How Beautiful You Are
The Cure Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

You want to know why I hate you?
Well I'll try and explain.
You remember that day in Paris
When we wandered through the rain
And promised to each other
That we'd always think the same
And dreamed that dream
To be two souls as one
And stopped just as the sun set
And waited for the night
Outside a glittering building
Of glittering glass and burning light
And in the road before us
Stood a weary greyish man
Who held a child upon his back
A small boy by the hand
The three of them were dressed in rags
And thinner than the air
And all six eyes stared fixedly on you

The father's eyes said "Beautiful!
How beautiful you are!"
The boy's eyes said
"How beautiful!
She shimmers like a star!"
The childs eyes uttered nothing
But a mute and utter joy
And filled my heart with shame for us
At the way we are

I turned to look at you
To read my thoughts upon your face
And gazed so deep into your eyes
So beautiful and strange
Until you spoke
And showed me understanding is a dream
"I hate these people staring
Make them go away from me!"

The fathers eyes said "Beautiful!
How beautiful you are!"
The boys eyes said
"How beautiful! She glitters like a star!"
The child's eyes uttered joy
And stilled my heart with sadness
For the way we are

And this is why I hate you
And how I understand
That no one ever knows or loves another





Or loves another

Overall Meaning

The lyrics in The Cure's song How Beautiful You Are tell the story of a past memory between two people, who once wandered through the rain in Paris, full of hope and promise for their future together. As they stopped to admire a glittering building, they encountered a family in rags; a weary father, a small boy in his hand, and another child on his back. As the family stared fixedly at the woman, both the father and the boy sighed "How beautiful you are!", while the father's words filled the singer with sadness for their own selfishness and blindness to the beauty of others.


The lyrics then reveal the singer's internal thought process, as they turn to their partner and gaze deeply into her eyes, seeking her reflection of their own feelings. But her response surprises and frustrates the singer, as she instead expresses irritation towards the family's staring. The song then ends with the singer expressing hatred towards their partner, suggesting their inability to truly understand and love another.


Overall, the song explores themes of beauty, empathy, and social awareness. The contrast between the beautiful building and the disheveled family highlights the harsh reality of inequality, while the father and son's admiration of the woman emphasizes the human desire for connection and admiration. The singer's frustration towards their partner's lack of empathy further reveals the importance of understanding and recognizing the beauty in all individuals.


Line by Line Meaning

You want to know why I hate you?
The singer is addressing someone and stating that they want to explain why they hate them.


Well I'll try and explain.
The singer is stating that they will attempt to explain why they hate the person.


You remember that day in Paris
The singer is referencing a specific memory that they and the person they are addressing share.


When we wandered through the rain
The artist and the person they are addressing walked together in the rain.


And promised to each other
The artist and the person they are addressing made a promise to each other.


That we'd always think the same
The promise made was to always be in agreement with each other.


And dreamed that dream
The singer and the person they are addressing shared a dream.


To be two souls as one
The dream shared by the artist and the person they are addressing was to be in complete harmony with each other.


And stopped just as the sun set
The artist and the person they are addressing stopped walking just as the sun was setting.


And waited for the night
They paused and waited for nightfall.


Outside a glittering building
There was a building nearby that was reflective and glimmering.


Of glittering glass and burning light
The building was made of glass and illuminated from within.


And in the road before us
There was something in the road in front of them.


Stood a weary greyish man
In the road was an exhausted and colorless man.


Who held a child upon his back
The man was carrying a child on his back.


A small boy by the hand
The child that the man was carrying was also holding the man's hand.


The three of them were dressed in rags
The man and child were both poorly dressed and impoverished.


And thinner than the air
The man and child were extremely thin and undernourished.


And all six eyes stared fixedly on you
The singer and the person they are addressing were both being intently watched by the man and child.


The father's eyes said 'Beautiful! How beautiful you are!'
The man's eyes expressed admiration for the person the artist is addressing.


The boy's eyes said 'How beautiful! She shimmers like a star!'
The child's eyes expressed awe and wonder at the person the artist is addressing.


The childs eyes uttered nothing But a mute and utter joy
The eyes of the child who was being carried by the man expressed pure and unbridled happiness and contentment with the situation.


And filled my heart with shame for us
The singer feels ashamed of themselves when observing the joy expressed by the child and the admiration expressed by the man.


At the way we are
The artist is specifically feeling ashamed of the way they and the person they are addressing are behaving in this moment.


I turned to look at you
The singer shifted their gaze toward the person they are addressing.


To read my thoughts upon your face
The singer is searching for a reaction from the person they are addressing that would indicate they share the same feelings of shame and self-awareness.


And gazed so deep into your eyes
The singer is making intense eye contact with the person they are addressing.


So beautiful and strange
The person the artist is addressing is someone who is both physically attractive and mysterious to the artist.


Until you spoke
The person the artist is addressing said something that interrupted the moment of silence between them.


And showed me understanding is a dream
The person the singer is addressing said something that challenged the singer's assumptions and beliefs.


"I hate these people staring
The person the singer is addressing doesn't like being watched by the man and child in the street.


Make them go away from me!"
The person the artist is addressing is uncomfortable with being the focus of attention in this moment.


The fathers eyes said "Beautiful! How beautiful you are!"
The man in the street is still watching the artist and expressing admiration for them.


The boys eyes said 'How beautiful! She glitters like a star!'
The child is still expressing wonder and amazement at the artist.


The child's eyes uttered joy
The child is still expressing unbridled happiness and contentment with the situation.


And stilled my heart with sadness
The continued expression of happiness and admiration by the man and child makes the artist feel sad.


For the way we are
The singer is feeling sad for the way they and the person they are addressing are behaving in this moment.


And this is why I hate you
The singer is explaining that they hate the person they are addressing because of what they are seeing and feeling in this moment.


And how I understand
The singer is making a connection between their hatred for the person they are addressing and a deeper realization.


That no one ever knows or loves another
The artist is stating that it is impossible for anyone to truly know or love another person.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: BORIS WILLIAMS, LAURENCE ANDREW TOLHURST, PORL THOMPSON, ROBERT JAMES SMITH, SIMON GALLUP

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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