Song of the Day #4,321: ‘Cupid’s Got a Brand New Gun’ – Michael Penn

Every so often the Random iTunes Fairy serves up a Michael Penn song and gives me an excuse to dip my toe into his five albums, the last of which was released 15 years ago, and bemoan the fact that he stopped recording pop songs in favor of work on TV and movie soundtracks.

‘Cupid’s Got a Brand New Gun’ is one of my favorite tracks from Penn’s debut album, 1989’s March. That album included the almost-top ten hit ‘No Myth’ (it reached #13 on Billboard’s Hot 100, though it did climb all the way to #4 on the Modern Rock chart) and it proved to be the commercial peak of Penn’s career.

Subsequent albums were just as good or better, but his brand of cerebral pop never quite caught on with the listening public.

Instead, he turned to scoring films, and has completed more than a dozen of them since the year 2000.

It’s hiding in the corner
Of every sacred place
Before the ambush you won’t want to
Recognize its face

It slithers like a viper
Readies its attack
Tears your flesh and soul apart
Then clings on to your back

But not till it turns away
Can you feel the pain of all the damage done
And you may notice that
This quick opiate
Might wear the wings of angels
That’s when you realize
You’ve been shot down
Wounded unto death by something called love

It followed you to hell, Ange
A double agent who
Will listen to your every lie
But never tell on you
Just whisper to you true

It promises you silk things
But burns the clothes you wear
Gives you leave in heaven
And you scream that it’s unfair
To force you to compare

But not till it turns away
Can you feel the pain of all the damage done
And you may notice that
This quick opiate
Might wear the wings of angels
That’s when you realize
You’ve been shot down
Wounded unto death by something called love
You’ve been shot down
Wounded
Wounded unto death by something called love

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,321: ‘Cupid’s Got a Brand New Gun’ – Michael Penn

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Such a great song from a great album! While I too wish he had found more commercial success, I’m glad he is at least able to earn a living in music.

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