"Sweet Pain" as written by and John C. Popper....
If Cyrano de Bergerac
Fell prey to the blades of fifty men
With a heart and a sword he'd drive them back
Perchance to see Roxanne's eyes light up the sky again
And when beauty kind and full of grace
Again denied the beast her hand
The beast he turned and hid his face
And tried with all his might and magic to understand

And once upon a time
You know I used to wonder why
You know no one should need to cry
In pain of a heart forbade to fly
But you learn to say goodbye
As you whisper beneath a sigh

Sweet pain
Can't you plainly see?
Sweet pain
You know it matters to me
Sweet pain
Won't you make me feel at home?
Sweet pain
Don't you dare leave me alone

Sometimes a life that seems hard to take
Is soothed for a while by an old friend
Leaving a bad need in its wake
Sad how, some friendships never ever seem to end
Well all of my heroes up and died
Songs and a dream are left for me
What did them in, not suicide
Just a lengthy friendship and a dream of how it could be

And isn't it a crime?
Was it more than they could bear?
You know they did not even care
At all and they might have something there
But I'm here and I don't see where
All I hear is their silent prayer

Sweet pain
Is it so terribly wrong?
Sweet pain
To want to come along
Sweet pain
Won't you make me smile?
Sweet pain
If only for a while

Can you feel what I feel?
So we can establish that the pain is real
Don't be afraid and I'll do the same for you
And we'll just hang on and we'll make it, make it through
There's got to be a reason it works out this way
And there's something deep inside me
That makes me have to play
For you
For you

In no position to give advice
My heart it spoke and I wrote it down
And you know every wisdom has its price
My head up in the stars
And my feet planted firmly on the ground
When will I embrace this life I see?
I've been wondering for so long
Thinking back, the truth may be
I've been unaware but I've been living it all along

And it didn't cost a dime
And it did not come for free
It just would not let me be
But it never conquered me
Just a doorway and a key
And I think that we both agree

Sweet pain
Is sometimes what you need
Sweet pain
It allows the blood to bleed
Sweet pain
From the moment of your birth
Sweet pain
You know it keeps you here on Earth


Lyrics submitted by harveyknox

"Sweet Pain" as written by John C. Popper

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Peermusic Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Sweet Pain song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentSweet Pain is hands down the best song ever written by Blues Traveler. To me, the song reminds me that you need pain in your life to really let you know that you are alive. You need the bad times to enjoy the good. No matter how bad life gets, it will always get better. You might not understand it, but there is a reason. Sometimes, even blood has to bleed. I see everyone commenting on Run Around, Hook, and Canadian Rose. All good songs(kind of), but they are missing out on so many other GREAT BT songs.
    Swtpain08on January 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationGreetings to all! :)
    I felt compelled to compose an interpretation of this fantastic song. I may have been far from the point but I'm grateful for the reflection that came with doing so. Cheers to Music and what it brings to life! :)

    If Cyrano De Bergerac
    Fell prey to fifty blades of men
    With a heart and a sword he'd drive them back
    Perchance to see Roxanne's eyes light up the sky again

    --I was pleasantly surprised that Cyrano De Bergerac was a French novelist who lived during the 15th century. Although the factual circumstances surrounding the injury which more than likely led to his death a year later are not known, a few individuals that were close to him suggest the incident was of deliberate intentions . Despite the movie "Roxanne" in which his life story was somewhat depicted, conveying him having a deep romantic love for Roxanne, it is believed that Roxanne was actually Bergerac's cousin.

    And when beauty kind and full of grace
    Again denied the beast her hand
    The beast he turned and hid his face
    And tried with all his might and magic to understand

    --The lyrical genius Mr. John Popper proceeds to compose breathtaking lyrics here and throughout this amazing musical piece. Here is a depiction of a woman that is denied love despite how deserving of it she was. Following the tragic outcome, Cyrano or whomever John had on his mind at the time, was desperate to understand why a woman such as she had to endure that level of cruelty and pain.

    And once upon a time
    You know I used to wonder why
    You know no one should need to cry
    In pain of a heart forbade to fly
    But you learn to say goodbye
    As you whisper beneath a sigh

    --The words here in my opinion, describe how one may come to wonder why life often had so much heartache attached . Why hearts that deserve to soar with grace are restricted of doing so, for no explainable reason. But as we all learn with time, despite how heavy our hearts feel, unfortunately nothing can be done to change the sorrow that is delivered to those we love.

    Sweet pain
    Can you plainly see?
    Sweet pain
    You know it matters to me
    Sweet pain
    Won't you make me feel at home
    Sweet pain
    Don't you dare leave me alone

    --In effort to translate, I believe John is conveying that the woman's pain is felt by himself as well, and that her pain matters to him. He may be requesting that regardless, she not leave him.


    Sometimes a life that seems hard to take
    Is soothed for awhile by an old friend
    Leaving a bad need in its wake
    Sad how, some friendships never ever seem to end

    --These lyrics may seem contradicting. The possibility of John describing how the friends who save us from ourselves, can tragically leave us in death. Such friendships go on to live forever in our hearts, but left is the void of the person so dear to us. A void that never will be filled. A horrible need left in its wake

    Well all of my heroes up and died
    Songs and a dream are left for me
    What did them in, not suicide
    Just a lengthy friendship and a dream of how it could be

    --Again, I believe unexpected tragic death is depicted here and these lines in particular are what brought me to such a conclusion. On a personal note, I lost the most amazing individual to sudden death in my early 20s. The words here describe how life has been since their passing.... Songs and dreams which remind me of how it could have been, but never will be again.

    And isn't it a crime?
    Was it more than they could bear?
    You know they did not even care
    At all and they might have something there
    But I'm here and I don't see where
    And all I hear is their silent prayer

    --Concluding as I did with the last set of lyrics, these lines seem depict tragic loss of life. Again, all a matter of my opinion. This set of words choke me up. The possibility of wondering about the loved ones that died so tragically, their passing possibly being the result of their lack of ability to handle the heavy weight that life brings along. Suicide not being what killed them, however it may have been a slow suicide of fast decisions.... The possibility that he for a moment agrees with their thinking, may be seen in the fourth line. He's able to empathize with their loss of hope for the future and any worthwhile meaning to life. However, as he's left standing alone, despite his empathy, he doesn't feel the level of despair they so unfortunately had felt. The silent cries of their sadness are so clearly heard and he's humbled beyond imagination

    Is it so terribly wrong?
    Sweet pain
    To want to come along
    Sweet pain
    Won't you make me smile?
    Sweet pain
    If only for awhile

    --Again, my translation here may seem illogical but with the meaning I've connected to the last two verses, these lines may be him asking why he can't accompany his late friends simply for awhile? If they could just make him smile once again, just for a while... Thus is something I can empathize with regarding my dear late friend...

    In no position to give advice
    My heart it spoke and I wrote it down
    And you know every wisdom has it's price
    My head up in the stars
    And my feet planted firmly on the ground
    When will I embrace this life I see?
    I've been wondering for so long
    Thinking back, the truth may be
    I've been unaware but I've been living it all along

    --Here we have lyrics that are full of depth and insight. My respect is instantly extended to Mr. Popper for composing such fantastic material. Here, it's admitted that he has no right to extend any type of advice. Yet, the push to put his feelings out in the world was more than he could deny. Every piece of wisdom truly comes with a price. And with his head pointed to the stars and his feet securely planted on the Earth, the thought of whether or not he will ever be able to embrace the life he still has, the true way it should be embraced, is heavy on his heart. The beautiful conclusion he comes to is, that without realizing it, such is what he has been doing all along. And he is aware, maybe for the first time, that he's fully alive in this existence.

    And it didn't cost a dream
    And it didn't come for free
    It just would not let me be
    But it never conquered me
    Just a doorway and a key
    And I think that we both agree

    --The price of such wisdom was not a tragic forfeit of any kind. However, it cost more than he can ever convey. Despite all the turmoil seeming to travel right at his side, he can say that in the end he somehow overcame it all. And with a fresh key to a new opening he knows that ironically, it's the pain that kept him going. The pain kept him alive, in the raw sense of the term. And every human from birth til death will go through the same beautiful pain throughout their short existence on this magnificent planet. The irony of that ever remaining the unexplainable reality.

    Sweet pain
    Is sometimes what you need
    Sweet pain
    It allows the blood to bleed
    Sweet pain
    From the moment of your birth
    Sweet pain
    You know it keeps you here on Earth
    coco234on April 06, 2016   Link

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