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Mark Rothko Song

This song is by Dar Williams and appears on the album All My Heroes Are Dead (1991).

The blue it speaks so full.
It's like a beauty one can barely stand.
Or too much things dropped in your hand.
And there's a green like the peace in your heart, sometimes.
Painted underneath the sheets of ashy snow.
And there's a blue like where the urban angels go, very bright.
Now the Calder mobile tips a biomorphic sphere.
Then it swings its dangling pieces round to other paintings here.

Your behavior is so male.
It's like you can't explain yourself to me.
I think I'll ask Renoir to tea.
For his flowers are as real as they are, all the time.
And the sunlight sets the furniture aglow.
It's a pleasant time as far as people go, how far do they go?
Well his roses are perfect and his words have no wings.
I know what he can give me and I like to know these things.

I met her at the funeral.
She said I don't know what he meant to me.
I just know he affected me.
An effect not unlike his art, I believe.
The service starts and we are in the know.
He had so much to say and more to show, and ain't that true of life?
So we weep for a person who lived at great cost.
And we barely knew his powers till we sensed what we had lost.

A friend and I in a museum room.
She says, "Look at Mark Rothko's side.
Did you know about his suicide?
Some folks were born with a foot in the grave, but not me, of course."
And she smiles as if to say we're in the know.
Then she names a coffee place where we can go, uptown.
Now the painting is desperate, but the crowds wash away.
In a world of kind pedestrians who've seen enough today.

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