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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Charlotte Sometimes/The Cure

Charlotte Sometimes, a single released by The Cure in 1981 and available on the 2005 reissue of the album Faith, is based on the 1969 YA novel Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer. The story concerns Charlotte, a girl residing at a boarding school in 1963, who somehow exchanges identities with a girl named Clare, who lived at the same school in 1918--so, she is Charlotte sometimes, Clare others. Things get complicated when Charlotte becomes trapped in the past as Clare (and vice versa). The lyrics of the first verse approximate the novel's opening paragraph, and the song captures Charlotte's confused sense of identity (Sometimes I'm dreaming/So many different names) and emotional turmoil (She was crying and crying for a girl/Who died so many years before). Two other songs by The Cure, "Splintered in Her Head" (the B-side of the "Charlotte Sometimes" single) and The Empty World, are also said to have been inspired by the book. (The novel also provided the stage name for the performer Charlotte Sometimes--real name Jessica Charlotte Poland.)

Submitted by Jake Byrne

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