Pretty Green

Single File: The Cure’s “A Letter To Elise”

I wrote a previous article on the Top 3 Overlooked Cure Albums, and in doing so started to rediscover the joys of their immense catalogue. One of the first things that drew me into the world of The Cure was Robert Smith’s forlorn, hopeless romanticism. Every record is filled with tragic images of lost love(or maybe “found” love), but also instilled with a sense that love is truly out there, just not always where we are looking.

“A Letter To Elise” is probably the perfect example of Smith’s romantic heart-on-sleeve writing style, and(in my opinion) the greatest love song ever written. The protagonist in the song is obviously smitten with his beloved Elise, but knows that love cannot keep them alive. In his final requiem, in the form of this letter(or song), he tells her as much: “make believe we never needed anymore than this”. He also knows that Elise has never truly let him into her heart, that hidden just behind her eyes is her true self and he can never make them “catch fire the way they should”. This is sentiment that is seemingly shard by everyone, at least once, who has ever been in any sort of romantic relationship: the idea that you love someone so much only to have them guard their heart and soul precariously.

It is this type of imagery and songwriting that continually draws me back into the Cure’s well, and it is a deep, dark, tragically beautiful well that I am happy to return to at any time.

Here is a link to the lyric video for your enjoyment

I'm a professional cynic, but my heart's not in it.

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