Album: Seventeen Seconds (1980)


  • The Cure frontman Robert Smith wrote this for his wife Mary, who he commonly refers to as "M."
  • This might explain Smith's rather evasive answer to the inspiration for the song: "about a girl..." (Curenews, 1989).

    The lyrics are even more cryptic, though perhaps most revealing is the opening line "hello image," which, given what we know about the inspiration of the song, seems to equate Mary with the reflection of Smith himself.
  • Seventeen Seconds is the second Cure album. The band was keeping the songs simple as they were refining their sound. "Their ultimate strength is their minimalism," drummer Lol Tolhurst wrote in his memoir.

Comments: 3

  • Anon from UkI think “cryptic” answer from Robert Smith on what this song is about probably also a rather sarcastic remark about the strong similarity of a particular Nirvana song which uses a similar chord structure and lyrical content
  • Mary Smith from Capital Federal, ArgentinaThis song is in the album seventeen seconds, and when robert writted this song he was having couple- problems with mary. Hear the song again and its all about conflicts etc... ``you love someone else´´
  • Charlotte Smith from El Paso, Txwhat does the song mean?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.

Songs Discussed in MoviesSong Writing

Bridesmaids, Reservoir Dogs, Willy Wonka - just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.

Francesca BattistelliSongwriter Interviews

The 2011 Artist of the Year at the Dove Awards isn't your typical gospel diva, and she thinks that's a good thing.

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

Glen BurtnikSongwriter Interviews

On Glen's résumé: hit songwriter, Facebook dominator, and member of Styx.

Evolution Of The Prince SymbolSong Writing

The evolution of the symbol that was Prince's name from 1993-2000.