Now my work is done
I feel I'm owed some joy
Oh Imogene and Abelard
I'm your homeward boy
But there's another one
Who brings me to your door
And the boat she weaved from the tidal reeds
Was always tied to shore

With bright smiles and dark eyes
Bright smile dark eyes
Everywhere I went oh
I was always searching for ya
Bright smile dark eyes

I'm looking for some peace
But it's so hard to find
With Calamity Janes and the Steamboat Casanovas
And Darling Clementines
If she's your only one
Then she is also mine
Just pin your heartbeat up against my heartbeat
And you'll see how well we rhyme


Man is only half himself
The other half is a bright thing
He tumbles on by luck or grace
For man is ever a blind thing


Lyrics submitted by Beazer

Bright Smile Lyrics as written by Josh Ritter


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Bright Smile song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentMy theory is that Abelard IS Peter Abelard, whereas I'm thinking Imogene might be Imogen from Cymbeline. I think the reason for pairing them up is how they both went through a secret marriage, albeit, one historical and the other one fictional, and then had to separate from their spouse. But it's just a theory :)
    littlekasinoon June 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is probably my favorite by Josh Ritter. It's pretty self explanitory and it has so many cute one-liners in it (pin your heartbeat..). It is a delight.
    fireplaceon January 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite to I guess... I wish I went to Ireland to see him! It is jst great!!
    AJokeon March 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song, but what's "imogene and abelard"?
    bruce_fan27on May 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. I love that in his earlier music you can really hear the influence of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. This song really reminds me of Springsteen; his vocalization in the chorus sounds a bit like "Sad Eyes."
    He has his own particular references though - Calamity Jane! Could Abelard be Peter Abelard?
    lily(myoneandonly)on December 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti always thought imogene and abelard was a reference to heloise and abelard -famous star crossed lovers from history- but aparently imogene isn't a variant of heloise after all. which leaves me stuck. unless Josh got it wrong which i highly doubt! adore man is only half himself ... compare to every heart is a package ... the idea that we are made whole by another person.
    wookie007on September 06, 2009   Link

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