Regret – Unraveling the Nostalgic Ode to Missed Opportunities


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for New Order's Regret at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Echoes of Youthful Indifference
  5. A Melancholic Yearning for Simplicity
  6. Stepping into the Light of Self-Realization
  7. The Anthem’s Lurking, Unseen Depths
  8. Lyrics That Resonate Across Time and Memory

Lyrics

Maybe I’ve forgotten
The name and the address
Of everyone I’ve ever known
It’s nothing I regret
Save it for another day, ’cause
The school is out
And the kids have run away

I would like a place I can call my own
Have a conversation on my telephone
Wake up everyday, that would be a start
I would not complain ’bout my wounded heart

I was upset, you see
Almost all the time
You used to be a stranger
Now you are mine

I wouldn’t even trust you
I’ve not that much to give
We’re dealing in the limits
And we don’t know who with

You may think that I’m out of hand
That I’m naive, I’ll understand
On this occasion, it’s not true
Look at me, I’m not you

I would like a place I can call my own
Have a conversation on the telephone
Wake up everyday, that would be a start
I would not complain ’bout my wounded heart

I was a short fuse
Burning all the time
You were a complete stranger
Now you are mine

I would like a place I can call my own
Have a conversation on the telephone
Wake up everyday, that would be a start
I would not complain ’bout my wounded heart

Just wait ’til tomorrow
I guess that’s what they all say
Just before they fall apart

Full Lyrics

In the torrent of modern music, where currents of nostalgia and self-reflection swirl below dancing synths and catchy hooks, New Order’s ‘Regret’ stands as a poignant buoy. The 1993 hit single sails through the often choppy waters of the past with a kind of dignified buoyancy that belies its somber thematic undertones.

As the track chimes into existence, evocative of both the rise of Britpop and the wistful end of an era, it captures a moment in time that resonates with the collective experience of looking back in reflection — not with bitterness, but with a tempered acceptance of life’s incessant march.

The Echoes of Youthful Indifference

The song’s opening lines, ‘Maybe I’ve forgotten the name and the address of everyone I’ve ever known,’ catapult the listener into the heart of introspection. There’s a nonchalance in the admittance of forgotten faces, a shrugged shoulder at the slipping away of connections that so vividly colored youth.

Yet, ‘it’s nothing I regret’ captures the essence of the song — an acknowledgment that within the tumultuous sea of memories, there are always a few that slip through the net. Such is life, and such is the human condition; to hold on too tightly to everything is to lose grip on oneself.

A Melancholic Yearning for Simplicity

‘I would like a place I can call my own, have a conversation on the telephone,’ yearns for the simplicity of existence, for a life unchained by the complexities that age invariably brings. There’s a rawness in the desire to return to basics, to strip away the chaos and the noise.

And yet, the idea of waking up every day as a fresh start, free from the weight of a ‘wounded heart,’ speaks volumes of the lingering pain that tempers the otherwise mundane wish. What New Order masterfully conveys is that healing isn’t found in grand gestures but in the gentle rhythm of everyday life.

Stepping into the Light of Self-Realization

‘I was upset, you see, almost all the time,’ reveals a former self trapped in perpetual discontent, out of sync with the world, striving to find familiarity in a sea of strangers. ‘You used to be a stranger, now you are mine’ unveils the transformative power of time and closeness, turning the unknown into the intimate.

But it’s a fraught intimacy, hinted at by the lines, ‘I wouldn’t even trust you, I’ve not that much to give.’ Here lies the cautious dance of relationships, each step measured, every twirl laced with the fear of giving too much, of reaching the ‘limits’ of one’s emotional expanse.

The Anthem’s Lurking, Unseen Depths

On the surface, ‘Regret’ glows with the warmth of synth-pop mastery, yet woven into its melody is a far richer tapestry. ‘On this occasion, it’s not true, look at me, I’m not you’ — here the song taps into the universal struggle with identity and the comparison trap that so often ensnares us.

Each line is a thread linking the personal to the universal, creating a mirror in which listeners see glimpses of their own struggles wrapped in the velvet of Bernard Sumner’s voice, backed by the signature sound that solidified New Order as architects of the soundtrack to many lives.

Lyrics That Resonate Across Time and Memory

Perhaps the most vivid lines of the song come as a chorus, an echo that ripples out long after the music stops: ‘Just wait ’til tomorrow, I guess that’s what they all say, just before they fall apart.’ It’s a stark, haunting premonition of collapse, a nod to the fragility of hopes and plans.

They remind us that while tomorrow holds the promise of healing, it’s also the breeding ground for the disillusionment that can eat away at the foundations of our most carefully constructed facades. ‘Regret’ is that rare musical alchemy, turning the base metal of loss into the gold of deeper understanding, a song whose true importance only deepens with the passing of years.

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