"Pearls" as written by Helen Adu and Andrew Hale....
There is a woman in Somalia
Scraping for pearls on the roadside
There's a force stronger than nature
Keeps her will alive

This is how she's dying
She's dying to survive
Don't know what she's made of
I would like to be that brave

She cries to the heaven above
There is a stone in my heart
She lives a life she didn't choose
And it hurts like brand-new shoes

Hurts like brand-new shoes

There is a woman in Somalia
The sun gives her no mercy
The same sky we lay under
Burns her to the bone

Long as afternoon shadows
It's gonna take her to get home
Each grain carefully wrapped up
Pearls for her little girl

Hallelujah
Hallelujah

She cries to the heaven above
There is a stone in my heart
She lives in a world she didn't choose
And it hurts like brand-new shoes
Hurts like brand-new shoes


Lyrics submitted by ruben

"Pearls" as written by Andrew Hale Helen Adu

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Pearls song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI agree. I love her heartfelt cry, 'hallelujah', you can really hear her soul in it. the agony of a mother trying to keep heart in the face of famine is so powerfully portrayed.
    preshpearlon March 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think pearls represents food for her daughter, it's probably shaped like pearls. The reason it is called pearls because food is scarce which makes the food precious and invaluable.
    vizion24on April 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"hurts like brand new shoes" is just an ingenious metaphor. It means that the singer (or any of us in the Western world) can't really understand the pain someone in that situation goes through, and we can only try to judge it by our standards.
    ElSon October 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont know what it is but this song just means so much to me...i get all deep and into it when i hear it
    angeleyes07on September 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the most moving songs i have ever heard. It is so beautifully crafted and the lyrics and harmony are astounding. The comparison to heartache in poverty to painful soles is poignant in that the woman in somalia probably never had new shoes and that despite that we can understand her pain. And the aspect of how she surrenders her life to the heavens above all her thoughts for her little girl. It is a song about the harshness of life and how we cannot choose our fate and family but have to each of us scrape for pearls in our lifetime to furhter our lives or in this case furhter our children's lives. She collects them for her girl notice not for her so you can interpret pearls as pearls of wisdom, money, food something that will help her child survive depite she is dying to survive....
    Tethyson June 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentesta es una de la canciones mas bellas que he escuchado. Y es la unica cancion que cada vez que la escucho me pone los pelos de punta , me paraliza, me estremece. Otro nivel de cancion. Just beautiful...
    constanza20on March 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI reckon that's THE song every woman should hear at least once in her lifetime. Cause it makes us think about all ups and downs of womanhood. It's a big and tricky task to be a woman, lover, mother and so on, isn't it? That's a sad and moving song about scraping pearls for little daughter(maybe food or grains or wisdom shaped as pearls..) but it still gives me a courage to be a woman. It tells me: live your life the way you like and choose cause you're a woman..Cos you're strong..Touching
    isia01on November 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just saw Sade perform @ Sydney Entertainment Centre last weekend!
    This song WAS UNBELIEVEABLE LIVE!!!! She is a force! When she sounds Halelujah- it still brings goosebumps up & down my body....exsquisite!

    I think the pearls relate to pearls of wisdom??
    Everything she does is driven by the innate behaviour of a mother for her child....

    Hurts like brand new shoes relates to it hurting every step of the way....
    I believe this is the labour of love....
    JessVon December 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like Sade, but this is just awful poverty industry propaganda. Look into the live aid money. Sir bob geldof? laughable.
    doodaroboton April 14, 2017   Link

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