Reading letters
Ancient coins
And pockets full of earth
Chance I'll see you
Next December

Bathtub running
Joining hands
And naked as a bird
That's a vision
I'll remember

Pull the covers of the bed
The papers of the ground
Now a baby
Walks where you do

Take her book off of the shelf
And put your teacup down
Know my hopes
Lay beside you

You're camera set in motion
Take a picture of the ocean
Catch the seagull up above
Make a whisper of your love

Put your hair and watch it grow
This time durates the floor
You're a beauty in the family
Spend your money for the month
He can afford you more
Keep your courage like memory

You're camera set in motion
Take a picture of the ocean
Catch the seagull up above
Make a whisper of your love


Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher

Beauty and Family song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentA sweet and simple love song. So beautiful.
    amandainhelsinkion July 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so bittersweet and amazing, just about how time keeps going and all we can do is remember what's happened, we can't slow it down.

    Also, I'm pretty sure it's
    Cut your hair and watch it grow
    This time to reach the floor
    ABookOnAShelfon November 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure he says "Joint in hand" not "Joining hands"
    jankouton July 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe first section is about how the singer is reading a letter from someone he loved and has wonderful memories of. He is away from her, but hopes that he may get to see her in December. I always thought he said "Painted letters" like how you may paint a word on a wall, or maybe painted into the wall of your memory, but I guess it makes more sense being "reading letters"

    He then recall's a memory of his love with a joint in her hand running a bath and how this is his favorite memory of her that he'll remember forever.

    Pull the covers off the bed
    The paper's off the ground
    Now a baby
    Walks where you do

    I'm not exactly sure what the covers and papers part is, but the latter part of this stanza insinuates that the woman now has a child.

    The woman then takes the child's book, who is a girl since he's saying "her book". I'm assuming the woman is going to read to the child, so she has to put her teacup down.

    Know my hopes
    Lay beside you

    The singer's hopes are in the child. His hopes (the child) lay beside the woman who is reading to the child. That's how I interpret this section.

    You're camera set in motion
    Take a picture of the ocean
    Catch the seagull up above
    Make a whisper of your love

    I think the chorus is saying that people are like cameras who are capturing reality and time as it passes and to "take a picture of the ocean" is symbolically saying to take a picture of this ocean of reality that we're floating in, while also using the literal ocean since there is a seagull up above to also capture in this picture. The last line of the chorus, "make a whisper of your love", is perhaps the singer saying to hide your love in a whisper rather than shout it out loud. I think the next part may explain this a little more.

    The singer recalls that the object of his memory, a woman he loves, cut her hair in the past, but never let her hair grow to the floor. This time he hopes she lets it grow as she's the most beautiful person in the family. Notice he says "the family" which could mean that he's part of the family.

    Spend your money for the month
    He can't afford you more

    This part seems to be saying that she'll spend her money for the month, but "HE" can't afford you more. This twists the song up a bit in my mind. Who is the singer referring to? I'm thinking that it's the woman's new boyfriend or husband can afford to give her money for the month, but he can only afford so much. Maybe there are costs of being with her that are greater than money, so money is all he can give. He can't give her the love she needs, just the money.

    This infers that the singer is a past love, maybe the father of the child in the song, but the woman has moved on with someone else. This puts the "make a whisper of your love" line a bit more poignant as it now seems to imply that the woman still loves the singer, but keeps it a secret since she's with someone else.

    "Keep your courage like a memory"

    The last real line before the chorus repeats is kind of like the final nail in the coffin, IMHO, as it seems that a memory is a recollection of an experience that happened in the past he's saying she should keep her courage as a memory in the past. To me this is telling the woman to remember the courage she used to have because she no longer has that courage Why else would it be like a memory?. I think the singer has fond memories of her and their life together, but now she's moved on and is taken care of by some man and she's lost that courage she used to have. Unlike the seagull who flies over the ocean, she's like a caged bird.
    jankouton September 26, 2016   Link

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