Monday, June 18, 2007

Red House Painters - Summer Dress

"Summer Dress" is a short, sparse yet beautiful Red House Painters song. It's a little vague lyrically, and we're unable to form a clear sense of what the song is about. It's told from the perspective of an outside narrator who sees beauty in this isolated and insecure girl, one who wears an apparently stunning dress though she steers away from the outside world. This could be what strikes the narrator as beautiful, how she dresses up solely for herself, as typically when one stays in their home they dress casually, as no one else is there to judge or make an impression upon. The last few lines then switch suddenly to different setting and tone, giving the song an ambiguous ending. Is she finally outdoors, enjoying a summers day on the beach? Or is something more sinister at hand, such as a self-inflicted drowning? Perhaps it's all in her mind and she's simply imagining what it must be like to see the ocean.

Red House Painters - Summer Dress

"Summer dress makes you more beautiful than the rest
Loveliest girl that I know, and the sweetest
Spends her life inside, she thinks she isn't blessed

Summer dress separates you from the rest
Easiest days of her life have been spent
Wonders if she is loved, if she is missed

Says a prayer as she's kissed by ocean mist
Takes herself to the sand and dreams"

The song comes from the Red House Painters' 1995 album Ocean Beach.

Red House Painters - Ocean Beach

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