The Cure have a reputation as a pretty moody band. But many of their best songs aren't all that gloomy. Peer beneath the minor-chord settings and Robert Smith's often-pained vocals, and you'll find a group that just wants to be loved. Or sexed. Once they got past their early literary stage, Smith began to lighten up a little, penning love songs that often winked at something a little bit more. Underneath all that eyeliner, the 10 Best Cure Lyrics reveal that they're just like everyone else.
"I'm coming to find you, if it takes me all night / A witch hunt for another girl / For always and ever is always for you / Your trust, the most gorgeously stupid thing I ever cut in the world."
One of Robert Smith's greatest breakup songs, 'A Night Like This' (from 1985's 'The Head on the Door') is filled with regret, sadness and a looming hopelessness that's bound to repeat itself over and over again. The sax solo drives it home.
"I kissed you in the water and made your dry lips sing / I saw you look like a Japanese baby / In an instant I remembered everything."
A few months before 'The Walk' was released in mid 1983, the Cure lightened up on 'Let's Go to Bed,' the first in a string of pop-oriented singles that finally broke them on the U.K. charts. 'The Walk' is one of Robert Smith's earliest love songs -- sifted through his usual filter of surreal imagery and tilted perspective.
"It's a perfect day for doing the unstuck / For dancing like you can't hear the beat and you don't give a further thought to things like feet / Let's get happy."
This song from 1992's 'The Wish' swings both ways. There's a dark undercurrent to lyrics like "It's a perfect day to throw back your head and kiss it all goodbye" -- which could be about suicide. But then there's the carefree tone of the above lyrics, which point to liberation without the gloomy subtext. We kinda like that it can be read both ways.
"So wonderfully, wonderfully, wonderfully, wonderfully pretty / You know that I'd do anything for you / We should have each other for dinner / We should have each other with cream / Then curl up by the fire / Get up for awhile / It's the grooviest thing / It's the perfect dream."
The Cure's third straight pop single from 1983 (see No. 9 on our list of the 10 Best Cure Lyrics) is another love song, but like 'Let's Go to Bed,' it's a bit more sexual in nature. "We should have each other with cream," anyone?
"When I see you kitten as a cat, as smitten as that I can't get that small / The way you fur, the how you purr, it makes me want to paw you all."
Like so many song on our list of the 10 Best Cure Lyrics, 'High' pokes a huge fat hole in the common belief that Robert Smith is one moody fellow. It's about love so grand it's like a drug. It's about love so cuddly it brings up cat comparisons. It's about a hands-all-over-you kinda love.
"You're so perfect, you're so right as rain / You make me hungry again / Everything you do is irresistible / Everything you do is simply kissable / Why can't I be you?"
The music's joyful horns and giddy excitement carries over to the positively ebullient lyrics, revealing a flip side to the bummed-out dude of 'A Night Like This' (see No. 10 on our list of the 10 Best Cure Lyrics). Need more proof? Try on this: "I'm smitten, I'm bitten, I'm hooked, I'm cooked, I'm stuck like glue."
"Dropping through sky, through the glass of the roof, through the roof of your mouth, through the mouth of your eye, through the eye of the needle / It's easier for me to get closer to heaven than ever feel whole again /
I never said I would stay to the end / I knew I would leave you with babies and everything."
Running more than eight minutes, the title track to the band's best album features Robert Smith at his wordiest ... and nastiest. It's basically a cycle-of-life thing, with childhood abuses giving way to similar adult patterns. Chilling.
"If only I'd thought of the right words, I could have held on to your heart / If only I'd thought of the right words, I wouldn't be breaking apart all my pictures of you."
Robert Smith has said that he wrote 'Pictures of You' after a fire at his home. Among the remains were some pictures of his wife in a wallet. But read the lyrics, and you'll discover something that cuts way deeper: a broken heart and shattered memories.
"Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick, the one that makes me scream, she said / The one that makes me laugh, she said / Threw her arms around my neck / Show me how you do it, and I'll promise you I'll run away with you."
One of the great opening lines of the '80s and one of Robert Smith's purest love songs. There's no sinister undertow, hidden agenda or even salacious nods going on here. It's a love song about being in love.
"I like you in that like I like you to scream / But if you open your mouth, then I can't be responsible for quite what goes in or to care what comes out."
The first single from the Cure's breakthrough U.S. album is one of Robert Smith's vaguest songs. Is it about sex? Control? A breakdown of a relationship? We can't say for sure, but the menacing rhythm hints that something sinister is going on. A perfect summation of the Cure at their best.