Self Control – Unveiling the Echoes of the Night


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Laura Branigan's Self Control at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Duality of Night: A Sanctuary or a Prison?
  5. The Quest for Identity Amidst Temporal Illusions
  6. A Siren’s Call to the Creatures of the Night
  7. The Ephemeral Symphony of Self Control
  8. Decoding the Anthem’s Timeless Captivation

Lyrics

Oh, the night is my world
City light painted girl
In the day nothing matters
It’s the night time that flatters

In the night, no control
Through the wall something’s breaking
Wearing white as you’re walkin’
Down the street of my soul

You take my self, you take my self control
You got me livin’ only for the night
Before the morning comes, the story’s told
You take my self, you take my self control

Another night, another day goes by
I never stop myself to wonder why
You help me to forget to play my role
You take my self, you take my self control

I, I live among the creatures of the night
I haven’t got the will to try and fight
Against a new tomorrow, so I guess I’ll just believe it
That tomorrow never comes

A safe night, I’m living in the forest of my dream
I know the night is not as it would seem
I must believe in something, so I’ll make myself believe it
That this night will never go

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh (Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh)

Oh, the night is my world
City light painted girl
In the day nothing matters
It’s the night time that flatters

I, I live among the creatures of the night
I haven’t got the will to try and fight
Against a new tomorrow, so I guess I’ll just believe it
That tomorrow never knows

A safe night, I’m living in the forest of a dream
I know the night is not as it would seem
I must believe in something, so I’ll make myself believe it
That this night will never go

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
You take my self, you take my self control
You take my self, you take my self control
You take my self, you take my self control
You take my self, you take my self control
You take my self, you take my self control
You take my self, you take my self control
You take my self, you take my self control
You take my self, you take my self control
You take my self, you take my self control
You take my self, you take my self control

Full Lyrics

Laura Branigan’s ‘Self Control’ forms an anthology of the ’80s soundscape, coupling the pulsating rhythms of synth-pop with haunting vocals that delve into a narrative rife with nocturnal metaphysics. Released in 1984, this track became a defining anthem of the era, embossing itself in the cultural lexicon with a tale that has since transcended its initial foray into the music charts.

The song’s indelible imprint on its listeners stems not only from its catchy hooks and melodic prowess but also from its lyrical exploration of themes far deeper than the surface-level hedonism often associated with the decade. With lyrics that resonate with the struggles of identity, control, and escapism, ‘Self Control’ invites a closing look at the human psyche amidst the glittering façade of nighttime revelry.

The Duality of Night: A Sanctuary or a Prison?

Like a chiaroscuro painting brought to life, ‘Self Control’ accentuates the stark contrast between day and night, suggesting that true essence lies cloaked under the shroud of darkness. The night becomes Branigan’s world, a domain where societal norms dissipate and the painted city lights cast mysterious glows on passersby.

Yet, within this nocturnal realm, there lies a paradox—a simultaneous liberation and imprisonment. Invoking the notion that with sunset comes a relinquishing of ‘self control’, the lyrics grapple with the allure of nighttime’s freedom but also acknowledge the susceptibility to losing oneself in its depths.

The Quest for Identity Amidst Temporal Illusions

Branigan’s repetitive plead ‘You take my self, you take my self-control’ resonates as a testament to the struggle for agency within the tempest of the evening’s escapades. The search for identity is one obscured by fleeting encounters and ephemeral experiences that leave one questioning the solidity of their own character.

In the repetition and the emphasis on ‘my self’, there’s a clear delineation between the self she clings to and the alien force that siezes control. It’s not just about a night out; it’s an existential battle played out on the dance floor, questioning the permanence of the self.

A Siren’s Call to the Creatures of the Night

‘I live among the creatures of the night’ signifies Branigan as not just an observer, but an active participant—a denizen among those who seek refuge in the anonymity and freedom that darkness affords. These ‘creatures’ are not nocturnal beasts but humans who embrace the night’s transformative potential.

In acknowledging her lack of will to fight against ‘a new tomorrow’, Branigan characterizes the night as an unending loop, a comfortable cycle of dreaming away from the day’s harsh realities, perhaps suggesting a critique of societal pressures to constantly seek a new beginning with each sunrise.

The Ephemeral Symphony of Self Control

One of the key tensions within ‘Self Control’ is the song’s recognition of night as a liminal space where time seems to both rush forward and stand still—in the throes of the evening, time becomes an afterthought.

There’s a promise within the chorus, ‘Before the morning comes, the story’s told,’ that intimates a fable’s conclusion within the span of a single night, and yet the narrative here is elusive, cyclical, denying closure as a new evening awaits.

Decoding the Anthem’s Timeless Captivation

Throughout the song, Branigan croons memorable lines, each a gem of emotional resonance and depth. The mellow verse ‘Another night, another day goes by; I never stop myself to wonder why’ imparts a shared sense of surrender to the inscrutable chambers of our nightly selves.

‘Self Control’ stands as a powerful narrative about letting go and the entrapment of routine. It posits a world where the night’s embrace seduces, offering solace from daylight’s glare, and yet insidiously consumes by diminishing the will to resist its constant beckoning.

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