"Lalena" as written by and Donovan Leitch....
When the sun goes to bed
That's the time you raise your head
That's your lot in life, Lalena
Can't blame ya
Lalena

Arty-tart, la-de-da
Can your part get much sadder?
That's your lot in life, Lalena
Can't blame ya
Lalena

Run your hand through your hair
Paint your face with despair
That's your lot in life, Lalena
Can't blame ya
Lalena

When the sun goes to bed
That's the time you raise your head
That's your lot in life, Lalena
I can't blame ya
Lalena

Arty-tart, oh so la-de-da
Can your part ever get, ever get much sadder?
That's your lot in life, Lalena
I can't blame ya
No, no, no, Lalena
Oh, Lalena


Lyrics submitted by prog_rocker7

"Lalena" as written by Donovan Leitch

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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Lalena song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI'd never really payed attention to the lyrics before, but they really are sad. I got an image right away from the "paint your face with despair" line of a young woman putting on whore-like makeup. The despair is painted all over her face.
    snugbug79on January 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI really love the breathlessly sung lyrics of this song. They are soaked in a bitterseet sadness. I wonder as I listen to it if Donovan is singing about a prostitiute who has been forced into her trade by the circumstances of her life. The lyrics, "When the sun goes to bed, That's the time you raise your head," seem to suggest that she is a Lady of the Night. And, "That's your lot in life, Laleña Can't blame ya, Laleña." suggests that she has been forced into the lifestyle she leads and can't be blamed for it as she did not choose it willingly.

    Donovan's lyrics are usually sparse, but they are always on the mark. He conveys Lalena's inner pain when he sings, "Run your hand through your hair, Paint your face with despair." I can almost see this woman as she sits up in bed after much thought, runs her hand through her hair, reveals her despair in a facial gesture and slowly exhales as she acknowledges that she most likely will never escape the lifestyle she has been forced to live.

    Donovan has often been portrayed as the "Poor Man's Dylan" and atlthough that may be true, it shouldn't detract from his real songwriting talent. He was, after all, barely 18 years old when he wrote the first of his most famous songs. And because of his youth he trusted the advice of his producer at the time, Mickie Most, in developing a more Psychedelic Pop style which projected him into mainstream music rather than placing him on the outside cutting edge with performers like Bob Dylan.

    Would love to hear what others think of the lyrics to this and other Donovan songs. I think that he has been pretty much ignored because of some of his kind of silly songs and that is a real shame. His music helps to define an eclectic period of pop music; the mid 60's to the early 70's.
    prog_rocker7on August 20, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLayena is about the 'poor little rich girl' type that hung about the scene in London and Donovan is gently mocking the type of hanger-on that can afford to be there to be cool or in but isn't realy getting what is going on. Well said prog rocker7 and if you want to talk Donovan then mail me, I did interview him several times.
    still stupidon September 27, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI just love how this song can be interpreted however you like. I think the first idea that comes to mind is a prostitute, but it definitely could be a young partier who just wants to be around whatever is going on. Either way, she's just sad and you can't help but sympathize.
    Rhodaon November 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDonovans song is dedicated to the singer and actress Lotte Lenya. Maybe it is also inspired by her work.
    Ukelheinion July 11, 2017   Link

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