"Sweet Painted Lady" as written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin....
I'm back on dry land once again
Opportunity awaits me like a rat in the drain
We're all hunting honey with money to burn
Just a short time to show you the tricks that we've learned

If the boys all behave themselves here
Well, there's pretty young ladies and beer in the rear
You won't need a gutter to sleep in tonight
Oh, the prices I charge here will see you alright

So, she lays down beside me again
My sweet painted lady, the one with no name
Many have used her and many still do
There's a place in the world for a woman like you

Oh, sweet painted lady
Seems it's always been the same
Getting paid for being laid
Guess that's the name of the game

Oh, sweet painted lady
Seems it's always been the same
Getting paid for being laid
Guess that's the name of the game, oh

Forget us we'll have gone very soon
Just forget we ever slept in your rooms
And we'll leave the smell of the sea in your beds
Where love's just a job and nothing is said

So she lays down beside me again
My sweet painted lady, the one with no name
Many have used her and many still do
There's a place in the world for a woman like you

Oh, sweet painted lady
Seems it's always been the same
Getting paid for being laid
Guess that's the name of the game

Oh, sweet painted lady
Seems it's always been the same
Getting paid for being laid
Guess that's the name of the game, oh


Lyrics submitted by pumkinhed

"Sweet Painted Lady" as written by Elton John Bernie Taupin

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Sweet Painted Lady song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationSo hear me out..Yes on the surface it's about prostitution but I think there's more than meets the eye (ear?). Keep in mind this album was released in 1973. Right around that time there was a movement in San Francisco for people to purchase historic Victorian houses and paint the exteriors in multiple bright colors. These repainted houses were called "Painted Ladies" and were somewhat controversial at the time since they were historic structures.

    I think this song personifies these "Painted Ladies" (houses) and make a comparison to the way people purchase, use/misuse, and eventually abandon them to the way a sailor treats a prostitute. Notice the Painted Lady has "no name" and doesn't speak, "love's just a job and nothing is said".

    The first part of the song sets up the prostitution theme but it's the 4th verse that flips to the metaphor: "Forget us we'll have gone very soon. Just forget we ever slept in your rooms. And we'll leave the smell of the sea in your beds." Isn't it interesting that "rooms" and "beds" are plural? I think it's also a commentary that while they (house owner/sailor) eventually leave once they've had their way, they do leave a lasting mark.
    TexasTimon May 15, 2013   Link

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