I don't keep much stuff around
I value my portability
But I will say that I have saved every letter
You ever wrote to me
The one you left on my windshield
Outside of the motel
Is in the pocket of my old gig bag
From back when life was more soft shelled

Letters littered with little lewd pictures
Drawn by the ghost of Woody Guthrie
Who would use your big thick hand
Just to draw one two for me
And I think of your letters as love letters
Which is how I think of songs
In that it is the writing of these things
That tend to carry us along
And I dance to one of your old tunes
With my true love on our wedding day
And your voice sang the way my heart would sing
That finally knew just what to say

Two people pulled over on the same night
To look up at the same stars
They both found their wheels
Were spinning in a soft shoulder
When they got back into their cars
They missed fate's appointed rendezvous
And then a whole lot of time went by
And finally they were done worshiping
The landscape and they put down their hands
And moved into the sky
And they had barely said hello
And it was time to say goodbye


Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

Soft Shoulder Lyrics as written by Ani Difranco


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Soft Shoulder song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment

    this is the sweetest song.. it's like, telling peopel they can miss out on fate, which is scary... so, you still have to try. plus, its about other personal things that i don't know of. but, i love ani, and this song

    spiCheLon August 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think she's trying to say that some things end before they ever really have the time to begin.... and those things just kinda become one of the "might- have- beens" in our lives..... This is one of my alltime favoite Ani songs....

    indigodifrancoon October 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Like 'This Bouquet', I wonder if this song was written for Greg Brown.

    "And I danced to one of your old tunes With my true love on our wedding day And your voice sang the way my heart would sing If it finally knew just what to say".

    I know how she feels. Greg Brown writes incredibly beautiful songs that capture relationships so well.

    mickzzzzzzon July 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    she's missed out on love, and is wondering whether, if this had happened at a different time, under different circumstances, it could've become something really huge... but it's over now, she's moved on to her "true love", but there will always be this memory tucked into the pocket of her gigbag, this what-if, and she'll never forget it.

    tanglerevelon December 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    My Opinion

    i love these lyrics. i think they're so lovely.

    lovely0neon July 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    Soft shoulder strikes me as quite mystical. Its a song that covers a long period of time, personal growth/maturity, self-awareness and the connectedness of everything. Of course, as mentioned before, the "old flame" theme is at the forefront. But behind that, I think it could imply that soul mates can meet and not connect except for a little while. They have their separate lives, learn their separate lessons. But their entire lives they are connected on a deeper level. Their memories, the letters and songs and the writing of them (and keeping them and reading them) helps the growth process. But their destiny is to be together. Often during their lives, separated by many miles, they look up at the same sky and "feel" each other out there. But maturity means that the stay the course, trying to have faith and patience until they meet again. Finally, in the end, they each have some limited input into what time they are going to move on (destiny --of course--having the upper hand in their fates). They finish what the are doing and become one again in the afterlife. Romatinc? Yeah, I guess I can't help it.

    txnuke1201on May 21, 2011   Link

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