That summer fields grew high with foxglove stalks
and ivy.
Wild apple blossoms everywhere.
Emerald green like none I have seen apart from
dreams that escape me.
There was no girl as warm as you.

How I've learned to please, to doubt myself in need,
you'll never, you'll never know.

The summer fields grow high.
We made garland crowns in hiding, pulled stems of
flowers from my hair.
Blue in the stream like none I have seen apart from
dreams that escape me.
There was no girl as bold as you.

How I've learned to please, to doubt myself in need,
you'll never, you'll never know.
You'll never know.

Violet serene like none I have set apart from dreams
that escape me.
There was no girl as warm as you.

How I've learned to please, to doubt myself in need.
You'll never, you'll never know.
You'll never know.

That summer fields grow high.
We had wildflower fever.
We had to lay down where they grow.

How I've learned to hide, how I've locked inside,
you'd be surprised if shown.
But you'll never, you'll never know.


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

Stockton Gala Days song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI really honestly truly believe this is a song about a girl who had a sexual experience with another girl when she was an adolescent. Now, as a woman, she turns to lesbian affairs to satisfy her sexual desires. To her, it doesn't feel like cheating or fooling around when it's another woman involved and not a man. She didn't become a lesbian herself, but this song is a thank you to the lesbian that turned her on to.... alternative means of sexual pleasure.

    paradoxical, i know, but nothing else makes sense to me
    ZinbobDanon February 06, 2009   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis song references a period from Natalie's childhood. Stockton, New York is in Chautauqua County, near Jamestown where Natalie grew up and attended Jamestown Community College, where 10,000 Maniacs was formed.
    It tries to evoke a time when here eyes were wide open and she was experiencing everything with a crystal clarity that only a child could achieve. She felt free and uninhibited. There is an intentional ambiguity in the words: In some cases she seems to be referring to another girl, a childhood friend. At other times, she seems to be reflecting on herself, looking back at herself in the past. and marveling at how unrestrained she was as a child.

    Her lines "how I've learned to hide, how I've locked inside, you'd be surprised if shown" refer to the process of growing up. How as she matured, she had to give up her uninhibited nature, and suppress the exuberant side of herself. It speaks of conforming to society's expectations of demure and proper behavior. But it also touches on the reality of self-doubt and insecurity that everyone feels. That carefree girl would be shocked by the quieter and more restrained adult that she would become.

    Natalie's onstage presence, her unselfconscious dancing and spinning seem to embody the lyrics of this song.
    ReactorFouron January 27, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is a beautiful song, one of my favorites. “Blue in the stream like none I have seen, apart from dreams, that escape me”. Wish I could write like that.

    For years I thought the narrator was thinking back to when she was much younger, and contrasting that time with herself years later when so much has changed, that the younger version would not even recognize herself any more. But some of the above comments got me thinking more about this song, and I am glad they did because the lyrics make much more sense to me now.

    I do not think the sexual connotations are “wishful thinking”. Instead, I think this song is clearly about a sexual experience that the (female) narrator had with another girl during a beautiful summer of their adolescence. How else to interpret lines like “We made garland crowns in hiding”, “The was no girl as warm as you”, and “We had to lay down where the grow”?

    Now, when the narrator is telling the story many years later, she has for whatever reason abandoned this type of love, and is living a life untrue to her real feelings/orientation: “How I’ve learned to please, to doubt myself in need”, and “How I’ve learned to hide, how I’ve locked inside”

    Furthermore, it seems that the narrator’s parter from this story is long gone from her life, or even perhaps has died: “You’d be surprised if shown. But you’ll never, you’ll never know”. The meaning of NEVER seems pretty clear here.

    I don’t know who this song was written about. A friend or relative? But it doesn’t really matter. What a beautiful song.
    Hifileron August 09, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI get shivers everytime I hear it, just from the raw emotion. My top favorite on the Unplugged album.
    bassturd75on October 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the sexual conotations of this song are wishfull thinking. I think it is about a girl who is a loner.. at least for this summer in the song. The references are to herself and that is why "you will never Know"
    kenzbton January 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree that sometimes she seems to be referring to herself. But "We had to lay down where they grow" hints at something sexual to me, along with all the flowers. I love to think of it as a first girlfriend experience. This is a beautiful song.
    robotmadon February 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentChildhood friendship/adoration? Anyway, a beautiful song that brings vivid images to my mind.
    robman_84on November 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so vivid it's almost feverish. Utterly brilliant.
    uffyon October 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is about love for our girlfriends when we were children. We shared secrets and life was a beautiful exploration. It had nothing to do with sex, it was about how we dreamed of being when we grew up.
    My girlfriend died. She didn't understand that she was in the grips of a psychopath, she laid down in a snow storm and froze to death. She was tired of feeling. I barely made it out half-alive from my own psychopath. It took 25 years.

    We both learned to hide and lock inside because we had psychopaths for parents and later, for lovers.

    This song is about a child's dream versus an adult's reality.
    skylar180on May 01, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always pictured a child who is in an abusive home that learns to cope and survive by finding a secret place (think Secret Garden). I always pictured it as two sisters (where the lyricist was the younger), and she is looking back in retrospect and saying to the other, that she will never know what those moments of serenity meant to her.
    Snidleyon May 07, 2013   Link

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