Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 291
Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012
Historically, being a mix tape, playlist or CD mixologist I’ve never been a fan of epics. Anything over five minutes, no matter how stellar the track takes up too much space on any mix. Saying this, I have made exceptions and this cut from, 2000’s Bloodflowers what was supposed to be Robert Smith’s swan song as headmaster of The Cure, is one of the best songs Robert Smith has ever recorded.
Describing the epic that is “Watching Me Fall” Robert Smith said, ““Watching Me Fall” is very much ‘Open’ Part II…. My home demo version is actually twenty minutes and I slashed it in half! I did it as kind of my ‘Seven Ages of Man’ (laughs) but unfortunately it ended up sounding a bit like Meat Loaf! I thought that the scope was a bit too grand – it was supposed to encompass my entire career. In the end I just focused it down to one night; I thought that was long enough.”
“Watching Me Fall” metaphorically, is about Smith’s lyrical alter-ego literally going down in his own personal Dante Inferno’s. But Watching Me Fall” is what first seems like a journey into hell is actually at Robert Smith as his best—a cunning lyricist. With many layers of sweltering sins and tempting strains of regret makes “Watching Me Fall” is one of the dynamic climaxes from Bloodflowers.
Smith talked about the inspiration of “Watching Me Fall” when he explained, “In the opening line, ‘I have been watching me fall, for what seems like years,’ that pertains to one particular instance which happened to me a long, long time ago. I used some of the imagery of how I remembered it. It was also taken from an article I read about the drug Rohipnol and date rape. I used to take Rohipnol always on planes. It would make me not really care if we fell out of the sky. It removed any anxiety. It helped me overcome, not quite a phobia, but I was incredibly loath to get on a plane for seven years. It helped me break through that barrier. I found the outcry that surrounded Rohipnol was a lot of it rubbish basically. The senses that I experienced were not like that. Not that I was ever date raped, but the images that they used were quite powerful, the testimony of the women involved. I used some of that and wove it in with this particular experience, then tried to marry to the idea of what I sometimes perceive as my own decline over the years since Disintegration. I tried to put myself in context to how I felt then and how I feel now.”
Right now, “Watching Me Fall” tops the list of my favorite songs by The Cure. Bloodflowers is my Cure album, poignant and powerful, lyrically and musically, Robert Smith at his best. Bloodflowers is so good that Smith named the album as one of his favorite of his Holy Trinity. As Smith explained, “The albums Pornography, Disintegration and Bloodflowers are inextricably linked in so many ways, and the realization of this Trilogy show is one of the highlights of my time in The Cure.” If you’re a fan of The Cure, you must experience Smith’s 2002 Trilogy concert available on DVD.
Robert Smith’s decent into his seductive personal netherworld of “Watching Me Fall” is Bloodflowers magnum opus. I urge you to take the journey with Robert Smith. The swan song that was supposed to be Bloodflowers, “Watching Me Fall” is a Cure classic that deserves re-experiencing; go down and revisit to Robert Smith’s personal guitar inferno like beauty, again and again.