New Order – “Age of Consent” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

New Order’s “Age of Consent” deals with themes of communication breakdown, unspoken feelings, and the regrets that arise from missed opportunities and misunderstandings. The song captures the angst and melancholy of realizing that a relationship has slipped away due to a lack of honest conversation and vulnerability.

Eager for more? Join us as we unravel the deep meanings hidden within this classic tune.

“Age of Consent” Lyrics Meaning

The opening line, “Won’t you, please, let me go,” immediately sets a yearning tone for release and freedom. Whether this is from a relationship, a state of mind, or a situation, the plea is clear.

As the song progresses, the lyrics “These words lie inside they hurt me so” suggest pent-up emotions and unsaid feelings that have caused pain over time. It’s evident that communication has been a challenge, emphasized by the lines, “And I’m not the kind that likes to tell you/Just what I want to do.” There’s a hesitation, perhaps fear, of opening up and revealing true emotions, which further widens the gap between the individuals.

Receiving a message and understanding every word, yet feeling regret after hearing it, points to a missed connection or a realization that things have changed. The other person’s intentions or feelings might not align with the protagonist’s.

The recurring phrase, “I’ve lost you,” is a mournful acknowledgment of the relationship’s end. The realization of loss, coupled with the repetition, emphasizes the gravity of the situation and the depth of the feeling.

“Do you find this happens all the time?/Crucial point one day becomes a crime” points to the fragility and unpredictability of relationships. Moments or issues once deemed insignificant become pivotal turning points that can make or break the bond.

The Story Behind “Age of Consent”

New Order emerged from the ashes of Joy Division after the tragic passing of its frontman, Ian Curtis. While they crafted a sound distinct from their previous incarnation, the remnants of pain, loss, and introspection from their Joy Division days were still evident in their lyrics.

“Age of Consent,” a standout track from New Order’s 1983 album “Power, Corruption & Lies,” perfectly encapsulates the band’s evolutionary journey. As they navigated their transition from the raw edges of post-punk to a more synthesized, dance-oriented sound, the band managed to fuse innovative melodies with infectious rhythms. Yet, even with this more upbeat musical direction, they never compromised on the lyrical content. The words still carried the profound emotional depth and introspection that had always been a hallmark of their artistic expression.

At this point in the band members’ lives, they were undergoing significant transitions – personally and professionally. The members were not just navigating the music industry without Curtis but also tackling the challenges of personal relationships and the weight of their past. “Age of Consent” can be seen as a reflection of these tumultuous times, hinting at the complex dynamics of human relationships and the pain of miscommunication and regret.

The song serves as a reminder that open dialogue is crucial in relationships. Without it, misunderstandings grow, leading to regrettable outcomes. The band’s personal journey, combined with their unique sound, made “Age of Consent” a song that resonates with many, even decades after its release.