Caroline laughs, and it's raining all day
Loves to be one of the girls
She lives in the place in the side of our lives
Where nothing is ever put straight

She turns herself 'round
And she smiles and she says
"This is it, that's the end of the joke"
And loses herself in her
Dreaming and sleep, and her
Lovers walk through in their coats

Pretty in pink, isn't she?
Pretty in pink, isn't she?

All of her lovers all
Talk of her notes and the
Flowers that they never sent
And wasn't she easy
Isn't she pretty in pink?

The one who insists he was
First in the line is the
Last to remember her name
He's walking around in this
Dress that she wore
She is gone, but the
Joke's the same

Pretty in pink, isn't she?
Pretty in pink, isn't she?

Caroline talks to you
Softly sometimes, she says,
"I love you" and "Too much"
She doesn't have anything
You want to steal
Well, nothing you can touch

She waves
She buttons your shirt
The traffic is waiting outside
She hands you this coat
She give you her clothes
These cars collide

Pretty in pink, isn't she?
Pretty in pink, isn't she?


Lyrics submitted by iheartmemynirvana45, edited by falcotron

Pretty In Pink Lyrics as written by John Ashton Duncan Kilburn

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Pretty in Pink song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

42 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +11
    General CommentRichard Butler said in 2010: "No. The idea of the song was, 'Pretty In Pink' as a metaphor for being naked. The song, to me, was actually about a girl who sleeps around a lot and thinks that she's wanted and in demand and clever and beautiful, but people are talking about her behind her back. That was the idea of the song. And John Hughes, bless his late heart, took it completely literally and completely overrode the metaphor altogether! I still like the song."

    Retrieved from: thequietus.com/articles/05128-the-psychedelic-furs-interview-talk-talk-talk/
    NMAon May 16, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThe one that was first in the line= took her virginity
    Walking around in the dress that she wore= The dress is a metaphor for her virginity, even though he can’t remember her name the “trophy” still reflects in his walk, his ego.
    He was able to take it off first so its his to claim. Like he wears his winning like a metal.
    cordelyiaon April 22, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about a young girl who is having sex casually to fit in, but when I first heard it I assumed it was about a girl who dreams about a perfect romance but instead finds herself having sex with just some guy. Again, not saying my interpretation is right at all, but it was just a fun way of looking at it:

    caroline laughs and it's raining all day
    she loves to be one of the girls
    -It's been said a hundred times, a girl who wants to fit in socially.

    she lives in the place in the side of our lives
    where nothing is ever put straight
    -I think this refers to her living in her dreamworld.

    she turns her self round and she smiles and she says
    "this is it that's the end of the joke"
    and loses herself in her dreaming and sleep
    and her lovers walk through in their coats
    -She dances, daydreams and sleeps. And as she does, has happy fantasies about different lovers. Men who want her and care, romantic men who are like something out of a film.

    pretty in pink
    isn't she pretty in pink
    isn't she...
    -Every consider that Caroline is an ugly (or at least, not shockingly beautiful) girl, and fantasizes about people talking about how pretty she is?

    all of her lovers all talk of her notes
    and the flowers that they never sent
    -Her imaginary lovers all send and give her wonderful things in her dreams, and she gives them romantic gestures like love notes

    and wasn't she easy
    and isn't she pretty in pink
    -I said before Caroline dreams of being attractive, but she also dreams of having sex with all of these imaginary lovers. She obviously isn't having sex with all these men in real life, but in her dreams she's living like it's one big party. But the real Caroline could never do that because she has moral objections. So in her dreams, Caroline is making love to her true sweethearts, but she knows if she did this in real life she'd just be skanky.

    the one who insists he was first in the line
    is the last to remember her name
    -Her fantasies really do seem to love her, but even Caroline realizes that they love the fun, cheerful, 'one-of-the-girls' person who has sex with them. They don't love the dreamy shy girl who made it all up. He doesn't remember Caroline's name because the imaginary lover loves the girl Caroline dreams she was.

    he's walking around in this dress that she wore
    she is gone but the joke's the same
    -The imaginary man is walking in Caroline's dress because he is her. He is just Caroline's idea of what a loving man should be like. When he says sweet things to Caroline, it's really just Caroline in her dress saying kind things to herself. She is 'gone' because she has become someone else. She has become this beautiful, 'easy' girl and she has also become that beautiful girl's many lovers. The 'joke's the same' line means that this is the same person.

    pretty in pink
    isn't she pretty in pink
    isn't she...
    -Mentioned before

    caroline talks to you softly sometimes
    she says "i love you" and "too much"
    -Caroline is beginning to realize she is to involved with her own fantasies.

    she doesn't have anything you want to steal
    well, nothing you can touch
    -She doesn't have anything they'd want to steal because these imaginary people are all better than her. Caroline has made them more attractive, and with more romanticized lives than her own. They can't touch her because they aren't real. She realizes that these imaginary lovers of her can't really touch her or make love to her.

    she waves...she buttons your shirt
    the traffic is waiting outside
    she hands you this coat
    she gives you her clothes
    these cars collide
    -Caroline stops with the fantasies by removing the sexual element (buttons your shirt). She gives the imaginary self and boyfriends her goodbye by giving them her old identity symbolically through her clothes. The last line is saying that the imaginary lives have collided with each other and have been destroyed in the process.
    -----------

    Besides that little joke interpretation of mine, I have a question for people trying to figure this song out. Throughout the song, it mentions Caroline and 'you'. Well, who is 'you'? This may sound silly, but if we figure out who the writers are refering too, figuring the song's details will be easier. Is 'you', Caroline's boyfriend? Is the listener 'you'? Or is the narrator? Just something I've been trying to figure out.

    Also, since this wasn't added to the original lyrics, here's the last (albeit slightly muttered) part of the song at the end:

    caroline's on the table screaming
    confidence is in the sea
    and all their favorite rags are worn
    and other kinds of uniform
    they kid you you're really free
    and you know what you want to be
    case of individuality
    until tomorrow
    and everything you are you'll see
    in pure shiny buttons
    they put you in this gear
    and driveways broken
    doorbell sings in chimes
    it plays anything goes
    bells toll in rhyme

    -Could 'it plays anything goes' refer to Cole Porter's famous song 'Anything Goes'?
    fuzzyforeveron December 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyes the showerscene thats a great song. Heaven. Yeah PIP is about a girl who likes to give it up in order to be liked. I don't think she's a prostitute though, just someone who is looking for that unrequited love. Its sad.
    beehauson December 18, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah, don't know the meaning, but all the posts seem plausible. Definitely involving a promiscuous woman. Or is it a transvestite? “He's walking around In this dress That she wore She is gone But the joke's the same” Could be Caroline the man reflecting after Caroline the woman did her thing w/ the last dude (perhaps it’s only during sex that he truly feels like a woman).

    BTW, Social Distortion does an outstanding cover of this song.
    DAS JETSon April 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentShe's obviously promiscuous and a bit strange. Maybe she was molested as a child. In her dreams "her lovers walk through in their clothes" not coats. She sleeps with these guys because it makes her feel wanted, but they don't care about her. In private they act like they love her but they make fun of her behind her back. Everyone just thinks of her as a whore.
    Inspecter512on November 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'd tend to agree with the theories of a promiscuous teenage girl than the transvestite simply because there seems to be more evidence in the words.

    Caroline laughs and it's raining all day
    (She laughs even though her life isn't great, and it's 'raining')

    She loves to be one of the girls
    She lives in the place in the side of our lives
    Where nothing is ever put straight
    (She likes to feel like she fits in, and flirting and having sex with guys makes her feel that way. 'The side of our lives' means she's not an important part of the lives of the guys she has sex with, and the situation between them is 'never put right' because she feels for them and they just see her as a meaningless booty call.)

    She turns her self round and she smiles and she says
    "This is it that's the end of the joke"
    (Maybe chatting up a guy in a bar?)

    And loses herself in her dreaming and sleep
    And her lovers walk through in their coats
    (Dreaming of better things, maybe where guys actually like her rather than just use her.)

    Pretty in pink
    Isn't she
    (To me this feels either ironic or, like someone else said, a reference to being naked.)

    All of her lovers
    All talk of her notes
    And the flowers
    That they never sent
    (This sounds to me like she was thinking there was something serious with these guys, so sending them love notes that they ignored. 'Flowers that they never sent' shows that they didn't care about her enough to send her flowers.)

    And wasn't she easy
    And isn't she
    Pretty in pink
    (Pretty obvious- an easy shag, basically. And the guys commenting how good she looks naked?)

    The one who insists
    He was first in the line
    Is the last to
    Remember her name
    (She thinks the guys genuinely care about her when in reality, they don't even care who she is. They'll promise her the world and then abandon her when they've got what they wanted.)

    He's walking around
    In this dress
    That she wore
    She is gone
    But the joke's the same
    (Stealing her things and taking the piss out of her, even further emphasising her not being accepted)

    Caroline talks to you
    Softly sometimes
    She says
    'I love you' and 'Too much'
    (She attempts to give her casual encounters some level of romance, without much sucess.)

    She doesn't have anything
    You want to steal
    Well
    Nothing you can touch
    (Perhaps she's not so well off, which makes her the way she is. There's nothing these guys want from her except what they've already had.)

    She waves
    She buttons your shirt
    The traffic
    Is waiting outside
    She hands you this coat
    She gives you her clothes
    These cars collide
    (Waving goodbye to yet another guy who is leaving straight after getting what he wanted. She is obviously beautiful as the traffic stops for her 'These cars collide'. Maybe the writer was trying to imply that she was better than that and just had to relaise it.)
    spacexoddityon January 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI never saw the song to be about a promiscuous girl so much as a girl who her classmates/friends all gossip about as far as guys claiming to have slept with her. The middle section (the one who insists he was first in the line/is the last to remember her name) makes me think of the "Caroline" character being sung about being someone who wasn't easy but all of the guys say they slept with her, are really the guys who shunned her and not bothering to remember her name if told. "Pretty In Pink" could be seen as sort of a code of sorts; an attractive but upopular girl who is a bit of a dreamer, wanting to fit in with her peers and is always seen wearing pink, which becomes how her peers think of her (IE the hot looking girl who is always wearing pink that they can't be bothered to remember her name yet brag about having sex with her in private).

    The final part is the narrator of the song being with Caroline; perhaps being a guy who likes her and who knows who she is and is in a relationship with her. They have sex (these cars collide) and the rest of the third part of the song is about how Caroline is madly in love with the narrator and the implications of her being a virgin despite the gossip of her being a slut. "She doesn't have anything
    You want to steal, Well Nothing you can touch"= refers to her giving her virginity up to her narrator boyfriend; "Caroline talks to you Softly sometimes She says 'I love you' and 'Too much'" refers to her love for the narrator; loving him enough to give up her virginity.
    JesseBakeron August 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI kinda feel like Caroline is that strange unpopular girl who everyone knows but no one bothers to talk to, unless they're trying to get into her pants, or making fun of her. shes probably not super confident. but isnt she pretty in pink? but she'd never admit it. she'd never wear something so bright and confident. "she laughs and its raining all day" she never does anything right and shes "in the side of our lives where nothing is ever put straight". She tries to stand up for herself, but she wants to be nice and likeable, so she "smiles and says this is it that's the end of the joke". She might be unhappy, and is so desperately hoping to be liked that she doesn't bother to pretend to have standards. She sleeps with whoever makes her feel pretty, even if they do make fun of her behind her back, because "wasn't she easy" and they all feel a little silly, but cocky, because of "the flowers that they never sent". i think that eventually, because she wasn't taken seriously, and because "the one who insists he was first in the line is the last to remember her name" and they're always making fun of her, "walking around in the dress that she wore". i think that when she "loses herself in her dreaming and sleep" and because people who are on the edge give away their belongings, "she hands you this coat and she gives you her clothes" and "they talk of her notes". "her lovers walk through in their coats" because you wear nice clothes and dress coats to a funeral. thats why they finally see her being pretty in pink.
    jasperfan123on October 07, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthey everybody !

    thanks for your interesting thoughts here !

    I give you my reflections after reading all your posts

    "Caroline laughs and
    It's raining all day"

    For me, Caroline is an optimistic girl, a bit naive, a bit self-centered or offset with no social intelligence, that makes her appear a bit weird even if she's really pretty.

    " She loves to be one of the girls"
    She wants to be loved and be considered, be part of the chosen few in the college or so and she's sure she is because in her eyes, the boys seems very interested in her.


    "She lives in the place
    In the side of our lives
    Where nothing is
    Ever put straight."

    This sentence I think, refers to everyone's ("our") part of hypocrisy,
    especially young men with girls they'd like to simply catch.
    This place of our soul where we make concessions with our conscience to get what we want.

    "She turns herself round
    And she smiles and she says
    'This is it'
    'That's the end of the joke'"

    don't really get the meaning here
    Does she always show a polite and well-educated face, in order to appear pleasant to anybody but eventually and mostly a bit boring and tasteless?

    "And loses herself
    In her dreaming and sleep
    And her lovers walk
    Through in their coats"

    easily abused by smooth talkers telling her what she wants to ear
    they just fuck her, then get dressed and walkaway as she's sleeping

    " All of her lovers
    All talk of her notes
    And the flowers
    That they never sent
    And wasn't she easy
    And isn't she
    Pretty in pink"

    in this part, the interpretation by some of you that it could be a scene during her funeral is interesting. I love it for it makes this song even darker an poignant, cause we naturally think it's a suicide, because if "all of her lovers" are there together, so this occurred within a short period of time (classmates?)
    So she may once have realized the sad truth on her life.


    "He's walking around
    In this dress
    That she wore"
    The guys are talking about her, boasting to have known her carnally and not even remember her name but still mocking her, even imitating her ?
    This also shows the conformist and superficial way people can act.

    "She is gone
    But the joke's the same"
    Even dead, she's still unconsidered by her "lovers"


    "Caroline talks to you softly sometimes...")
    The last paragraph could be related with this idea and this way, it would sound like remorse
    The "you" could be heard as "anyone" referring to the "our" in this "side of our lives" in the beginning.
    A little voice in the head, Caroline's voice mixed with our conscience one,
    dealing with the consequences of the abusing someone weak..

    As one of you has noticed here, the sentence "I love you too much" is split in two. Could be a way to express the obsessional that has become the feeling of guilt, this thought coming in wave over and over again.
    Some souvenirs of her surface, realizing how gentle she was
    " She buttons your shirt"
    " She hands you this coat"
    when at least her "lover" consider her in an other way, by putting himself in her shoes(" She gives you her clothes")...
    lost in his thoughts did he crashes his car ?

    ps: person my english for it's not my natural language ;)
    zapsongson March 23, 2018   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