"We ride out before morning."

"Why do you have to leave so soon?"

"I always leave this way. Get the horses ready."

There was no dinner conversation. The food was good enough to be mentioned with praise for the cook, but no one brought it up. Everyone ate quietly and avoided looking at each other. It would be early to bed that night. They would get up at the first light of dawn. This was the way things were done. It was the way they had always been done.

I walk along the street
I look into your eyes
I'm pleasant when we meet
I'm there when you go home

They made love. It was no more and no less mechanical than it had been dozens of times before. Sometimes there was a glimmer of passion, but that was rarely true any longer. It came most often after long periods apart and had less to do with the concept of his missing her than it did the fact that months out on the trails left him wanting for any kind of female companionship. She was always there when he returned.

How many times before
Could you tell I didn't care?
When you turned your back on me
I knew we'd get nowhere

There had been that one time where he needed her. He needed her to hide him and to sew his wounds shut. The heat was coming down and there was no one else he could have turned to. She panicked and ran to fetch the doctor. He failed to keep matters confidential. It became necessary to ride out before morning. Those wounds had never healed.

Do you believe in youth
The history of all truth
A heart that's left at home
Becomes a heart of stone

His ways were never her ways. She clung to the belief that everything turned out right in the end and that all wrongs would one day be righted. She listened as they talked about how her town would one day be a beacon for the future and that progress would begin in their backyard. He went out and made his own way in the world, taking a hard road that left him beaten and broken most of the time. Meanwhile, she was reading pamphlets and listening to traveling hucksters preach the latest fashion. She never knew what to believe in, but she wanted so much to believe in something. He just never was quite what she was willing to believe in.

Do you believe in truth?
The lies we told of youth
A cause we call our own
Beside an empty throne

When they were young it had been different. She was the pretty, blue-eyed girl with long perfect curls and he was the wild kid who never took orders from anyone. She had been attracted to his rebellious nature and it brought a firestorm of passion between them. She was the ultimate raid and she wanted to be raided. Sometimes she felt too pure and too innocent. He knew how to make her feel something different.

How many times before
Could you tell I didn't care?
When you reached out in your sleep
And you knew I wasn't there

She lost everything and at the same time, she lost nothing. Her association with him had brought disfavor upon her and dishonor on her family. She was forbidden from ever seeing him, and so they met in secret. He still needed the sanctuary she sold him in exchange for his body for a few days every other month. She still needed to feel like the prize that was worth conquering. She had already been conquered and so had he, but neither really cared that much any longer.

My eyes are made of stone
Just like your sordid home
How many times before
Did you leave my soul alone?

"Get the horses. We're riding north."

"When will you be back?"

He turned his head and spit. "Never can tell. Never can tell."


Lyrics copyright 1984 Bemusic PRS
As recorded by New Order
Lyrics reprinted without anything remotely appearing like permission

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