"Blackberry Stone" as written by and Laura Beatrice Marling....
Well I, own this field
And I wrote this sky
And I have no reason, to reason with you

I'd be sad that I never held your hand as you were lowered, but I'd understand that I'd never let it go
I'd be sad that I never held your hand as you were lowered, but I'd understand that the world does what it does

And you never did learn to let the little things go
And you never did learn to let me be
And you never did learn to let little people grow
And you never did learn how to see

But I whisper that I love this man, now and for forever to your soul as it floats out off the window
To the world that you turned your back on,
To the world that never really let you be,

And I am Laura now, and Laura still,
And you did always say that one day I would suffer.
You did always say that people get their pay.
You did always say that I was going places,
And that you wouldn't have it any other way.

But I couldn't turn my back on a world, for what I like wouldn't let me
But I couldn't turn my back on a world for And I couldn't turn my back on sweet smelling Blackberry stone


Lyrics submitted by babettej, edited by uselessaffluence, ladymumford

"Blackberry Stone" as written by Laura Beatrice Marling

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  • +6
    Song MeaningThis B-side track can be downloaded for free here: stereogum.com/the-gum-drop/….

    Laura Marling, former member of Noah And The Whale and ex-girlfriend of Noah And The Whale frontman Charlie Fink appears to reference Noah And The Whale's song 'Hold My Hand As I'm Lowered' with the repeated lyric, "I'd be sad that I never held your hand as you were lowered".

    This article, taken from Stereogum and viewable on their site via the link above, is Laura's own comments on the song:

    Laura Marling - "Blackberry Stone"

    Laura Marling

    Take a listen. It's difficult believing Laura Marling just turned 18 this year, but it's true: The assured, sharp British folk-pop singer-songwriter's full-length debut Alas, I Cannot Swim, which came out in the UK in February, is just getting its Stateside debut this summer (its out via iTunes now, Astralwerks in August). In this week's Drop we have "Blackberry Stone," a haunting, lo-fi UK B-side you won't find on the album proper. We asked Marling a few questions about the track.

    Can you give some background on the song?
    I recently moved and for the first time in ages I've been able to have my mics and recording gear set up all the time, so I've been messing around with a sound for the next album ... and so came "Blackberry Stone."

    Do you consider it different than the songs that ended up on Alas, I Cannot Swim?
    Yes, it's in the same mindset as the songs I have been writing recently, as opposed to the songs I was writing at the time of the first album.

    Is the song about a specific person/situation or is it a hybrid? Or a fictional narrative?
    It is whatever it is to whoever listens to it. I couldn't possibly say ... Sorry, lame answer, I know.

    Either way, what's the significance of the blackberry stone?
    The song itself is pretty self explanatory, but it is quite vast on whatever that emotion is of loss, and I wanted the song to resolve into something small and simple that I adore as much as whatever it is that was lost.

    In your mind, what makes a good love or falling-out-of-love song?
    Something that can't be used in a a hollywood rom com.
    stowawaygirlon March 07, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General Comment"I'd be sad that I never held your hand as you were lowered,"
    I think is a reference to Noah and the Whale's song 'Hold my hand as I'm lowered'.

    Beautiful song. Laura's vocals in this are amazing.
    comedancingon January 06, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General Comment"I'd be sad that I never held your hand as you were lowered,
    but I'd understand that I'd never let it go."

    I get strong imagery of a coffin being lowered into the ground on this line.
    Maybe it's simply a song about laying old feelings to rest. Or something deeper, such as the loss of a loved one. It really resonates a suicide to me. She seems almost angry at the person, "the world that you turned your back on." Which, of course, is a common feeling for relatives/friends of someone who has committed suicide. The line "to a world that never really let you be," is another really suggestive one for me. Perhaps this is what has driven the person to do such a thing.

    Also, in relation to the lines "And I am Laura now, and Laura still," I always thought these were "And I am lower now, and lower still." It would be fitting, along with the previous imagery.
    If it's as I imagined the lines to be, perhaps she's having suicidal thoughts? And she feels she's inching closer to being "lower," as in lowered into the ground. However, she then goes on to mention how she could never "turn my back on the sweet smelling blackberry stone."
    afterthestormon January 07, 2012   Link
  • +4
    Song MeaningPersonally, I believe this song is her side of her and Charlie Fink's break-up.

    Clearly the first reason for believing this is the lyric "I'd be sad that I never held your hand as you were lowered." which I (and most people seem to) see as a direct reference to Noah and the Whale's Hold My Hand As I'm Lowered - a song which I think was written about how Charlie wanted Laura to stay with him through everything. Generally the whole of NATW's first album was written about Laura and definitely the whole of the second was. I think Laura perhaps found this a bit difficult to deal with, "You never did learn to let me be." I think she is trying to say that really it was all too much for her, she didn't so much want space or to be away from Charlie but she just wanted him to not be so clingy (as such).
    I also think this song is about how she chose Marcus Mumford over Charlie Fink, she says "I couldn't turn my back on a sweet smelling blackberry stone." Blackberry stones aren't really something you hear of often - or ever! Perhaps she is suggesting that Marcus was too special for her to warrant going back to Charlie... Although she still loves him, maybe? "I'll whisper that I love this man now and for forever to your soul as it floats out of the window." I have always thought this was about Charlie, how she will always love him but she just doesn't want to be with him anymore.

    Just my idea, though!
    firstdaysofspringon May 05, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOn the BBC 6 Music podcast Laura did in the run-up to the Mercury Music Prize, she mentioned that this song was inspired by one of her friends, who said that their favourite part of things is always the littlest part - hence the blackberry stone.
    For me, it's about not letting yourself give up on the world, even when things have been awful, because if you look there is beauty even in the tiniest parts.
    amyjoanneon September 09, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIn Noah and the Whale's song there are two lines- 'Hold my hand as I'm lowered' and later 'Well, I fell in love with a world in you'. Laura seems to be responding to the obvious sadness and loss of the relationship, that it is something she will never forget when she sings 'I'd be sad that I never held your hand as you were lowered, but I'd understand that I'd never let it go'.
    But, it also seems she wants to move on. The relationship didn't work. You wanted this from me, but I am not going to change who I am for you. Hence, she continues on to say: 'I'd be sad that I never held your hand as you were lowered, but I'd understand that the world does what it does'- the world that he fell in love with, her personality, is how it is and she is not going to change. She then goes on to say how she felt pressured by him..

    In Noah's next album, the one full of lament for LM, I think there may a bit of a reference to Blackberry Stone when he sings in Slow Glass:

    Well I heard you been singing
    Well I was, what I am
    Well I never tried to change you, honey I'm your biggest fan
    and I loved you back then
    but I don't recognize you now

    That last line is interesting- Charlie Fink produced her first album. Then she broke up with him. Then she realeased Blackberry Stone as a B-side, it sounding quite a lot different to the album. I Speak Because I Can is quite quite different to Alas, and I suppose this reflects to how shes matured while away from him.
    Anyway, it could all be coincidence, who knows.

    Not only is the line 'I'd be sad that I never held your hand as you were lowered' a reference to the line 'Hold my hand as I'm lowered' in the Noah and the Whale's song, but the line 'I'd understand that the world does what it does' by LM could alse be seen as referring to

    glassartificeon October 08, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen I first heard this song, I was instantly captivated and I listened to in on-repeat for about 20 minutes.

    It immediately reminded me of a past relationship I had been in, an emotionally tumultuous relationship with someone who was clinically depressed. Perhaps it is my own personal bias or selective interpretation, but I really do feel that this song is about someone who has gotten out of an abusive relationship with a person who is severely depressed. In the song, it seems that the relationship has taken a serious emotional told on narrator, and only after getting out of the relationship, she is able to look back on how much she allowed herself to change in the process in hopes to make her significant other happy. But, she realizes that she cannot make her significant other happy if he is not happy with himself. Thus, she comes to accept that she cannot change him, and must leave him.

    "But I'd whisper that I love this night now and for forever,
    To your soul as it floats out the window,
    To the world that you turned your back on,
    To the world that never really let you be."

    This song is poignant because there is an obvious sense of both desperation and hope. While she feels saddened and desperate that she couldn't force him to be something he couldn't, she learns to regain her independence, reclaim her identity as an autonomous person when she leaves him. ("and I am Laura now, and I am Laura still.) Perhaps, this was something Laura wrote after her own breakup for herself in order to help her recover.
    Cardigancoveron October 27, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit almost sounds like she's saying "...for what i LACK wouldn't let me"... which doesn't actually make sense really. but, i admit, i sort of like it better that way.
    TheWrongGirlon January 19, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI don't think it's just about "Hold My Hand As I'm Lowered" alone, it's probably more in reference to Noah and the Whale's last album being exclusively written about her.

    I like this song a lot more because of the blatant reference to NATW. It is a cracking tune though it must be said.
    MancMarkon May 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is beautiful. I can really relate to it. Beautiful lyrics.

    I posted these and I got them from her live version, it was easier to hear them than on the recorded track.
    babettejon September 01, 2008   Link

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