Thursday, April 27, 2006

Song Critique

PaintersEighty years, an old lady now, sitting on the front porchWatching the clouds roll by.They remind her of her lover, How he left her, and of times long ago,When she used color carelessly, painted his portraitA thousand times, or maybe just his smile,Her and her canvas would follow him wherever they would go.
(Chorus 1)'Cause they were painters, and they were painting themselvesA lovely world.
Oil-streaked daisies covered the living room walls.He put water-colored roses in her hair.He said, "Love, I love you, I want to give you the mountains,The sunshine, the sunset too.I just want to give you a world as beautiful as you are to me."
(Chorus 2)'Cause I'm a painter, and I want to paint youA lovely world.
So, they sat down and made a drawing of their love,They made it an art to live by.They painted every passion, every home, Created every beautiful child.In winter they were weavers of warmth,In summer they were carpenters of love.They thought blueprints were too sad So they made them yellow.
(Chorus)
(Bridge 1)Until one day the rain fell as thick as black oil,And in her heart she knew something was wrong.She went running through the orchard, screaming, "No God, don't take him from me,"But by the time she got there, She feared he already had gone.She got to where he lay, Water-colored roses in his hands for her.She threw them down, screaming, "Damn you, man, don't leave me with nothing left behind But these cold paintings, these cold portraits to remind me!"
(Bridge 2) He said, "Love I only leave a little, try to understand.I put my soul in this life we've created with these four hands.Love, I leave, but only a little,This world holds me still.My body may die now, but these paintings are real."La de di, la de di, la de di, de di.
So, many seasons came and many seasons went,And many times she saw he love's face watering the flowers,Talking to the trees and singing to his children.When the wind blew, she knew he was listeningAnd, oh, how he seemed to laugh along, andHow he seemed to hold her when she was crying.
(Chorus 4) 'Cause they were painters, and they had painted themselvesA lovely world.
Eighty years, an old lady now, sitting on the front porchWatching the clouds roll by.They remind her of her lover, How he left her, and of times long ago,When she used color carelessly, painted his portraitA thousand times, or maybe just his smile,Her and her canvas would follow him wherever they would go.Yes, her and her canvas still follow.
Because they are painters and they are painting themselvesA lovely...
'Cause the are painters and they are painting themselvesA lovely world.

This song, from Jewel's 1995 album "Pieces of You", is as beautiful as it is tragic. The words paint a delicate picture of a love lost but not forgotten. I think this is the kind of love everybody searches for- the kind of love that is eternal. The woman Jewel sings about in this song loses her lover at a young age, but no matter how much time passes, she is still wholly and truly devoted to him. Even though all she has left of him are the paintings they created, they are enough to keep him in the foreground of all of her thoughts. Even as she ages, the song never speaks about her moving on, or simply forgetting what she had. Instead, Jewel focuses on the idea that when you find "the one", love outlasts everything, even death.

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