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New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle - Lyrics Meaning

"Bizarre Love Triangle" is a 1986 single by the English post-punk dance band New Order. New Order included three of the four members of the band Joy Division. Ian Curtis, Joy Division's vocalist, committed suicide and the rest of the band carried on as New Order in his absence. They added a keyboardist, becoming a much more dance-oriented act, with guitarist Bernard Sumner taking over vocals.

"Bizarre Love Triangle" is widely considered New Order's most defining hit. Rolling Stone ranked the song at number 201 in their 2004 ranking of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time." However, the single was not a huge success on the charts. It peaked at number eighty on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number 56 on the U.K. charts - not even cracking the Top 40. The song has gained much of its notoriety for its inclusion in retro Eighties dance nights. It has also been covered by artists such as Frente!, Stabbing Westward, The Killers, Peter Yorn, and many others.

The song's lyrics explore the rush and consequential torment that accompanies any passionate love. The title of the track isn't uttered once in the song and there are many interpretations as to what the lyrics of the song truly mean. It's one of those songs that can mean different things to different people.

One common interpretation of the song is that the singer is speaking to the object of his affection. The recipient of his affection might already be involved in a relationship or looking past him in their search for a lover or soul mate. He is practically begging for the other person to realize that he is standing right there before them, waiting for them to say the words that he can't say, hoping that they don't fall for another.

You get the sense that the subject of the song is an ex lover or that things have gone beyond a platonic friendship on occasion. And the singer is confused as to whether he should move on, which could potentially mean leaving his current relationship behind, and breaking the heart of someone else.

It's possible that Sumner's lyrics could be referencing a triangle that doesn't include three people but two people and a drug or addiction. It has been suggested that an ex lover that battled alcoholism was his motivation in writing the song. So, in this instance, there isn't a third person but a substance that stands in the way of two people being together. The subject of the song is falling for an addiction rather than someone else.

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