"Sylvia Plath" as written by and Richard Causon Ryan Adams....
I wish I had a Sylvia Plath
Busted tooth and a smile
And cigarette ashes in her drink
The kind that goes out and then sleeps for a week
The kind that goes out on her own
To give me a reason, for well, I dunno

And maybe she'd take me to France
Or maybe to Spain, she'd ask me to dance
In a mansion on the top of a hill
She'd ash on the carpets
And slip me a pill
Then she'd get me pretty loaded on gin
And maybe she'd give me a bath
How I wish I had a Sylvia Plath

And she and I would sleep on a boat
And swim in the sea without clothes
With rain falling fast on the sea
While she was swimming away, she'd be winking at me
Telling me it would all be okay
On the horizon and fading away
And I'd swim to the boat and I'd laugh
Gotta get me a Sylvia Plath

And maybe she'd take me to France
And maybe to Spain, she'd ask me to dance
In a mansion on the top of a hill
She'd ash on the carpets
And slip me a pill
Then she'd get me pretty loaded on gin
And maybe she'd give me a bath
How I wish I had a Sylvia Plath
I wish I had a Sylvia Plath


Lyrics submitted by ang

"Sylvia Plath" as written by Ryan Adams Richard Causon

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Sylvia Plath song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis song is so beautiful. I don't think anyone could really understand Ryan Adams nor Sylvia Plath without having being depressed once. Maybe I provoke someone with my statement, but the state of mind they both are in is much easier to understand if you have been there yourself. For those of you who just think that Plath was crazy, you should read some about depression. And about Sylvia.
    Melinda*on May 26, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this is a sentimental love song... the writer longs for a woman like Sylvia Plath. Beautiful and mysterious. She lives her own life and is a artist at what she enjoys
    ysgwrnon June 15, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMaybe this is too literal, but I always heard this song as Ryan indulging in suicidal fantasies. Almost like Sylvia represents giving in to mental illness and not fighting it anymore. Not living in reality, and instead going with "her" to France or Spain and dancing in some imaginary mansion on a hill. I always took the "slip me a pill, and get me pretty loaded on gin and maybe she'd give me a bath" as the act of suicide itself. As in, taking pills, drinking, and slipping away in a bath. Also, the lines about swimming reminds me of a part of The Bell Jar where she is at the beach and literally tries to drown herself while swimming. In the song, when he describes "while she was swimming away, she'd be winking at me
    telling me it would all be okay, out on the horizon and fading away" as a ridiculously romanticized version of drowning. In both instances, the "death" occurs in a sort of gentle, comforting manner. It seems kind of like a giant suicidal ideation, and Sylvia represents a dreamy end.
    JAM4321on April 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHave you ever read a book and just completely submerged yourself in the author's thoughts? You find yourself daydreaming that you were there... some of the best daydreams I've ever had are in this way. It is the stories that mean so much to us, but writers such as Sylvia Plath give us their beautifully ugly thoughts and (usually tragic) life journeys.... and so this is more common with this writing style. It is not so much the work produced that makes us obsess over artists as it is the artists themselves.

    I think Ryan was describing a daydream that he indulges in when reading her work. When I am reading a Kerouac book, I spend half of my time reading, and half of my time in pointless daydreams of me just walking through battered streets with him drunk and wasted and careless and in love with feeling alive (yet so close to dead)... What it would have been like....sigh.... it is a weird feeling that you get from these daydreams... you would give almost anything to actually experience them... though in most cases it leaves you empty and frustrated and sad because you can't. With Sylvia, I think many avid readers want to ease her pain, or feel it with her.... what I wouldn't give to just sit with her on an afternoon in such bleakness... Sometimes the best way to know we are alive is to feel pain.

    And so..... I think the meaning of this song is foreign to most people, but as your thinking develops, and you read a book or a thousand, and you realize that all of life is tragic, then you will begin to understand this. There is something beautiful in a person who is sad or who has realized the sadness in life... and so maybe this song is about him wanting a sylvia plath, a rock-bottom feeler of life in its true form... and maybe because those people are untouchable.... you can never truly ease the pain in that person, and you can never feel exactly what they are feeling.... but life would be so damned and horrible......and beautiful.
    I think as a writer or songwriter the meaning that other people get from your words is more important than what it meant to you. This site is great for this reason.... I think what the song means to you is just as important as what it meant to the artist originally. Songs are a great way to resurrect different feelings from different times in your life.

    Some of you may realize that when you really start thinking, you will become an outsider.... and very alone at times.

    Hope you all find the tragedy in life, though it may be a better life to live completely oblivious to this.
    readabookon April 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentoh.. and they understand each other! haha
    ysgwrnon June 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me this song is about meeting a woman who is so totally not you, you can't help but be drawn to her.

    You're wrapped up in her life, and thoughts, and actions - but everything she does is foreign. She's uncouth - ashes on the carpet, abuses pills and alcohol, sleeps for a week, exotic to the point of being extreme - but you want nothing more than to be near her.

    At the same time, she fills needs in you no one else has - gives you a bath, sleeping on boats, naked swimming, dancing in mansions - all while being just out of reach.

    I wish I sometimes had a Sylvia Plath.
    harryseawardon June 09, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is kind of a neat song...I've never actually heard it I just kinda stumbled across the lyrics. I'm not sure what exactly Ryan is saying (perhaps it is total sarcasm?) but I think I'll download it anyways...anybody have any thoughts on its meaning?
    WishYouWereHereon August 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is kind of a neat song...I've never actually heard it I just kinda stumbled across the lyrics. I'm not sure what exactly Ryan is saying (perhaps it is total sarcasm?) but I think I'll download it anyways...anybody have any thoughts on its meaning?
    WishYouWereHereon August 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsylvia plath is a writer.. mostly she wrote poetry (look up metaphors, daddy, and mushrooms).. she also wrote one novel called The Bell Jar... she committed suicide when she was pretty young.. in her 30's i think. her work manifests a lot of her serious depression.
    riverscuomorockson April 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah - Sylvia Plath: author, had a failed marriage with poet Ted Hughes. 'The Bell Jar' is like an autobiography.
    I like the line; '"Then she'd get me pretty loaded on gin". I reckon that's typical 'Bell Jar' speak.
    I wish I knew what this song really means, if it does have a profound meaning.
    *girl from mars*on April 18, 2004   Link

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