"Sylvia" as written by Jarvis Branson Cocker, Nick Banks, Candida Doyle, Stephen Patrick Mackey and Mark Andrew Webber....
You look just like Sylvia
Well, you look like her to me
The way she wore her hair then

Oh, he way she used to be
I've not seen her for a long time
Though I've heard she's still around

Her father's living with some girl
Who's a year younger than her
She's living in the country now, yeah

Oh, she's trying to get better
Her beauty was her only crime
Yeah, I remember Sylvia

So keep believing
And do what you do
I can't help you but I know things are gonna get better
And please stop asking what it's got to do with you
Oh, keep believing 'cause you know that you deserve better

Who's this man you're talking to?
Can't you see what he wants to do?
He thinks if he stands near enough then he will look as good as you
Oh, he don't care about your problems
He just wants to show his friends
I guess I'm just the same as him
Oh, I just didn't know it then
I never understood you really
And I know it's too late now
You didn't ask to be that way
Oh, I'm sorry, Sylvia

So keep believing
And do what you do
I can't help you but I know things are gonna get better
And please stop asking what it's got to do with you
Oh, keep believing 'cause you know that you deserve better
Oh, it's true, yeah

So please stop asking what it's got to do with you
Oh, keep believing 'cause you know that you deserve better
Oh, yeah, you know that you deserve better
Oh, yeah, you know that you deserve better
Oh, Sylvia


Lyrics submitted by dansr

"Sylvia" as written by Jarvis Branson Cocker Candida Doyle

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Sylvia song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentStraight up Pulp. Working class Brits, lust, folly, longing, regret. This song is fairly straightforward.

    Narrator sees this girl who reminds him of a girl he used to be with. Something is damaged about the girl (just like Sylvia) -perhaps drugs, maybe just sexually easy and getting abused in the name of love?

    Anyway, the narrator is telling the girl it has nothing to do with her - it is not her fault - and she "deserves better". Seems like an abusive relationship - she is sticking with the "devil she knows, stuck in a rut, and has no confidence.

    Underpinning this the narrator is recounting his own responsibility in Sylvia's demise. He reminds himself he was like the men in this particular girl's life. Like these men, he only "wanted to show his friends" the hot chick on his arm.

    One take is that this is one of those girls who is beautiful and abused. You all know the type - bad home, looking for love, getting sexually used over and over again.
    ezboy1000on March 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti've always thought of sylvia plath...
    NewLibertineon April 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentShe was abused by her Dad, right? See end of verse 1.

    World class song anyway.
    ShineYouDiamondon July 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWho's this man you're talking to?
    Can't you see what he wants to do?
    He thinks if he stands near enough
    Then he will look as good as you
    And he don't care about your problems
    He just wants to show his friends
    I guess I'm just the same as him
    Oh I just didnt know it then


    This very much reminds me of a time....
    dansron January 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've always assumed the name is a reference to Sylvia Kristel (of 'Emmanuelle') rather than Plath. Plath isn't an easy fit - her father died when she was eight - whereas Kristel's father abandoned the family when Kristel was 14. Neither are an exact match, though.
    darkshipon December 20, 2013   Link

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