"The Letter" as written by and Natalie A Merchant....
If I ever write this letter
The pages I could write
But I don't know where to send it
You have vanished
Heaven knows where you live
Heaven only knows

If I ever write this letter
Bitter words it would contain
Just and unrequited lover
Wishing she had never
Spoken your name
Had never known your name

But if I ever write this letter
The truth it would reveal
Knowing you brought me pleasure
How I'll often treasure
Moments that we knew
The precious, the few


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"The Letter" as written by Natalie A Merchant

Lyrics © NETTWERK MUSIC GROUP

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The Letter song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI am shocked that I am the only one who has commented on this song. This is the story of every love i've ever known in my life. I have written in my head the letter to each and every ex-boyfriend and ex-lover in my life and this song sums it all up. Thank you for putting this into words, Natalie.
    mrsdarthvaderon July 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song... she knows that she couldn't send the letter, because the person's disappeared, but she also knows that even if she knew where to send it, she most likely wouldn't be able to bring herself to mail it anyway, because in the end, she'd only be admitting she still cares very much for this person who has abandoned her... and no one wants to show weakness to someone so capable of hurting.
    delialon April 01, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song out of all the songs on Tigerlily pulled me in the most. I loved the whole feeling of that album. Natalie's voice is so haunting and the whole album kind of pulled me in though most of the songs I don't connect to the messages or stories directly. The album had a kind of negative effect on me though - made me melancholy. However, I was very drawn to it.
    This song though I loved. The simplicity, and no chorus, just three simple verses of regret, reluctant gratitude, and a helplessness at not being able to reconnect.
    I think it is interesting that this type of situation is so much rarer now due to our global connectivity. We can usually check up on friends and past "lovers" even if not connecting with them directly (Facebook, twitter...)We can "find them" there most of the time.
    nashmatton October 31, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationJust my perspective.

    I think the song is about a deeper sort of love lost. Maybe a woman who became pregnant with a man's child that she didn't love. The father being robbed of becoming a part of his child's life and his child's future. The mother despised the man and the child after birth. The child was taken, and the father was left without a trace. Only Heaven knows. The father holds the few, precious moments they had and has a desire to write a letter to his child, revealing a truth in where the child comes from and the truth of the father's love, truly lost. The love from a father to a child should not be underestimated.
    A life stolen from father and child, leaving the child believing only in what the mother and family surroundings feed the child's mind, creating a good background for believing your father didn't care for you until you start searching for yourself. Writing a song about writing a letter is such a beautiful expression of how far one will go to let the world know you have a message for someone, and hope that someone who's searching for a message comes across it. A letter with this much meaning would surely reveal the truth of it all, and it is possible to be holding a letter with strange meaning until you hear a song like this.
    I have heard this song before, I love this album. It is my favorite. But I recently listened with my mind and soul wide open, and I take the meaning to a spiritual place, like a father who loved his son and a mother who acted in spite, never wishing to have had to speak either of their names, and possibly changing the child's name completely. Just because it could've happened.
    If it did, I would imagine the father trying to find the right words, to deliver the message of who he is, where he is from. That he has always been loved, always been a buried treasure of the father. Lost loves are returned to you in Heaven.
    In Harry Potter, there was a child born to this world who did not know his own name, and this could be from the same place of loss...wanting them to know who they are. Love and Peace!
    DeAnnaRollinson October 15, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, Heaven and Facebook know. A modern world we live in.
    starmileon August 27, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song has two of the strong lines in any song that I can think of about past loves. She hits the nail on the head perfectly. This song has always spoke to me with it clear truth about a past love that you wished you could just send a message to let them know that they still cross your mind from time to time.
    JASartainon February 14, 2018   Link

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