Roses – Unveiling the Thorns of Redemption


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Poets of the Fall's Roses at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Prodigal Poet’s Journey: From Lost to Found
  5. Reaping the Harvest of Despair: The Allure of Self-Destruction
  6. The Unexpected Cure: A Medicine Man’s Wisdom
  7. The Iconic Refrain: A Beguiling Plea for Restoration
  8. Unraveling the Secret Threads: The Hidden Meaning

Lyrics

I’ve walked the distance, I paid my dues and tried to have a go at what I thought I knew was real, held
No appeal
I’ve been to places, I’ve seen the tidings,
I bought a book of rules for every coin that I could steal
And so I came to gaze upon the stars, when they were yet unborn
And consequently, tear at my old scars, and the mask I had outworn

So when I’m crying alone
Yeah, when I’m cold as a dying stone

Grow me a garden of roses
Paint me the colors of sky and rain
Teach me to speak with their voices
Show me the way and I’ll try again

I’ve heard the rumors, started fires, I sowed a sordid lot of plays for keeps for what I need, behold
The demons that I freed
I’ve tried my best at wearing the hard hat, but healing doesn’t seem to happen when you hide away the
Seed
And so I came across the medicine man, and he showed me what I’d forlorn
For if I’m stayed it happens by my own hand, and my own voice full of scorn

So when I’m crying alone
Yeah, when I’m cold as a dying stone

Grow me a garden of roses
Paint me the colors of sky and rain
Teach me to speak with their voices
Show me the way and I’ll try again

Without you I’m nothing at all
And life has the face of a morbid game
With you nothing seems impossible
It all seems to fit the frame

So when I’m crying alone
Yeah, when I’m cold as a dying stone

Grow me a garden of roses
Paint me the colors of sky and rain
Teach me to speak with their voices
Show me the way and I’ll try again

Full Lyrics

There’s a haunting beauty in the fragility of life and love, one that Finnish rock band Poets of the Fall captures with stark eloquence in their song ‘Roses.’ Wading through the lyrics of this poignant track is akin to being led through a metaphysical garden where growth and decay are twin facets of the same flower. The lyricism is engraved with the weary steps of someone who has known the burden of desolation and the yearning for renewal.

The literary depth of ‘Roses’ is worth an in-depth dive, for underneath its haunting melody lie ruminations that walk the razor’s edge between hope and nihilism, touching upon themes of existential rebirth, the futility of the past, and an unwavering quest for healing. As we dissect the layers of meaning in this melancholic yet hopeful anthem, it becomes apparent that Poets of the Fall are not just minstrels but insightful storytellers of the human condition.

The Prodigal Poet’s Journey: From Lost to Found

The song opens with a sense of retrospection, a life examined through the lens of distance and time. As the protagonist recounts their pilgrimage, ‘paying dues’ and challenging what they ‘knew was real,’ we encounter the disillusionment with what once held meaning. The opening verse stands as a testament to the trials endured in the pursuit of truth, accentuated by the futile clinging to ‘a book of rules’ that ultimately offered no guidance.

It’s a journey that carries the weight of fable, where every scar and every false mask worn tells a story of self-imposed alienation. This pursuit of authenticity comes at a cost of tearing at old wounds, indicating that before one can begin to grow, they must reckon with the pain of their past and the illusion of identities built upon societal expectations.

Reaping the Harvest of Despair: The Allure of Self-Destruction

A life narrated by the spreading of rumors and the striking of fires hints at a person who has flirted dangerously with chaos. In attempting to play god within their own narrative, like striking matches to watch them burn, the protagonist salutes their own demons—consequences of taking what they need without regard for repercussion.

Wearing ‘the hard hat’ symbolizes a desperate attempt at self-protection, but the song implies this fortification is futile if one hides away their true self—the ‘seed’—the very essence of one’s being. There’s a solemn recognition that healing demands vulnerability, to bring forth the seed into the light, even if it risks exposure to the elements.

The Unexpected Cure: A Medicine Man’s Wisdom

Encountering the medicine man is a turning point, a shedding of enlightenment upon the forgotten aspects of the self. The protagonist is thus faced with the aching realization that their stagnation is self-imposed, haunted by an ‘own voice full of scorn’. This is a crucible moment—will the protagonist swallow the medicine and embrace the change required to move forward?

The medicine man is both literal and metaphorical, a symbol of the deep wisdom needed to heal, and an embodiment of the hope that one does not need to traverse the bitter landscape alone. It is a message that true transformation comes from within, but sometimes the catalyst is an external force that casts light upon the shadowed paths we’ve tread.

The Iconic Refrain: A Beguiling Plea for Restoration

The refrain of ‘Roses’ is a delicate yet desperate supplication to an unnamed other, or perhaps to the universe itself. ‘Grow me a garden of roses, paint me the colors of sky and rain,’ pleads the singer, symbolic of a yearning for life’s beauty to be reinstated where once there was void. A garden of roses—a spectrum of emotion, teeming with potential for both pain and pleasure.

It underlines a fundamental human dilemma: in our darkest hours, we are as ‘cold as a dying stone,’ seeking solace and direction. Such a request goes beyond seeking simple solace; it is a plea to be taught anew, to experience the world with a renewed sense of wonder and to be shown a path towards redemption.

Unraveling the Secret Threads: The Hidden Meaning

At its core, the hidden meaning within ‘Roses’ lies in its exploration of the interdependence between despair and hope. Its stark admission of helplessness (‘Without you I’m nothing at all’) juxtaposed with the boundless optimism (‘With you nothing seems impossible’) reveals a vinyl spin of the complex dance between dependency, individuality, and cooperation.

Bear in mind, the ‘you’ referenced could be interpreted in manifold ways—a lover, a friend, one’s better self, or even divinity. The act of creating a garden, learning a new language from the roses, and painting with the colors of the sky are metaphors for personal growth and enlightenment achieved through connectivity with others and with the varied experiences that life offers.

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