Song of the Day #1,214: ‘Dead Flowers’ – Miranda Lambert

A couple of weeks back I did a theme week on metaphors and my intent was to follow it up with a series on similes. But I wasn’t coming up with many great examples and the whole process started to feel like a project for a freshman English class, so I abandoned it.

One song I had planned to feature in my ‘simile week’ was Miranda Lambert’s ‘Dead Flowers.’ This was an early single off of her excellent third album Revolution and one of her most effective.

Lambert uses simile to compare herself to dead flowers in a vase, a string of burned-out Christmas lights and worn-down car tires. It’s a nice thematic set-up that also does a lovely job of setting the scene. She’s singing about her emotional state, but I can picture the environment vividly.

She also makes effective use of metaphor in the chorus, where she describes herself as “living in a hurricane” while her lover thinks it’s “such a nice day.” Two for the price of one.

I feel like the flowers in this vase
He just brought them home one day, “ain’t they beautiful” he said
They’ve been here in the kitchen and the water’s turning grey
They’re sitting in the vase but now they’re dead
Dead flowers

I feel like this long string of lights
They lit up our whole house on Christmas day
But now it’s January and the bulbs have all burned out
But still they hang
Like dead flowers

He ain’t feeling anything
My love, my hurt, or the sting of this rain
And I’m living in a hurricane
All he can say is “man, ain’t it such a nice day”
Yeah

I feel like the tires on this car
You said they won’t go far but we’re still rolling
I look in the rear view and I see dead flowers in the yard
And that string of lights, and it ain’t glowing
Like dead flowers
Like dead flowers

He ain’t feeling anything
My love, my hurt, or the sting of this rain
I’m driving through a hurricane
All he can say is “man, ain’t it such a nice day”
Hey I guess it’ll just go to waste
Like dead flowers
Like dead flowers

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,214: ‘Dead Flowers’ – Miranda Lambert

  1. Dana says:

    Well, I’m sorry you didn’t complete the theme week on similes. How’s the quadratic equation theme week going?

  2. Amy says:

    Sounds like a fun English class! 😉

    Each of these similes is poignant, evoking just the feeling and image of a relationship that seemed to have such promise but, in the end, just isn’t going anywhere.

    I’m not sure why simile and metaphor weeks had to be distinct. Why not just continue featuring songs that make great use of figurative language? Then follow that theme month with one devoted to songs that paint little literal portraits of moments in time. Just a thought 🙂

    I’d nominate some Indigo Girls’ songs for that first group; there is no better example of songwriter/wannabe poet than Emily Saliers.

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