Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Julie is not Lisa

Just when you think you know a song, you run into it years later and, bam! you realize you had it all wrong.

Well, maybe not you. But it happens to me  all the time. After all, this forum is about what I think.

Back in 1975, Jessi Colter (better known as the wife of Waylon Jennings) had a melancholy country/pop cross-over hit, "I'm Not Lisa". I've always liked that song, and I used to think I knew what it was about.

I recently heard it on the radio again, looked up the lyrics on the Internet, and had one of those “hey, waitaminnit” experiences.

All I remembered about the song was the classic opening lines: “I’m not Lisa, my name is Julie.” I was so lazy, I just stopped listening there. I put the song in the genre of “guy-calls-new-girl-by-old girl’s-name-and-barely-lives-to-regret-it”. Been there. Done that. It’s not a pretty sight.

But that’s all wrong. It’s a beautiful love song. Not a song of jealously or envy. Or even forgiveness.

It’s a song of unconditional love. Of understanding. Of empathy.

And that’s the best kind.

Here it is:

I'm Not Lisa
by Jessi Colter

I'm not Lisa, My name is Julie.
Lisa left you years ago.
My eyes are not blue, but mine won't leave you
Til the sunlight has touched your face.

She was your morning light; her smile told of no night.
Your love for her grew with each rising sun.
And then one winter day, his hand led her away.
She left you here, drowning in your tears,
Here, where you stayed for years crying Lisa, Lisa...

I'm not Lisa, my name is Julie.
Lisa left you years ago.
My eyes are not blue, but mine won't leave you.
Til the sunlight shines thru your face.

The song is saying this:

"I know I'm not your first love. You were madly in love with her. And that's okay. But she's gone. She left you. Somebody stole her heart from you. That hurt. Bad. I know it did. I can't do anything about that.

“But you know what? I'm never going to leave you. I'm never going to hurt you the way she did. I'm going to stay with you forever. No, I'm not your first love. She was. But I'm here now. Love me."

Man, wouldn’t everybody love to have a "Julie". Somebody who will smile, love, and say it's going to be okay. Forever.


Anonymous said...

But it also could be like that:

A young woman, maybe a nurse, sits beside an old man at his step to the other world, an old man, who ha slost his beloved wife years ago.

Anonymous said...

"And then one winter day, his hand led her away."

"His hand" refers to Jesus

Anonymous said...

No, it doesnt mean Jesus "lead her away"....shes referring to another man that lead her away.

Anonymous said...

Excellent alternate interpretation... and it fits well!!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent as well as above!

Unknown said...

I think Lisa left through death: then one winter day (signifying darkness/death), his (God's) hand led (took) her's away.julie won't leave him until the sunlight shine through or touches your (his) face - signifying until he dies. Just my take on it -

BBlocher said...

You think you would like to have a "Julie". Somebody who will smile, love, and say it's going to be okay forever is all well and good. I'm here too tell you though, it kinda sucks being a Julie.