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Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence - Lyrics Meaning



"Enjoy The Silence" is perhaps Depeche Mode's most recognized single. The song cracked the Top 10 in both the United States and United Kingdom in 1990. It was also named Best British Single at the 1991 Brit Awards. A 2004 remix also charted high in the U.K. singles charts and the U.S. dance music charts.

Fans have always heavily debated the lyrical narrative of the song. Most fans read the lyrics as a message of ravenous passion or love. Two people so connected at a moment in time that words do more harm than good. A belief that the intense feeling of pleasure and pain is the personification of a life lived to its fullest. And words are generally meaningless, forgettable, and sometimes harmful.

There is also the camp that believes that the lyrics describe an addict's hunger to feed their addiction. Singer Dave Gahan went through a well-publicized heroin addiction that nearly killed him at the peak of the band's popularity. Here the idealistic lyric of "All I ever wanted, All I ever needed, Is here in my arms" is thought to be a reference to shooting up heroin. "Enjoy The Silence" is a description of the high.

The problem with this latter viewpoint is the song was written, not by Gahan, but by principal Depeche Mode songwriter Martin Gore. While Gore has likely struggled with his own, less publicized, addictions- his lyrics typically touch upon dark romanticism and relationships. He prefers writing abstract songs in which people can attach their own meaning to. He has been known to write lyrics mindful that Gahan would be singing them, however, in this case, Gore originally wrote the song as a piano ballad with himself on vocals. The album's producer coerced Gore to pick up the tempo and put Gahan on vocals. Gore fought very hard for his song but eventually conceded, paving the way for one of the band's greatest singles.

Meanings of other songs by Depeche Mode:
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