See You – Unraveling the Echoes of Nostalgic Longing


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Depeche Mode's See You at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Aching Pulse of Nostalgia
  5. The Intoxicating Sweetness of Memories
  6. The Timeless Human Condition in Melodic Form
  7. Swimming in the Stream of Youthful Dreams
  8. The Seemingly Infinite Loop of Longing

Lyrics

(All I wanna do is)
(All I wanna do is)
(All I wanna do is)
(All I wanna do is)

All I want to do is see you again
Is that too much to ask for?
I just want to see your sweet smile
Smile the way it was before
Well, I’ll try not to hold you and I’ll try not to kiss you
And I won’t even touch you

All I wanna do is see you
Don’t you know that it’s true?

I remember the days when we walked through the woods
We’d sit on a bench for a while
I treasure the way we used to laugh and play
And look in each other’s eyes
You can keep me at a distance if you don’t trust my resistance
But I swear I won’t touch you

All I wanna do is see you
Don’t you know that it’s true?

Well I know five years is a long time
And that times change (that times change)
But I think that you’ll find
People are basically the same (basically the same)

If the water’s still flowing, we can go for a swim
And do the things we used to do
And if I’m reluctant, you can pull me in
And we can relive our youth
Ah, but we’ll just stay friendly like sister and brother
Though I think I still love you

All I wanna do is see you
Don’t you know that it’s true?
All I wanna do is see you
Don’t you know that it’s true?

All I wanna do is (see you)
All I wanna do is (see you)
All I wanna do is (see you)
All I wanna do is (see you)
All I wanna do is (see you)
All I wanna do is (see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)
All I wanna do is (see you, see you, see you)

Full Lyrics

Depeche Mode’s ‘See You’ is a song that resonates with the ache of nostalgia and the seemingly simple desire to reconnect with a once-intimate presence. The tune, encapsulated within the synth-pop era’s pulsing beats, carries with it the weight of emotions untold yet felt deeply by those who have loved and lost.

As we delve into the lyrical depths of ‘See You,’ one cannot ignore the visceral longing that courses through the verses, the chorus, and the endlessly repeated lines, conjuring an image of an individual standing at the precipice of the past and the present, reaching out for a bridge that can join the two.

The Aching Pulse of Nostalgia

The track opens with a repetitive chant that serves as the song’s heartbeat, ‘All I wanna do is,’ setting the stage for a pining, obsessive chorus. The literal nature of the words sung, ‘All I want to do is see you again,’ reflects a simple request but wraps within it layers of elapsed time and the changes that time imposes on relationships.

The melody itself accompanies the lyrics in a dance of longing; it’s both upbeat and melancholy, embodying the duality of embracing joyous memories while acknowledging the pain of separation. This juxtaposition sets the emotional landscape of the song – one of seeking the possibility of rekindling what once was, knowing full well the challenges that come with such a desire.

The Intoxicating Sweetness of Memories

‘I remember the days when we walked through the woods’ – this line, and the ones following, invite the listener to journey through a rose-colored recollection of a past relationship. By crafting vivid images filled with warmth and affection, the verse serves as a stark reminder of the fleeting nature of such moments.

Through the singer’s promise to adhere to physical boundaries (the refrain from touching, kissing, holding), a sense of respect and restraint is emphasized, suggesting an awareness that the past can be reminisced upon but never fully recaptured. The raw honesty with which these retrospections are delivered strikes a chord with anyone who’s ever attempted to revisit the embrace of a former love.

The Timeless Human Condition in Melodic Form

‘Well I know five years is a long time, and that times change, but I think that you’ll find people are basically the same.’ This poignant acknowledgement of time’s passage and the constancy of human nature lies at the heart of Depeche Mode’s lyrical genius.

It suggests a belief in the endurance of the human spirit and the emotions that define our existence, arguing that despite the years that have elapsed, the essence of who we are remains. This sentiment forms a compelling invitation to the song’s addressee, nudging them towards the idea that the love they shared is still relevant, and in some form, eternal.

Swimming in the Stream of Youthful Dreams

The proposition to ‘go for a swim and do the things we used to do’ is more than an innocent suggestion; it is a metaphorical leap into the waters of youth, into the currents of memory and past experiences that continue to shape us.

Yet, even in this reverie, the reality of their present separation anchors the dream. ‘And if I’m reluctant, you can pull me in’ unfolds the internal conflict faced, the reluctance to fully immerse oneself in the past for fear of awakening dormant emotions or disrupting the fragile status quo of their current relationship dynamic.

The Seemingly Infinite Loop of Longing

The song culminates in a repetitive, almost hypnotic chant of ‘All I wanna do is (see you).’ By design, this repetition mirrors the obsessive nature of the human mind when stuck on a desire, a thought, or a person. Each repetition serves as an echo, bouncing off the walls of the mind with increasing intensity.

The persistence of this lyric suggests a lingering hope or perhaps a whisper of denial that time has had any impact at all. It’s this unresolved craving that leaves the listener pondering, long after the song has ended – the power of a simple wish in the face of a complex emotional backdrop, the unyielding human yearning to see a loved one once more.

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