Song of the Day #286: ‘Like a Rose’ – Lucinda Williams

lucindaThe YouTube availability of Lucinda Williams’ music is a mixed bag. Her whole early career is there for the taking, as well as her most recent album. But there’s a two-album stretch of songs that is blocked at every turn. I mention this because I’m straying a bit from the one album per day pattern in order to fill in those gaps.

So today’s song is another from Williams’ classic self-titled album. That record is probably best known for yesterday’s song, ‘Passionate Kisses,’ as well as the sublime ‘Side of the Road,’ which I featured on this blog last October.

But every cut on the album is worthy of the spotlight, not least today’s selection, the delicate love song ‘Like a Rose.’ It drifts along on a simple acoustic guitar, some beautiful strings and a softly poignant vocal delivery by Williams.

The lyrics suggest she is singing to somebody who has been hurt, either romantically or perhaps in some more damaging way. “It’s okay to feel good,” she whispers, and you wonder what sort of trauma her intended has gone through to need to be told that.

In many of her later songs, it is Williams (or at least the narrators of her songs) who is the troubled one in need of healing. It’s interesting to see her on the other side — the healer’s side — in this early tune.

It’s okay, you don’t have to be afraid
There’s nothing to worry about
‘Cause we got it made

It’s just a simple matter of letting me into your love
If you let that feeling come over you
Than there’s nothing more that you can do
Just let it go, let it go

If it’s love you want
Hold out your arms
It’s alright here, it’s safe and warm
It’s okay to feel good
That’s the way it should be

Everything we have is fresh and new
I will open myself up to you
Like a rose
Like a rose

Everything we have is fresh and new
I will open myself up to you
Like a rose
Like a rose

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #286: ‘Like a Rose’ – Lucinda Williams

  1. Amy says:

    I wonder if this song was actually used in Transamerica, or if a fan just found it a natural match. Regardless, the moment I saw the first still of the video, it made me think of the lyrics in a completely different way. Now I can’t help but think it speaks to one who is afraid to let herself love the way she wants to or is meant to. And that interpretation makes the song even more powerful. Lovely acoustic, too.

    • DW says:

      Yes, it did appear in “Transamerica”. The song is used towards the end of the film when Felicity Huffman’s character Bree is walking into the hospital to check-in for her gender reassignment surgery.
      “Transamerica” is actually the reason I became a fan of Lucinda Williams; I knew who she was and I’d heard her music, but I wasn’t familiar with her overall. “Like a Rose” is still one of my favorites and I wish she would perform it live more often.

  2. Clay says:

    Looks like the song did appear in the film (or at least on the soundtrack).

  3. Dana says:

    very pretty song.

  4. pegclifton says:

    I thought the movie was great; a wonderful performance by Felicity Huffman. I can’t say I remember the song, but it’s lovely.

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