SWLABR – Unraveling the Psychedelic Puzzle


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Cream's SWLABR at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Rainbow’s Beard: Diving into Psychedelic Symbolism
  5. Love’s Ephemeral Dance: The Morning’s Meeting and the Night’s Parting
  6. The Mustachioed Picture: A Study in Contrasts
  7. The Song’s Hidden Meaning: Clues Beneath the Colors
  8. Memorable Lines That Echo Through Time

Lyrics

Coming to me in the morning, leaving me at night.
Coming to me in the morning, leaving me alone.
You’ve got that rainbow feel but the rainbow has a beard.

Running to me a-cryin’ when he throws you out.
Running to me a-cryin’, on your own again.
You’ve got that pure feel, such good responses,
But the picture has a mustache.

You’re coming to me with that soulful look on your face,
Coming looking like you’ve never ever done one wrong thing.

You’re coming to me with that soulful look on your face.
You’re coming looking like you’ve never ever done one wrong thing.

So many fantastic colors; I feel in a wonderland.
Many fantastic colors makes me feel so good.
You’ve got that pure feel, such good responses.
You’ve got that rainbow feel but the rainbow has a beard.

Full Lyrics

In the kaleidoscopic swirl of the late 1960s, Cream stood as one of the pillars of British psychedelia and blues-rock. Their enigmatic track ‘SWLABR’—an acronym that cryptically stands for ‘She Walks Like A Bearded Rainbow’—offers a spectrum of interpretations to fans and critics alike.

In decoding ‘SWLABR,’ we peel back the layers of psychedelic imagery to uncover the depth of its lyrical canvas, laden with metaphor and the gritty undertones of a changing era, punctuated by the virtuosic musicianship of Clapton, Baker, and Bruce.

The Rainbow’s Beard: Diving into Psychedelic Symbolism

The song’s chorus, with its allusion to a rainbow with a beard, is a masterstroke in psychedelia—conjuring images that straddle the beautiful and bizarre. It’s a potent metaphor for the dissonance between appearance and reality, reflecting a period when social norms were undergoing seismic shifts.

Cream taps into the consciousness of the ’60s, a time when everything—from art to personal identities—was in flux. Like the bearded rainbow, the song hints at the complex interplay between the vibrant kaleidoscope of public freedoms and the undercurrent of deeper cultural tensions.

Love’s Ephemeral Dance: The Morning’s Meeting and the Night’s Parting

The emotive opening lines of ‘SWLABR’ thrust us into the heart of a transient love affair, drenched in the pain of solitude that follows fleeting intimacy. The morning’s rendezvous and night’s loneliness mirror the temporality of psychedelic experiences, as effervescent as they are evanescent.

There is a stark vulnerability that permeates these lyrics, a reminder of the human search for connection amidst a rapidly evolving society, a theme that reverberates throughout the song, striking chords of empathy with its listeners.

The Mustachioed Picture: A Study in Contrasts

Amidst a narrative that strays from the literal, the song’s mention of a ‘picture with a mustache’ serves as an evocative juxtaposition. It asks the listener to question the authenticity of images and faces we present to the world.

This layer of the song may be critiquing art itself, particularly the curated personas in the limelight of the music industry. Cream seems to be pulling back the curtain to reveal the artifice that can exist behind creative expression, possibly hinting at their own experiences.

The Song’s Hidden Meaning: Clues Beneath the Colors

Scrutinizing ‘SWLABR,’ one can unearth a hidden meaning that transcends its psychedelic surface. This track can be perceived as an allegory for the intoxicating, yet ultimately oppressive nature of fame and the music scene during the era.

Moreover, beneath the vibrant ‘fantastic colors’, there lies a critique of synthetic happiness and artificiality. The ‘good responses’ could reflect the scripted interactions and smile-and-nod dynamics pervasive within industry circles, masked by a dazzling façade.

Memorable Lines That Echo Through Time

Lines like ‘You’ve got that pure feel, such good responses’ resonate beyond their immediate context to echo the universal human desire for authenticity in a world that often values the superficial. It’s this yearning that renders ‘SWLABR’ timeless, tying its psychedelic fabric into the modern tapestry.

Cream’s ‘SWLABR’ defies a single interpretation, instead allowing each listener to find their own meaning within its lyrics. It’s this ambiguity bathed in vivid imagery that continues to attract new generations to the song’s enigmatic embrace.

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