Life as Amber knows it

"An adventure in the making…"

Why Brandon Flower’s “Crossfire” is a true love letter…

I occasionally get swept away and moved completely by pieces of writing. And song lyrics are no exception to this, due to the fact they are another version of poetry, just set to music.  About a week ago, working  on something or the other at my favorite Cafe, I overheard a song playing on their music system, and it instantly grabbed my attention to the point I pulled out my phone and used my Shazam app to find out which song it was. When I got home that night, I watched the video on YouTube, and coupled with the lyrics, was pulled into the metaphors both within the lyrics, but in the actual video its self.

And I’m not the only one who’s been captured by this song. The past couple of days have included a long series of emails from a friend of mine, who like me, loves powerful musical lyrics. After email fifty (or so), his suggestion was that I write why it moves me so much. So write I shall.

Crossfire

There’s a still in the street outside your window
You’re keepin’ secrets on your pillow
Let me inside, no cause for alarm
I promise tonight not to do no harm
I promise you baby, I won’t be no harm

And we’re caught up in the crossfire
A heaven and hell
And were searching for shelter
Lay your body down
Lay your body down
Lay your body down

Watching your dress as you turn down the light
I forget all about the storm outside
Dark clouds roll their way over town
Heartache and pain came pouring down like
Chaos in the rain, yeah
They’re handing it out

And we’re caught up in the crossfire
Heaven and hell
And were searching for shelter
Lay your body down
Lay your body down
Lay your body down
Lay your body down
Lay your body down
Lay your body down

Tell the devil that he can go back from where he came
His fiery arrows drew their beat in vein.
And when the hardest part is over we’ll be here
And our dreams will break the boundaries of our fears
Boundaries of our fears

Lay your body down
Lay your body down
Lay your body down
Lay your body down
Lay your body down
Lay your body down

Next to mine

Anyone who’s ever been in a long-term relationship knows that they come with ups and downs. And any relationship, whether platonic or romantic, has its share of arguments (my recent favorite argument with a friend involved me asking him if he needed help removing his head from his ass when he ended up breaking plans last minute to pick up his FWB from the airport and made the mistake of jokingly saying to me, “Well, if you had a chance to get laid, i’d understand if you ditched me).

But when coupled with its music video, the lyrics to Crossfire tell the story of a man and woman in love in the middle of a rough patch. “There’s a still in the street outside your window/You’re keepin’ secrets on your pillow” says to me: Look, its quiet outside all of this, outside of you and I, and you’re keeping silent what you’re feeling to keep that quiet. “Let me inside, no cause for alarm/I promise tonight not to do no harm/I promise you baby, I won’t be no harm” says to me: Open up to me, tell me what is really on your mind, I’ll keep my peace and let you speak what you have to say.

“Watching your dress as you turn down the light/I forget all about the storm outside” says to me: Despite all this that we’re going through, the sight of you still takes my breath away, and I can forget whatever it is that’s been in between us. “Dark clouds roll their way over town/Heartache and pain came pouring down like/Chaos in the rain, yeah/They’re handing it out” says: Look, its about to get rough. It’s going to hurt and be confusion, I don’t care, this is what it is when you love someone.

“And we’re caught up in the crossfire/A heaven and hell/And we’re searching for shelter” Anyone who’s been in love knows that when you hit those rough patches, its a double shot of joy with pain. And despite the pain, you’re willing to ride it out until you get back to the heaven aspect of it, and look for anything to help you through.

“Tell the devil that he can go back from where he came/His fiery arrows drew their beat in vein/And when the hardest part is over we’ll be here/And our dreams will break the boundaries of our fears/Boundaries of our fears” is fairly easy to decipher: The devil is a metaphor for the day to day crap that piles up and causes those monster fights between two people. The author of the song is saying that despite the hardship, the dream of being with one another is worth all the fear and bullshit. Because the fear and bullshit? They don’t matter in the long run.

The music video features Charlize Theron kicking the ass of several ninjas to get to Flower, who is tied up, beaten up, and bloody. The moment that caught my attention and caused me to hear the song in a new way was at the end: Theron and Flower are driving away in a truck after she’s fought through bad-ass ninjas three times to get to Flower. Personally, if I’d gone sword fighting and face punching my way to get to the man I love, I’d be beaming a smile so big, my face would crack. But driving the truck, Theron looks over at Flower, bloody face and all with a wistful smile on her face and a look of relieved annoyance, just the same as anyone has after a hard fight has been fought with the person they love. They’re glad to be by the person’s side, they’re just still pissed off enough to not relax completely. Flower looks tired and sheepish, and like he’s had a hard time of it. Which is what people go through when they fight with the people they love.

And this is just my interpretation, what I saw when I watched the video and what I saw in the lyrics.

But what really grabbed me were the words, “Lay your body down next to mine” repeated multiple times throughout the song. Because at the end of the day, after the fight has ended, Flower is simply saying to the woman he loves, “Despite all this, lay down next to me. Despite the fight, I still want you next to me.”

 

~Amber Jerome Norrgard

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