Mudcat Café message #2754461 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #124651   Message #2754461
Posted By: Arkie
28-Oct-09 - 07:58 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Meaning of Flower Lady (Phil Ochs)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Meaning of Flower Lady (Phil Ochs)
Thanks to all for the comments. They are helpful in finding some meaning to the lyrics. It is possible that no meaning was intended but Ochs was a poet and he did usually have something to say. I have been curious about the possibility of the flower lady or flowers representing a symbol of sorts. In some ancient wisdom literature, the rosebush has suggested wisdom. The flower has also been used to represent beauty as well as Spring and rebirth or even love. I read somewhere that in the Middle Ages the rosegarden was used to represent human love. I also read something about the rose representing spirituality in some writings from the Middle Ages. The rose also came to be associated with Mary the mother of Jesus and with Jesus, himself at some point in the Middle Ages. My reading in this area is sketchy at best and my memory is not all that reliable.

The stark contrast between the content of the verses and the last line suggest to me that Ochs had something in mind. And I could believe he was inspired by someone he knew in Greenwich Vilage.