She's so crazy She's so lazy Keeps on coming Keeps you running Caroline Caroline Time recedes with a fatal drop Dusty fury on the mountain top Cut the cord if you can Caroline Caroline She's so cagey She's so stagey So attractive So reactive Caroline Caroline Time recedes with a fatal drop Dusty fury on the mountain top Cut the cord if you can Caroline Caroline Caroline Caroline Time recedes with a fatal drop Dusty fury on the mountain top Cut the cord if you can Caroline Caroline Caroline Caroline What have I done? What have I done? What have I done...
Well, one thing is for certain - this song is about Caroline! But what does all this other stuff mean? "Time recedes with a fatal drop"? Lindsey is getting as enigmatic as Stevie! But the rest is obviously descriptions of Caroline. Who is Caroline? I've heard it was a Beach Boys reference, but I don't know about that. What I can say is that the Caroline described in the song is apparently a sexy gal who keeps a man on his toes!
I believe the line "time recedes with a fatal drop" means that when he's with this woman, she so engrosses him that time slows and seems to vanish and recede like the tide, and he continues the water imagery with the fatal drop that in my opinion refers to the danger inherent in allowing oneself to get caught up in all-consuming love. It's so all-consuming that it is inescapable - he fears he'll be unable to "cut the cord," although he should, if he's indeed worried that this love is going to be fatal to his personality if he loses himself in it. He even seems a bit panicked in that echoing, barely distinguishable "What have I done?!" at the end (if that is indeed what he's saying).
I really love the comparison of Caroline to "dusty fury on a mountain top." Such vivid and sophisticated imagery in this song! It evokes in a few words a myriad of emotional and visual associations. Not to mention the original and creative language use! OK, I'm done gushing now - as an English teacher, I get excited at such things. Sometimes Lindsey's lyrics are a tad simplistic, but when he wants to get poetic, he can do it with the best of them! Honestly, I think Lindsey has evolved noticeably in the sophistication of his lyrical style over the years. I see this when I compare his work on this album and later ones with his earlier efforts - not to trash them or anything. Of course this is a generalization with exceptions, and it's just my opinion, at any rate. As is everything else!
Surely the woman Lindsey is (not very) obliquely refering to in this song is Carol Ann Harris, the woman he lived with for 7 years, from 1977 to 1984.
If this is the case then the song was undoubtedly written around the time of the 'Go Insane' album (released 1984), but he chose not to record it at the time. Perhaps this song was even originally called 'Carol Ann', but after several years had past he changed it slightly to reflect he distance in time (about 3 years) and his emotional distance from the experience.
Caroline/Carol Ann - a thinly disguised pseudonym for the woman he eventually had to kick out of his home, after she had allowed herself to be overwhelmed by her cocaine addiction. This decision which had to have been tough for Lindsey. From the lyrics you can tell he had very mixed emotions about 'Caroline'. He states her negative qualities - She's so crazy She's so lazy
But always in contrast to the postive feelings he inspires in him:
Keeps on coming
Keeps you running
She is always there for him 'Keeps on coming', whether sexually, physically, or emotionally - 'Come' is an ambiguous word that Lindsey loves to use in his songs.
This contrast is repeated in the next verse:
She's so cagey
She's so stagey
She is cagey -unwilling to commit, with a closed heart- and stagey -pretentious and affected. But she is still very attractive, and readily reacts to him. Cagey could also mean clever, and reactive can have negative connotations, meaning over-sensitive...but this just reinforces the impression that Lindsey's feelings towards this woman are thoroughly confused.
The imagery Lindsey uses in the chorus is definitely one of his best lyrics:
Time recedes with a fatal drop, Dusty fury on the mountain top
In the tradition of good imagery, it conveys emotions without making the meaning behind the words too obvious. I think it could be a description of Carol Ann's drug habit. It is highly likely that this was the catalyst to the failure of there relationship. Perhaps the 'fatal drop' is a drop of liquid cocaine. 'Time recedes' could mean time lost in the haze of this cocaine-induced high. 'Dusty fury' may be a reference to cocaine again. 'The mountain top' could be Lindsey's house...'Big Love' alludes to his house in Bel-Air as 'That house on the hill'. Perhaps Carols was a kept woman in Lindsey's house 'on the mountain top', and so would have indulged in her cocaine habit in his home.
Cut the cord if you can
This is a message to both Carol and Lindsey, himself. She must cut the cord - free herself from her addiction, or else he will have to cut the cord - break the love-bond between them...break the chain, even.
Want to speculate on "Caroline"? E-mail me and I'll post your comments.