"Into White" as written by and Yusuf Islam....
I built my house from barley rice
Green pepper walls and water ice
Tables of paper wood, windows of light
And everything emptying into white.

A simple garden, with acres of sky
A Brown-haired dogmouse
If one dropped by
Yellow Delanie would sleep well at night
With everything emptying into white.

A sad blue eyed drummer rehearses outside
A Black spider dancing on top of his eye
Red legged chicken stands ready to strike
And everything emptying into white.

I built my house from barley rice
Green pepper walls and water ice
And everything emptying into white

Lyrics submitted by BrainDamage

"Into White" as written by Yusuf Islam


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Into White song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentwow the violin in this song really finishes it off. really good vibrato
    Homicidal Suicidalon February 25, 2007   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI always think of this song as a companion piece to 'Lilywhite'. Whereas in that song I feel he is describing his reaction to the death of another, in 'Into White' I feel he is describing his own death; or the dying dream before death occurs. Everyone hopes for a painless, peaceful death and I think the lyrics here are representing the various things a dying person might contemplate before succumbing. After all, every image eventually empties into white.
    miscoon December 17, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThough not immediately obvious, the references to " yellow Delaney" and "blue eyed drummer" and "red legged chicken" are flowers. Flowers sleep at night and spiders climb on flowers. I don't believe there is any deep or existential meaning here. It is night time in the song but the dawn will bring day light and the images described will empty into white. It is simply a whimsical story that rolls off the tongue so freely and creates pleasing images for us to see while listening... Songs often do not have deep meaning....
    Cloudridergalon July 06, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think this song is about how nothing really maters in the world today, cause it could be gone in a heartbeat, a great song and im suprised it had no comments
    Sgt.Giggleson July 01, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of my personal favourites by Cat.

    I take this song to be a piece of creative writing. To me, it sounds like he's describing the serenity of this surrounding. The words he uses in this song are brilliant, accompanied with the light guitar and the delicate highpitched strokes of the violin, makes this song a quiet, delicate masterpiece.

    "Green pepper walls and water ice
    Tables of paper wood, windows of light "

    "acres of sky"

    "A sad Blue eyed drummer rehearses outside"
    If you close your eyes and just picture what he is saying in this song, there's only one word for it, beauty.

    The "into white" wraps up the tranquility, serenity and beauty in this song in a conclusion of oblivion.
    Magnusnorthon July 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI just love this song. Also love Tuesday's Dead and Can't Keep it In - my favorites.

    I believe this song is beautiful interpretation of true 'white light' when it is shone through s prism (Newton) and is split into all the colours of the visible sepctrum (ie a rainbow ROYGBIV). All the colours of the visible spectrum are contained in this white light and therefore must 'empty into white' to return back to the source of light and love from whence it came.
    It also paints a picture for our 'house of nature' and in regards to the dogmouse, Delanie, drummer, chicken etc. I always thought these referred to plants and flowers (red legged chicken - type of plant - ready to strike - ready to put out a cutting) and a blue eyed drummer - pretty flower (with a black spider dancing on its middle black 'eye')
    Just some thoughts
    in love and light
    Pegasuson April 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningCat Stevens is, as most know, a deeply spiritual man. Into White refers to the fading from the particular -- from the objects, the concerns, the "isms" that make up who we think we are, and the transition to the "unitive", to the whole, or, if you will, to "God" (not as the name is usually thought of, tho). Misco came close when referring to death, but not the physical death that he (?) mentions. Rather, it is the dissolution of that "self", which is the necessary precondition -- the work -- that has to be done to let go of our attachment to all that stuff.
    The house that he is building is real -- but it is a house for the heart, not for the head.
    Btw, I love the phrase "windows of light". I can't make too much out of the spider dancing on the eye.
    Thoughts anyone.
    I find that when I hear this song, it stays with me for days afterwards.
    Be well, all. -- Ken
    kpepinon January 18, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was also surprised there weren't more comments on this beautiful song. I have always 'assumed' that the references were to types of animals, birds, insects, etc., (i.e., dogmouse, Delanie, drummer, chicken). It feels so peacefully rural and pastoral - listening to the sounds of nature and being at one with them. I feel that this song is about the circle of life and nature and fading into a meditative state of serenity, (possibly in a garden?). Not sure specifically what a Delanie is, just always thought it was a bird or insect or something. I've heard my father, (a large animal vet. and farm boy), refer to a drummer before, but I don't remember if it was a bird or insect, (woodpecker or cicada-type bug?).
    It is an instantly calming and touching song that makes me stop and take stock of what's really important in life.
    mamahampsteadon July 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthe is genius..... he is drawing a song in here
    HassanSon June 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me "Into White" reads as though Cat Steven's is writing a song about how he writes song. Imagination springs into one's thoughts and then one puts those thoughts to paper and the most common colour of paper is indeed white. Therefore: "everything emptying into white". Well, to me it reads like a pent up songwriter releasing his weird ideas in the form of a song about his songwriting process. Anyway that's what I read from this song, peace.
    Katonitrainon August 01, 2011   Link

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