Depeche Mode’s “Goodnight Lovers” Lyrics Meaning

“Goodnight Lovers” is a borderline breakup song. That is to say that, first of all it would most logically be romantic in nature. And secondly, it does not read as if the vocalist and addressee have broken up but may be on the verge of doing so.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Depeche Mode's Goodnight Lovers at

So what is apparently going down here is that the featured relationship is a troubled one. But more to the point would be the fact that the singer is willing to endure regardless. In fact the way he sees it, “when you’re born a lover, [you’re] born to suffer”. That appears to be a fancy way of saying that being in love brings with it its fair share of heartbreak and challenges. 

And verily, the singer is clearly in love with the addressee. So the logic behind the moral of the story is that if you’re really committed to a relationship, then you should be prepared to suffer accordingly.

Outside of that, it should be noted that the singer also relatedly gives a shoutout to “all soul sisters and soul brothers”. Such terminology is usually utilized as a colloquialism for Black people. But it is also understood as alluding to kindred spirits. 

And such would logically be what Dave Gahan is referring to thereof, people like himself who are suckers for love, as Tupac would say. Or put differently, “Goodnight Lovers” speaks to those of us who may be romantically sensitive, a predisposition the narrator recognizes as more or less being akin to a curse. 

But being that he is verily in love he is taking the longsuffering approach to his relationship, whereas we can say others who may not possesses such an understanding of romance would quit in the face of the romantic troubles he’s facing.

Lyrics to "Goodnight Lovers"

Facts about “Goodnight Lovers”

This track is from Depeche mode’s album “Exciter”, with “Goodnight Lovers” having an official release date, via Mute Records, of 15 May 2001. 

In early 2002, this song was also issued as the fourth single from “Exciter“, proving to be a moderate hit as it charted in early 10 (primarily European) countries.

Depeche Mode’s Martin L. Gore wrote this piece, with the producer being regular band collaborator Mark Bell.

The music video to this track was directed by John Hillcoat.

Goodnight Lovers

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