Love is a Gamble: "Romeo and Juliet" The Killers

This is the latest in an ongoing series exploring love songs and the themes behind them. Check out the rest here.

Love is a Gamble

Here are the lyrics for "Romeo and Juliet" as sung by The Killers

A lovestruck Romeo, sings the streets of serenade
Laying everybody low with a love song that he made
Find a streetlight, steps out of the shade
Says something like, "You and me, babe, how about it?"

Juliet says, "Hey, it's Romeo, you nearly gave me a heart attack"
He's underneath the window, she's singing
Hey, la, my boyfriend's back"
You shouldn't come around here, singing up at people like that
Anyway what you gonna do about it?

Juliet, the dice was loaded from the start
And I bet and you exploded in my heart
And I forget, I forget the movie song
When you gonna realize, it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet?

Come up on different streets, they both were streets of shame
Both dirty, both mean, yes and the dream was just the same
And I dream your dream for you and now your dream is real
How can you look at me, as if I was just another one of your deals?

you can fall for chains of silver, you can fall for chains of gold
You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold
You promised me everything, you promised me thick and thin
Now you just say, "Oh, Romeo, yeah, you know
I used to have a scene with him"

Juliet, when we made love, you used to cry
I said, "I love you like the stars above, "I love you till I die"
And there's a place for us, you know the movie song
When you gonna realize, it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet?

I can't do the talk like the talk on the TV
And I can't do a love song like the way it's meant to be
I can't do everything but I'd do anything for you
I Can't do anything except be in love with you

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
All I do is keep the beat, the bad company
And all I do is kiss you, through the bars of a rhyme
Juliet, I'd do the stars with you any time

Juliet, when we made love, you used to cry
I said, "I love you like the stars above, I'll love you till I die"
And there's a place for us, you know the movie song
When you gonna realize, it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet?

A lovestruck Romeo, he sings the streets of serenade
Laying everybody low with a love song that he made
Find a convenient streetlight, steps out of the shade
He says something like, "You and me, babe, how about it?"

Timing is everything. Perhaps nowhere is that more true than romance. My father is ten years older than my mother. He married young, he and his first wife fresh out of high school. My mother was in 2nd grade at the time. With the hindsight that that marriage didn't last, maybe he'd question whether he ever should have gotten into in the first place. But he's got two wonderful children from that marriage, and realistically, if he hadn't been married for those 10 plus years, he'd never have ended up with my mother. 30 years later, they're still happily married with two children of their own, and five grandchildren.

I met my wife just as I was finishing college. We had dozens of friends in common and it bothered me that we didn't get together sooner. I then realized that I wasn't the man that could have married her until I was. She wasn't the woman that would be my wife until she was. Now that that marriage is ended, I could regret it, but I can't regret my two sons or all the wonderful memories I have. I can't be sad because of what happened because it brought me where I am now, and if you've seen me or talked to me lately you know I'm a happy guy these days. We bet, we exploded in each other's hearts. The timing was wrong, as the song says.

--"You promised me everything, you promised me thick and thin. Now you just say, 'Romeo, yeah I used to have a scene with him.'" --??

And so it goes. People come in and out of the play of your life. Entrances and exits, themes and reprise. It's sad. It's beautiful. It's not one, it's both. Embrace it, hold onto what you have and let go of the anger or regret. You are what you are. If you don't like it, place another bet. This one might be a winner. But if you hang onto your chips, you'll never take home the jackpot.

Love is strange. Romeo and Juliet were on fire for each other, we all know it was destined to end tragically, but that doesn't make the love any less valid or the experience any less gratifying. If you're an alternate dimension believer, perhaps there is a "place for (Romeo and Juliet)" as Sondheim opined. Let's hope so, that's a story that could use a happy ending.

Key Lesson: No regrets. They don't make things any better and they don't make you feel any better. If you can improve your life, do so. If you can improve others, do so. Don't feel bad about the past. Learn from your mistakes (and successes) and sing a pretty love song when you can.