"You and the Mona Lisa" as written by and Shawn/leventhal Colvin....
Hold me down to anything
Anything that you see
I should walk away right now
I'll be there so never mind
I'll be the one to fall
Waiting for you to look up at me
Oh I love you the most
Always giving up the ghost
In your own private conversation
You're a sweet mystery
There is nothing in between
You and the Mona Lisa

Nothing in particular
And everything in between
This is what you mean to me
Only you and only me
Climbing in the right direction
On the way to everything

We were walking up high
And no one thought to try
But I was the one to blame
And it was just a mirage
So I hid in the garage
'Til somebody called your name

Oh I love you the most
Always giving up the ghost
In your own private conversation
You're a sweet mystery
And there's nothing in between
You and the Mona Lisa

Nothing in particular
Just you and the Mona Lisa...


Lyrics submitted by lockett

"You and the Mona Lisa" as written by John B. Leventhal John Leventhal

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Downtown Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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You and the Mona Lisa song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentWhen Shawn Colvin co wrote this song and the others on 'A few small repairs' album she was going through a painful divorce. She also had a serious bout of depression for a while and I believe she was on medication. I would think that most of her songs on this album stem from having to deal with the end of her marriage and the hurt that was felt.

    I decided to pull apart the lyrics. Here goes:

    'Hold me down to anything anything that you see I should walk away right now'

    I get from this that she is telling her soon to be ex that if he could find one thing about
    her that he liked enough or valued she could stay but the answer has been so long in coming
    that she should have dismissed him and left the relationship a long time ago.

    'I'll be there so never mind I'll be the one to fall waiting for you to look up at me'

    This implies that despite the stress of the relationship she still sticks around, becoming tired
    of it and may 'collapse' due to the stress but she is taking the 'high road' and her soon to be ex
    may have done something unethical so despite her suffering in the relationship when she 'falls'
    he soon to be ex will be the one 'looking up at her'

    'Oh, I love you the most Always giving up the ghost In your own private conversation'

    She is being sarcastic. The ghost is the mystery that he reveals
    when he indicates that he has to 'speak privately'. He may think the private conversations
    don't reveal much when they actually do. The ghost is what she cannot see but knows exist.
    He is obviously hiding something.

    'You're a sweet mystery There is nothing in between You and Mona Lisa'

    This implies that she has put her soon to be ex on a pedestal for a long time now, revered like
    the mona lisa painting. The mona lisa has a mystery attached to it in that some interpret the smile
    of the painting as indicating that the Mona Lisa is 'hiding a secret'. This implies that her ex has been
    deceptive and was keeping a secret for a long time. When she says 'There is nothing in between
    You and Mona Lisa' it says that he and the Mona Lisa are very alike in this instance. At times she may have been confused 'is he keeping a secret or isn't he?'

    'Nothing in particular and everything in between this is what you mean to me'.
    This means that due to the stress of the relationship he is losing his 'status' but at the same time she finds it hard to let go.

    'We were walking up high and no one thought to try but I was the one to blame'
    Everything seemed normal or she tried to pass off everything as normal. She was ok for
    ignorance is bliss - and for a while neither or them seemed to be checking up on eachother
    but she eventually did - she realised it was a show when she hid in the garage and heard someone
    call his name. That 'someone' is the key to the truth being revealed.
    She was very trustful and when she found out she was deceived she came out of hiding.

    'Nothing in particular just you and the Mona Lisa'

    She is being sarcastic in saying this. Its her way of saying 'Oh its no biggie to talk about however...'It could be another way of avoiding an argument.

    It does not necessarily mean her ex was cheating but the song implies that her someone was her world and he was keeping a secret that she had a gut feeling about but eventually found the strength to call him out on it.

    I've found a lot of 90's alternative music to always have deep hidden messages that are hardly indicated in the music video.
    Justlookinon July 02, 2010   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis song is about her niece. I have a single CD of Sunny which has a live version (a great one natch) of this on the "B" side. She introduces it by saying "This song is about my niece and I guess that's all I want to say about it"...to laughs from the audience and a "are you sure?", she replies (paraphrase): "the music to the song by John Leventhal was making me feel good but I had nothing to write about in my own poor sad messed-up life so I did that thing that you do, which is turn to the innocent and guileless ones around you..yeah!" In her recent memoir she confirms that it is indeed about her niece, Grace and every time she sings it, she gives the audience an update on Grace. The latest, she says, is that Grace has shaved her hair!
    Gesualdoon June 14, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment^ thats mature.. this is a good song. i have yet to decide what i think the real meaning is because there's obviously a lot there. the most basic meaning i get from it with no depth whatsoever (sorry!) is that she's in love with someone who really has no idea who she is, but she'll keep loving him and looking up to him regardless. you can pretty much tell that straight from the lyrics, no reading between the lines necessary. definitely a good song, though.
    music_obsessedon July 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it has to do with either a mentally unstable family member (your own private conversation) or maybe a lover, sibling or friend that was accidentally, or even intentionally brain damaged (I was the one to blame... hid in the garage...)
    CamelJoneson November 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis was from her break-up album and so I tend to agree that its about her husband. Personally, it reads like a poem to a man she cannot have but loves, perhaps loves more because she cannot have him.

    The unattainable and otherwise attached man..v/v the lyric

    .."And it was just a mirage
    So I hid in the garage
    'Til somebody called your name"

    Sounds to me like that man belongs to someone else.
    hannafmon May 31, 2014   Link
  • -3
    General Commentthis song blows balls.
    AmoebaCheebaon June 25, 2006   Link

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