Duchess
Scott Walker Lyrics


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It's your bicycle bells and your Rembrandt swells
Your children alive and still breathing
And your look of loss when you're coming across
Makes me feel like a thief when you're bleeding

Duchess, Duchess
Light up your candles for me
Duchess, Duchess
Put all your love back in me
I come listening, I touch touching

With the Persian sea running through your veins
You shed your names with the seasons
Still they all return with their last remains
And they lay them before you like reasons
With your shimmering dress, it says no, it says yes
It says I've nothing left for concealing
It's your shiftless flesh and your old girl's grace
It's your young girl's face that I'm breathing

Duchess, Duchess
Light up your candles for me
Duchess, Duchess, Duchess




Put all the love back in me
I'm lying, she is crying

Overall Meaning

The song "Duchess" by Scott Walker is a complex piece, containing highly intricate metaphors and imagery that are layered upon one another to create a sense of intense emotion and meaning. The opening lines of the song immediately set the tone for the rest of the lyrics. The bicycle bells and Rembrandt swells are symbolic representations of the duality of life, the joy and beauty that is often matched by sorrow and pain. The children alive and breathing represent the hope and promise for the future, which is often tempered by the harsh realities of the present.


The main theme of the song is the complicated nature of love and relationships. The lyricist observes the Duchess's look of loss when she is faced with the harsh realities of life, which in turn makes him feel like a thief when she is bleeding. This line could be interpreted as the lyricist feeling guilty for enjoying the pleasures of love while the Duchess has to endure the pain and hardship that comes with life. The Persian sea running through her veins represents the passion and desire that courses through her, while the shedding of names with the seasons represents the transient nature of life and the fleetingness of human connections.


Overall, "Duchess" is a poetic commentary on the dualities and complexities of both love and life. It is a beautiful and haunting tribute to the fragile nature of human existence.


Line by Line Meaning

It's your bicycle bells and your Rembrandt swells
I am noticing the little things that make up your life, like your beautiful bike and expensive art.


Your children alive and still breathing
I am grateful for the fact that your children are safe and well.


And your look of loss when you're coming across
When I see you sad or troubled, I feel a sense of guilt like I'm causing your pain.


Makes me feel like a thief when you're bleeding
Your vulnerability makes me feel like I am taking advantage of you.


Duchess, Duchess. Light up your candles for me.
I am addressing you with affection and asking you to share your warmth with me.


Duchess, Duchess. Put all your love back in me.
I am asking you to be generous with your love and provide me with emotional support.


I come listening, I touch touching
I am here to offer an ear to listen and a hand to comfort.


With the Persian sea running through your veins
Your bloodline is rich with culture and history.


You shed your names with the seasons
Your identity changes with time, adapting to new experiences and challenges.


Still they all return with their last remains
Your past and memories are never fully gone, they resurface in subtle ways.


And they lay them before you like reasons
These memories and experiences shape who you are and provide a rationale for your choices.


With your shimmering dress, it says no, it says yes
You are both alluring and enigmatic, revealing and concealing at the same time.


It says I've nothing left for concealing
You are an open book, with nothing left to hide or keep secret.


It's your shiftless flesh and your old girl's grace
You combine youthful energy with the wisdom and elegance of a mature woman.


It's your young girl's face that I'm breathing
I am drawn to your youthful energy and vitality.


Duchess, Duchess. Light up your candles for me.
I am making a heartfelt request for you to show me kindness and warmth.


Duchess, Duchess, Duchess. Put all the love back in me.
I am asking for your love and affection to help me heal and feel whole again.


I'm lying, she is crying
We are both struggling, but I am trying to be strong for the two of us.




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS
Written by: Scott Engel

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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