“Cuts You Up” by Peter Murphy (1990)

11 09 2008

I remember the first time I heard this track.  I was lucky enough to spend some time in Spain, and one of the cafes my buddy and I would frequent had the CD box for this album, “Deep,” pinned up on the wall behind the bar.   The bartender had control of the makeshift sound system, with stacks of CD’s from which he could pick the next selection.  I sort of knew who Peter Murphy was, as he is considered the “godfather of goth music” from his days fronting Bauhaus (check out their seminal hit “Bela Lugosi is Dead”), but I hadn’t heard any of his solo work.  So I asked the bartender, in hideous Castilian Spanish, to play Mr. Murphy’s newly-released solo album.

Wow.  Am I glad I did.  This song just floats.  Floats everything.  My mood, my motivation, my curiosity.  It’s hard to explain, but it’s like this song just grabs you under the arms and pulls you up above the complications of life.  Maybe it’s the beautiful cello part, or maybe it’s Mr. Murphy’s solid-oak baritone voice.  Or it’s the sum of all parts, a testament to all who worked and performed on the record.

I don’t really know what he’s singing about, and I suspect that it’s a darker subject than I recognize.  Nevertheless, I like grabbing onto pieces of the lyrics, and just chewing on them for awhile.  Take just the first lines, for example:

“I find you in the morning after dreams of distant signs
You pour yourself over me like the sun through the blinds”

This song is a short but thoroughly invigorating vacation you can give yourself, no passport required.

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