"Rosemary" as written by and Suzanne Vega....
Do you remember when you walked with me
Down the street into the square
How the women selling rosemary
Pressed the branches to your chest
Promised luck and all the rest
Ran their fingers through your hair

I had met you just the day before
Like an accident of fate
In the window there behind your door
How I wanted to break in
To that room beneath your skin
But all that would have to wait

In the Carmen of the Martyrs
With the statues in the courtyard
Whose heads and hands were taken in the burden of the sun
I had come to meet you with a question in my footsteps
I was going up the hillside and the journey just begun

My sister says she never dreams at night
There are days when I know why
Those possibilities within her sight
With no way of coming true
Cause some things just don't get through
Into this world although they try

In the Carmen of the Martyrs
With the statues in the courtyard
Whose heads and hands were taken in the burden of the sun
I had come to meet you with a question in my footsteps
I was coming up the hillside and the journey just begun

And all I know of you is in my memory
And all I ask is you remember me


Lyrics submitted by H-bomb

"Rosemary" as written by Suzanne Vega

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Rosemary song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. I can't believe no one commented on it yet!
    I think it's about a moment in time - cherishing those strange moments, when someone happened, or almost happened, and it's meaning can't be quite grasped, but something inside you tells you to remember it.
    I think it's also demonstrating three different worlds - the loved one, who is aching to grow, to change, to go on, never ceasing to enjoy the moment, always thinking there is something beyond. His view of life is that so the speaker understands though they both might have fell inlove, he would rather move on, because he can't stay and explore the moment. He does not believe in things like "accident of fate", and though the woman wants to break to the room beneath his skin, she also knows it will have to wait - he's not ready. The place of their final meeting - she comes baring the question, but already knows the answer is 'no' - since his journey is just began (and there comes the metaphor of the statues carrying so much their heads and hands were taken off).
    The second world is that of the sister who never dreams, because in her waking hours she lives in fantasies. She can do what the man can't - cherish the moment, enjoy the dream, but her way is unreal - her wishes and wills are so far from reality they can never come true.
    The third world is of the speaker, who loves a man but knows he is too different then her, too rushing towards life - he can't enjoy the small moments or understand the meanings behind them, he can't look for the meaning in the smell of rosemary (the song's name represent a very small and meaningful moment for the speaker, which was not like that for the man she loved). In the end, coming to term with their difference, she simply asks him to remember her.
    P_Leaon September 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlook for my meanings in other suzzane vega siongs especially queen and the soldier i am !@#$%^&*()

    you can really see this song happening as it lays out it shows how she and someone very intreaging had a timeless time together and she could think of nothing she wanted more than to brake into the iwndow there behind her door
    !@#$%^&*()on October 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Lyrics are pure poetry. Wondering if a person, who's very special to you, remembers you and thinks about you. Plus, it reminds me of an experience I have had this summer.
    BoyInTheBelfryon August 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI´ve never really heard Suzanne talking about this song, but I´ve always known it is set in Granada, a city in the south of Spain. There, by the entrance to the cathedral and the royal chapel (burial place of the catholic monarchs), groups of gypsy women gather, trying to push rosemary branches to the tourists. It´s supposed to be good luck if you take the branch and then let them read your fortune. There´s also a beautiful building with a courtyard, close to the Alhambra palace, called "el carmen de los mártires " (the carmen of the martyrs). I can imagine Suzanne as a young woman, visiting all those places (probably because of the New york artists' -cohen, reed, etc,- fascination with Lorca, who was born and killed in Granada).
    lor77on March 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn Shakespears Hamlet, Ophelia, crazy at least in part because of Hamlets rejections, has gone mad. In a central scene (in Denmark we call it the madness scene), she rambles and hands out wild flowers to the central characters of the play and at some stage she says "Rosemary, that's for remembrance". I think the song is inspired by that sentence or scene. The first line goes "Do you remember when you walked with me" and the last one goes "All I ask is you remember me". The first verse is about the other women who makes passes on the man she (the narrator) wants. She doesn't say 'ran their fingers through your hair' but says in defiance or disgust/jealousy "Put their fingers in your hair". The rest of the song is a romantic picture of how it was being with him in the Carmen of the Martyrs (which I believe is in the Spanish village Alhambra) except for a detour to dreams that don't come true in the third verse. The beauty, I mean, what makes the story so ingenious and wonderful is that she ends up being one of the women from the beginning. She presses rosemary to his chest with the last line. Remember me.
    bambiofdarknesson September 21, 2011   Link

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