I was wondering what does chrous of The Memory Remains mean? "Fortune Fame, Mirror Vain, Gone Insane, But The Memory Remains" I asked this because it doesn't mean what it looks.

2 Answers 2


Sachi speculates:

The first two lines probably go together in a sentence as “Fortune, fame mirror vain” and can translate to “both fortune and fame mirror what is vain.” So this basically says that fame and fortune reflect false pride, or baseless pride. That one who has those things and waves them around do so to express how proud they are, but to no avail (another definition of the word “vain”). And then it goes to the next line, “gone insane”, to express how one goes insane from their false pride of fame and fortune, or simply grows too attached to the fame and can’t stand to lose it. However, they can’t get over this anxiety of losing fame because “[…] the memory remains”.

BTW the correct lyrics are (note the comma in the first line):

Fortune, fame

Mirror vain

Gone Insane

But the memory remains

As shown in this lyric booklet that accompanies a Japanese release:

enter image description here

  • I have always thought vain was incorrect. Dec 14, 2015 at 20:16
  • I'd have to agree whit BCdotWEB it makes more sense, plus when they sing the song they don't sound like their taking a pause between fortune and fame. Other wise it just wouldn't flow well.
    – David
    Jul 9, 2016 at 20:30

The song is all about faded Hollywood stars who have passed their "best before" date. The most credible explanation that I could find is one by someone called FilmScorpio here. According to that source, then almost every single line from the lyrics including the mirror/vain part refers to something in the 1950s movie Sunset Boulevard. I guess one has to see that movie to tell for sure.

Also they hand-picked Marianne Faithfull for the choiring and some part of the lyrics - with her personal story would be a similar one of someone going from celebrity to tragedy.

The line ""Say yes, at least say hello" read by Marianne at the end is according to Wikipedia a reference to another movie The Misfits, "the last complete movie in which Marilyn Monroe starred".

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