Believing All the Lies

Billy Idol recorded the single ‘Eyes Without a Face’, on his 1983 second album Rebel Yell, and this became his first Top Ten hit in the US reaching #4 and it was his breakthrough solo single back home, going to #18 in the UK.  The ‘Eyes Without a Face’ video debuted in June of 1984, and it went to #1 on MTV for six weeks.  Billy Idol wrote this with American guitarist Steve Stevens.  It is a melodic ballad that opens with synth strings and percussion handclaps before evolving into a hard-edged rocker.  ‘Eyes Without a Face’ became known for its female chorus lyrics done by his then-girlfriend, dancer Perri Lister which were sung in French, so a lot of people couldn’t understand what (Les yeux sans visage) actually meant.  Idol had watched the 1960 French-language horror film Eyes Without a Face which was about a brilliant plastic surgeon who vowed to restore the face of his daughter, who has been horribly disfigured in a car accident.  This vow leads him to murder, as he sets out collecting the facial features of his victims, which he then grafts onto his daughter’s hideous countenance, attempting to restore her beauty.  Her staring eyes remain the only thing visible.  This movie intrigued him enough to write this song.

Billy Idol discusses concepts of hopelessness, bad breaks, deception, lies, teasing related to a bad romance and he uses metaphors from the movie to show the absence of humanity and how cold and callous the modern world has grown to be.  The doctor was an arrogant father who treated his daughter like a porcelain doll where he could keep interchanging parts of her face, and this ends up dehumanizing her.  The singer is depressed with his lover.  He feels that she is not being truthful, and he concludes that she has “no human grace” and has become just “eyes without a face”.  By treating him inhumanly she becomes something lesser than a human being.

I’m so out of hope
One more bad break
And I might fall
When I’m far from home
Don’t call me on the phone
To tell me you’re alone

You se it’s so easy to deceive
It’s easy to tease
But hard to get release

eyes without a face
(Les yeux sans visage) eyes without a face
(Les yeux sans visage) eyes without a face
They got no human grace
They’re eyes without a face

I spent all my time
Believing all the lies
To keep my dreams alive
Yes, it makes me sad
It make you mad at truth
For loving what was your

eyes without a face
(Les yeux sans visage) eyes without a face
(Les yeux sans visage) eyes without a face
They got no human grace
Your eyes without a face

When you hear the music, you make a dip
Into someone else’s pocket and then make a slip
You steal a car and go to Las Vegas
Ooh, the gigolo pool
Hanging out by the state line, turning holy water into wine
Drink it, drink it down
Yeah, I’m on this bus on a psychedelic trip
I’m reading murder books, tryin’ to stay hip
And I’m thinkin’ of you, you’re out there
So say your prayers

Now I close my eyes
Yes, I wonder why
I don’t despise
Now all I can do
Love what was once
So alive and new

When it’s gone from your eyes
I’d better realize

eyes without a face
(Les yeux sans visage) eyes without a face
(Les yeux sans visage) eyes without a face
They got no human grace
Your eyes without a face
Just some human waste
Your eyes without a face

Written for Thursday Inspiration #159 Hurdy Gurdy Man where the prompt is eyes.

6 thoughts on “Believing All the Lies

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