Meaning of “TRUE” by Spandau Ballet

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

At its core, “TRUE” by Spandau Ballet is a tender reflection on love, the passage of time, and the challenges of expressing true emotions. The song illustrates the struggle of articulating feelings and the deep longing to have genuine truths acknowledged. The consistent repetition of the line “I know this much is true” highlights the certainty amidst life’s uncertainties. The mention of Marvin likely references Marvin Gaye, whose soulful tunes might have inspired introspection.

The ballad’s haunting melodies tempt listeners to dive deep into the depths of its lyrics, promising a poignant tale of love and self-realization.

“TRUE” Lyrics Meaning

Starting with a captivating hum, the lyrics soon reveal a poignant narrative of someone always being “in time” but never quite fitting into their dreams. This could symbolize a person consistently being present, yet never truly living in the moment or achieving their aspirations.

“Head over heels when toe to toe” is an intriguing juxtaposition. While ‘head over heels’ typically refers to being deeply in love, ‘toe to toe’ often indicates confrontation or conflict. This could symbolize the complexities of relationships, where passionate love and occasional conflict coexist.

The phrase “This is the sound of my soul” reaffirms the song’s deeply introspective tone. It’s as if the singer is baring his innermost feelings, using music as a medium.

“I bought a ticket to the world, but now I’ve come back again” suggests a quest for broader experiences, possibly in search of love or purpose. Yet, there’s a realization that sometimes, the answers lie within or close to home.

The recurring line, “Why do I find it hard to write the next line?” underscores the difficulty in expressing raw, genuine emotions. The challenge isn’t in the act of writing but in articulating feelings truthfully.

The “thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue” depicts heightened emotions and perhaps an attempt to calm oneself amidst overpowering feelings. The reference to “listening to Marvin (all night long)” brings forth an image of solace found in soulful music, helping process emotions.

The “sand’s a time of its own” is a vivid metaphor, illustrating that time, like sand, slips away. It can’t be controlled, emphasizing the importance of seizing the moment.

Lastly, the longing for the “truth to be known” paired with the repeated confirmation “I know this much is true” indicates a desire for authenticity and acknowledgment of one’s feelings, whether by oneself or from someone else.

Why Was “TRUE” Written?

“TRUE” was penned during a transformative period for Spandau Ballet and its lead songwriter, Gary Kemp. Songs often mirror the emotions and states of mind of their writers. For Kemp, this song might have been a therapeutic medium, helping him navigate and articulate complex emotions.

The 1980s, when the song was released, was a decade marked by shifts in music, politics, and culture. There was a collective longing for authentic experiences and genuine connections amidst a rapidly changing world. “TRUE,” with its introspective lyrics and soulful melody, tapped into this zeitgeist.

The challenges of expressing oneself, the battle between love and conflict, and the quest for self-understanding were not just personal struggles for Kemp but universal feelings many could resonate with. Thus, “TRUE” transcends being just a ballad; it becomes an anthem for anyone searching for authenticity in a world of change.