Black Treacle

Album: Suck It And See (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • Frontman Alex Turner recalled the writing of this song to NME: "I watched a couple of westerns when we were doing this, like Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, which gets a reference in there. I also just wanted to put 'belly-button piercings' in a tune, I thought that would be good. I'd kind of wanted to do it for a couple of weeks and then managed to fit it in there. Why? I'd not thought about them for a while and they came on my radar somehow. And then I thought about this thing of them and the stars being juxtaposed."
  • Q magazine asked Turner if such lyrics as "When you chew your chin, am I ruining your fun" refers to cocaine? He replied: "It's a bit of a funny one! It's whatever you want it to be."
  • Turner told NME why he wrote this as a deliberately opaque almost nonsense poem: "Something I've discovered as I've gone on is that it's cool to let the words sometimes take more of a back seat. I think there's like two types of songs (that I write) where some of them I want people to, like, understand where it is and almost be right there with you. So that would be something like 'Cornerstone', where I feel the person listening is right there with you. Then there's other things that are more like 'Black Treacle' or 'Crying Lightning' from the last one, where it's much more vague, and I want to keep it that way.

    I always think of some Bowie tunes that do that, things like 'Five Years' you're right there with him, and other things like that tune 'Lady Grinning Soul', it's sort of describing this woman, obviously, but you don't know where you are with it."

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