Thursday, October 28, 2010

Meaning of Crossfire Lyrics

Crossfire is about the sanctuary that Flower's wife creates in their lives. I’d guess that they have a very old fashioned setup; he's an old fashioned guy married to an old fashioned girl. He's out doing the worldly bits and she creates the safe haven for their growing--2 with another coming next year--family.  Not exactly normal these days.  I gather from the confusion on lyric interpretation sites that it takes one to know one.  I have a marriage similar to Flowers: my husband travels often, I have 4 children 6 and under, I am a devout Christian.  I grew up Baptist in fact, so Mormonism isn't a foreign language, so to speak.  I’m pretty sure of this interpretation, the song makes perfect sense to me.

BF sees the world as an imperfect place, a fallen place. Furthermore as a devout man in a career known for sex, drugs, and who knows what else, he no doubt has a difficult time managing temptation.  Not just the sex and drugs stuff, but also issues of pride and selfishness and other things we Christians worry about.  It’s hard.  You never know the pull of temptation until you try to resist it.  I’d bet he’s worn out.  He can’t live in the world he lives in without some place of rest.  His wife, with the help of God, provides it.   
There’s a still in the street outside your window/You’re keeping secrets on your pillow/Let me inside, no cause for alarm/I promise tonight not to do no harm/Yeah, I promise you, Babe/Not to do you no harm
This is a reference to the calm around a Christian household. The secrets she keeps on her pillow are prayers.  Basically because they are focused on the Permanent Things, the storms that rage over others pass them by.  The promise to do no harm is a plea to come inside.  I suspect that some of his homecomings might be difficult, not in some bad way, but in a marriage is difficult way.  I also suspect that many readers of this post are young and unmarried and don't get my meaning.   He probably brings a lot of the world in with him.  The most extreme example is probably when soldiers come home from combat.  The structure of life and the stresses they deal with make it hard to fit back into family life.  They go to training for the transition, in fact.  The Rock Star life has different stresses, High Powered Professional life it's own, but they don't fit with wife and family life, or even a happy life.  He's weary, and he's pleading to come in from the outside world.  He won’t bring it in with him.  He just wants to rest.  
We're caught up in the crossfire/Of heaven and hell/And we're searching for shelter/Lay your body down/Lay your body down/Lay your body down
The chorus refers to the crossfire that is our life on Earth, the constant struggle between good and evil, the battle for our souls. She’s having to keep things calm on her own--no small feat with two kids under 4 and while pregnant--and he’s out in the cold world.  
Watching your dress as you turn down the light/I forget all about the storm outside/ Dark clouds roll their way over town/ Thunder and rain came a’pouring down/Like chaos in the rain/Yeah, they’re handing it out  
This is a more sexual verse, she's now let him in, he's watching her silhouette as she dims the lights then of course he forgets all about the world outside. It is consistent with the sexually suggestive repeat of "Lay your body down" and the final "Next to mine." He's seeking not just the calming retreat of her home, but of her bed as well. Hey, not all rest is sleeping.  
Tell the devil that he can go back from where he came/His fiery arrows drew their bead in vain/And when the hardest part is over we'll be here/And our dreams will break the boundaries of our fear/The boundaries of our fear
He declares that the devil will not find his mark, will not gain his soul. Because she creates this sanctuary, he has the strength to resist temptation. The "hardest part" is life on earth. So after death, our dreams will break the boundaries of our fears--I'm not certain if this is the Mormon position, but I think he is referring to the idea that we cannot see God and Heaven because we are fearful. Our fears hold us back from seeing reality as God intended. So when we've died, we can finally see Heaven.  And we will be together; the idea of an eternal family is very Mormon. Though that "Next to mine" last line suggests he has a more immediate togetherness in mind.    (By the way, for any Twilight fans, the eternal family of the Cullens is probably the most Mormon-ish bit of the stories, not the no sex before marriage bit that reviews and interviews always harp on.  Quite annoying, that.  I've ranted a bit about that before.)

I love the video.  It supports my interpretation, and now, whenever I have a hard day doing the sanctuary bit for my family, I have visions of Charlie going all Buffy on some ninjas dancing in my head. I gotta say thanks to BF for that.  

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