Cold by The Cure Lyrics Meaning – Unveiling the Chilling Depths of Ache and Isolation

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The Cure's Cold at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


Scarred, your back was turned
Curled like an embryo
Take another face, you will be kissed again

I was cold as I mouthed the words
And crawled across the mirror
I wait, await the next breath
Your name like ice into my heart

A shallow grave
A monument to the ruined age
Ice in my eyes
And eyes like ice don’t move

Screaming at the moon
Another past time
Your name like ice into my heart

Everything as cold as life
Can no one save you?
Everything as cold as silence
And you never say a word

Your name like ice into my heart
Your name like ice into my heart

Full Lyrics

In the pantheon of music that delves into the human psyche, few songs pierce the heart with icy precision like The Cure’s ‘Cold’. This haunting track from the 1982 album ‘Pornography’ remains an enigmatic puzzle cloaked in dense, frosty metaphors. As listeners, we wrap ourselves in the chilling embrace of its lyrics, seeking warmth in the coldness it so poetically conjures.

The Cure, notorious for their ability to paint emotionally charged soundscapes, reaches a crescendo of introspection and lament with ‘Cold.’ It’s a song that, decades after its release, still resonates with listeners who find solace in its stark, raw poeticism. Here, we delve into the frigid waters of ‘Cold,’ dissecting the lyrics to discover the meanings that lie beneath the surface of Robert Smith’s icy words.

An Embryo of Desperation: Curling Away from Pain

The song’s opening lines immediately envelop us in an image of vulnerability; the turned back, curled like an embryo, is a defense against an unforgiving world. This is not merely a physical posture, but a mental state, indicating a regression to a form prenatal protection—the need to shield oneself from life’s unrelenting onslaught. The protagonist’s necessary transformation, or the donning of a new face, hints at survival requiring chameleonic shifts in identity.

There is both hope and defeat within this gesture. The potential of being ‘kissed again’ offers a fleeting glimmer of connection, only for it to be extinguished by the overwhelming sensation of being ‘cold,’ as if life itself has sapped the protagonist’s ability to feel warmth, both physical and emotional. In mouthing words and crawling across the mirror, we sense the struggle for self-recognition, the strained effort to communicate in a world that reflects back an unrecognizable self.

A Heart Encased in Ice: The Torture of Memory

The recurring image of a name inscribed like ice into heart flesh serves as a chilling incantation, the power of which reverberates throughout the song. It is a manifestation of pain so profound it freezes the core of one’s being. This name, engraved in the cold chambers of the protagonist’s heart, signifies a frozen memory or presence that cannot be thawed, a wound in stasis, continually bleeding out its silent scream.

While ice generally symbolizes numbness and deadened emotions, here it becomes something sharp—capable of cutting, of preserving pain in a perfect, unending moment. The repetition underscores the inescapability of this emotional state, and the acceptance that the protagonist is bound to harbor this inner tundra perpetually—where memories become monuments, undeniable and unmelting, to a ‘ruined age.’

Shouting into the Void: The Futility of Expression

The Cure is adept at crafting landscapes that are at once deeply personal and universally accessible, and in ‘Cold,’ the act of ‘Screaming at the moon’ exemplifies this. The image is one of profound futility, a howl into the vastness of an indifferent universe. ‘Another pastime’ suggests that this activity is routine, an expected phase in the cycle of suffering—almost leisurely in its sadness.

This is not a cathartic yell meant to purge pain, but rather a repeated ritual that solidifies the speaker’s place in a cosmos of suffering. It’s a powerful recognition of the ultimately solitary nature of our pain; though we may rage against the night sky, our voices are ultimately absorbed by the silence. It stands as a somber reminder that the personal agonies we endure are often witnessed only by the impassive face of nature.

The Silence That Screams: When Stillness is Louder than Sound

Many songs convey heartbreak and isolation through loud laments, but ‘Cold’ is peculiar in its use of silence as a motif. ‘Everything as cold as silence’ is not just a statement of emotional deadness but an admission that the absence of speech can resonate more profoundly than the cacophony of words. Inexpressiveness becomes the most telling articulation of the protagonist’s frozen state.

Furthermore, the rhetorical question ‘Can no one save you?’ and the observation ‘And you never say a word’ point to a chasm between suffering and salvation, a void spanned by a single, icy bridge of unspoken anguish. This is where ‘Cold’ exercises its prowess, in the stark power of unsaid things that, like ice, grows heavier with each layer of unshed tears and unvoiced screams.

Chilling Memorial Lines: Ice Strikes the Veins

‘Your name like ice into my heart’ is not just a line, but a refrain that burns coldly throughout the song, a frostbite spreading through the emotional core of the listener. Each repetition drives the chill deeper, embedding it within us, making us acutely aware of the pains that we, too, might have crystallized within our own hearts.

This line, above all other aspects of ‘Cold,’ has enshrined it as one of The Cure’s most memorable moments. Not only does it serve as a motif for the song, but it insinuates itself into the listener’s memory, much in the way the name it speaks of has into the protagonist’s heart. It is a poetic reflection of the human condition, a distillation of memory’s power to haunt, and the imprint left by those who have, at one time or another, frozen our own affections.

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