'Bye, Bye Love" by The Cars: 'broken lullaby' or 'effing lullaby?'

Listening to the Cars’ “Bye, Bye, Love,” I keep hearing ‘fucking alibi;’ of course, when I go to lyrics.com, I read ‘broken lullaby’ so, next time, I hear ‘broken lullaby’.

My reasons for thinking ‘fucking alibi’:

  1. lyrics.com is generally made up stuff by people who don’t know what the song is saying.
  2. It fits the overall theme of the song
  3. IIRC, I saw a video of the Cars on Youtube, and it seemed that they said ‘jerking alibi/lullaby’ which would serve for a replacement for ‘f-ing alibi/lullaby.’ ‘Jerking’ would be a stupid replacement for ‘broken.’

Can anyone help on this one?


I’ve always heard “broken,” and may have once read it in official liner notes. Ocasek was known for enjoying surreal phrasing and imagery so the fact that it doesn’t make much sense militates in favor, not against, “broken” in my mind.

ETA: I own the album still, it turns out. Liner notes definitely read “broken.”

I’ve always heard ‘broken’.

Always thought it was effing.

Learn something new every day.

Thanks for your input, guys!


Wow. i thought it was alibi.


That would almost make sense, and that’s the one thing arty bands are dead set against . . . .

I’ve been digging around for yrs on this as I thought it was f’n alibis… someone says the broken or whatever it truly is on the liner notes fits the song. I totally disagree. Was shocked they broke up after decades then his sudden passing right after that. To me these guys made my 80’s and will always be f’n alibis! :wink: to each their own peace. BB :slight_smile:

I can only hear “broken lullaby” and you can find isolated vocals on Youtube:

^ Go to 0:48 of that video. For some reason, the time stamp isn’t working in the link.

Until now I always thought is was “broken alibi” (which I think also works lyrically).

TIL :slight_smile:

Same. I always heard “broken alibi”.

Just listened to the isolated vocals – it’s not my fault I heard “alibi” because he basically says “lalliby”, not “lullaby”

I thought it was “perky letter by (bye?)”.

I didn’t have the liner notes, and Cars lyrics never make sense anyway!

“Suede blue eyes” makes no sense to you? :slight_smile:

Well, did he mean eye shadow, or iris? :slight_smile:

But what’s a wavy midnight?

Something to do with an electric angel rock and roller, I’m told.

I hear what you’re playin!

You know, you’re right. I never noticed it as I’ve always had “lullaby” in my head, but, yeah, the vowel definitely sounds like it’s fronted towards an /æ/ (as in “cat”) than a back vowel like /ʌ/ as in “cut.”

It’s so clear in isolation. I always heard ‘workin’ alibi’ or ‘perfect alibi.’

Now, about that orangy sky…