I am not dead
I demand I know my rights
I know my rights
You cover illness with flowers
and flowers die and flowers die

Walk in half view of all mirrors
It makes sense to me,
Makes sense to me
Never let yourself out
I did, it ruined me
It ruined me

To be morally good
Only rather to love
A devil pretending to be a god
Laws are written on paper, and paper burns
Eternity is not sunrise

Walk in half view of all mirrors
It makes sense to me,
Makes sense to me
Never let your self out
I did, it ruined me
It ruined me

To be morally good
Only rather to love
A devil pretending to be a god
Laws are written on paper, and paper burns
Eternity is not a sunrise

To be morally good
Only rather to love
A devil pretending to be a god
Laws are written on paper, and paper burns
Eternity is not a sunrise


Lyrics submitted by deltasunlight, edited by yossarian9

Bag Lady song meanings
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  • +3
    General Commenthmm..."William's Last Words" is the last track on the album, but I look at "Bag Lady" as being the true final thought on the album. The Manics know this, and by making it a secret song, it's the final statement on Journal for Plague Lovers and takes the album out on a high note. I see it as a testament to Richey in his own words.

    He has "let (him)self out" in so many ways on paper and in words that it has "ruined" him. There really is not anything else he can say or do to make a difference because people will continue to be vain and self-absorbed--our culture is built on materialism, a motif in much of Richey's writing. "To be morally good, are we ready to love?" is Richey saying that in order to be truly "good" we must "love" but the kind of love people are taught to value, through holy books, romance novels, love songs, etc. are all "a devil pretending to be a god."

    "Walking I feel I follow mirrors that make sense to me"--Us as humans (Richey included, he has always admitted he is just as guilty of being vain) constantly validate our views opinions and look into "mirrors" that comfort us instead of questioning ourselves and digging deeper. In order to be "morally good" we must let go of this sense of "love" that we have grown attached to, which is all a product of dogma and materialism.

    "Love's written on paper, and paper burns," "You cover illness with flowers, and flowers die," "eternity is not sunrise"---these lines all mean a similar thing metaphorically. They all represent some type of beauty ("love," "flowers," "sunrise") that is not eternal and will eventually "die" or "burn." All of these infatuations and sense of love eventually crumble and die.

    All in all, I see it as Richey coming to a conclusion within himself. He has let himself out in his words for all to see, and it has not brought him the sense of love he has sought. Perhaps he is in fact "not dead," became fed up with his celebrity, and just moved on.
    bombast07on July 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI wonder if this song was Richey giving a hint as to whether he didn't commit suicide and instead wanted to become unknown, especially in the phrase 'Never let yourself out, I did, it ruined me', meaning he let people know who he was and now regrets it and so doesn't want to end his life but instead have a new identity. Starting with 'I am not dead', then going on to 'You cover illness with flowers and flowers die' saying we give ill people flowers as if that makes everything better but it's all meaningless. 'To be morally good.......Eternity is not sunrise' may suggest he feels the word 'love' is used too often and people don't actually mean it with the last two lines showing that even though people say it or write it down, they don't mean it and it ia not eternal. 'A devil pretending to be a God' may suggest lust in that people are drawn to that and think it's love when it's not.
    Pete3085on June 29, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm so glad I finally checked the lyrics. All this time I've been singing "Rabbits in Love"
    vilvodkaon March 01, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentActual Lyrics are...
    Walk in half-view of all mirrors, it makes sense to me, makes sense to me
    and instead of 'Are we ready to love?' It's 'Only rather to love'
    Pete3085on September 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this is about Richey's experience in hospital, his experience of undergoing therapy. 'Never let yourself out' (i.e. richey may perceive therapy as telling him to not be his real self) and 'I know my rights' (again could be about being forced to undertake therapy, or indeed 'knowing your rights' is an element of cognitive therapy for those with low self esteem).

    Mirrors have been used before in the Holy Bible lyrics. Walk in half view of mirrors is all about his vanity - which again refers to his mental state.

    to be morally good - may refer to his 12 step programme - 'a devil pretending to be a god'?
    buckleyboybenon June 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirstly the title refers to someone who is homeless. (Bag Lady)
    'Eternity is not sunrise' may I believe relate to this short William Blake poem 'Eternity' -

    (He who binds to himself a joy
    Does the winged life destroy;
    But he who kisses the joy as it flies
    Lives in eternity's sun rise.)

    Since this is rejected it is not lived in, without a home.
    What can we associate with a home? healing/sanctuary/safety/boundaries/authority
    These are all dealt with in the song and shown to be unstable
    (health-'flowers die'/self-'ruined me'/laws-'paper burns')

    As for Richey, I hope he's leading some kind of monastical/nomadic life somewhere :-)
    yossarian9on January 20, 2013   Link

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