"Dead and Lovely" as written by and Tom Waits Kathleen Brennan....
She was a middle class girl
She was in over her head
She thought she could stand up in the deep end

He had a bullet-proof smile
He had money to burn
She thought she had the moon in her pocket

But now she's dead
She's so dead
Forever dead and lovely now

I've always been told to remember this
Don't let a fool kiss you
Never marry for love

He was hard to impress
He knew everyone's secrets
He wore her on his arm just like jewelry

He never gave but he got
He kept her on a leash
He's not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at

But now she's dead
Forever dead
Forever dead and lovely now

Come closer, look deeper
You're falling fast
Just like a plane on a stormy sea

She made up someone to be
She made up somewhere to be from
This is one business in the
World where that's no
Problem at all

Everything that is left
They will only plow under
Soon every one you know
Will be gone

And now she's dead
Forever dead
Forever dead and lovely now

But now she's dead
Forever dead
Forever dead and lovely now

I've always been told to remember this
Don't let a kiss fool you
Never marry for love

Everything has it's price
Everything has it's place
What's more romantic than dying in the moonlight?

Now they're all watching the sea
What's lost can never be broken
Her roots were sweet
But they were so shallow

And now she's dead
Forever dead
Forever dead and lovely now

And now she's dead
Forever dead
And she's so dead and lovely now



Lyrics submitted by Dr_Colossus, edited by Mellow_Harsher

Dead and Lovely song meanings
Add your thoughts

12 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentSeems like it's about a naive girl who thought married a rich, powerful man for money, thinking she could make a play for his money. At some point they had a falling out and rather than divorce her he pushed her overboard on his yacht. That's what it sounds like to me at least.
    gravitonon March 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Seems like it's about a naive girl who thought married a rich, powerful man for money, thinking she could make a play for his money. At some point they had a falling out and rather than divorce her he pushed her overboard on his yacht. That's what it sounds like to me at least."

    I agree with what you said, but I also think the part where he says she's dead it's like in a psychological / emotioal way. That she belons to him and that she cannot express what she feels or thinks. She's just there, like an ornament and that's it, like the "perfect wife" that's why it is lovely as well. "She's so dead and lovely now". She looks better that way.

    Just my opinion, not arguments and murders, just in a deep emotional sense.
    LucySkyon September 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song makes me think so much of the Corpse Bride, it could have been written about the bride herself...
    LadyBeeon November 01, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat do you think of this song with the gender pronouns switched? I sort of like it.
    crystal0615on December 26, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't believe no one commented yet on this song. It's just so haunting and beautiful, it lingers in your head after you listen to it.

    Not sure on it's precise meaning but the overall feeling is that it is describing a girl who is in over her head with someone who isn't good for her.
    velvetpixiexon February 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgorgeous song. storytelling at its best.
    xerceson June 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe line should be, "This is one business in the world where there's no profit at all," not "that's no problem at all".
    Uraniumon January 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAck, I was wrong -- it is "problem" and not "profit". Damn. I have to say I like my version better. :P
    Uraniumon January 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionCheck out the strange story of the death of Carol Wayne who gained some fame as a bit player in Johnny Carson skits. She was in Mexico with a shady businessman when she drowned. Lots of websites about this incident, but try this one: findadeath.com/Deceased/w/Carolwayne/…

    Tom Waits referred to her in this interview at tomwaitslibrary.com/interviews/…
    wilburrabbiton May 29, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentreminds me of boy and leola staunton from fifth business, anyone?
    frenchteaon November 26, 2010   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain