"These Photographs" as written by and Joshua Ryan Radin....
You're Sylvia Plath
As you drip from the bath
I hand you a robe
And so it goes
The moment'd pass

You're Simone de Beauvoir
As you get out the car
The way you read me
No one can see me
It's who you are

And these photographs keep me alive

Babe, here's your song
Babe, it took too long
To find in your eyes
My best surprise

You're Nina Simone
When you talk on the phone
You sing to me
And I'm truly
No longer alone

You're Mary Cassatt
When people tell you you're not
You're like a child
All the while
I need you a lot

And these photographs keep me alive

And I wanna know what you know
And I wanna go where you go
These things remind me of
These things remind me of
These things remind me of you


Lyrics submitted by it_girl_ragDOLL

These Photographs song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI agree with Cuomo... Plath killed herself when she was 30. And the book that the quote is from, The Bell Jar, is a story about a girl (based loosely on herself) that was put into an insane asylum and given shock treatments... So while that quote implies cheerfulness when taken from its context, it's a truly a rather cynical remark.
    bright_eyes13on October 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is probably my favorite Joshua Radin song, or maybe "Only You". but it's close.
    The song is actually talking to one woman, and giving her the characteristics of all four of those women.
    1) Firstly the Sylvia Plath verse implies that she is easy going , it backs this up at the end of the verse where it says the "moment'd pass".
    2) The Simone Beauvoir verse describes her insight. It's saying that she can see things (including him) deeper than just the surface level "The way you read me
    No one can see me
    It's who you are" noone else can see him that way, but shee can.
    3) The nina simone verse is my personal favorite because it's the only one that actually addresses his feelings about her. "You're nina simone, when you talk on the phone" It's basically saying that the sound of her voice is like music to him, he enjoys just listening to her.
    4) I have to disagree with RayneQueen on this one. I think that the Mary Cassatt thing means simply that she's better than people give her credit for. Mary Cassatt was a talented painter, among these other women, who were probably role models of hers not Radin's. The words he uses illustrate that he sees that she's actually far better than the way everyone else sees her, and that because of this, he can't live without her. "You're Mary Cassatt, WHEN PEOPLE TELL YOU YOU'RE NOT".
    That's pretty much all I got. I think the chorus is pretty simple. He wants to spend all of his time with her. It says "go where you GO" future tense. And it backs up that he's using each of the women to describe one of her personal characteristics. Though I have to disagree with RayneQueen on the meaning of some of the lines, I wouldn't have got any of it without her explanations of each of the women, so thank you =).

    ***I realize this is horrible paragraphing, and may be hard to read, but try typing in this tiny little box and trying to space it correctly, I hope this has been of help, and also I hope it's right lol =P***
    jbrizzleon February 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso beautiful.
    joshua radin is amazing.

    good love song.
    ninaluvsallon December 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite songs off the album. I'm surprised there aren't more comments.
    acoustic429on January 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwahts the meaning of this song?
    blondechic1921on January 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe four women are stong feminist women of their time and each of the little scenerios are kinda cool when you know who these women are. You have two writers, a singer and a painter who are all capabale of conjuring up these "photographs" Radin is speaking of.

    sylvia plath has a famous quote: "There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them". Cartainly the idea of a lover with such a cheerful outlook on life would be desired.


    Simone de Beauvoir, was a writer starting around the mid 1940's. She was known for writing about the oppression of women as the so-called "second sex". She was also known to take long car rides to emurse herself in the culture of her time so that she would write.

    Nina Simmone was a singer from the mid 1950's on. She was known for her passionate and "breathy" voice. So having her sing on the phone would be nice.

    Mary Cassatt was a painter from the late 1800s- early 1900s. She often painted the private lives of women of the time, focusing on the bond between mother and child. Certainly, this is illustrated by the "You're like a child, all the while I need you a lot". He's saying his love has a childlike quality to her.


    "I wanna know what you know and I wanna go where you go" are Radin stating that he simply wants to go where his love has gone and he wants to know what she knows. Perhaps living vicariously through what she's been through.
    RayneQueenon January 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentawesome song love the ending
    monkeeyon February 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my favorite Radin songs. I like the upbeat tempo. The "photographs" he talks about are mental photographs, snapshots of the women he admires that he sees in persona of the woman he loves.

    Interesting to note: Sylvia Plath once said, "There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them."

    Ryan Adams also admires Sylvia Plath, he wrote a song about her. In it he wishes he could have been the one that was with her. He also wrote a lyric referencing the bath - "And maybe she'd give me a bath, How I wish I had a Sylvia Plath".
    zzboobzzon February 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think its important to note that Sylvia Plath killed herself after years of severe depression before you start jumping to conclusions about "cheerful outlooks" and "easy going."
    ace1111on February 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti just wish i met a woman like simone de beauvoir...quelle chance non?
    pachimoe627on February 09, 2008   Link

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