old when people start to dress sensible and act their age. this person is offering not to do that to keep the other.” Note that in some versions, “niece” becomes “nurse” while “To have your babies” is changed to “For you to be in peace”.

    As regards “lollipops and crisps”, the line was inspired by an article he'd read “about a child who was between 5-8 year old who was left on his own for a week in a house when his parents left on holiday and he lived on lollipops on crisps.” True.


    Notes et références

    • ^ "Tandem" is a track written by French artist and composer Serge Gainsbourg for young Vanessa Paradis in 1990. It's full of phonetic puns about love and hate using the letters M for “aime” (love) and N for “haine”  (hate) which is impossible to translate in English, hence my attempt to turn it differently in true spirit of the game. So in French, I would say “why so much hate in I love you”.

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