Mudcat Café message #2753873 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #124651   Message #2753873
Posted By: Arkie
27-Oct-09 - 04:48 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Meaning of Flower Lady (Phil Ochs)
Subject: Folklore: Meaning of Flower Lady
Phil Ochs is mentioned with some frequency here and the lyrics to The Flower Lady are in the DT. Is there some significance to the imagery of the flower lady? Any suggestions as to the meaning of the song.

Flower Lady
(Phil Ochs)

Millionaires and paupers walk the hungry street
Rich and poor companions of the restless feet.
Strangers in a foreign land
Strike a match with a trembling hand
Learned too much to ever understand.
But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

Lovers quarrel, snarl away their happiness,
Kisses crumble in a web of lonliness.
It's written by the poison pen, voices break before they bend
The door is slammed, it's over once again.
But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

Poets agonize, they cannot find the words.
The stone stares at the sculptor, asks are you absurd?
The painter paints his brushes black, through the canvas runs a crack
The portrait of the pain never answers back.
But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

Soldiers disillusioned come home from the war.
Sarcastic students tell them not to fight no more;
And they argue through the night
Black is black, and white is white,
Walk away both knowing they are right.
Still nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

Smoke dreams of escaping soul are drifting by.
Dull the pain of living as they slowly die.
Smiles change into a sneer, washed away by whiskey tears.
In the quicksand of their minds they disappear.
But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

Feeble aged people almost to their knees
Complain about the present using memories.
Never found their pot of gold, wrinked hands pound weary holes.
Each line screams out you're old, you're old, you're old.
But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

And the flower lady hobbles home without a sale.
Tattered shreds of petals leave a fading trail.
Not a pause to hold a rose, even she no longer knows.
The lamp goes out, the evening now is closed.
And nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.