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Dancing with tears in my eyes (Ultravox)

One of Ultravox's hits from the 80's. A sad song about love and fear.

Dancing with tears in my eyes
Weeping for the memory of a life gone by
Dancing with tears in my eyes
Living out a memory of a love that died

It's five and I'm driving home again
It's hard to believe that it's my last time
The man on the wireless cries again
It's over, it's over

Dancing with tears in my eyes
Weeping for the memory of a life gone by
Dancing with tears in my eyes
Living out a memory of a love that died

It's late and I'm with my love alone
We drink to forget the coming storm
We love to the sound of our favourite song
Over and over

Dancing with tears in my eyes
Living out a memory of a love that died

It's time and we're in each other's arms
It's time but I don't think we really care

Dancing with tears in my eyes
Weeping for the memory of a life gone by
Dancing with tears in my eyes
Weeping for the memory of a life gone by

Dancing with tears in my eyes

WEEPING= Crying, shedding tears.

GONE BY= Come to the end, finished.

LIVING OUT= Live it fully, till the end.

ON THE WIRELESS= (coll. BrE) on the radio.

CRIES= Shouts.

IT'S OVER= It's finished, it's the end.

THE COMING STORM= The catastrophe that is about to happen.

WE LOVE TO THE SOUND OF...= We love each other (maybe make love?) listening the sound of...

OVER AND OVER= Again and again, many times.

A very sad song about a lost love. They just broke up for some reason but they decide to spend the night together to say goodbye... dancing. He's in deep pain, crying, remembering all their life together, but all that is now gone, no more than a memory. They just wanted to say goodbye, but time goes by and they're still dancing together. Does it mean that maybe they're not going to separate, or is it simply that it's too hard for both of them to say goodbye? We don't know, but something we do know, they still love each other.

Yet, the video gives all this a different meaning, so the song is here about the possibility of a nuclear power plant meltdown (exactly what happened two years later in Chernobyl). In this context, they are not breaking up, they are saying goodbye because everyone in the area is going to die. In fact, since nobody knew exactly what could happen in a nuclear meltdown, the whole planet might explode!

The narrator hears the news that "It's Over" and drives home to be with his lover. The video ends with the power plant exploding, and the powerful image of a recorded home video of Ure, his wife and their child, with the visual effect of a melting film.

Which is the original meaning of this song then? Is the video explaining the song or is it giving the song a new dimension (as it often happens). Well, in my opinion the song was intended to express fears for a nuclear accident. Otherwise, the line saying "the man on the wireless cries again: it's over, it's over" wouldn't make any sense.

4:11            
 
 

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