Revenge Song Analysis By Mike Aversa

Revenge is a subject Eurythmics explored various times, from the last track on In the Garden (1981) to the theme song written eight years later for the movie Rooftops, in which lyrics from the first composition are reprocessed and expanded.

And when in June 1986 Dave and Annie released Revenge, their fifth studio album, they crafted a collection of songs in which this sentiment is prominently featured: from the biting complains of “Thorn in My Side” and “The Last Time” to the bittersweet reflections exposed in “A Little of You”, with their lyrics Eurythmics delved into the aftermath of betrayed love, expressing their feelings with a new electro-rock sound that sanctioned the success of both the record and its endless world tour.

But in Revenge there’s also space for understanding and tenderness (“When Tomorrow Comes”, “The Miracle of Love”, “Take Your Pain Away”, “I Remember You”), as well as the will to leave behind harsh settling of scores and start a new life (“Let’s Go!”, “In This Town”).

And always remember… don’t you ever mess with a missionary man!

Well I was born an original sinner

I was born from original sin






There is always a point in everyone’s life when we are told to shun bad company: “My mother told me good, my mother told me strong; she said ‘be true to yourself and you can’t go wrong; but there’s just one thing that you must understalnd; you can fool with your brother but don’t mess with a missionary man'”.

Sometimes, either we decide to pay attention or not, the character to avoid seems so blameless to appear completely above suspicion: “Oh the missionary man, he’s got God on his side, he’s got the Saints and Apostles backing up from behind”. And so, when our trust is betrayed… it can be too late: “There was a woman in the jungle and a monkey on a tree; the missionary man, he was following me; he said ‘Stop what you’re doing and get down upon your knees, have a message for you that you’d better believe'”.

“Missionary Man”, reportedly inspired to Dave and Annie by Bob Dylan, was released as the fourth and last single from Revenge in February ’87.

You gave me such a bad time

Tried to hurt me

But now I know





A happy romance may be compared to a beautiful rose; but sometimes sharp thorns prevail: “Thorn in my side, you know that’s all you ever were; a bundle of lies, you know that’s all that it was worth”. And when the pain stings too harshly, there’s nothing better to do than take refuge as soon as possible: “To run away from you was all that I could do”.

“Thorn in My Side” is the second track on Revenge and also the second single released from the album in August ’86.

I can’t wait till tomorrow comes, baby






As night goes by, two lovers lie together in the moonlight: “Breathing shifts your careless head, untroubled by the chaos of our lives; another day, another night has taken you again, my dear”. And while one of them is peacefully asleep, the other one is still awake and eager to continue their life together, knowing love will not disappear with the sunrise: “And you know that I’m gonna by the one who’ll be there, when you need someone to depend upon when tomorrow comes”.

One of the most romantic songs ever written by Annie and Dave, “When Tomorrow Comes” was released in May 1986 as the first single from Revenge, Eurythmics’ fifth studio album.

People like you

Can be so mean

People like you

Just don’t come clean




“Well, the first time that I saw you, you were standing in the rain; you were waiting at the station for the last connecting train”: a stranger met by chance during a storm could be the right person to fall in love with; but first impressions (in this case clouded over by pouring rain), can be highly deceiving: “There’s a garden full of roses, there’s a necklace full of pearls; you have come to take the roses to give to other girls”.

And then the best thing to do is to put off disappointment, at least for a while, and… react! “Last time you’re gonna let me down, last time you’re gonna fool around with me”.

“The Last Time” is the fourth track on Revenge.

In this heartless world

People try to hurt you

Try to hurt you if they could

And it must take a miracle




A miracle is something everyone of us discover to need through life, especially when it seems that our “crumbling world” is falling apart: “Cruel is the night that covers up your fears, tender is the one who wipes away your tears, there must be a bitter breeze to make you sting so viciously, they say the greatest coward can hurt the most ferociously”. But even if it’s so hard to believe, there’s always something good to keep fighting for: “The miracle of  love will take away your pain, when the miracle of love comes your way again”.

This moving ballad was chosen by Eurythmics to be the third single of Revenge, and it was released in November ’86.

He was the kinda guy

I loved the way he looked

He had a red silk tie

He had a Forties suit




Every one of us sometimes needs to act thoughtlessly, leaving doubts behind and just enjoying the ride: “Well, we went driving for an hour and so till we took the little Chevy down to Mexico”. And occasionally there may be the will to extend the journey just a litpeopletle more: “And I said ‘Blue eyed boy, you know I love the way you look; why don’t we find a preacher who can get us hooked?”.

Then the reaction from the other person may be… a little different: “‘You know the time is right to take a chance ’cause I’m looking for a brand new romance’; and the great big moon was shining down, he said “Forget about the preacher man, let’s do it on the ground!”. This cheerful song was released on Revenge as the sixth one.

For every aching heart

For every broken soul






When it comes to assist a suffering loved one, appeasing the hurt of body and soul would probably be one of the most wanted powers we’d ask for to the proverbial genie in a bottle: “I would ease the burden that you carry everyday; oh don’t you know I’d find a cure and take your pain away?”.

Until magical skills will be available to the majority of us, the best we can do is guarantee all our support and love: “So give up your worries, they’ll only do your harm; there is no need to be concerned, it’s just a false alarm”.

“Take Your Pain Away” is the seventh song on Revenge.

There used to be a time

I wore my heart upon my sleeve

There used to be a time

I’d show my gentle side to anyone




Going through different experiences moulds our character, and sometimes we need to hurt back in order to protect the inner core of our feelings: “Don’t tell me I’m the only one ’cause I don’t need that space; don’t ask for love, I’ll throw it back in your face; all of these promises were only made to break, all of these promises”.

And so little fragments of our heart and soul slowly vanish within our naivety: “A little of you, a little of me, a little of you is hurting someone”.

“A Little of You” holds number eight on Revenge.

I’m looking at the world

Looking for a scene

Waiting for a day

Filling in time like I’m digging my own grave



Deadly boredom… sometimes it seems there’s nothing else than this in our days: “I could be anywhere else but here, but the rain won’t let me go; there’s a photograph hanging on my wall of a place I’ve never been to”.

And just when the city seems overwhelmed by a grey cloak of tedium, an outburst of life takes over: “In this town something’s gotta change”.

It’s pretty much up to ourselves: don’t you agree?

“In This Town” is featured on Revenge as the ninth and second last track.

There’s a colour picture in my mind






Reliving the past through memories can bring back echoes of distant places and people: “And I remember you, you were the backyard boy; hiding in a wreckage of broken dreams, standing by the railway line, standing”.

And though sweet feelings are awakened, regret for a lost time (and an ancient loved one) comes back with the same intensity: “And all the sweetness has been taken out of this place; so many memories are knocked down or replaced; and I can’t stand to see the shifting time taking me further, leaving you behind”.

“I Remember You” is the poignant song that closes Eurythmics’ fifth studio album: Revenge.