“It’s basically about the point we humans inevitably come to when we realize that the knots and twists in relationships can’t be untangled, and we’re left dangling with a massive question mark with no apparent resolution. Why? Why? Why? Haven’t we all asked that question of ourselves and the universe?”Annie Lennox (14)


“It’s a pastiche, like a Quentin Tarantino film…about fakery, superficiality and the darker side of human behavior.”Annie Lennox (15)

You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart

“Despair at the human condition…to be frankly frank.”Annie Lennox (15)


“Beauty, melancholia, unrequited love and longing.”Annie Lennox (15)

Sweet Dreams

“On the day that we started to create this song I was in a terrible mood and was ready to pack it in and go back to Scotland. I had realized that there was no hope whatsoever and that it wasn’t going to happen. I was really depressed about it and started the song with this self-deprecating, “Sweet dreams are made of this.” It wasn’t a good story, it was very self-deprecating, it was a statement about ourselves and everybody else. It was about that aspirational dream that everybody has and then whether or not it comes true, whether or not it’s fulfilled. Ironically, in the case of “Sweet Dreams” what the song was all about fulfilled itself.”Annie Lennox (621)

Love Is A Stranger

“A song like ‘Love Is A Stranger’ is emotionally sado-masochistic. It’s not the love act, nothing so literal, but it is taken from my experience. It’s about falling for people who never want you and feeling ambivalent towards the people who do want you. I’ve hurt people and felt totally cold about them but when it’s happened to me…I can’t take it. I believe you only experience love with strangers, so it doesn’t last long. You’re usually just in love with the idea of somebody. Many of my own love affairs were projecting my ideas onto others. Like the relationship between the junkie and the drug, what destroys the person is what they crave most. My best songs come from suffering because I’ve indulged in my pain; a very typical female masochism. I’m not so interested in that anymore. I respect myself more now.”Annie Lennox (247)


“No [it’s not a love song to another woman – Ed], but I did want to write a very poignant love song. One that captured the distillation of feeling for another person. Once I had a boy friend, and he died. After he was dead I tried to think about the little things that summed him up. A piece of written paper on the wall, a photo or a shirt with a special smell. I made it simple and it ended up being about myself. It’s called ‘Jennifer’ because the rhythm of that word is so lovely. Then I decided it had to be a suicide song, a drowning incident, or a tragedy. Even the person who wrote the song doesn’t know what it’s about.”Annie Lennox (247)

Missionary Man

“‘Missionary Man’ had to do with my slight dabbling with Hare Krishna [Annie married a Hare Krishna disciple, Radha Raman, in 1984 but they were divorced shortly thereafter – Ed]. They’re very similar to other fundamentalist religions, like Hasidic Jews; they want to go back to the old days, family values, us and them. And some of these values are very good. Hare Krishna is an extreme-looking cult and that attracted me. I like that they dared, that they didn’t care what society thinks — I think Western society is really fucked up — and just wanted to do what’s right for them. But you have to beware of people giving you answers to everything. I found hypocrisy and double standards. But in a layman’s sense, I’m still interested in Eastern philosophy and mysticism.”Annie Lennox (250)

I Need A Man

“‘I Need A Man’ was completely ironic. There was a feminist saying you could read in women’s toilets — ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.’ It was that kind of statement. I was fed up with men — and then I met my husband, hahaha. But with my baby I’m a different sort of person, much less embittered, more emotionally settled and fulfilled. You see the world fresh and good again. I guess it will come through in my next songs.”Annie Lennox (250)


“‘Angel’ is sometimes hard for me to sing. It started off as a poem about a great-aunt who had died — ‘Underneath this canopy of snow/ 57 winters took their toll.’ I was fascinated by death. I thought of this concept of a burial place where seasons take their toll — snow covers the grave spot, leaves fall and buds come up — and this woman from my childhood. The song turned into something else after the death of my first child. But it’s about death generally — I will die; we will all die. Where do we find meaning in our lives?”Annie Lennox (250)

Who’s That Girl

“It’s a song about jealousy, in all its ugly greenness. It’s hard for me say how individual songs are written. It came about like all the songs, with a line. In this case, it started, “The language of love slips from my lover’s tongue,” and then I had to find a word that rhymed with tongue. So, “sun” is a word that rhymes. How do you get from tongue to sun? “Cooler than ice cream and warmer than the sun.” And I thought, “Wow, that says it.” And then you start with the journey. I really can’t tell you how it goes from A to Z. The lyrics come from an intuitive place, but you also have to be conscious of what you’re doing. When I read poetry or great lyrics, I’m like, “Oh, my god. How do we express this material world and this emotional world in metaphoric terms?” It’s a really alchemic thing to do, where you’re taking a word and somehow juxtaposing it with other words, and it’s becoming something that expresses your core feelings about things. There’s that line “Dumb hearts get broken just like china cups.” Dumb heart. A heart that cannot speak. A heart that is in some way prevented from expressing itself and so fragile that it could be smashed just like a delicate piece of china. That kind of sums up a feeling that I’ve often had.”Annie Lennox (251)