Rosemary
Scott Walker Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Voices from a photograph
Laughed from your wall
Screamed through your dreams
Wake up Rosemary and wipe your teary eyes

Rise and cross the cold bare floor
And watch the moon through frosted glass
Damn that photograph
I'll have to take it down

She hears the boats as they move down the river
She sees a dog straining hard on his leash to get away
She hears the clock and it strikes like a hammer
Pounding the nails one day further in the coffin of her
youth

Evenings with your mother's friends
Pregnant eyes, sagging chins
Swollen fingertips
Pour antique cups of tea

Who are you and where you been?
Suspended in a weightless wind
Watching trains go by
From platforms in the rain

Look at the photograph
Dream back last summer
Dream back the lips
Of that traveling salesman, Mr. Jim

He smelled of miracles
With stained glass whispers
You loved his laughter
You tremble beneath him once again

That's what I want
A new shot at life
But my coat's too thin
My feet won't fly




And I watch the wind and I see another dream blowin' by

Overall Meaning

The song "Rosemary" by Scott Walker is haunting and melancholic. The lyrics speak about a woman who is trapped in a past that she cannot leave behind. She wakes up to the voices from a photograph laughing and screaming through her dreams, and is compelled to rise and cross her cold bare floor to watch the moon through the frosted glass. The photograph disturbs her to the extent that she has to take it down. The woman hears the boats as they move down the river and watches a dog straining hard on his leash to get away. She hears the clock and it strikes like a hammer, pounding nails one day further in the coffin of her youth.


The following verses describe the evenings spent with her mother's friends, pregnant eyes, sagging chins, and swollen fingertips, pouring antique cups of tea. The woman seems dissociated from her own life and has lost track of her identity. The next verse is a nostalgic recollection of last summer and the traveling salesman, Mr. Jim. She remembers his laughter and how he smelled of miracles with stained glass whispers. She trembles beneath him once again and longs for a new shot at life. However, she realizes that her coat is too thin, and her feet won’t fly. The song ends with the woman watching the wind, and another dream blowing by.


The song "Rosemary" was a part of Scott Walker’s first solo album after he left the pop group "The Walker Brothers." It was released in 1967 and became a part of the album "Scott." The album featured several songs that were a departure from Walker’s previous music and showcased his unique style. The song "Rosemary" has been described as one of the most striking songs of its time. The song was a critical success in the UK and helped cement Walker's career as a solo artist.


Line by Line Meaning

Voices from a photograph
The sound of people laughing in a picture frame


Laughed from your wall
Echoing through the room


Screamed through your dreams
Haunting her sleep at night


Wake up Rosemary and wipe your teary eyes
Don't let the past consume you


Rise and cross the cold bare floor
Get up out of bed


And watch the moon through frosted glass
The only comfort in loneliness


Damn that photograph
Holding onto the past only causes pain


I'll have to take it down
Letting go is the only way to move forward


She hears the boats as they move down the river
The sound of progress


She sees a dog straining hard on his leash to get away
Yearning for freedom


She hears the clock and it strikes like a hammer
The relentless march of time


Pounding the nails one day further in the coffin of her youth
Each passing moment is a reminder of her aging


Evenings with your mother's friends
Social gatherings with older people


Pregnant eyes, sagging chins
The physical toll of age


Swollen fingertips
A sign of arthritis


Pour antique cups of tea
Traditional customs


Who are you and where you been?
Lost and searching for purpose


Suspended in a weightless wind
Feeling aimless and ungrounded


Watching trains go by
Through life's journey


From platforms in the rain
Cold and exposed


Look at the photograph
The temptation of the past


Dream back last summer
Longing for a former time


Dream back the lips
Thinking of a past lover


Of that traveling salesman, Mr. Jim
A fleeting romance


He smelled of miracles
A sense of possibility


With stained glass whispers
Mystical and ephemeral


You loved his laughter
The sound of joy in her life


You tremble beneath him once again
Memories of passion and desire


That's what I want
Yearning for a better life


A new shot at life
A chance for change and growth


But my coat's too thin
Ill-equipped and unprepared


My feet won't fly
Feeling stuck and immobile


And I watch the wind and I see another dream blowin' by
Watching life pass without taking action




Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: SCOTT ENGEL

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Try to Calm me now

Voices from a photograph
Laughed from your wall
Screamed through your dreams
Wake up Rosemary and wipe your teary eyes
Rise and cross the cold bare floor
And watch the moon through frosted glass
Damn that photograph
I'll have to take it down
She hears the boats as they move down the river
She sees a dog straining hard on his leash to get away
She hears the clock and it strikes like a hammer
Pounding the nails one day further in the coffin of her
youth
Evenings with your mother's friends
Pregnant eyes, sagging chins
Swollen fingertips
Pour antique cups of tea
Who are you and where you been?
Suspended in a weightless wind
Watching trains go by
From platforms in the rain
Look at the photograph
Dream back last summer
Dream back the lips
Of that traveling salesman, Mr. Jim
He smelled of miracles
With stained glass whispers
You loved his laughter
You tremble beneath him once again
That's what I want
A new shot at life
But my coat's too thin
My feet won't fly
And I watch the wind and I see another dream blowin' by



All comments from YouTube:

Try to Calm me now

Voices from a photograph
Laughed from your wall
Screamed through your dreams
Wake up Rosemary and wipe your teary eyes
Rise and cross the cold bare floor
And watch the moon through frosted glass
Damn that photograph
I'll have to take it down
She hears the boats as they move down the river
She sees a dog straining hard on his leash to get away
She hears the clock and it strikes like a hammer
Pounding the nails one day further in the coffin of her
youth
Evenings with your mother's friends
Pregnant eyes, sagging chins
Swollen fingertips
Pour antique cups of tea
Who are you and where you been?
Suspended in a weightless wind
Watching trains go by
From platforms in the rain
Look at the photograph
Dream back last summer
Dream back the lips
Of that traveling salesman, Mr. Jim
He smelled of miracles
With stained glass whispers
You loved his laughter
You tremble beneath him once again
That's what I want
A new shot at life
But my coat's too thin
My feet won't fly
And I watch the wind and I see another dream blowin' by

Alex Gauthier

Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth sent me, what a beautiful voice ! RIP

Fred The Cat

Same here ! Saw Mikael's What's In My Bag, was intrigued, listened to a few songs by Scott and... ordered UMC's small price "5 Classic Albums" box with Scott's first five albums... Listening to it right now... What a great day... :-)

Ermal Xhelilaj

Same here...

oldjack1754

Saw that edition of What's in My Bag. Akerfeldt has outstanding taste -- and the story of what drew him to Scott Walker is quite moving.

Herbdog Tillybones

Same😥

Zack Brumis

Myself included. I feel very ignorant not ever hearing about this guy.

3 More Replies...

leadfoot lisa

One of my favourite songs by my favourite male artist. Just heard that he passed away ...R.I.P Scott Walker, thank you for enriching my life with your incredible voice and music.

Paul Griffiths

You took the words from my mouth, I cried this week...such a massive part of my life.

Saint George

The first four track's of Scott 3 It's Raining Today, Copenhagen, Rosemary & Big Louise absolutely flawless.

More Comments