"Rosemary" as written by and Scott Engel....
Voices from a photograph
Laughed from your wall
Screamed through your dreams
Wake up Rosemary and wipe your teary eyes

Rise and cross the cold bare floor
And watch the moon through frosted glass
Damn that photograph
I'll have to take it down

She hears the boats as they move down the river
She sees a dog straining hard on his leash to get away
She hears the clock and it strikes like a hammer
Pounding the nails one day further in the coffin of her
youth

Evenings with your mother's friends
Pregnant eyes, sagging chins
Swollen fingertips
Pour antique cups of tea

Who are you and where you been?
Suspended in a weightless wind
Watching trains go by
From platforms in the rain

Look at the photograph
Dream back last summer
Dream back the lips
Of that traveling salesman, Mr. Jim

He smelled of miracles
With stained glass whispers
You loved his laughter
You tremble beneath him once again

That's what I want
A new shot at life
But my coat's too thin
My feet won't fly

And I watch the wind and I see another dream blowin' by


Lyrics submitted by carcrashkiss

"Rosemary" as written by Scott Engel

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Rosemary song meanings
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    General Commentbluetapes.tumblr.com/

    angel pop #2: Scott 3
    Second in a series of Details and Aspects from the Language of the Pop Song

    It’s sometimes hard to suppress an eye-roll at Scott Walker. And that’s a difficult thing to admit, because he’s really not the enemy. Scott is not just on the side of the angels, his tones are the very breath that keeps the fuckers afloat. But still. Y’know. There are issues here.

    It’s easy to blame his descendents: the hyper-stylised fop poetry of Brett Anderson, or even late-period Nick Cave. Men using very different but equally fetishised, literature-imported ideas about masculinity as a kind of soft focus filter that makes the ‘everydayness’ of the world seem more beautiful and tragic and doomed and romantic and epiphanic than it does for the rest of us; they live their lives on film and us on video. But a lot of this actually comes from Scott.
    His vocabulary is equally as limited and nonsense-prone as Brett’s tongue-tied waffling about “nuclear skies” and “hired cars”. In both instances the success of their words bank largely on their delivery rather than their believability. By crushing them with charm and sonority as with Walker, or simply by being sex indestructible like Brett.

    In both instances their palette has to be purposefully limited to reinforce within the nebulous rhetoric of a pop song the identity of their projection; the Jim Morrison-by way of-Camus antihero which has haunted and plagued the cultivated personas of male songwriters since this album, Scott 3, at least.
    So I’ll permit myself the (mostly good-natured) eye-roll at Scott detachedly observing from his rented room window “the cellophane streets”, whose lovers are “like a winter night” with eyes that are variously “dark rivers” and “lanterns”, whose memories “pursue… like puddles of rain”, whose love “is an antique song. For children’s carousels.”

    Because he was there first. And, until Jarvis at least, he did this shit better than anyone else. And because glinting now and again in all the handsome debris of smashed-together metaphor and affectation are some crush-you beautiful lines.

    It’s Raining Today is a perfect example - its initial description of meeting the “train window girl” who “Smiles through the smoke of my cigarette” doesn’t initially promise anything but more beautiful lies dressed up as dirty real life, but scan back a bit and the actual opening line - “It’s raining today. And I’m just about to forget the train window girl.” - is delicious and cruel, but clever. Freezeframing the point at which the narrator forgets his muse, rather than encounters her is a brilliant poetic device. The ambiguity of the statement - has he finally succeeded in forcing himself to ‘forget’, or has she simply been dissolved into his brain by other, more pressing whims - makes it actually emotional, sad even.
    “It’s raining today. But once there was summer and you. And dark little rooms. And sleep in late afternoons. Those moments descend on my windowpane.”
    The forgetting is a nasty conclusion, like a car-crash creeping up on the poet as he ruminates. Not there yet.

    “I’ve hung around too long. Listenin’ to the old landlady’s hard-luck stories,” he sighs, pulling on his Scott Walker superhero cloak for extra warmth. “You out of me, me out of you. We go like lovers. To replace the empty space. Repeat our dreams to someone new.”

    Devastation crawls towards the hologram of the train window girl’s memory. There are unwitting assassins on every street corner.

    “No hang-ups for me. Cause hang-ups need company. The street corner girl’s a trembling leaf. It’s raining today.”

    The character play in Scott 3 points to obvious antecedents for the likes of Stuart Murdoch and the ‘damaged-girl’ archetype voyeurism of indiepop. There’s Big Louise, “She’s a haunted house. And her windows are broken.”

    There’s Rosemary, with voices who “scream through your dreams”, spending sullen “Evenings with your mother’s friends. Pregnant eyes, sagging chins. Swollen fingertips. Pour antique cups of tea.”

    Again, Walker is playing close to the borders of the unintentionally laugh-out-loud. “Look at the photograph. Dream back last summer. Dream back the lips. Of that traveling salesman, Mr Jim.”
    Mr Jim.

    “He smelled of miracles. With stained glass whispers. You loved his laughter. You tremble beneath him once again.”

    Mr Jim who smells of miracles. Good work, Rosemary.

    Rosemary’s denouement in lesser hands would have been a slap-to-the-forehead of obviousness: a bit of crying at said photograph, maybe a Shangri-La-implied preggernancy. But Walker drags the focus back to the magnificent artifice of his own ego in a superb reveal: “That’s what I want. A new shot at life. But my coat’s too thin. My feet won’t fly.”

    Across Scott 3, Walker seems to astral-project from the observatory of his bedsit window, floating across the rainscape of Blackpool, or London, or The Isle of Wight, or wherever he was living now. Zooming in on other lonesome rooms and cross-referencing his predicament with that of those rooms’ prisoners.
    He watches the wind and sees “another dream blowin’ by”, and stalks it dead.
    It now takes Walker up to six years to complete the lyrics for songs such as Cue from The Drift, which appear on albums arriving up to 11 years apart. As much as the world of Scott’s first four solo albums typify cinematically what Johnny Marr called “that gothic and beautiful gloom that was as much about England in the Sixties as was Day Tripper”, it would have been fascinating to see what that obsessive attention to detail could have wrung out of his most famous era of high-art melodrama.

    In his recordings now, the Scott persona is absent, his once-knicker-searing croon little more than a haunted house itself. Instead it’s his words which claw scratchmarks into the dense, compressed air of his soundworlds.
    xeroxboyon September 04, 2012   Link

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