"Kathleen" as written by and Philip Parris Lynott....
It's plain to see, the sun won't shine today
But I ain't in the mood for sunshine anyway
Maybe I'll go insane
I got to stop the pain
Or maybe I'll go down to see Kathleen.

A swallow comes and tells me of her dreams
She says she'd like to know just what they mean
I feel like I could die
As I watch her flying by
Ride the north wind down to see Kathleen.

Stars hang high above, the oceans roar
The moon is come to lead me to her door
There's crystal across the sand
And the waves, they take my hand.
Soon I'm gonna see my sweet Kathleen.

Soon I'm gonna see my sweet Kathleen.


Lyrics submitted by doqtor

"Kathleen" as written by John Townes Van Zandt

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Kathleen song meanings
Add your thoughts

4 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    General CommentI take a more literal view of the song. I think Kathleen is an old girlfriend or something, and she's dead, and he's thinking about walking out into the ocean to kill himself so he can see her in the hereafter. Thinking of the last verse especially in that way, it makes perfect sense.
    afbaileyon May 06, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwell townes had a heroin habit at times, especially in certain Texan cities. I think Kathleen either dealt or had enough to share. he's not in the mood for sunshine, feels like he could die, he has to stop the pain. crystals (powder) across the sand, waves (of relief from the drug) are coming when he sees his sweet Kathleen. that's how I impose sense on this one, not that all of his songs make that kind of sense.
    unishmaltzon April 11, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA real American classic; a death ballad with allusions to the oceans and the highway, with a chilling supernatural/psychological twist. A very desolate and atmospheric heartbreaker.

    There's a good cover of this by the Tindersticks. But this is pretty definitive.
    juror8on September 10, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis is one of the saddest songs Townes did, in my opinion.
    NoOneOnEarthon August 29, 2017   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain