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There's a pub on the south side of town
Time stands still while they're still wine around
She's the one you left out of the cold
The one whose always and never alone
Did she let him go or did the four winds blow him away?
Does she even know she's the girl with the red balloon?
Keep her glass full of cheap Champagne
She will tell of the man with no name
Smoke and mirrors have done her in
She's in love and she won't be again
Did she let him go or did the four winds blow him away?
Does she even know she's the girl with the red balloon?
So lovely
So lonely
Floating away
Did she let him go or did the four winds blow him away?
Oh, does she even know?
Did she let him go, did the four winds blow him away?
Ooh, does she even know she's the girl,
She's the girl with the red balloon?



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/t/the_civil_wars/girl_with_the_red_balloon.html

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  • U
    UnregisteredMar 12, 2014 at 3:36 am
    Though I mostly agree with some of the commenters below, there are a few things I have to disagree with. I don't think this woman is actually physically holding a red balloon. I believe it more of symbolizes the fact that her heart has been broken and she is unable to really let go of that. But while I believe she is unable to move on, I don't think she is still searching for this lost love. "Smoke and mirrors have done her in" I think here is stating that this lover deceived or tricked her in some way. She thought he was one thing when in reality he was another. Perhaps that's why "She's in love and she won't be again" because he broke her heart to thoroughly for her to ever trust someone, and maybe in some ways she still wishes she could be with him.
  • U
    UnregisteredSep 5, 2012 at 8:59 am
    "calico" is just a fabric/material - think little house on the prairie etc. Calico has nothing to do with prostitution. The commenter just before me (the really long in-depth comment) is right. There's an episode of desperate housewives in season one that uses a red balloon for that exact symbolism. Eva's character had a miscarriage after falling down some stairs which she was having trouble grieving over as she hadn't exactly wanted to be pregnant in the first place but a friend makes her confront her emotions with this ritual of taking a red balloon and letting it go etc and she has a really hard time letting go and though she finally does it makes her realize how much she truly wanted the pregnancy/baby. So, my point, is that this song is definitely pointing towards a lost love that she won't let go of. It's a beautiful song though. :)
  • U
    UnregisteredJun 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm
    Ok, just because the song and the artwork share similar names does not mean they are one in the same. In fact, i'm sure had the civil wars been aware there was already a piece of work with the same title they would have changed the name.
    You people need to look deeper into things. This woman is by no means a prostitute. Prostitutes are not "always and never alone," as this means the person is always surrounded by people but does not partake in social interaction with them other than to "tell of the man with no name. " and we all know prostitutes engage in quite a few forms of social interaction so this statement does not support the prostitute claim. Also, prostitutes do not fall in love with one person and remain loyal to that individual, as illustrated by "she's in love and she won't be again. " besides, prostitutes don't carry balloons. They are childish, silly, and not good for business. When have you ever heard or seen a prostitue with a balloon?
    The balloon is a metaphor. The woman carries it as a a sort of "red badge. " it symbolizes the loss of her youth, innocence, and hope that accompanied the loss of her love. She looses those traits, her child-like qualities, because she discovered real emotional pain (which separates children from adults thus causing her to grow up) with the loss of her love. She carries it around with her because she refuses to let go of her lost love. It is a constant reminder of what she had and can no longer have again. So what the balloon ultimately symbolizes is... Her lost love.
    How she and her love became separated is not important. What is important is that she lost her love and refuses to stop searching for the one thing most important to her.
    The "smoke and mirrors" that have done her in refers to the burdens and responsibilities that are placed upon adults in society that keep her from pursuing her love. So she drinks to dull the pain and also because it keeps her soul pure. Different forms of alcohol can act as purifiers, so in this song the champagne is a metaphor for the girl keeping herself spirituality pure. And she remains pure because she refuses to give in, to give up, and let go of love.
    And that is why she is "so lovely, so lonely. " the song is told by people observing her. They admire her, adore her, yet keep their distance because she represents something sacred they feel they are not worthy of communicating with (because they did give up).
    And since we all know prostitutes are not lonely nor lovely- because they are in fact always surrounded with others and are quite ugly- all of your claims on the meaning of this song are wrong. None of what any of you have said her has any relation to the evidence that is presented in the song.
    Take another english class and learn some more about symbolism and metaphors to increase the depth of your thinking before you go tainting a beautiful musical piece.
  • U
    UnregisteredJan 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm
    The girl with the red ballon is the name of a piece of graffiti art (in london where there are pubs) by bansky. It is a little girl letting go of a red balloon, reaching for it. The woman in the song is a prostitute that has become numb & disallusioned about love because of her profession. Maybe she's internally the little girl reaching for her dreams (a real love(r)).
  • U
    UnregisteredJan 9, 2012 at 2:11 am
    The girl was in love and chased her lover out of the picture with her drinking habit. I think the red balloon represents her out of character, she stands out, an attention seeker but in the end always alone because no one will take that risk of the red balloon, for fear she would let them go too.

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