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Just like heaven (Katie Melua)

This is one of the most romantic love songs that has ever been put out. The original song was made by The Cure in the 80's (listen to it here), though it doesn't sound so romantic as in this version made by Katie Melua in 2005 for the movie "Just like Heaven". The original song was talking about a girl-lover; Katie Melua just changed some words so that it was talking about a boy-lover (as an exercise you can print the lyrics and spot the differences)

Show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream he said
The one that makes me laugh he said
And threw his arms around my neck
Show me how you do it
And I promise you I promise that
I’ll run away with you
I’ll run away with you

Spinnin' on that dizzy edge
I kissed his face and I kissed his head
And dreamed of all the different ways I had
To make him glow
Why are you so far away? he said
Why won’t you ever know that I’m in love with you
That I’m in love with you

You
Soft and only
You
Lost and lonely
You
Strange as angels
Dancin' in the deepest oceans
Twistin' in the water
You’re just like a dream
You’re just like a dream

Daylight licked me into shape
I must have been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe his name
I opened up my eyes
I found myself alone alone
Alone above the raging sea
That stole the only boy I loved
And drowned him deep inside of me

You
Soft and only
You
Lost and lonely
You
Just like heaven

You
Soft and only
You
Lost and lonely
You
Just like heaven

TRICK= a magic trick is an illusion, something that looks impossible, like magic

SCREAM= shout

LAUGH= be careful with the pronunciation: /lɑ:f/ (Standard BrE). Nevertheless, Katie pronounces it /læf/, which is the way it is pronounced in the north of England, Scotland, Ireland and America.

SPINNIN'= Spining. To spin is to turn around quickly once or several times around a central point (day and night are produced because the earth is spinning)

DIZZY= if you feel dizzy you feel like you’re losing balance and you’re going to fall. Something dizzy makes you feel like that.

EDGE= an edge is the end of an object. The "dizzy edge" of the song refers to a very high cliff over the sea, it's the edge of the land, and it’s dizzy because it’s very high.

TO MAKE HIM GLOW= to glow is to shine, like stars or gold. If someone glows, they look very happy.

WHY ARE YOU SO FAR AWAY?= why do you look so distant (emotionally speaking)

I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU= I love you

TWIST= when something twists, it moves, bends or turns into a strange, uncomfortable or distorted shape or position, especially (but not necessary) as a result of force, pain or damage. The famous dance "the twist" was named like that because people twisted when dancing.

DAYLIGHT= the light of the day

LICK= when people or animals lick something, they move their tongue across its surface (used here figuratively)

LICKED ME INTO SHAPE= brought me back to reality. If something licks you into shape, they make you think, work or behave in the correct way. So in this song, it means that he was living in a dream, and finally one day, reality (daylight) made his mind work properly again so he realized his true sad situation.

TO BE ASLEEP= to be sleeping

RAGING SEA= rough sea. Raging water moves very forcefully and violently. Raging feelings are very intense and severe.

DROWN= /draʊn/ If you drown, you die in the water because you can’t swim and you can’t breathe.

STOLE= steal-stole-stolen is an irregular verb meaning to take away something that is not yours (to rob)

JUST LIKE HEAVEN= exactly like paradise

This is about a dreamy day near the seashore with a loved one. This song was written by The Cure leader Robert Smith, and he said (half seriously) that "The song is about hyperventilating—kissing and fainting to the floor." The lyrics were inspired by a trip with his then-girlfriend (and later wife) Mary Poole to Beachy Head in southern England (a cliff and notorious suicide hotspot). Smith said the opening line of the song ("Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick") refers to his childhood memories of mastering magic tricks, but added "on another level, it's about a seduction trick, from much later in my life".

But then, this song uses the metaphor of the cliff and the rough sea as a way to delivering a much deeper meaning, and turns an innocent story into a tragic one:

This is about a man who can't commit to a love. It's too much work or he’s too afraid. The "dizzy edge" by the "raging sea" probably refers to all the hopes and fears of taking that chance at love. But he loves her truly "and dreamed of all the different ways [he] had to make her glow" (he imagines all the different possibilities he has to seduce her and make her happy).

So he lets her go. But one day he "wakes up" and realizes that he has made a terrible mistake. She’s gone and now it’s too late. In the end the menacing cliff took his love away and it drowned inside of him.

Finally, Katie Melua takes the story and turns the he into a she, because she is a woman.

 
 
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