Ribbons

Got any interesting thoughts on a set of lyrics? Any that don't involve the word "indeed"? Find yourself struggling to decipher all those obtuse references Von makes? Read "1959 And All That" and still no clearer? Postcards found lying in a skip around the back of the Chemists can be found here... Don't say you weren't warned.
EricSweden
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anyone know what ribbons is about? it's one of my fav lyrics.
EricSweden
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no one uh? hehe

:wink:
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Quiff Boy
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1959 And All That is a good site for lyric discussion...

Ribbons gets a mention here
Ribbons

Flowers on the razor wire
The line evokes images of both the flowers placed by pacifists on barbed wire fences, and the blooms of blood brought by application of sharp objects such as razor wire to the skin. Either would function as nice combinations of the poet's traditional interests of love and death; together the sense can only be amplified: this line goes all the way up to eleven.

Love is a many splintered thing
A pun on the song Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing written by Paul Francis Webster.

cobalt red...cobalt blue
Different forms of cobalt are variously coloured red and blue. This could quite easily be seen as emblematic of political divide. However, cobalt is not the only substance to have these colour qualities, so is there any particular reason why it is mentioned rather than any other substance? Two reasons spring to mind; firstly the cobalt bomb, a proposed Doomsday `superbomb' in which a hydrogen bomb would be encased in shell of cobalt. As the bomb exploded, the cobalt would be vaporised, and radioactive particulates would be spread throughout the atmosphere, poisoning the whole planet. Thus the women in the song might be seen as having awesome destructive power. Alternatively (or additionally) it might be noted that the word `cobalt' comes from the German word `kobald', meaning a goblin or subterranean demon, so named by miners because of the difficulty of working the metal, and thus it could quite usefully be seen as a pun. Note also that the eyes are red amd the voice is blue.

Marx and Engels
Whilst it is possible that the narrator is trying to persuade the woman in question of the various merits of Groucho Marx or Noel Scott Engels, it seems more likely that be is referring to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, authors of the Communist Manifesto etc.

God and Angels
Oh come on, you must have heard of them.
" - be there or wait another five years for God and all His angels to make that funny exploding noise in your head again." - postcard advertising the single `More' and publicising the appearances at Wembley Arena in November 1990.

Tie a red, red, red, red, red ribbon
A contrast to the paean to American values, Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree
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ez
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Also,

"I tried to tell her about Marx and Engels,
God and angels
I don't really know what for
But she looked good in ribbons."
- Sisters Of Mercy, "Ribbons"


Read that *sliced* to ribbons. Cruel and absurd. Must be Andrew Eldritch.

"I love that line. Great line, isn't it?" The tiny man smiles, dead-tired
skin streched parchmentlike around his mouth, eyes that look a million years
old nervously darting about the room. Another drag off an endless procession
of cigarettes, and he'll probably collapse into his own emaciated flesh.

"It's so rational, but undeniably psychotic," he furthers. "I can see a
better-read Norman Bates thinking to himself before he flings open the shower
curtain: *I've tried, I've really tried, but she'll just never get the
point.* And then everything turns red. Delicious, utterly delicious. Who else
could sing that and make it work?"
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after going to that site and reading the theories on the lyrics i guess its safe to say that most of andrews lyrics are nothing but political. man.. this kinda ruins my picture of ribbons. i have my own idea about ribbons. im sure its wrong ... well it is wrong but ive talked it over with some other sisters fans and they find it interesting even though its wrong. you guys wanna hear it?
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On Jun 15, 2002 3:14am, EricSweden wrote:
after going to that site and reading the theories on the lyrics i guess its safe to say that most of andrews lyrics are nothing but political. man.. this kinda ruins my picture of ribbons. i have my own idea about ribbons. im sure its wrong ... well it is wrong but ive talked it over with some other sisters fans and they find it interesting even though its wrong. you guys wanna hear it?
get on with it...!
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If my memory serves me right, Eldritch said once "Ribbons is a song about Women and Nuclear holocaust, a really great combination"
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na...don't want to anymore. you all will think i'm stupid. you guys know more about the sisters than anyone i've talked to.



:sad:
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eric! we dont know more, we have just managed to find more websites full of rubbish about the sisters! :smile:

and a fresh opinion and point of view is ALWAYS welcome... we will not think you are stupid!! all opinions are valid - music is an emotive subject and open to personal interpretation. thats the beauty of it :smile:

i always took ribbons fairly literaly - a song about an ex-lover. never quite managed to decide if i thought it was ribbons as in "bangles and ribbons" or as in "cut into shreds" :sad:
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well even though this view is wrong ill tell you anyway. actually its just based on a few lines. nothing more.

flowers on the razor:
this line must be the best sisters lyric line. the thought i get in my head is a forbidden terratory guarded with razor wires, like a girl kept behind a razor wire, lovers try and get over it to court her but fail, leaving flowers on the razor wire.

love is a many splintered thing:
for some reason i replace splintered with "forbidden" when i hear it.

i tried to tell her about marx and engels etc.... but she looked good in ribbons:
hmm maybe i just got a perverted imagination but that line sounds like a line a childmolester would think....like "hmm i know shes too young but she looks good in ribbons" or something....

the words can be changed to make a clearer picture:
i tried to tell her about candy and balloons, lollies and cartoons. i dont' really know what for, but she looked good in ribbons.

i know its dumb.
my band this song and sometimes the singer changes the words into the above but it usually upsets the sisters fans that come see us... vons lyrics aint to be tampered with eh? :smile:



EricSweden
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forgot....... ribbons in her hair like a lil girl........
hehe.....
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quiffboy....... that shop assistants pic...... thats a record cover right?
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On Jul 18, 2002 1:27am, Quiff Boy wrote:
eric! we dont know more, we have just managed to find more websites full of rubbish about the sisters! :smile:
:smile:
and a fresh opinion and point of view is ALWAYS welcome... we will not think you are stupid!! all opinions are valid - music is an emotive subject and open to personal interpretation. thats the beauty of it :smile:
Yeap, totally agree with qb on this one... as long as your opinion is the same as mine of course ;-)
i always took ribbons fairly literaly - a song about an ex-lover. never quite managed to decide if i thought it was ribbons as in "bangles and ribbons" or as in "cut into shreds" :sad:


Yeah, i've always thought that he was talking about cutting her into shreds. I like the psychotic aspect of it :von:


<font size=1>[ This Message was edited by: Zigeunerweisen on Jul 18, 2002 3:28am ]</font>
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On Jun 15, 2002 3:14am, EricSweden wrote:
i have my own idea about ribbons. im sure its wrong ...
If you knew what my interpretations of some of their songs are... :wink:
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zigeunerweisen
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On Jul 18, 2002 3:01am, EricSweden wrote:
well even though this view is wrong ill tell you anyway. actually its just based on a few lines. nothing more.

flowers on the razor:
this line must be the best sisters lyric line. the thought i get in my head is a forbidden terratory guarded with razor wires, like a girl kept behind a razor wire, lovers try and get over it to court her but fail, leaving flowers on the razor wire.

love is a many splintered thing:
for some reason i replace splintered with "forbidden" when i hear it.

i tried to tell her about marx and engels etc.... but she looked good in ribbons:
hmm maybe i just got a perverted imagination but that line sounds like a line a childmolester would think....like "hmm i know shes too young but she looks good in ribbons" or something....

the words can be changed to make a clearer picture:
i tried to tell her about candy and balloons, lollies and cartoons. i dont' really know what for, but she looked good in ribbons.

i know its dumb.
my band this song and sometimes the singer changes the words into the above but it usually upsets the sisters fans that come see us... vons lyrics aint to be tampered with eh? :smile:
I think it's a fair and interesting interpretation. But i do have to admit that this is the first time that candy and ballons, lollies and cartoons and little girls with ribbons and the Sisters have crashed in into my mind at the same time :smile:
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I’ve taken to it as an adult Pygmalion.

On one level perverted & lustful,

On a second, psychotic and vengeful

My interpretation has always been as follows: -

The "narrator" lusted over an "obviously" attractive girl and makes no secret of the fact that despite his supposedly honourable intentions, he was actually driven by more carnal desires. The lines

Her lovers queued up in the hallway
I heard them scratching at the door
I tried to tell her
About Marx and Engels, God and Angels
I don't really know what for
But she looked good in ribbons

Seem to support this argument

Having been rebuffed, the narrator has killed the girl, and now we return to the beginning of the song.

Very cleverly, at least to me, the wordplay lyrically and the gradual build up musically , conveys an increasing intensity and tension as the story progresses

I'm lying on my back now
The stars look all too near

Much has been written about the connections to the "bomb" cobalt red, cobalt blue etc., but so far as I'm aware little as to why? My conclusion is that, yes it'll look beautiful, but we will also be held culpable for our actions.

Whilst he is trying to justify his actions, get his story together, it seems clear to me, that someone, the police? is making their way towards the scene of the crime.

The incoming line has always evoked an imagery of the door opening in slow motion, as he runs out of time.

:roll:

<font size=1>[ This Message was edited by: Paint it black on Jul 18, 2002 9:26am ]</font>
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OMG, I'm such a complete dork... :oops: :von:
Last edited by 6FeetOver on 24 Apr 2003, 22:28, edited 1 time in total.
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"I'm lying on my back now
The stars look all too near"

i always imagined this as being the narrator, having just killed the girl, lying on a grassy verge (or somesuch), breathing heavily and staring up at the night sky. his adrenaline pumping, heart racing, etc etc

but i do like PIBs idea of "the stars look all too near" as being perhaps either his persuers (law enforcement officres?) getting closer, or his conscience closing in on him, with momentary guilt about what he's just done.

cool! :von:
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On Jul 18, 2002 3:05am, EricSweden wrote:
quiffboy....... that shop assistants pic...... thats a record cover right?
yep :smile:

http://home.clara.net/tcsb/sa/discography.htm

'safety net' 12", notable mainly for the b-side "somewhere in china", a beautiful, shimmering little pop song from the mid 80s :von:
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I've never really attempted to truly understand this song, I just love the imagery and sound (in fact it has been my very favorite song since it was released - hence the avatar :) ).
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Quiff Boy wrote: i always took ribbons fairly literaly - a song about an ex-lover. never quite managed to decide if i thought it was ribbons as in "bangles and ribbons" or as in "cut into shreds" :sad:
I've wondered about that point for a long time. In my mind it creates a (slightly disturbing) image of a woman hanging from a post of some kind, slashed to ribbons.

Which is nice :lol:
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Quiff Boy wrote:
On Jul 18, 2002 3:05am, EricSweden wrote:
quiffboy....... that shop assistants pic...... thats a record cover right?
yep :smile:

http://home.clara.net/tcsb/sa/discography.htm

'safety net' 12", notable mainly for the b-side "somewhere in china", a beautiful, shimmering little pop song from the mid 80s :von:
and just for posterity, i'll update this url :D

http://notsorted.tripod.com/SA.discog.html

http://notsorted.tripod.com/SA.safetynet.jpg

:lol: :innocent:
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throughthecables wrote:Quote from the Website of Ian Grimstead (Hello and thanx!):
"The hospital in St.Pauli (where Eldritch is in Germany, or at least near to the football team he was sponsoring), has a room where intoxicated patients are kept; the ceiling of which is painted dark blue with a moon, stars and a sign saying "You are in the sobering-up room of Sankt Pauli Hafenkrankenhaus". The stars look all too near... possibly"

I think Ribbons is a song about crystal meth / speed. The Hafenkrankhaus quote above is ,in my eyes, a very good proof for that. The whole text fits in my eyes to this topic if you replace the woman or she with crytal meth.

What do ya think???

Apart from that, I think Eldritch is the best songwriter ever and he is very good in using metaphors which are isolated or hard to interpretate. T
A Sisters song about drugs... you must be kidding! :innocent:
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Nic
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throughthecables wrote:I read somewhere, that it is a song about Patricia Morrison. So, my conclusion: A person waking up at Hafenkrankenhaus Hamburg (see my other reply), maybe after a hard drug night (why not crystal meth or speed :innocent: ). Thinking about a lost love (patricia :innocent: ), waiting for her to come in, but in vain (incoming, just walk on in). Thinking about her beauty (looked good in ribbons - extravagant clothes - this corrosion video - patricia). Try to talk to her about intelectual things - but she didn't understand (Marx and Engels, gods and angels and so on) but very beautiful. He waits for a sign from her, therefore the red ribbon....

yeah, another interpretation for this brilliant piece of lyric. Maybe it is total crap....maybe not :P
A very interesting theory nonetheless :)
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Tie a red, red, red, red, red ribbon

in east asia it is believed that soulmates are connected by an unvisible red string. it´s tied to their fingers or ankles.

because :von: studied chinese i thougt he might knew of this belief and used it in his song.

what do you think?
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