Sonnet

Album: Urban Hymns (1997)
Charted: 74
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Songfacts®:

  • This song can seem like an ode to love itself towards God, but it represents every lover's quest to achieve the object of love, and how such deep endurance is required to obtain the reward and how painful it is. It also shows that lover's time is right now and love cannot wait to be consumed. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    SoulSurfer - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • The Verve lead singer Richard Ashcroft wrote this song, which in the UK was the fourth single from their third album, Urban Hymns. The group was rather combustible, breaking up both before and after the album, which started off as an Ashcroft solo effort. Like most of his songs, it's very personal and rather cryptic.
  • In a Songfacts interview with Richard Ashcroft, he said that the "red box of memories" was real and tangible. "We even took a picture of it," he said. "In England it came on an Urban Hymns deluxe thing at some point and I remember photographing the actual box for the sleeve."

    As for what's in the box or the identity of his friend who looks through it with him, he's not talking. "That's where the mystery has to stop for now, Scooby Doo!" he said. "You meddling kids, we would have got away with that red box of memories!"

    Ashcroft learned over the years that listeners have vastly different interpretations of his lyrics, which he doesn't want to disrupt by sharing their true inspirations.
  • In America, this wasn't released as a single and isn't well known. Their only hit in that country was another Urban Hymns track, "Bitter Sweet Symphony," which got a boost from a Nike commercial and a video that got lots of airplay on MTV. It was only used in the commercial because a tussle over a sample in the song forced Ashcroft to relinquish the publishing rights.

Comments: 2

  • Woody from ManchesterFor a long time I thought it went "yer there's love if you want it, don't sound like I'm sellin' it." I thought it meant I can't make you love me.
  • Myla from San Diego, CaOne of my favorite songs from the Verve! On the part when he sings, "yeah, there's love if you want it, don't sound like no sonnet," to me that means that love doesn't have to be fancy or showy or rhyme like a well-metered poem (although Shakespeare did an awesome job on making those), as long as it is heartfelt. And to me that is the most poetic demonstration, something coming from the heart.
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