"Penitent" as written by and Suzanne Vega....
Once I stood alone so proud
Held myself above the crowd
Now I am low on the ground.

From here I look around to see
What avenues belong to me
I can't tell what I've found.

Now what would You have me do
I ask you please?
I wait to hear.

The mother, and the matador,
The mystic, all were here before,
Like me, to stare You down.

You appear without a face,
Disappear, but leave your trace,
I feel your unseen frown.

Now what would you have me do
I ask you please?
I wait to hear
Your voice,
The word,
You say.
I wait to see your sign
Would I
Obey?

I look for you in heathered moor,
The desert, and the ocean floor
How low does one heart go.

Looking for your fingerprints
I find them in coincidence,
And make my faith to grow.

Forgive me all my blindnesses
My weakness and unkindnesses
As yet unbending still.

Struggling so hard to see
My fist against eternity
And will you break my will?

Now what would you have me do
I ask you please?
I wait to hear
Your voice,
The word
You say
I wait
To see your sign
Could I
Obey?


Lyrics submitted by supremo

"Penitent" as written by Suzanne Vega

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Penitent song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment..an awesome picture of a struggle with the supernatural; one that stays unresolved, like in real life. :)
    RMattBon March 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOf all Suzanne's songs, this one speaks to me the most. It is a complete relinquishment to God. Her life is out of control, and she has realized that she is powerless to change it by herself. I have heard "Songs In Red And Gray" referred to, perhaps insensitively, as the "divorce album". The emotional roller coaster that experience provided garnered, IMHO, her most reflective, and most revealed writing.
    arob3000on November 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel it's about love, at first as usual, we are alone, we feel fine and all but then when we meet someone we lose ourselves, and we go as low as our hearts feel, but if that person feels the same yet it ends, we wait for a sign to tell us we should fight but would we obey that sign? not many would but it is something that must be done.
    chrisenrion December 14, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel it's about love, at first as usual, we are alone, we feel fine and all but then when we meet someone we lose ourselves, and we go as low as our hearts feel, but if that person feels the same yet it ends, we wait for a sign to tell us we should fight but would we obey that sign? not many would but it is something that must be done.
    chrisenrion December 14, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou have let down your spouse or significant other. Maybe you have cheated or maybe you just let them down but not being a good partner. Now you realize you are losing them and you are very sorry. They are detached now and maybe their emotions have move past you. You do not want them to leave or end things and you want the relationship to be whole again. It's all in their hands. You will be the best partner you can be to them now and you will try to make up for how you let them down, but it may not be enough or it may be too late. You want them to tell you what to do to repair things, but why should they since you already failed them? It's all in their hands if they will forgive you and keep you.
    lizardkingpon August 24, 2014   Link

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