It feels rather unique to me, as a Simple Minds song. It’s like very soft blues.
It’s very quiet. I really like the melody and pace of it. But this one really is all about the lyrics…and Jim. A soft and sometimes husky voice, esp. on those “neon city cowboys” lines, and that lovely falsetto at the end. He sings it sssooo sweetly, with such a soft emotion.
It’s probably just me…
The lyrics are (hopefully) as follows…
“No, don’t walk away.
I need you to stay with me tonight.
Come on, what have you heard?
How desperate the word creep in me tonight.
Like Christians and the lions,
We’ll lay down in the sand.
While neon city cowboys,
Drift across our land,
In their caravans.
Why and what can we learn?
Narcissus returns the child in me tonight.
Like Muslims in the car wash,
Like computers in our hands,
The neon city cowboys,
Navigate our land,
With no plans.
Turn don’t walk away,
Stay with me tonight.
Stay with me.”
Thank you to the wonderful Dream Giver Redux site for the lyrics. Though, I do think some aspects of them are incorrect, so I have altered them slightly to reflect what, I believe, Jim is singing.
I’m not entirely sure why I like the lyrics so much. They have a kind of mysticism, I suppose. It would seem that, given the quote from Jim about the song on simpleminds.org, that it was partly inspired by “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper. I know he likes the piece…and perhaps several of Hopper’s works. He’s certainly right that Hopper had the gift to capture the “lonely traveller” very well.
But, yes. It’s the pace of it. The melody. The softness of it. And a kind of lonely sweetness. That final “stay with me” softly pleads as if to continue, “because I don’t want to be alone, and you shouldn’t be alone either”.
And that is why I love Neon Cowboys.