Should Be Higher

Here I sit, listening to my old external drive whirring as it bestows upon this new Mac my old, beloved GTS and iTunes files. There is some trash among the treasures… I was wincing as I reread some of my super early cyber sex ventures. I was ridiculous. Now I’m awesome (or would be if I was still engaging in such lurid activities). No one else was ridiculous, by the way. Just me. Ahem.

Depeche Mode is also awesome. Their Delta Machine is not buried among the files saved from the ruins of my previous iMac, so I was listening to it earlier as I was emptying my fridge’s contents—they begin to mutate if you don’t eat them by their date of sentencing—into the trash.  I love Should Be Higher for more reasons beyond the peppy, pounding melody. It speaks to the part of my mind that sees a little guy, and it transforms the lyrics into this:

A man and a woman stand very close to each other. He whispers in her ear,

“I dream of a day when I dare to believe you’re the answer
When the shame and the guilt are removed and the truth appears
Oh the touch of your hand, I lose who I am if I want to
I tried to resist but succumb to the bliss of your kiss”

As she kisses him, he begins to shrink. In seconds, he’s sprawled at her feet. As she plucks him from the floor, she says,

“You should be higher
I’ll take you higher
Don’t be afraid
You’ll just have to pray”

He struggles to remain conscious, blood rushing down as she lifts his tiny body, pinched between thumb and fingers. He tries to sound reproachful,

“Your lies are more attractive than the truth”

She answers,

“Love is all I want”

He continues, [and I don’t know how to explain his usage of the word “book”, so it goes on unexplained] .

“Your lies are written down there in your book”

She replies, shaking her head,

“Love is all I want”

He tries to ascertain his current altitude, but the pressure from her fingers has begun to impede coherent thought,

“Your arms are infected
They’re holding the truth”

Amused, she crooks one corner of her mouth,

“Oh stop all your crying
This one you’ll lose
You should be higher
I’ll take you higher
Don’t be afraid
You’ll just have to pray”

“Your lies are more attractive than the truth”

“Love is all I want”

“Your lies are written down there in your book”

“Love is all I want
You should be higher
You should be higher”

She stops his ascent, only long enough to allow him to see where he will land when she releases him. She drops him.

Thank you, David Gahan. sigh I can only hope to see them live next year.


4 thoughts on “Should Be Higher

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  1. That’s wonderfully thoughtful. I’ve kept half an ear out for songs that suggest such things. Recently it occurred to me that parts of Pixies’s “Is She Weird” worked out like that.

    “Your mouth is everywhere/I’m lyin’ in it
    Is she weird? Is she over me
    Like the stars and the sun?/Like the stars and the sun”

    It works. I’ve had a couple titanesses arch over me like the Egyptian goddess Nut, in her ancient renderings, becoming my sky (or ceiling). And I’ve crawled into a patient and understanding maw to decompress, on occasion. It’s intimate and peaceful, when the world gets to be too much.

    I’m dating myself, but Collective Soul had a line I liked: “Turn your head, now, baby, just spit me out.” The more obvious salacious explanation honestly didn’t occur to me until years later: I merely imagined a giantess who was tired of holding me in there and ejected me.

    Faith No More had a song, too, that didn’t require much contriving:
    I’ll keep coming back
    (smaller and smaller and smaller)
    Squash me
    (smaller and smaller and smaller)
    Under the charity
    (smaller and smaller and smaller)
    Under the topsoil
    (smaller and smaller and smaller)
    Under the fingernail
    (smaller and smaller and smaller)
    Then small becomes all, becomes all…”


  2. Great comment! It hits me as well, with songs that aren’t patently about sizes, nor have straightforward vocabulary that relates to them. Another Depeche Mode song that does that is In Your Room. The lyrics speak to me (without doing so) of the complete dependency a shrunken man experiences when in the care of a woman.

    I’m hanging on your words
    Living on your breath
    Feeling with your skin
    Will I always be here
    In your room

    Fun stuff!


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