Video, Vintage Video — April 6, 2010 at 6:15 am

Vintage Video: The Cure plays early version of ‘A Forest’ with alternate lyrics on French TV

Thirty years ago this week, The Cure released “A Forest,” the one and only single off its second album, Seventeen Seconds, a song that, while never a mainstream hit, remains, decades later, one the dark signposts of the band’s signature sound and an all-time audience favorite in concert.

We mark the occasion with this rarity: A performance of “A Forest” filmed at Paris’ famed Bataclan on Dec. 17, 1979, (the YouTube uploader was wrong; this apparently was taped at Théâtre de l’Empire in late 1979) for the French TV show “Chorus,” nearly four months before the single’s release. Not only is this version much faster than the eventual studio cut, but the lyrics are completely different (while it’s credited on screen as “At Night,” it’s not that song). The music starts about 1:20 into the clip above.

Plus, be sure not to miss Robert Smith’s hot pink trousers.

[Via and NewWaveTimeWarp]



  1. We have a facebook campaign to get the single in the UK charts, anyone across the world can help us, check my website to see the group and how to get involved!


    I got the domain wrong on previous post, but still, JOIN UP GUYS!

  3. This isn’t from the Bataclan concert on 17th December 1979 in Paris but was filmed in Paris – Théâtre de l’Empire. It was broadcast on 8th December 1979 and probably filmed that same evening.
    It’s very easy to find out that it isn’t from the Bataclan show on 17th if you listen to the two A Forest versions from the Bataclan recording. The Lyrics are different.

  4. Paul Thomas

    Actually the lyrics ARE “At Night,” based on the Kafka poem. Awesome, I never knew they’d tried them on what became “A Forest”.

  5. i nearly wept…

  6. I know quite a lot of “A Forest” variances; here’s another one with also different lyrics, though evolved to more known one from the album:

  7. actually, Paul, these lyrices ARE NOT “at night” at all. Not even close.

    press play and read along:

    Sunk deep in the night
    I sink in the night
    Standing alone underneath the sky
    I feel the chill of ice
    On my face
    I watch the hours go by
    The hours go by

    You sleep
    Sleep in a safe bed
    Curled and protected
    Protected from sight
    Under a safe roof
    Deep in your house
    Unaware of the changes at night

    At night
    I hear the darkness breathe
    I sense the quiet despair
    Listen to the silence
    At night
    Someone has to be there
    Someone has to be there

    Someone must be there

    sooooooo cool though!

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  9. It’s just a really damn good song. I dont think it’s a “mass” liking similar to cult classic films.
    I think it’s my favorite just because its subtle, good hook and feels like Yhe Cure. Think most people felt same and weren’t just subliminally convinced to really like.

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