"Jezebel" as written by and Samuel Ervin Beam....
Who's seen Jezebel?
She was born to be the woman I would know
And hold like the breeze
Half as tight as both eyes closed

And who's seen Jezebel?
She went walking where the cedars line the road
Her blouse on the ground
Where the dogs were hungry, roaming

Saying, "wait, we swear
We'll love you more and wholly
Jezebel, it's we that you are for
Only"

Who's seen Jezebel?
She was born to be the woman we could blame
Make me a beast half as brave
I'd be the same

Who's seen Jezebel?
She was gone before I ever got to say
"lay here my love
You're the only shape I'll pray to, Jezebel"

Who's seen Jezebel?
Will the mountain last as long as I can wait
Wait like the dawn
How it aches to meet the day

Who's seen Jezebel?
She was certainly the spark for all I've done
The window was wide
She could see the dogs come running

Saying, "wait, we swear
We'll love you more and wholly
Jezebel, it's we that you are for
Only"


Lyrics submitted by a town like paris

"Jezebel" as written by Samuel Ervin Beam

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Jezebel song meanings
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  • +4
    General Commenti think the important part of the story that a lot of people overlook is the fact that jezebel wasn't even an isrealite, she was a foreign princess married off to ahab for political reasons. she refused to give up her traditions, specifically her religion, and held fast to what she believed. this made her strongwilled, individualistic and powerful, which were obviously bad qualities in a woman.

    granted, then she went and ordered a lot of people murdered which no one can really put in a good light, but maybe that's just something royalty did in those days.

    i think, given the story, the song's about a man who is very much in love and devoted to a strong but incredibly tortured woman. the line "and hold like a breeze half as tight as both eyes closed" could mean that he couldn't hold her too tight, that he had a tentative grasp and tentative control over the whole relationship. it almost sounds to me like hoping against hope that she'll stay.

    i especially like the line "she was born to be the woman we could blame / make me a beast half as brave, i'd be the same". jezebel's powerful, and she's hated for it, but it's because she's not like anyone else. she's unafraid to be different, and becomes something like a goddess ("you're the only shape i pray to") in the singer's mind.

    i think the end of the song finds jezebel fully aware of the fact that her destruction is fast approaching, with her looking out the window and seeing the dogs that are fated to eat her. her only destiny is to be destroyed by others' fear and hatred, and she has to leave her lover behind.

    some people come along who aren't for this world at all, and the world destroys them. some people are unfortunate enough to fall in love with them, even though they can never be together, and it's heartbreaking.
    juneinjulyon June 22, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"Thwarted religion has always provided prime lyric fodder for Beam, and the stunning "Jezebel" recounts the rise and fall of the Bible's most infamous Phoenician princess, a pagan follower who becomes involved in a political marriage to Ahab, the crown prince of Israel. According to the Bible, Jezebel caused loads of trouble for Israel until Jehu, the head of a company formed to overthrow the house of Ahab, has her snatched and tossed from a window. Her blood splatters the palace wall; Jehu, on horse and chariot, charges across the body. Later, when palace servants return to recover Jezebel's corpse for burial, all that's left is her skull, her feet, and the palms of her hands. Jehu announces that Jezebel was chewed up by a pack of dogs, fulfilling the divine prophet Elijah's earlier prediction that "the dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel."

    Beam gently acknowledges Jezebel's brutal end ("The window was wide/ She could see the dogs come running"), but doesn't necessarily swallow the Bible's cautionary bent: Jezebel is typically read as villainous (with decent reason: she falsely accuses citizens of blasphemy and treason, and orders them stoned to death), but recent feminist re-interpretations of her story have questioned whether or not that vilification can simply be chalked up to the threat she posed to ancient patriarchal orders. Beam plays with his words (a glance at the lyric sheet reveals that he's actually singing "wholly Jezebel," but, you know, say it out loud), and laments how Jezebel was "gone" before he ever got to say "Lay here my love/ You're the only shape I'll pray to, Jezebel." Ultimately, Beam casts Jezebel as more of a heroine (or an object of worship, even) than a righteously fallen pagan, turning "Jezebel" into a perfectly chilling ode to potentially misunderstood women."

    -from review of Woman King EP on pitchforkmedia.com
    olwensmileson April 09, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI really like all of the explanations and meanings posted already. I think that this song means something different to everyone that hears it.

    My interpretation is that Jezebel isn't one specific person in history or in the future. Instead, she's a part of every trouble woman's life. Like Jane and John Doe. Jezebel means "impure" and "to blame".

    The dogs, I think, are people in her life that are cruel to her and put her down. Even though dogs are called "man's best friend" a dog is sometimes seen as a cruel, filthy creature or someone that is unfaithful or disloyal.

    It sounds like a love song from someone who loved a Jezebel, and she ran away, took her life, or can't be found.

    The man was born to know this woman that captured his heart, but he didn't hold on to her tight enough. It's like trying to hold on to a breeze.

    Jezebel went walking in the woods where cedars lined the road, knowing that the "dogs" would be there. At this point, she didn't care anymore. Her blouse on the ground represents physical or, more likely, emotional attacks.

    The dogs hurt her but then apologize saying that they won't do it again. They'll love her more next time. Then the next line gives me the idea that the dogs feel like her whole purpose in life is to me tormented, compared to the singer feeling as if she was born to inspire.

    Jezebel was born to to take the fall for the mistakes of others, and the singer is in awe at her courage and strength. He wishes he could be only half as brave she is.

    But she's gone and the singer can't find her. She left before he had the chance to tell her he loved her and to protect her.

    I think the mountain is the terrible heartbreak he's feeling without her, and he's waiting like the dawn aching to see the day.

    Jezebel inspired everything that he's ever done, and he did it all for her. But, even if she knew how much he loved her, she knew that the dogs were coming for her, and I think that she was so through with running that she allowed them to destroy her.
    MiraForTheMasseson December 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is hands down the best song Sam Beam has ever done.
    a town like parison January 26, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentif no one is aware of the biblical jezebel, she was a queen of israel who was regarded as an evil whore. she was murdered by her chamberlains who pushed her out a window & onto the street, where she was trampled by horses & eaten by dogs.

    i don't know if this song is about the biblical jezebel, or just another woman named jezebel, but the window & dog references are clearly from the bible story. i'm thinking maybe it's about a woman named jezebel who was misunderstood & lonely & killed herself by jumping out a window, & is being sung by a man who was in love with her. & the "dogs" in this song represent the people who put her down & didn't show her enough love.
    bittenlipon February 27, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfantastic song, here are the correct lyrics, if i'm not mistaken:

    Who's seen Jezebel
    She was born to be the woman I would know
    And hold like a breeze half as tight as both eyes closed

    Who's seen Jezebel
    She went walking where the cedars line the road
    Her blouse on the ground where the dogs were hungry, roaming

    Sayin' wait
    We swear we'll love you more
    And wholly, Jezebel
    It's we, we that you are for only

    Who's seen Jezebel
    She was born to be the woman we could blame
    Make me a beast half as brave and be the same

    Who's seen Jezebel
    She was gone before I ever got to say
    Lay here, my love, you're the only shape I pray to
    Jezebel

    Who's seen Jezebel
    Will the mountain last as long as I can wait
    Wait like the dawn, how it aches to meet the day

    Who's seen Jezebel
    She was certainly the spark for all I've done
    The window was wide, she could see the dogs come runnin'

    Sayin' wait
    We swear we'll love you more
    And wholly, Jezebel
    It's we, we that you are for only
    frankthebunnyon March 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti believe this song is definetly about the biblical Jezebel, only b/c of all the direct references. in the bible Jezebel, a princess married to Ahab, is falsely accusing people of blasphemy and treason and has them stoned to death. she causes tons of problems for Israel(hence the lyric:She was born to be the woman we could blame) a revolt is formed to overthrow the house of Ahab Jezebel is kicked out the window. A man named Jehu then rides down to Jezebel and stomps her into the pavement w/ a horse leaving nothing left but her skull, hands and feet. Jehu says a pack of dogs came and ate her fulfilling the prophet Elijah's claim that "the dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel."

    now as far as the song goes....i think that mr. beam is using Jezebel's story possibly in reference to another misunderstood woman. or it could just be for misunderstood woman in general. perhaps mr. beam doesn't buy into the biblical notion that she is as villainous as portrayed and that she just misunderstood. afterall, the song is painting her as more of a hero than someone deserving of such actions.
    RunningFool144on April 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentok so hes making a refrence to jezebel from the bible and some people here no the ins and outs of that real well, but why? why on a ep called Woman King and with a melody so miraculously heart wrenching and illuminating would he turn his whimsical little thoughts to that particular story...
    its not rocket science... and you know what, even if it was itd be worth it!
    im just playing:) i dont think anything matters about the content of this song. it instills in me such a deep respect and admiration for women in general and the consistantly repressed and persecuted devine femininity in us all. its funny cause it triggers in me an archaeic desire to protect woman (from oppresivive male reigemes) yet its proberbly that instinct that leads to the very oppression it would defend against.
    fallenhorseson October 18, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor those who know the biblical story of Jezebel...I think this is a love song, from the dogs that ripped her to death to Jezebel.
    It's kind of freakishly haunting...
    Wholly Jezebelon September 04, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm glad people are discussing the meaning and not just saying that they like/hate this song and Beam. Anyway, if you look up literary references to Jezebel, you'll see that her story has been used to keep down women who are independent (in various ways, including financially and sexually), strong and outspoken, who don't quietly obey their husbands no matter what...by branding them "Jezebels," and implying that her destiny awaits them if they don't mend their ways. I believe Sam isn't trying to reinterpret the story--it is what it is, and it's quite horrific, really. I think he's singing to this character of Jezebel that's been created for us to blame and letting her know that he sympathizes with her plight, with the way she's been used (if, indeed, a real Jezebel existed and did what she's said to have done, I highly doubt Sam would sympathize with her). And really, in the story, the only people who benefited from her, who appreciated her, albeit in a twisted way, were actually the dogs who devour her, and so they call to her to not lament, for they'll love her and it is for them that she was created (in a way), which makes that part of the song equally haunting and beautiful to me.
    birjuon December 16, 2007   Link

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