"A Stone" as written by and Sally Herbert Jimmy Somerville....
Hot breath, rough skin
Warm laughs and smiling
The loveliest words whispered and meant
You like all these things

But, though you like all these things
You love a stone
You love a stone
Because it's smooth
And it's cold

And you'd love most to be told
That it's all your own

You love white veins, you love hard grey
The heaviest weight, the clumsiest shape
The earthiest smell, the hollowest tone
You love a stone

And I'm found too fast, called too fond of flames
And then I'm phoning my friends
And then I'm shouldering the blame
While you're picking pebbles out of the drain, miles ago

You're out singing songs, and I'm down shouting names
At the flickerless screen, going fucking insane
Am I losing my cool, overstating my case?
Well, baby, what can I say?

You know I never claimed that I was a stone
And you love a stone

You love white veins, you love hard grey
The heaviest weight, the clumsiest shape
The earthiest smell, the hollowest tone
You love a stone

You love a stone, because it's dark, and it's old
And if it could start being alive, you'd stop living alone

And I think I believe that, if stones could dream
They'd dream of being laid side-by-side, piece-by-piece
And turned into a castle for some towering queen
They're unable to know

And when that queen's daughter came of age
But I think she'd be lovely and stubborn and brave
And suitors would journey from kingdoms away
Just to make themselves known

And I think that I know the bitter dismay
Of a lover who brought fresh bouquets every day
When she turned him away to remember some knave
Who once gave just one rose, one day, years ago


Lyrics submitted by PuNkJaSo

"A Stone" as written by Will Sheff

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

A Stone song meanings
Add your thoughts

39 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +7
    General CommentI am not convinced the central metaphor in the song, "a stone" is meant to mean a grave stone though I am sure the fact that a grave stone comes to mind is no accident. An emotionless unavailable person you want a relationship with is a lot like wanting to be with someone or something that is dead an gone. The central metaphor is complex and not one-to-one as another poster pointed out.

    I am surprised to see no one has thought of the stone as an unpolished, unintended, and accidental thing. The frustrated guy (Black Sheep Boy) is going out of his way to woo the girl he wants and getting nowhere while "a stone" who does nothing for her on purpose manages to catch her affection.

    The general theme of the song, i think, has been nailed down as unrequited affection. The contrast between the stone and the lover, however, has yet to become clear. The lover (Black Sheep Boy, the character I see as the protagonist present in each song and who the album is all about) knows what the girl likes:

    "Hot breath, rough skin, warm laughs, and smiling, the lovliest words, whispered and meant"

    but does not give her what she loves:

    "white veins, [...] hard grey, the heaviest weight, the clumsiest shape, the earthiest smell, the hollowest tone, [...] a stone."

    The girl "likes" being loved and cared for, but "loves" wanting the things she cannot have. The shift in word choice is no accident. An inescapable irony emerges as you see the girl the narrator loves is a stone to him just as the guy the girl loves is a stone to her. The stone probably loves someone else not mentioned in the song. The real contrast in the song is varying attitudes lover, or potential lovers, take toward one another. We all want what we cannot have, don't understand, and drives us crazy. The human psyche is a messy place.

    Black Sheep Boy is "found too fast [and] called too fond of flames" meaning he falls for girls too easily, gets burned again and again, and in a way seems to like it. Why else would he keep repeating the same mistake? He loves getting burned, not the girl.

    The girl loves a stone "because it's dark and it's old," "because it's smooth and it's cold," or in other words because it is mysterious, damaged, worn down by experience, detached and indifferent to her beauty. The notion "that it's all ...[her] own" is what she really wants. If her stone "could start being alive" she'd "stop living alone." She is not any different than the Black Sheep Boy in her unrequited affection, and neither of them is very different from any of us who hear the song.

    The last section of the song is a projection of the results of unrequited love.

    "And I think I believe that,
    if stones could dream,
    they'd dream of being laid
    side-by-side,
    piece-by-piece,
    and turned into a castle
    for some towering queen
    they're unable to know."

    If the stone could love anyone he would wind up just like Black Sheep Boy, one of thousands of protectors of a girl that wants someone else. Black Sheep Boy wants to think that if the stone could show the girl some real feeling she would not want him anymore.

    And the cycle will continue on through the generations "when the queens daughter c[o]me[s] of age." Many will want her, but the one she wants will be nothing special, doesn't try to win her, and completely unavailable.
    P to the Gon August 03, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMany of you have grasped the greater themes I think (though it's not really necessary to nail down whether the "stone" implies a dead lover or not. It might or it might not; it makes no difference whether it is even human, really. It can be *any* lingering one-sided obsession on the part of the unreachable beloved. If you are looking only at this one song, of course.)

    But do be very careful of how you refer to "he/she" or "the singer." Will Sheff is a poet and a student of literature. This song fits into the greater narrative of the entire "Black Sheep Boy" album and the narrator of this song is no more "the singer" than Shakespeare is the main character of all his plays (!) You belittle this small piece of poetry to simplfy it as such.

    That said, I'm extremely curious to see how anyone reading this thinks it might fit in to the greater narrative of "Black , especially in Sheep Boy," the album. Especially, in relation to songs like "For Real" ("...sometimes i thirst for real blood, for real knives, for real cries...I want to know this time if you’re really finally mine...") or "A King and a Queen" ("...be hands holding a knife. Be a being on two feet, with his heart trembling, butchering for a king he believes in though he's never seen. Be the princess in that stone tower, crying for that handsome butcher's plight...") The same unreachable beloved shows up but who are these different narrators? Or are they the same character? The recurring motif of the princess in the tower of willing stones...the blood...hot life vs.the cold inanimate...what do you make of it, hey?
    tippitaon October 08, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWe've all been in the narrator's position. Every one of us.
    RepentantRakeon January 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentabout a guy who's closed off and the girl that loves him
    pinderon May 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this is a first person song, and the singer is in love with a girl who loves a stone, and he is questioning why the girl loves the man who is such a hard, cold, stone-like man.....saying pretty much that he has way more to offer, and why doesnt she love him instead of the stone
    elstortezon July 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentooof...im the stone. :(
    IAmAClicheon December 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song. i agree with elstortez that it is in the first person... the singer is talking about how he is so very in love with a girl and goes out of his way to demonstrate his love to her, but she casts his love aside for another more "challenging" love interest. the stone is the "other man" who puts forth little effort to woo her, but wins her love anyhow. it is sort of the classic situation of someone who loves "the thrill of the chase", or who feels the relationship is only worthwhile if she is never quite sure of where she stands in it. she loves "the stone" because he makes her crazy trying to figure out of he really cares for her and she mistakes this emotion for love and romance. she passes by the singer because it is too easy... his heart is on his sleeve.
    tawnygypsygirlon December 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree that the song is a man singing about a woman he loves who is still in love with someone else. However, I think that the "stone" refers to a gravestone, and that the woman is still in love with someone who has died. The line, "And you love most to be told that it's all your own," refers to her previous lover belonging to her forever b/c he died while he was in love with her. But I feel what is most telling is the final verse that talks about how she is still in love with that man and can't forget about him b/c he was the first to capture her heart.
    yukino031902on February 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI guess it could plausibly be a gravestone...but I think the way Will Sheff makes the "stone" a negative thing would be disrespectful if it was about a woman in love with a dead lover. He has too much empathy for a song like that I think.
    rolandfrompolandon March 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think everyone has felt like that at somepoint. He is in madly in love with a woman but she doesn't care that she has a good thing going. She wants the flame. She wants a guy who is emotionless (like a stone). And it drives him absolutly crazy.
    JimDillonon March 23, 2006   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain