He was a hard-headed man he was brutally handsome
And she was terminally pretty
She held him up and he held her for ransom
In the heart of the cold, cold city
He had a nasty reputation as a cruel dude
They said he was ruthless said he was crude

What does the line "She held him up and he held her for ransom" refer to? Is this an enabler/enablee relationship (based on the "She held him up" phrase)? Or is this a coercive relationship of some kind (based on the "he held her for ransom" phrase)?

Is the double meaning here ("held him up" like a robbery, and "held her for ransom" like kidnapping) deliberate? If so, is he basically presenting them as "partners in crime" here in one sense, or is there some other significance that I'm missing?


my interpretation, given that the rest of the lyrics describe a hard-partying but consensual relationship, is that the two of them were using each other. They are both cruel, selfish people who are accustomed to taking advantage of more innocent partners, and happened to catch one another.

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