Group: Super Admins
Joined: Dec. 1999
||Posted: Aug. 09 2002, 19:21
I would imagine that what Barry Palmer said is about as close as you're going to get to knowing what the song's intended meaning was. Songs can mean more than one thing even to the writer, and sometimes the meaning is clearer than at others...
I believe that the person with the dying girl is not so much waiting for her death as trying to spend those precious last moments together with her - he's been holding her hand all night ("he took her hand through every midnight hour"). I think that he's trying to catch her breathing in the faint hope that she might be still alive, despite the fact that he knows she's dead (and it's not an entirely expected death either - she's been "[taken] away with no warning").
This brings us to the title, though, and the line in the chorus "taken away in a crime of passion". The story I've detailed above, and the one given by Barry Palmer, involves no crime as such. Indeed, the event seems all rather inevitable ("we couldn't have changed it with second sight"). It could be said that it seems like some kind of crime that a person should die so young (and indeed, that would be my favoured explanation of the crime aspect of the song...), but a crime of passion is usually one committed out of extreme passionate feelings...
Perhaps he's thinking it's like a crime of compassion, that her death was an end to all the suffering.
Barry Palmer said himself, though, that Mike didn't want the meaning to be clear - he likes hiding things in songs and making them more mysterious. Many of his songs are like this - they seem to tell some kind of story, until you start to look at the details and see that they don't actually add up to anything in particular (Moonlight Shadow would be one, The Time Has Come would be another). It's more like a song based around a general mood than a particular series of events. In the end, they mean what you want them to mean...