"Paint It Black" as written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards....
I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I see a line of cars and they're all painted black
With flowers and my love both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a new born baby it just happens ev'ry day

I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door I must have it painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facin' up, when your whole world is black

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you

If I look hard enough into the settin' sun
My love will laugh with me before the mornin' comes

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm

Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm

Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm

Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm

I want to see it painted, painted black
Black as night, black as coal
I want to see the sun, blotted out from the sky
I want to see it painted, painted, painted, painted black
Yeah

Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm

Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm

Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm

Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm


Lyrics submitted by hermelinus, edited by morrolan, atp, BroccoliMan, rpn453, reach2portals2, Raven95, JulianDoes, jadedcynic

"Paint It Black" as written by Mick Jagger Keith Richards

Lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc.

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Paint It Black song meanings
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226 Comments

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  • +42
    General CommentNo, no, no. You people are reading way too much into this. The lyric is quite simple. No drugs, no Vietnam, no affirmative action. The lyric is about the death of his girlfriend, and attending the subsequent funeral after.
    The red door referrs to his heart, which he now wants painted black, as to never be opened again. The man is grieving here after all.
    And the funeral:
    "...line of cars painted black, with flowers and my love, both never to come back". How much Poe do you need?
    Furthermore: "..i could not for-see this thing happening to you".. the protagonist blaming himself for not being able to help or stop the death from happening.
    Painting it black is a metaphore for his mood and how he does not wish to be consoled, merely left alone to "fade away and not have to face the facts".
    As far as the girls walking by in their summer clothes, they simply remind him of his loss and must therefore turn away, "...until my darkness goes".

    I must say though I do have issue with incorrect lyrics posted at the end here.
    It doesn't say ..."I want to see your face painted black"
    the song simply says :
    "I want to see it painted, painted black, black as night..."
    And it does not say .."don't want to see the sun flying high in the sky..."
    it says:
    ..."I want to see the sun blotted out from the sky".
    If you listen with ear phones it is unmistakeable.
    Again this man is crushed, he wants everything to be black to reflect his malaise.
    Karnenyenon February 26, 2013   Link
  • +16
    General CommentI think this song is just about a guy that has lost all faith in EVERYTHING and he just wants to world to emulate his own feelings of despair.
    maxpower114on February 08, 2002   Link
  • +13
    General CommentI think it's about him losing someone close to him (lover) and the despair and depression that follows.

    A line of cars painted black. Funeral Procession.

    With flowers and my love both never to come back...

    the rest of the song talks about he it outwardly projecting his darkness.
    xmod2on April 05, 2002   Link
  • +7
    General CommentI think it's pretty obvious that the song is about losing a loved one and the grief makes one wish everything turned to darkness as that is how they feel.

    The line "No more will mine green sea go turn a deeper blue" means that there is no longer depth or deep meaning maybe. The green part of the sea is usually quite shallow and the dark blue parts are deep. That's what I understand from it anyway.

    Every other line is just straight forward and obvious. Great song.
    yrton September 26, 2010   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationFor a song writer and not a renowned writer this song is literary genius.To get the obvious stuff out of the way:

    His girlfriend, or love, died. This is his song singing about moving on from this and trying to coup.

    The less obvious stuff:

    The colors are obviously the key to this song.
    Black/Darkness is symbolic of depression and pain in this song.
    Red is the color of love and romance.
    The door is likely symbolic of moving on in life, painting it, rather then going through it is likely him stating his depression wont allow him to look past the fact that moving on would imply romance and finding other love.

    Anyone who has gone through a serious break up knows the internal battle that goes on inside, you don't want to move on, yet you must. This specific break up, as you can imagine, is much more severe; she has passed away.

    The most complex part of the song:

    'I see a red door and I want it painted black
    No colors anymore, I want them to turn black
    I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
    I have to turn my head until my darkness goes'

    He sings about painting the door, then immediately sings about girls in 'red dresses'. The girls symbolize future relationships and he uses to words 'I HAVE to turn my head, until my darkness goes away'. This being the deepest part of the song means, he knows if he wants the pain to go away he has to move on, there is no choice in the matter, he HAS to.

    Hopefully, this gives you possible insight on the song.
    eveseaon July 09, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentPeople have proposed that this song may be about a crisis and that it may be about loss of a wife, but in actuality I think it is about both. A man's wife dies. He sinks into a depression, and he has a crisis of faith. The evidence for the death of a spouse theory can be clearly seen in the second verse, which is describing a funeral procession. The black cars all in a row, the flowers, etc. The depression can be seen throughout the song. The man sees everything in a darker light without his wife, and verse four references him joining his now deceased wife, implying that he is suicidal. The repeated references to painting a red door black are proof of a crisis of faith. In Catholicism, a red door represents that the area beyond the door is holy and sacred.
    arbingtonon August 09, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's about shutting the world out - seeing a "red door" (a path that only leads to pain) and "painting it black" (shutting it out completely)
    SpunkySkunk347on November 02, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song is about someone who's hurt, brokenhearted. His world is black so why does anybody deserve to have colours in their lifes?
    ArthursGiron April 27, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song can easily be interpreted to be about depression, and I really see how it does. I have had my own struggles with depression, and I was on meds. off and on for it from early 2008-present. It helps me when I listen to this song. I liked the WASP cover from back in the 80s, although there is nothing better than the original.
    CKF929on June 11, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that this is basically about someone who just plain out lost it all and feels he has nothing left. He knows nothing will ever be the same as it was and faces this by having everything dark
    MUNKY149on February 16, 2002   Link

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