Boys Don't Cry

Album: Boys Don't Cry (1979)
Charted: 22
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about maintaining the manly image and hiding your tears behind your eyes. Tough guys don't always get the girl. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dave - Springfield, MA
  • The Cure formed in the torn-and-frayed London suburb of Crawley, where their sensitive side was not always appreciated. This song didn't go over well with some of the hardened punks that came to their shows, but the band remained unwavering in their approach and made a strong connection with legions of fans.
  • Nathan Larson covered this in 1999, and his version was used as the title song of the film Boys Don't Cry, for which Hilary Swank won the 1999 Oscar for Best Actress. Larson is the husband of Nina Persson, the lead singer of the Swedish pop group The Cardigans.
  • "Boys Don't Cry" was The Cure's second single, following "Killing An Arab." Released in June 1979, it wasn't a hit at the time, but in 1986 a new version was issued as a single in which the original track was remixed and the vocals re-recorded. This time it reached #22 in the UK charts.
  • Oleander recorded this for their album February Son and released their version as a single. Reel Big Fish often plays the song in concert, and Razorlight performed this at The Cure's "MTV Icon" ceremony in 2004. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • The track also provided the title for British Children's laureate Malorie Blackman's 2011 young adult novel. The book tackles issues of masculinity and teenage fatherhood.
  • This was also used in these movies:

    Valley Girl (2020)
    25 km/h (2018)
    Me And You (2012)
    Friends With Benefits (2011)
    Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008)
    Summerhood (2008)
    Starter For 10 (2006)
    The Wedding Singer (1998)

    And in these TV series:

    Hanna ("Friend" - 2019)
    My Mad Fat Diary ("Friday" - 2014)
    How I Met Your Mother ("Where Were We?" - 2006)
    Opposite Sex ("The Virgin Episode" - 2000)
  • The song grew out of Robert Smith's frustration over being expected to conform to an outdated view of masculinity. "When I was growing up, there was peer pressure on you to conform to be a certain way," the Cure frontman told NME in 2019. "And as an English boy at the time, you're encouraged not to show your emotion to any degree. And I couldn't help but show my emotions when I was younger. I never found it awkward showing my emotions. I couldn't really continue without showing my emotions - you'd have to be a pretty boring singer to do that. So I kind of made a big thing about it. I thought, 'Well, it's part of my nature to rail against being told not to do something.'"
  • In a 2000 interview with Rolling Stone, an older-and-wiser Smith gave his assessment on the band's early pop numbers, saying, "The pop songs like 'Boys Don't Cry' are naive to the point of insanity [laughs]. But considering the age I was and the fact that I had done nothing apart from go to school - no real life experience, everything was taken from books - some of them are pretty good."

Comments: 10

  • Marlon from United StatesI would like to know the name of the children who appears on the video clip (at least the singer).
  • Rr from Middle EarthI thought this song was about someone's pride and belief that what they have fought for something which they now regret. For instance, fighting with a sibling for so long that they now believe that you hate them, though you do not hate them, you believe they must hate you, and probably think you hate them in turn. You want to fix it, but you can't; you let it continue for so long, and revealing your weakness to the sibling seems futile; they will not forgive you, and only use your grovelling as an opportunity for spite. So you act careless- put on a facade of joy to cover your tears, because the pride will not allow you to cry. At least, in front of anyone; you probably weep within your own solstice and isolation. Well that's what I made of it, at least.
  • Hugh from Phoenix, AzSimply a great 2 1/2 minute pop song. Very catchy.
  • Chris from Media, PaAlso appears in "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist." It's Nick's (Michael Cera) ringtone on his cellphone.
  • Eva from Cologne, GermanyThe Cure describe this as "An attempt at a 60's pop song"...no more.
  • Adam from Greenfield, InThis song was also used in the "Wedding Singer" with Adam Sandler.
  • Nikkita from Panama, OtherThe song was used in the film "Boys don't cry" (1999),but it was not included on the soundtrack.
  • Carissa from Seattle, WaI love this song so much. The beat is so playful and it is fun to listen to. It sort of reminds me of my old boyfriend.
  • Iara from Santiago, Chilethis is an excellent song and i think a lot of boys must be identified with it.The world is constantly giving pressure to little kids that just wanna have fun,but the world says to them that they must be tough,and strong enough to not to cry.Awesome song,i love it.
  • Nicole from Nottellin, OrWell, it's sort of about maintaining the manly image. The singer won't tell his girlfriend (or boyfriend) how much he loves her - he won't expose his emotions - and so she leaves him and now he knows it's too late to plead and beg forgiveness. Great song from a great album.
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