Thursday, September 25, 2008

Kissed by a Rose

The lyrics by SEAL, "I've been kissed by a rose on a grave"--what on earth do they mean? Anytime I hear them, I'm stumped. I love the hum of that song, but the words leave me feeling like a foreigner because I figure most people connect with more than just the tune since it's so well-known and loved. I've tried to give up on figuring out their meaning, but the words "kissed" and "rose" and "grave"--meaningful and emotional words by themselves, have been intriguing clues, pulling me to solve the mystery of the phrase.

The writing prompt, "In the cemetery..." got me thinking about how I've had little personal experience with death and graves and funerals, which somehow got me thinking about SEAL's song. Maybe those lyrics have felt like secret code because I haven't experienced death up close yet.

Yet. That word can be so frightening: Me and everyone I hold dear will all face Death square one day. I do creep down that path in my thoughts almost daily. What if Magnet died? My children? My parents? A sibling? A friend? I beg the Lord to keep them safe everyday. While I believe in eternal families, I still naturally dread the day I lose them.

But I'm relieved to announce that as I've contemplated my deepest dread and as I've thought about the words of this song, I've come to find light in my fears and some individual sense in those lyrics. The connection I feel to SEAL's song is now emotional. Though it must mean something completely different to the artist, the beautiful thing about music and art is that it can connect and touch people on an individual and unique level.

What happened was I let myself imagine death beyond the initial tragedy. I saw myself visiting the grave of my loved-one, kneeling at their hallowed spot of remembrance. I saw myself down-trodden, devastated and looking at the world through doom-filled lenses. I saw myself letting the sadness of death push out everything good that remained in my life. But as I closed my eyes and released more tears and pain, I saw something red and living flash through my blurred vision. I saw a rose, alive and beautiful, on the site of my special grave. That image, combined with the wet of my emotions, felt as warm and intimate as a kiss from my loved-one, gone.


  1. Wow, that's deep! I always just think of Batman when I hear that song! Ha! But I was just thinking yesterday when it played on random on my iPod, "what the heck to these lyrics mean??" It's funny that you have a post about it today...and it makes perfect sense. Good thought.

  2. I am amazed! I've always wondered about those lyrics too, but just gave up looking for meaning other than Batman references. I just enjoyed the song for the harmonizations in it! I won't ever think of it in the same way again. I love that you were able to see such compelling meaning in those words.

  3. very cool, i had no idea what it meant either! i can't wait to hear the song in its entirety again!




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