"The Painter" as written by Robin Hannibal Moelsted Braun, Thomas Bisballe, Krishna Ra Briggs, Bjoern Nielsen and Ronni Friis Vindahl....
The painter stood before her work;
She looked around everywhere.
She saw the pictures and she painted them
She picked the colors from the air

Green to green
Red to red
Yellow to yellow in the light.
Black to black when the evening comes.
Blue to blue in the night.

It's a long road behind me.
It's a long road ahead.
If you follow every dream,
You might get lost.
If you follow every dream,
You might get lost.

She towed the line.
She held her end up.
She did the work of too many.
But in the end, she fell down
Before she got up again.

I keep my friends eternally.
We leave our tracks in the sound.
Some of them are with me now.
Some of them can't be found.

It's a long road behind me,
And I miss you now.

If you follow every dream,
You might get lost.

Lyrics submitted by goodreverend, edited by cliberg

"The Painter" as written by Neil Young

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Painter song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentIt's about an artist looking at there work and realizing all the time put into and all the years gone by.
    kfe2on January 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know this website is all about the lyrics, but in this case I put them second to the music and melody of this song which is outstanding.
    Cocheseon September 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think he is also pointing out how some dreams can go on forever, and in the end, some don't ever come true.
    eLLisDon December 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think its about a painter who put a lot of time and focus into her work. and its saying that life is long and of course you're going to have lots of dreams and interests but in order to actually make a dream come true and be successful and happy you have to focus. not like its bad to be a dreamer, its kinda saying that everyone is a dreamer, you just have to focus and follow a dream so you don't get lost and confused.
    does that make sense?
    kalanihoeon November 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me it's about how becoming too ambitious can overshadow what's really important in life, hence "She did the work of too many/ But in the end, she fell down/ before she got up again."

    "It's a long road behind me,
    and I miss you now."

    Neil is saying he's had enough life experiences to know that there is more to life than thinking one must accomplish every goal, and he wants this person to come back to reality and enjoy the little things in life rather than attempt to do it all
    melvidabohemiaon June 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like

    "I keep my friends eternally.
    We leave our tracks in the sound.
    Some of them are with me now.
    Some of them can't be found."

    Particularly the part about leaving tracks in sound - I think thats his way of saying that his songs are made of memories of friends. I think he's lamenting the loss of his friend, a painter, who died early overworked.
    pezdelon August 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningWhatever the rest of the song is about, the original inspiration (The Painter) is his daughter Amber Jean (now all grown up). She is a artist.
    Moonmadnesson September 27, 2013   Link

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