I wish I had a Sylvia Plath
Busted tooth and a smile
And cigarette ashes in her drink
The kind that goes out and then sleeps for a week
The kind that goes out on her own
To give me a reason, for well, I dunno

And maybe she'd take me to France
Or maybe to Spain, she'd ask me to dance
In a mansion on the top of a hill
She'd ash on the carpets
And slip me a pill
Then she'd get me pretty loaded on gin
And maybe she'd give me a bath
How I wish I had a Sylvia Plath

And she and I would sleep on a boat
And swim in the sea without clothes
With rain falling fast on the sea
While she was swimming away, she'd be winking at me
Telling me it would all be okay
On the horizon and fading away
And I'd swim to the boat and I'd laugh
Gotta get me a Sylvia Plath

And maybe she'd take me to France
And maybe to Spain, she'd ask me to dance
In a mansion on the top of a hill
She'd ash on the carpets
And slip me a pill
Then she'd get me pretty loaded on gin
And maybe she'd give me a bath
How I wish I had a Sylvia Plath
I wish I had a Sylvia Plath


Lyrics submitted by ang

Sylvia Plath Lyrics as written by Ryan Adams Richard Causon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Sylvia Plath song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

33 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General Comment

    This song is so beautiful. I don't think anyone could really understand Ryan Adams nor Sylvia Plath without having being depressed once. Maybe I provoke someone with my statement, but the state of mind they both are in is much easier to understand if you have been there yourself. For those of you who just think that Plath was crazy, you should read some about depression. And about Sylvia.

    Melinda*on May 26, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I think this is a sentimental love song... the writer longs for a woman like Sylvia Plath. Beautiful and mysterious. She lives her own life and is a artist at what she enjoys

    nononononononoon June 15, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Maybe this is too literal, but I always heard this song as Ryan indulging in suicidal fantasies. Almost like Sylvia represents giving in to mental illness and not fighting it anymore. Not living in reality, and instead going with "her" to France or Spain and dancing in some imaginary mansion on a hill. I always took the "slip me a pill, and get me pretty loaded on gin and maybe she'd give me a bath" as the act of suicide itself. As in, taking pills, drinking, and slipping away in a bath. Also, the lines about swimming reminds me of a part of The Bell Jar where she is at the beach and literally tries to drown herself while swimming. In the song, when he describes "while she was swimming away, she'd be winking at me telling me it would all be okay, out on the horizon and fading away" as a ridiculously romanticized version of drowning. In both instances, the "death" occurs in a sort of gentle, comforting manner. It seems kind of like a giant suicidal ideation, and Sylvia represents a dreamy end.

    JAM4321on April 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    a1is0n123456789 was right about the details of sylvia's suicide but i have an interesting tidbit to add, she left her children glasses of milk by their beds before she did it.

    mcooneyon November 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Have you ever read a book and just completely submerged yourself in the author's thoughts? You find yourself daydreaming that you were there... some of the best daydreams I've ever had are in this way. It is the stories that mean so much to us, but writers such as Sylvia Plath give us their beautifully ugly thoughts and (usually tragic) life journeys.... and so this is more common with this writing style. It is not so much the work produced that makes us obsess over artists as it is the artists themselves.

    I think Ryan was describing a daydream that he indulges in when reading her work. When I am reading a Kerouac book, I spend half of my time reading, and half of my time in pointless daydreams of me just walking through battered streets with him drunk and wasted and careless and in love with feeling alive (yet so close to dead)... What it would have been like....sigh.... it is a weird feeling that you get from these daydreams... you would give almost anything to actually experience them... though in most cases it leaves you empty and frustrated and sad because you can't. With Sylvia, I think many avid readers want to ease her pain, or feel it with her.... what I wouldn't give to just sit with her on an afternoon in such bleakness... Sometimes the best way to know we are alive is to feel pain.

    And so..... I think the meaning of this song is foreign to most people, but as your thinking develops, and you read a book or a thousand, and you realize that all of life is tragic, then you will begin to understand this. There is something beautiful in a person who is sad or who has realized the sadness in life... and so maybe this song is about him wanting a sylvia plath, a rock-bottom feeler of life in its true form... and maybe because those people are untouchable.... you can never truly ease the pain in that person, and you can never feel exactly what they are feeling.... but life would be so damned and horrible......and beautiful. I think as a writer or songwriter the meaning that other people get from your words is more important than what it meant to you. This site is great for this reason.... I think what the song means to you is just as important as what it meant to the artist originally. Songs are a great way to resurrect different feelings from different times in your life.

    Some of you may realize that when you really start thinking, you will become an outsider.... and very alone at times.

    Hope you all find the tragedy in life, though it may be a better life to live completely oblivious to this.

    readabookon April 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    oh.. and they understand each other! haha

    nononononononoon June 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    To me this song is about meeting a woman who is so totally not you, you can't help but be drawn to her.

    You're wrapped up in her life, and thoughts, and actions - but everything she does is foreign. She's uncouth - ashes on the carpet, abuses pills and alcohol, sleeps for a week, exotic to the point of being extreme - but you want nothing more than to be near her.

    At the same time, she fills needs in you no one else has - gives you a bath, sleeping on boats, naked swimming, dancing in mansions - all while being just out of reach.

    I wish I sometimes had a Sylvia Plath.

    harryseawardon June 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is kind of a neat song...I've never actually heard it I just kinda stumbled across the lyrics. I'm not sure what exactly Ryan is saying (perhaps it is total sarcasm?) but I think I'll download it anyways...anybody have any thoughts on its meaning?

    WishYouWereHereon August 20, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is kind of a neat song...I've never actually heard it I just kinda stumbled across the lyrics. I'm not sure what exactly Ryan is saying (perhaps it is total sarcasm?) but I think I'll download it anyways...anybody have any thoughts on its meaning?

    WishYouWereHereon August 20, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    sylvia plath is a writer.. mostly she wrote poetry (look up metaphors, daddy, and mushrooms).. she also wrote one novel called The Bell Jar... she committed suicide when she was pretty young.. in her 30's i think. her work manifests a lot of her serious depression.

    riverscuomorockson April 04, 2003   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!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Techno Ted
Audioslave
Techno Ted may be a person who caused Chris incredible emotional pain & trepidation as well as moments of peace & happiness but now is removed and awaiting his fate. Darling may be a different person who is also free of him and can live her life free of Ted's tyranny. "In between all the laughing, and daydreams ... lies: a desert of truth" Lies are like a desert or the omission of Truth: Where there were Lies then Truth was absent. The song, "Techno Ted", may be a cathartic celebration of the downfall of this person.
Album art
Fortnight
Taylor Swift
The song 'Fortnight' by Taylor Swift and Post Malone tells a story about strong feelings, complicated relationships, and secret wishes. It talks about love, betrayal, and wanting someone who doesn't feel the same. The word 'fortnight' shows short-lived happiness and guilty pleasures, leading to sadness. It shows how messy relationships can be and the results of hiding emotions. “I was supposed to be sent away / But they forgot to come and get me,” she kickstarts the song in the first verse with lines suggesting an admission to a hospital for people with mental illnesses. She goes in the verse admitting her lover is the reason why she is like this. In the chorus, she sings about their time in love and reflects on how he has now settled with someone else. “I took the miracle move-on drug, the effects were temporary / And I love you, it’s ruining my life,” on the second verse she details her struggles to forget about him and the negative effects of her failure. “Thought of callin’ ya, but you won’t pick up / ‘Nother fortnight lost in America,” Post Malone sings in the outro.
Album art
Light Up The Sky
Van Halen
The song lyrics were written by the band Van Halen, as they were asked to write a song for the 1979 movie "Over the Edge" starring Matt Dillon. The movie (and the lyrics, although more obliquely) are about bored, rebellious youth with nothing better to do than get into trouble. If you see the movie, these lyrics will make more sense. It's a great movie if you grew up in the 70s/80s you'll definitely remember some of these characters from your own life. Fun fact, after writing the song, Van Halen decided not to let the movie use it.
Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
When We Were Young
Blink-182
This is a sequel to 2001's "Reckless Abandon", and features the band looking back on their clumsy youth fondly.