Ever wondered what the songs were about? Well, here's the inside track from Simon himself on what is behind the songs.
Halcyon Days I lived in Bermuda for a few years in my early thirties and met my wife there. The first days of any relationship are full of excitement, promise and hope. In some respects these days become appropriately idealised or romanticised, and as we look back on them, they are our halcyon days. From the question in the first verse "Do you think sometimes, As I do lately, Of the early days, We spent together?", the viewpoint is established as being in the future looking back. It's reflective. I'm imagining myself as an older man looking back on the past. I'm reliving that part of my life. But then, the song turns to the present and the idea that as we grow older, "there'll be time for us, To dream then of our wonderful halcyon days" and that "those were the days of our youth". During the song I express a recurring thought to me in my life: how time waits for no-one and we have one shot at living, so we have to make it our best, "And if I lived those days again, Would I do so differently?". The conclusion is left unanswered.
Cocktail Hour This song is about lost promise: in this case to alcohol. As a university student, perhaps, the distraction of parties and alcohol leads a brilliant and promising student to fall down and never quite achieve the expected destiny of greatness. But, at each new year's resolution, the opportunity to kick the habit is never quite grasped and so continued failure to achieve ensues. A sad but all too familiar story.
In Vitro Uncompromising love leads the subject of this song to a twisted and macabre love story, where all the lovers are entombed and embalmed in vitro (test tubes). Somewhat suspecting the madness, though, he is slow to reveal the room in which they are displayed but eventually succumbs to his overwhelming desire to expose the beauty of the situation. Here entombed, "I can love them all, Wedded in bliss, Eternally sworn, Transcending life, And travelling far beyond". Despite the madness, he argues for his sanity pleading that, "Great love means sacrificing, All conventional thinking, Experimenting with our norms". And there is some logic in his argument, after all.
Left Behind This song is about the news that a loved one has died prematurely, and the reaction of the one 'Left Behind", dealing with the shock, then anger, and then hope of being together, "In another time and place".
Only A Moment Once again, we are at the beginning of a relationship, where the memories have not yet been created, "And I need to create, Our memories in their space". Then as the song develops, the story becomes about the expectation of joyfully visiting those memories in the future. It's about how we create memories of our experiences of each other and how we use them to remember.
Run Run Baby This is a fun song, if not a little creepy, about someone's fixation with another and the pursuit. It's a well visited theme in song writing and I combined it with a little rock'n'roll tune to keep it light and enjoyable.
Something Big This song is about the first stirrings of a relationship when two people first meet and one of them sees "the start of something big". The invitation to dance is a extended and is a timeless moment in many relationships that go on to something more serious. It's intended as a bit of fun and the lyrics were kept to a minimum to indicate the fleeting nature of the moment.
Take A Piece Of Me Another song about loss but impending loss at this point. The realisation that a friend is shortly to pass brings up memories of friendship and love. The wish that the dying friend will "take a piece of me" with them to their grave is poignant.
This Time A song about love, again. "This Time" is about one person expressing that they will support the other at this point in their life and expresses encouragement to, "rise up, and have your say this time". It's a moment in relationships where every person has to decide to stand up for their partner.
Tick Tock Simply put, "Tock Tock" is about the march of time in our lives and how it quickly moves on, possibly leaving us with missed moments, unfulfilled opportunities, and so on. "Don't dawdle now, there's no time to lose, In this life, there's so much to do." There's a few lines of french in the song that help to bring a lyrical quality to the song, I think.
Under Your Spell A love song but after a few years of the relationship where the singer find himself still "Under The Spell" of the other.
You're In The Wrong Place A love song in the style of a blues about one of the couple cheating on the other despite how much the other loves them.The song the realisation that no matter how much in love they are, the best thing is for the cheater to leave and, "Take your kisses and your loving, And leave my poor heart".
You Never Really Know This is a song about how we never really know each other. It's a song about someone who committed a terrible crime and is being asked by the other friend in surprise if they were always like that. It captures the expression of loss of trust and confidence in a relationship between friends that comes with an act contrary to our supposed knowledge of someone.