Interpretations of Of Crime and Passion

I figured that it has been awhile since I last dived into a song and attempted to interpret the song’s lyrics.  I have a list of songs that had been suggested to me to analyze.  This song was one of them.  Interestingly enough, many of the songs suggested to me were ones off of Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  This song is the fifth song off that album.  I believe it ended side A on the vinyl.  It is one of those songs that the fans seem to adore and yet never seems to get played live.  Personally, I never had a strong connection to the song but enjoy it, nonetheless.  While there isn’t an official video, here is a little youtube clip that includes a live version of the song and some nice pictures from the 1984 era.

Here are the lyrics before we dive into possible interpretations:

Why did you let me run
When you knew I’d fall for the gaping hole
Where your heart should be
Liar-couldn’t cut me deeper with a knife if you tried
Just take a look (before you run off and hide)
At your victim

Clouds on your shoulder
Aren’t they grazed by the afterglow
How quiet they gather
When the storm is about to blow

No don’t look away
Caught in the crossfire
And it ain’t no wind of change
I’m talking of crime and passion’s rage

Summer of madness or the undertow
Dragged me up an alley for the blossoming fire
On a stranger’s smile
Bride of wire-how disguise so easily cracked
Saw your heart turn spade
This orchid’s turned to black

Graze on your shoulder
Like the clouds in the afterglow
How quiet they gather
When the storm is about to blow


Way down by the shoulder
In the haze of the afterglow
Stranded together
And the storm is about to blow


There aren’t many interpretations of this song on the internet, for some reason.  Is that because it wasn’t a big single?  Is it because it seems more obvious than many other Duran tracks?  Your guess is as good as mine.  The only one I could find is the idea that a man had fallen in love with a woman who was playing games.  The man plans then to get back at her, according to this theory.  Does this theory make sense?  Well, there definitely are lyrics that could fit this idea.  The first verse, in particular, fits.  Obviously, the lines about someone being a liar and having a hole where one’s heart should be definitely indicates that someone, perhaps a lover, could have betrayed someone.  Was it a game?  An emotional game?  Sure.  It seems possible.  The second verse indicates that a storm of some sort is building.  Is this storm around the victim?  Maybe it would be the victim getting ready to seek revenge.  Is the storm building around the liar?  Not sure.  What about the third verse?  Once again, the narrator is like the victim.  In this case, the liar seemed to have a heart, seemed wonderful and then wasn’t.  Thus, the victim fell for the liar and was terribly hurt by the liar.  Then, I suppose the assumption is that the storm will result in a crime.  Overall, this scenario seems to make some sense.  It seems possible.  
Is there any other possible explanation to the meaning of this song?  Honestly, I can’t really think of it.  For me, this song has always felt like a song that could accompany a movie because it does seem like there is a set storyline.  Perhaps, the title seems movie like as well, which is what makes me think this.  When I hear this song, I always assume that the victim is a man who has been hurt by a woman.  Yet, there is truly nothing that says this.  It could be the other way around.  It could be a woman who has been hurt by a man or even a man who has been hurt by another man or a woman who has been hurt by another woman.  Yet, why do I assume that the liar is a woman hurting a man?  Is it because Simon is singing, thus taking on the role of the narrator?  Maybe.  Is it because I assume that a man is more likely to seek some sort of pay back?  That’s possible, too.  
What do the rest of you think?  Is this story likely to be what the song is about?  Could it be something completely different?  Speaking of completely different, what other songs should I discuss/attempt to interpret?  
On a side note, hope that all you moms out there have a fabulous day!!

5 thoughts on “Interpretations of Of Crime and Passion”

  1. I love Simon's visual language in the band's lyrics.
    In my view the lyric of the song are about a murder, which he probably watched on TV and I actually never changed my mind. Despite the “picturesque” words in, I never thought of any other possible interpretation.
    Another track I'mu curious to hear your interpretation is Someone Else not Me, as many speculated Simon sort of “admitted” his cheating on Yasmin.

  2. I always assumed it was about how Simon felt when John left the band in 1996. He clearly got his hands on a time machine and then went back and told his 1983 self about it.

    Or maybe it's about a murder.

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