Friday, August 09, 2013

SONGS I LIKE - Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)

Her eyes like windows, tricklin' rain
Upon her pain getting deeper
Though my love wants to relieve her

I've never been a parent, but I know what its like to love someone whose grief is inconsolable.  After my father died in 1988, my mother was destroyed, she was so hopelessly lost in grief and sadness, nothing could possibly comfort or reach her.  I did everything I possibly could, but there was just a place beyond which she could not go until time healed the horrific gaping tear in her soul. I can't imagine what its like to have a child go through that kind of sadness and be forced to stand by and watch helplessly.

Its very hard to love someone going through something like that.  So hard it makes you want to run away and hide after a certain point; you cannot help them and it causes you pain as well.  In some ways its harder than what they are going through because you feel their sadness and grief plus the grief of being helpless to make things better.  And for guys, when a woman cries, our first desire is to make it stop, to fix the problem, to make it go away.

Cat Stevens wrote about (I believe, there are many interpretations) a woman he loves who is in this place, so sad she can't even talk about it, pulling away from him even as she wants to be with him.  A pain he doesn't even know, but wishes he could help.  This is a lesser known song by Stevens off the Tea for Tillerman album, one of my favorites.  "Sad Lisa" is a simple song with some violins and piano and Cat's incredible voice, perfect for the theme of the song.

But the only answer to sadness is time, because the soul heals like the body; slowly, and often painfully.  A broken heart is like a broken arm, it just won't work right and takes time before it can work properly again.  And that scar tissue is always there, it never is quite the same ever again.

She hangs her head and cries on my shirt
She must be hurt very badly
Tell me what's making you sadly?
Open your door, don't hide in the dark
You're lost in the dark, you can trust me
'Cause you know that's how it must be

Lisa, Lisa, sad Lisa, Lisa

Her eyes like windows, tricklin' rain
Upon her pain getting deeper
Though my love wants to relieve her
She walks alone from wall to wall
Lost in a hall, she can't hear me
Though I know she likes to be near me

Lisa, Lisa, sad Lisa, Lisa

She sits in a corner by the door
There must be more I can tell her
If she really wants me to help her
I'll do what I can to show her the way
And maybe one day I will free her
Though I know, no one can see her

Lisa, Lisa, sad Lisa, Lisa

*This is part of the Songs I Like series.


Sheila said...

This is my favorite Cat Stevens song. I have been "Sad Lisa" at one time of my life. I agree with your comments and insights, but I always got the feeling that Lisa was a spirit, or his muse. The last line "No one can see her" doesn't go with your personal inspiration of the song. It left me wondering if you know for a fact that Mr. Stevens wrote it for a woman he loved. Either way, isn't it achingly beautiful?

Anonymous said...

it was a young woman he realized he loved but it was too late...she had dissapeared from him ...she loved him also

Anonymous said...

yes i know for a was about someone he knew....a "friend " he even said himself it was about an original friend he had.... i think this "friend " was also his twin spirit .....he had his own reason as to why noone could see her <3 he was more likely his muse as well....but definately not a ghost <3