“Mr. and Mrs. Smith” by Stereophonics
There have been a couple of reasonable explanations offered concerning the meaning of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”, by certain analysts. But before we get to that, let’s establish the foundation of what’s being put forth.
At the center of the narrative, as implied by the title, is one “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”. As depicted the husband is a “banker man” and furthermore one who’s preoccupied with getting paid. As such, “Mrs. Smith” is shown as possessing all of the luxuries a wife can ask for, as well as the “style” and “grace” to match. But also relatedly, she is not content in this marriage, one in which “every night” is marked by boredom. And the further implication is that Mr. Smith is so caught up in the paper chase that he’s not really concerned how she feels internally.
However the one time of the week in which Mrs. Smith is internally edified is during the weekend. And this is where the confusion, if you will, initially sets in. That’s because the reason for her joy is that on Friday nights, she and “Mr. Smith” meet “under false names”, “paint the town” and afterwards, by the looks of things, rent a swanky hotel room where they relax and chill.
It is also revealed that under such circumstances “he brings the devil out of her”, which is another way of saying, excuse our French, that Mrs. Smith enjoys these outings so much that they get her thoroughly sensually excited.
Now the problem is that it’s never made abundantly clear if these weekend excursions are enjoyed with the official “Mr. Smith” or someone she is having an affair with. The most readily-discernible conclusion would be that it is in fact her husband, since the title used to refer to her lover never changes throughout the song.
But there are other things to keep in mind also. For instance, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” are very generic names in and of themselves. In other words, let’s say, hypothetically speaking, that a couple of illicit lovers decided to check into a hotel and, due to the wrongfulness of their association, opted to use pseudonyms in the process. In such cases basic, run-of-the-mill names like “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” would probably be the first to come to mind.
Beyond that, we also know that some couples are into role playing or what have you. To escape the humdrum of everyday life, these people would occasionally take on the role of different characters.
But the way the lyrics read are as if the couple checks into the hotel under the names “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”. And if so, that is already (as implied) their legal name and therefore can’t be “false” also. Or viewed more practically, even if a couple is role playing, there really wouldn’t be any need for them to check into a hotel using pseudonyms.
Think of it this way
Also, since we’re taking a logical approach to it all, think about this, for those of us who are actually familiar with the intricacies of married life. If a wife is unhappy, as Mrs. Smith is portrayed being with Mr. Smith, it usually isn’t a situation whereas during a particular time of the week, the husband magically transforms into someone she’s now elated with. Mr. Smith comes off as being a workaholic. And such individuals are usually of such a disposition pretty much throughout the entire week.
But alas, it is not for us to speak lightly of the human spirit or ability of someone to turn an unhappy marriage around. For instance, some workaholics are only happy on the weekends, which is a notion we come across pretty regularly in dance songs. So we’re not saying that it isn’t possible for a husband who’s stoic most of the time to put a happy face on Friday night, even though, just to note, banks tend to open on Saturdays also.
Mrs. Smith might actually be Cheating
All lyrics considered, it would appear that Mrs. Smith is in fact cheating. And that’s because the “he” she hooks up with on the weekend, even if not overtly revealed, reads as a totally different person than Mr. Smith character-wise, i.e. in relation to the missus. In fact, it seems that the official Mr. Smith is never actually referred to as “he” in the lyrics.
So for example we see in what appears to be the third verse that Mrs. Smith “got heart [and] soul”, but also, “she’s married to the banker man” who ultimately doesn’t give a damn about any of those attributes. And as implied, it isn’t as if his disinterest in her suddenly changes during the weekend.
Also later in the song, we see that Mrs. Smith “likes to sing [and] dance”, and she expresses these preferences “to him with every chance”, insinuating that the person she’s with on Friday night is not someone she sees regularly, i.e. every day, like a husband. Furthermore, said individual is presented as having “time” for her, unlike how Mr. Smith is described earlier.
The Long and Short of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”
So conclusively, this is cleverly-worded piece. It can be ascertained that Mrs. Smith is cheating but, as relayed, cannot be proven. However, in any event, she is someone who is in a marriage that is fulfilling materially but lacking emotionally. And she’s able to find relief from that predicament during certain weekends, perhaps at the hands of her husband but most likely, considering that he’s specifically depicted as not really caring about her, via another “Mr. Smith”.