Really there are two kinds of music fans. Those who are there for the music as a whole and those who are there to hear the words. Make no mistake, we're not saying that one side is better than the other, but we are definitely in the latter category. Being a melodramatic lot, most goths are.
So we thought we'd pose to the Council the question of what lyrics had most moved them over the years. Joining us this week is fashion designer Batty, blogger at Night's Plutonian Shore Sarah Fanning, co-founder of the Age of Decay festival Alethea Carr, stylist Carol Simmons, Larry Rainwater of Ex-Voto and the Stage Frights, spooky dessertier Lynda Rouner, Regen Robinson of Space Radio, and Jvstin Whitney from Church of Melkarth.
Batty: "Sing While you may ( it may not be for long)" from the song "A Message to our Sponsor" off the Legendary Pink Dot's Asylum album has always been one of my favorite lyrics. It delivers the message to live your life to the best and the fullest, because life is short which has always been a driving force behind the things I do. I first heard it in around 1996 or so, when I discovered the Dots, and that lyrics has grabbed me ever since.
Sarah Fanning: "The virginal brides file past his tomb / Strewn with time's dead flowers / Bereft in deathly bloom / Alone in a darkened room / The Count..."
Bauhaus, "Bela Lugosi's Dead."
I love the poetry of this lyric. It is beautiful and tragic. I love the images it brings to mind. I feel it embodies what I like most about being Goth - the beauty, decadence, elegance and theatrical elements.
Alethea Carr: "And just as I'm breaking free / she hangs herself in front of me / slips her dress like a flag to the floor / and hands in the sky / surrenders it all..."
The Cure, "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea"
This is one of the best similes ever written, goth or not. But it takes on particularly gothitragic overtones in its romanticisation of unrequited, tumultuous love; emotional helplessness; and, in surrender, pleasure within pain. I have also always thought the dress/flag comparison had a ghostly feel, probably because the dress, as a symbol of giving over power, is the flag of surrender. A white dress, coupled with the double interpretation of "hangs herself," evokes a haunting image then.
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What is more gothic than being the heartbroken slave to a ghost? Of this fixation on a dead and unfulfillable object of desire, to such an all-consuming point that it prevents love of the living? Of course, I'm sure Robert Smith would shake his head at such silly over-analysis! Still, it's a powerful and indulgently melancholy piece of songwriting.
Carol Simmons: "If I only could / I'd make a deal with God / And I'd get him to swap our places / Be running up that road / Be running up that hill / With no problems..."
Kate Bush, "Running up That Hill"
For whatever reason, these lyrics always lend me strength. They just personify that feeling of being an underdog, or wishing you could have ended up with a different outcome. From break ups to break dowsn I think we all, at some time or another, regardless of our beliefs wish to make a deal with God.
Larry Rainwater: I am gonna go ahead do this, "If I never fall in love again it will be too soon." From "If I" by Ex-VoTo. I know, I know, but I don't care.
Lynda Rouner: "At the close of day / The sunset cloaks / These words in shadowplay / Here and now, long and loud / My heart cries out / And the naked bone of an echo says / Don't walk away / Reach out your hands / I'm just a step away / How in the world / Can I wish for this? / Never to be torn apart / Close to you / 'Til the last beat / Of my heart"
Siouxsie and the Banshees, "The Last Beat of My Heart"
I first heard this song when I was going through a relationship with someone who was rather emotionally abusive and distant, and it really hit home for me, and helped give me the strength to walk away. Two decades later, this song still resonates with me whenever I hear it.
Regen Robinson: My best goth lyric is also my best pick-up line. It is from Cosmicity's song "I Want You."
"You're like water / With just a touch of lead / But you're so goddamn delicious / I'll drink you 'til I'm dead."
Works every time.
Jvstin Whitney: Whatever, the best goth pickup line is "You wanna watch Labyrinth?" It always works. I can't decide on the best ever because there are so many I love equally for various personal reasons, like really the entire albums of Funker Vogt's Navigator, Wumpscut's Body Census, and Cruxshadows' Mystery of the Whisper. They're all perfect albums in every aspect. If forced I'll just go with "Get out of my way 'cause you know That I'm totally wasted / Get out get out 'cause I'm everything you ever hated," from And One's "Wasted."
Regen Robinson: "You wanna watch Labyrinth" only works on the chicks. David Bowie...Bog of Eternal Stench...David Bowie again. Oh yeah.
Batty: Oh yeah...David Bowie... whining baby...some goblin things... David Bowie's crotch... hypnotized by package... can't turn away...
Jvstin Whitney: Even men want the Goblin King, and it's not even gay. David Bowie is that awesome. I guess Jennifer Connelly's alright too.
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Batty: Minus the caterpillar brows, and she is a decent looking broad.
Alethea Carr: There's even a website dedicated to David Bowie's "area," and who can blame them? "David Bowie's Area is omnipresent; his Area exists at every point in every facet of reality."
Batty: That is the best website ever.
Alethea Carr: It's the one True Religion.