Neil Young: Cowgirl in the Sand Meaning
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Cowgirl in the Sand Lyrics
Hello, cowgirl in the sand,
Is this place at your command.
Can I stay here for a while,
Can I see your sweet, sweet smile. old enough now to change your name.
When so many love you, is it the same?
anonymous Jun 25th 2012, 10:46 report
He wrote it while lying in bed with a 103 degree fever. You can't have your songs mean anything when you're that sick.
anonymous May 25th 2012, 21:47 report
PURPLE WORDS ON A GREY BACKGROUND, LE LONER-BLOG DE JACQUES-ERIC LEGARDE
"This is a song I wrote about the beaches in Spain. I've never been on the beaches in Spain.
Sort of my own idea of what it's like over there".
Intro de "Cowgirl in the Sand", Londres 27 février 1971
anonymous Nov 17th 2011, 21:02 report
The lyrics above have two serious mistakes. It's not "we'd turned back," it's "we'd turned bad" and it's "purple words on a gray background". The lyrics are printed on the album sleeve of Four-Way Street, the live CSN&Y album. The sinister intepretations of the song are ridiculous when you get the lyrics right.
anonymous Mar 5th 2011, 23:30 report
"After all the sin we've had,
I was hoping that we'd turn back."
This suggests the girl was pregnant, and the singer did not want her to go ahead and have the child. This of course adds to the loss and grief expressed in the song, as he soon comes to regret the loss of his love, and his unborn child...
anonymous Mar 5th 2011, 23:24 report
Actually, have listened some more, and i've decided my first impressions were correct. Should not have been misled by the lyrics on this site and elsewhere. Its most definitely NOT "Purple words on a grey background". Its "Purple words on the grey dark ground". This is a reference to the dried blood on the ground, and the story it tells...
anonymous Feb 17th 2011, 09:17 report
I should add, since noone else in the world seems to understand it, the line "purple words on a grey background" means this:
By the third verse, much more time has passed. His life has become a meaningless dull grey background, but he still dreams of her, vividly, and in particular the violent end of it all. Purple means angry, apoplectic with rage, on the verge of murder. So his dreams have become nightmares, those final moments and words, the words that drove him to kill. Repeated night after night... driving the pain and loss into his skull until he can bear no more.
anonymous Feb 17th 2011, 07:58 report
A bit more detail to my explanation above:
This song is about a young guy who has murdered his sweetheart. The setting is arid sandy, dusty texas-style ranch territory. The first verse has the singer looking down at her lying dead in the sand. "is this place at your command" suggests she was a bit too sure of herself and her ability to manipulate others, and it has backfired on her, badly. He asks permission to stay for a while and remember her sweet smile. In the 2nd verse, she is now buried, like a ruby in the dust, and has been for some time.
The singer had known her when she was under-age, and given her some sort of promise ring which would be beginning to rust as she moulders in the ground. Its not a proper gold wedding ring, just a cheap token designed to last until she was old enough to be marry him. But, the girl had become a bit too popular for her own good, and liked leading other guys on, and eventually went too far with one or some of them, or was suspected of doing so. She says she still wants to marry the singer, but he doesn't believe she loves him as deeply as he does, or at all. How can she, when she has so many other guys in love with her, and they're just playthings to her. He turns her down, but is still compelled to murder her in a jealous rage at the prospect of her continuing her games with other men. The guitar exquisitely conveys how he is overcome with grief, pain, and remorse.
Graceless.Lady Feb 28th 2010, 11:59 report
Although murky, buried in "purple words on a grey background," this song is about a love affair the singer is having with a married woman whose (wedding) band has "begun to rust." In fact, "ruby" may even be a play on both the gemstone and a name for a woman who cheats--that infamous "Ruby" Kenny Rogers sang of in the same year (1969). The singer is warning this "Ruby" not to leave her husband ("change [her] name") for him because ultimately he does not want her. She may be the "woman of [his] dreams," but their relationship is a "sin," and besides, he suspects that, in the end, she's just playing games. So his song really is "not the way it seems" at first: he's rejecting her, turning her down. The "so many who love" her is most likely a reference to her husband and family--all the people she should consider before she gets too wrapped up with her lover.
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