Interpretations:Sapphire Bullets Of Pure Love

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I reckon this song is about a mole, in a mob, and when he's caught the mob goes after him, furious, but they shoot despite how they have learnt to really love him but have to follow the order of their superior, and despite the song ending before the evidence of these lyrics, the mob helped the guy out of danger. -Lachlan W

I wonder if cupid traded in his bow for a rifle.......-drworm818

I always thought it was about the murder of John Lennon. The lyrics do seem to fit very well...

- ilpalazzo

I see some meaning in "Sapphire Bullets". The speaker is gripped with fear and paranoia - "Bullets through the atmosphere, Here they come!" - until he realises that he's just torturing his mind - "Done someone wrong, And I fear that it was me" - and discovers that he is a target of love, not malice: "Bullets of pure love."

Essentially, it's the story of a person freeing himself from fear.


being a target of love, however, might not always be good. there is more than one tmbg song describing negative, destructive results of love.

here's a potential alternate interpretation, though it's a bit of a stretch:

the speaker has refused to conform to some societal norm, or has spoken out against something popular, or somehow made himself at odds with popular culture by being an individual. he has "done himself wrong" because this will lead to his own destruction - man can't survive cut off from society, and society will crush him because it controls everything, even love, which it can turn against him.

as i said, it's a bit of a stretch. the only defense i can make of it is that it fits rather strongly with the mood and meanings of surrounding songs on flood (most notably whistling in the dark and road movie to berlin), which may be why i heard the song this way in the first place.

I assumed this was simply a story of a rebel living in an Orwellian dictatorship. By rebelling against the tyranny he's been bad, so "they" are coming after him. Presumably they'll try to break him by violent means (bullets). But "they" insist that they are doing it for his own good - hence "pure love".

I think this song is about how a guy screwed up his love life and the things he loved are haunting him in his own mind as bullets. "John, I've been bad and they're coming after me. Done someone wrong and I fear that it was me." This verse almost certainly means that he messed up and now the "bullets" in his mind are coming after him increasing the pain. He knows he screwed up, but the torment fell on him instead of the one he left. Yours truly, Squeak

I always thought that when he says "John, I've been bad and they're coming after me. Done someone wrong and I fear that it was me." he actually meant John Linnell, because I'm pretty sure that Flans is singing this one. I thought it was just Flans talking about screwing up a friendship or relationship for his own selfish reasons and he has realized what he's done and is looking to John for consolation. - rabiddeadworm

Actually I think Linnell wrote this one, cause even though Flans sings lead, Linnell has introduced the song in concert several times (by saying things like "I got the title of this song from a...") Unless he then passed just the title off to Flans, it kind of seems like Linnell came up with the song -Jordan

The song is about a man, who once broke up with a loved one (possibly a girlfriend) she shoots him when he wakes up, with Sapphire Bullets, "Bullets of Pure Love." The song is written right as he "jumps out of bed" and is being chased by bullets. IN the end we realize it's just a dream. The song alludes to how love chases you down and will get you in the end. --

The first part of the song is relatively simple: a guy sees a world of hurt coming towards him, and he's not happy about it. The twist comes when he sings, "Done someone wrong/And I fear that it was me." My take is that he rejected someone who was close to him. Maybe he just didn't love the other person or thought he could do better, but he now sees that it would have been a good relationship for him. He wronged himself by burning his bridges behind him. To make it worse, he knows the other person still has feelings for him, which makes him feel incredibly guilty. True love, which should be beautiful like a sapphire, becomes as painful as a bullet.

I always thought this song was a confession of gay love from John Flansburgh to John Linnell.

My interpretation is pretty basic. I always thought this was a song about a person who "does his loved one wrong". After which, he knows the consequences are coming, the metaphorical bullets. However, since it is coming from his love, they are "of pure love". Which I think means he is oblivious to the approaching danger, but could also mean he knows this person would never hurt him, or that she is only doing so out of her love for him.

keyboard composition[edit]

Linnell was noodling on a synthesizer thinking of the Mahavishnu Orchestra song, when the Linnell Autonomic Lyricizer kicked in.


basically about someone that shoots their s/o out of insanity and p u r e l o v e —Preceding unsigned comment added by BlueCanaryWatchesOverYou (talkcontribs) 18:08, February 19, 2022

On the run.[edit]

This could be about Flansburgh on the run from the cops. This is because the lyrics "Bullets from a revolver." "Bullets from a gun." and "John I've been bad and they're coming after me." all are slightly related to being on the run from the cops. Flansburgh feels bad about this, you can hear it in his voice. Mrs.Xcitement (talk)