the cure - push

so my interpretation of push is that it's about unrequited love driving someone to madness. im gonna just jump right in here:

so we have our protagonist who is madly in love with some person. and maybe thety're just about to confess their feelings in the hopes of them being mutual, but then they find out the person is in a relationship with someone else. that song takes place at this point.

immediately, we hear a repetitive, loud guitar part. this is representative of the protagonist's mental state: they are in shambles; the realization that their crush (for lack of a better word) does not love them back has destroyed them, and their mind is in a state of panic, running circles, repeating itself. the part goes on, changing slightly, and starts to become a bit more gentle, quieter, unlike the abrupt start of the song. we hear the protagonist's voice calling out a few times; this symbolizes them finally starting to recover, finding themself again, the noise that is their mind shifting back to a coherent internal monologue. then the same part as the start of the song resumes, just as loud and abrupt. yet the voice continues, implying that maybe it wasn't them finding peace with themselves but rather their grief simpyl becoming more coherent. then the lyrics start.

i like to imagine at this point that the protagonist has just been walking in the night, stewing and raging, and right as the lyrics start, they find themselves outside of the house of the person they are in love with. they peer in the window and say:

Go go go Push him away No no no Don't let him stay

they have stumbled upon the person they are in love with and their lover. they think a command, face pressed against the window, hoping that somehow the object of their affection will hear and obey, pushing away their own lover, throwing them out of the house, and coming to join the protagonist.

He gets inside to stare at her The seeping mouth The mouth that knows The secret you Always you

now the protagonist has entered the house. they have a 'seeping mouth', reminiscent of someone with rabies or similar foaing at the mouth, bringing to mind madness and depravity. then they call it 'the mouth that knows', which i interpret as the protagonist thinking that they know their unrequited lover better than anyone: know everything about them, even their deepest, darkest secrets, 'the secret you', in every part of their body, head to toes to mouth. they say, 'always you', addressing their lover even in their internal monologue: all their affection, time, and thoughts go toward this single person.

A smile to hide the fear away Oh smear this man across the walls Like strawberries and cream Its the only way to be

the person is scared now, for through this whole thought they have been creeping through the house appraoching the bedroom, where they had originally peered in through the window to watch the happy couple. they smile through it, convincing themselves that this is in fact what they want, to see their lover no matter the cost. now they are standing in the door, unnoticed by the couple (who i imagine are engaged in some sort of sexual or romantic activity), watching their crush's lover. they begin to get angry, thinking violent thoughts: they wish that the person they love would actually attack their lover, killing them, in fact ripping them to shreds and smearing them across the walls. the image of 'strawberries and cream' to represent the blood and bones smeared across the walls shows us that the protagonist is starting to lose a grip on reality, thinking of childish, happy images even in such an adult, angry state.

Exactly the same clean room Exactly the same clean bed But I've stayed away too long this time And I've got too big to fit this time

the protagonist thinks back to their fantasies of being with this person. they lament that the room, the bed they imagined would be shared by them and their crush is instead being shared by another. they think that maybe if they hadn't waited so much, hadn't 'stayed away too long', maybe their fantasy could have become a reality. then they return to reality a bit: they think that 'they've got too big to fit', that their own ego and self-absorbedness has blinded them, and kept them from being, fitting into this room they so desire to be in. saddened by this prospect, they flee the house, perhaps to mourn, perhaps to do something else, and the song ends.

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