"Grey Room" as written by and Damien George Rice....
Well I've been here before
I've sat on the floor
In a gray gray room
Where I stay in all day
I don't eat but I play
With this gray gray food

Desole, if someone is prayin'
Then I might break out
Desole, even if I scream,
I can't scream that loud

I'm all alone again
Crawling back home again
Just stuck by the phone again

Yeah, well I've been here before
Sat on a floor
In a gray gray mood
Where I stay up all night
And all that I write
Is a gray gray tune

So pray for me child, just for a while
And I might break out
Pray for me child, even a smile
Would do for now

So I'm all alone again
Crawling back home again
Just stuck by the phone again

Have I still got you to be my open door?
Have I still got you to be my sandy shore?
Have I still got you to cross my bridge in this storm?
Have I still got you to keep me warm?

'Cause if I squeeze my grape
And I drink my wine
'Cause if I squeeze my grape
And I drink my wine
Oh cause nothing is lost
This is frozen in frost
And it's opening time
And there's no one in line

But I've still got me to be your open door
I've still got me to be your sandy shore
I've still got me to cross your bridge in this storm
And I've still got me to keep you warm

Warmer than warm yeah
Warmer than warm yeah
Warmer than warm yeah
Warmer than warm yeah...


Lyrics submitted by TheMineralRecord

"Grey Room" as written by Damien George Rice

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Grey Room song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis is easily my favorite song in 9. Just amazing.

    In his shows (I've been to a few), Damien does say that this song is about being stuck in a song-writer's block (as mcmahon3 said), but like most of his songs, it is so nuanced and multi-layered you cannot assign it one particular interpretation. It will mean something different to everyone who listens to it. That is part of Damien's genius.

    I don't think he is depressed, but just in a deep funk. And he is wondering whether his Muse will be able to help him climb out again. All the things she was to him (open door, sandy shore, bridge in this storm, someone to keep him warm) represent the figurative ways he feels she has helped him break out of this funk -- an open door in this mental "prison" he is trapped in; sandy (and perhaps sunny) shores to which he can swim after being (ship)wrecked; etc. He's in a rut, that's why everything's kinda the same ("nothing is lost, it's just frozen in frost"), even his feelings for her ("I've still got me to be your open door/sandy shore/bridge/warmth"), which to me seems like they looked to each other for inspiration. I don't know anything about Damien's and Lisa's personal relationship but I can imagine them being each other's Muse. Maybe this was written at a time when she was testing other waters (and we know she did eventually) and he was faced with the prospect of losing her. Heck, I'd hate to lose Lisa, and I'm a hetero female.
    delicateeskimoon September 25, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI always thought this was a song about boredom. just pure simple boredom, and coping with being so bored by singing an exciting song, but since you're so bored you can't think of anything to sing about but your boredom, and so you sing about that. Damien's songs are so expressionistic though, like looking at a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting. I never really know what his songs are about. Other artists are like that too. Like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, David Bowie, but with them it's not as extreme. Like Rolling Stone or Sad Eyed Lady could be interpreted a million ways but Blowin' In The Wind or Masters of War are very forward and have only one or a couiple places you could take them. But Damien rice hasn't made a single song, at all, that i could say i knew exactly what he was talking about. all of them are so full of scatological imagery and evocative sounds, but each unique. He's a master, for sure.
    TheThornBirdson January 29, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Desole" isn't just a French way of saying sorry :)

    Aside from being a common girl's name in English speaking countries (which seems bloody odd to me), it comes from the Latin verb "desolare" - to leave alone.

    I don't care what Rice said on TV - this is a song about depression.

    The Grey Room is a state of mind rather than a place. For those of you who have ever gone through periods of serious depression (not just a couple tears because you got dumped - I'm talking the full blown you're-clinically-depressed-according-to-the-DSM-IV-criteria kind of depression), you probably know the feeling of being alone no matter how many people are present.

    Also, while seriously depressed, people often experience lowered activitiy in the left frontal lobe, which is one of the more rational bits of the brain - it's part of what keeps you from jumping on a table at a party, stripping your clothes off, and announcing that you're Jesus Christ (note that alcohol can temporarily short-circuit this inhibition), and people wind up spending a little more time with their right frontal lobes - a bit of the brain that doesn't understand time, order, or much of anything concrete. Creativity can result (provided you can still get out of bed) when the right frontal lobe is no longer being balanced out by a healthy left frontal lobe.

    In other words, I think his Grey Room is clinical depression, and the reason he writes songs when he's there is that he has the decrease in left frontal lobe activity, allowing his right frontal lobe to do as it will.

    'Course, I'm just speculating, and I don't think he consciously realized the connection between depression and creativity - it just turned up, and he used his very nice Damien Rice brain to convert sadness into something beautiful.

    Yup.

    That's what I think...
    Rastopopon January 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAmazing!!! Everytime I hear any Damien Rice song I melt. This song has such emotion. I love How it builds to the...But I've still got me to be your open door.... part and then he goes a bit softer for the warmer than warm. ::swoon::
    Bluestarson June 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjust wanna be with you..
    radioledjangoon July 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA Damien Rice song with a happy ending!

    One of my favorites off the new record, it offers a great deal of contrast to some of the other tunes. It also marks the sole instance of the french language on the album (something I actually wish he did more often).

    "Desole" is a wonderful french word to which there is no real english equivalent. Roughly translated it means "I'm so terribly sorry", but as a single word and an adverb.

    It's kind of the crux of the song when you think about it: an apology to a lover to ask to be let back into their life again.

    The difference between the "Have I still got you?" lines and the "But I've still got me" lines marks the realization of an unselfish love. It's about what you can give, not what you can get; that kind of thing.

    And it can make you feel warm inside, just having the knowledge of where your heart truly lies...
    davidecoyoteon November 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThanks for the calrification on "Desole" David.

    Love this song. The man emerges from his depression ("grey days") and finds he still has love to give. Beautiful.
    tupelodylanon November 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthm, but does he really emerge from the depression?
    Or is he still crying out to that girl that he's always loved, telling her he's still there

    hard to tell my friend, hard to tell
    Bryon Riceon December 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthe was on tv last night and he said this song was about writing songs
    mcmahon3on December 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentin portuguese "desole" is "desolado" wich means "very sad" "concerned" or "loner"
    spudson February 01, 2007   Link

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