“Let me see you stripped…”

Deux jeunes filles ou La Belle Rosine by Antoine Wiertz, oil on canvas, 1847

Deux jeunes filles ou La Belle Rosine by Antoine Wiertz, oil on canvas, 1847

Come with me
Into the trees
We’ll lay on the grass
And let the hours pass

Take my hand
Come back to the land
Let’s get away
Just for one day

Let me see you
Stripped down to the bone
Let me see you
Stripped down to the bone

Metropolis
Has nothing on this
You’re breathing in fumes
I taste when we kiss

Take my hand
Come back to the land
Where everything’s ours
For a few hours

Let me see you
Stripped down to the bone

Depeche Mode

“Stripped” (1986)

I’ve been listening almost exclusively to Depeche Mode’s new album, Delta Machine, since last week. First, it was available streaming free on iTunes and then I was finally able to download it on Monday night. I spent most of the week imagining how it would sound in my car and I haven’t been disappointed in the least.

But it has me relistening to my full collection of Depeche Mode – albums and remixes – and finding new enjoyment even in the songs I previously didn’t pay much mind to.

That is one of the wonderful things that music – and books and movies and any art form – have which makes them so wonderful: The ability for the delight and enjoyment to change over time.

Stripped, quoted above, has always been one of my favorites from the band, even though the poetry of the words is more simplistic than their later releases and with the consideration that it came out about 7 years before I even started listening to the band.

Even now, I wonder at Martin Gore‘s meaning behind this and other lyrics. It’s easy to twist them to think they are about drugs or sex, but I think only AC/DC has managed to build a career solely on songs about those topics – granted, the subjects to offer vast possibilities.

And so the lyrics take on life in my mind to fit my life now, my past, and my mood.

Stripped today doesn’t mean the same thing to me as it did in 1993 when I bought the import CD-single. The B-side, Fly on The Windscreen, is less literal and less haunting, but more powerful.

I’m hoping (perhaps, beyond hope) that I’ll be able to go see Depeche Mode when they are in my area in September. I’ve seen very few of my musical heroes – Smashing Pumpkins, BB King, John Hiatt, Harry Connick Jr., Diana Krall – and missed too many opportunities to see others.

But, perhaps, for some, they do actually live better in my mind.

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