What does White Room mean?

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Cream: White Room Meaning


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Song Released: 1968

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White Room Lyrics

In the white room with black curtains near the station.
Black-roof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings.
Silver horses run down moonbeams in your dark eyes.
Dawn-light smiles on you leaving, my contentment.

I'll wait in this place...


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    Feb 14th, 2009 2:19pm report

    So far both answers I've heard are wrong. Here is my $0.02

    Neither Clapton, Bruce, or Baker wrote this song, it was written by the lyricist Pete Brown. Here's a quote from him; "It was a miracle it worked, considering it was me writing a monologue about a new flat." It's just a song about a new home that is obviously not furnished.


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    Jun 19th, 2009 6:13pm report

    Brown in an interview also said that the song represented a series of images in the mind that all mesh well with the psychodelic culture of the 60's. In this song we see a room at a train station where the speaker of the words is making love with a woman. He returns one day, and either she has left (no strings could secure you to the station) or she is with someone else in the room. Either way, the speaker leaves with (my own needs just beginning). He later runs into her at a party, where she is cordial but also cold (yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes). She is also just "dressing" for the party. The entire tone of the song is melancholy, reverie, and stream of psychodelic consciousness. There is a hue of loneliness to the song because of the separation between the speaker and the woman, but one gets the idea that there was never really a connection between them either. But there is an "old wound now forgotten." The scene takes place in a seedy part of town - "flat roof country, no gold pavments". So we have an excellent psychodelic, melancholy bit of reverie put to a kick-butt 60's rock tune.


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    Jul 8th, 2012 7:29am report

    Song about addiction to Heroine. The entire song is laced with quasi-euphemisms. White room is a place where the deed takes place. Black curtains suggesting privacy and station refers to the part of town. Tired starlings are used needles, silver horses are the spoons that are used. Dark eyes is the image of the facial expression before being fixed. Dawn light is the sensation of it coming on and eventually contentment. It goes on and on and you too can see or hear the story as the tune continues. The phrase "needs just beginning" is pretty obvious. "Old wound now forgotten" the last or previous needle mark. eventually, "the lonely crowd" speaks of all those afflicted by this sad but real addiction.


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    Jun 5th, 6:16am report

    As already said it's about the writers new flat, obviously near to a train station in dingy side of town (usually is near the station in the UK). He has a one night stand, but nothing comes of it and she leaves. Then goes on to picking up another one night stand at a party quite different to the first, as described by the eyes of the girls.


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    Jul 28th, 2018 7:58am report

    Old boy was quite content with his girl, living in a squalid part of the big city where it depressed even the starlings that came around. He really didn't have any plans,...but she did. Her dreams galloping on moonbeams was of her moving out to a ranch in the country where she could ride silver horses. He'd hoped she might change her mind if he talked smooth enough as he walked her to the station, but she wasn't having any of it. "No strings are gonna keep me here" she said so 'matter of factly'. Chick gets her ticket and hops the diesel and shuffles on down the track. Ol boy was crushed, so he figures he'll just mope around the station a while and dream of the day she comes on back to him. It ain't happening, so he takes off. He figures he'll go hit a party, but that scene just ain't really happening for him till he spies this stunning lil thing that's just eyeballing him hard. He heads on over and they get to chatting. She wants him bad,...she got tigers in her eyes and they're just waiting to pounce on him. She's wild! She sees that look on his mug and knows just what to say to make him forget whoever he's moping over. It works for a little bit, till he realizes that this chick would only be the consolation prize and his blue ribbon just hopped the train. He thinks on it a bit and figures that this one will just dressing up to hop a train herself and put him right back in those station shadows eventually as well, so he excuses himself saying he's gotta go to the john, and scurries through the crowd and out the door. "Ima just gonna camp out here in the station" he tells himself and heads into the little white station chapel with the black curtains. It's a bit crowded with folks hanging around with long layovers, but he finds enough room in the corner to lay down and stretch himself out and gets some shut eye for the night. And that's the way it goes. I hear tell that ol boy is still down there waiting for his chick to come back to this day.


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    Jul 8th, 2018 7:24pm report

    I was told by the members of the Castaways that the lyrics were written about Rolling Stones Mick Jaeger getting arrested for urinating in public. The "White Room" is the holding station where Mick Eric Clapton Roy Hensley (of the Castaways) were being held. Roy claimed to be there when it was written.


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    Jul 8th, 2018 7:23pm report

    I was told by the members of the Castaways that the lyrics were written about Rolling Stones Mick Jaeger getting arrested for urinating in public. The "White Room" is the holding station where Mick Eric Clapton Roy Hensley (of the Castaways) were being held. Roy claimed to be there when it was written.


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    May 28th, 2016 5:00pm report

    I thought maybe it was about someone being abducted by aliens.


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    Jun 25th, 2015 6:20pm report

    Well the lyricist, Pete Brown, told you all what the meaning was (his flat). He ought to know, seeing as how he wrote the words!!!


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    Jun 13th, 2015 6:58pm report

    Well, according to lyricist Pete Brown, Jack Bruce threw out his original lyrics, called "Cinderella's Last Goodnight," and Brown scrambled to find some lyrics from an eight-page poem he wrote, ultimately cobbling together a "monologue about a new flat." This song is literally about his apartment.


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    Aug 30th, 2013 8:09am report

    Its about soldier returning home from Vietnam in caskets the satin in a casket is white and the standard casket was black and AT the party he's talking about his funeral and how his girl grieved for him. And yellow tigers is the Viet Cong my great uncle a Nam Vet told me this and it makes sense


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    Feb 24th, 2013 2:37pm report

    I've heard that its a reference to Stalin who kept a white room with dark curtains near or at a station. Not sure about this however. Any comments welcomed.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Oct 19th, 2011 10:19pm report

    No woman no cry.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Sep 21st, 2011 9:08pm report

    The song is about a guy that really likes a girl, but she doesn't answer his feelings. (the come from simple/poor backgrounds) Only later when he is more mature, they meet again (in a more uptown setting) and she opens up for him in more than one way. The have sex and he can close the chapter and move on.

    This is the only true meaning of the song, Clapton told me himself.


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    Dec 19th, 2007 12:42am report

    This song kind of reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Masque of Red Death", in which there is a red equivalent of the black plague ravaging the country; the plague, once caught, kills in half an hour. A king and his group of officials, friends, and various entertainers barricade themselves together in a complex comprised of seven differently colored rooms. The whole group of people just parties as the world outside suffers and dies. There's a black room which has an extremely heavy atmosphere, and everyone is afraid to go in. The curtains filter a deep blood red light into the room, through black satin curtains. In the back of this room there is a clock which chimes on the hour, and each time is does so, the sound echoes throughout all seven rooms, causing every person to freeze in terror; though none of them knows what he is afraid of.

    When the clock strikes midnight, a mysterious figure appears in the crowd, wearing a grotesque mask which is decorated to emulate the red death's symptoms, a red cape, and a hat (I believe that V from "V for Vendetta" is based on this character as well). The crowd moves away from the stranger, and the phantom beckons to the king. The king pulls a dagger and runs at the disguised thing, which turns and swiftly runs from the room. The crowd follows at a distance, until, finally, the two reach the black room. A scream is heard, and the crowd arrives in time to see the king suddenly drop to the ground, stone dead. The crowd pounces on the figure. When they pull off the hat, cloak, gloves, and mask, they are left with a pile of garments. There was never anything inside the costume; it seemed to have a demonic life force all its own.

    I'm not really sure why, but "The White Room" reminds me of this short story. Believe what you will, however.


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    Dec 19th, 2007 12:28am report

    One word: Acid.

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