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Jessi Colter – I'm Not Lisa lyrics

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 hers away
She left you here drowning in your tears, here
Where you've 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 through your face

I'm not Lisa

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  • j
    Don't read it so literally. "His hand led her away" is a gentle metaphor of death. The "hand" of God. Julie wouldn't (or shouldn't) want him if he were just pining over a woman that dumped him for another lover. The empathy for them comes from her offering of light and hope to a man in true despair.
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  • u
    I believe that both the death metaphor or the jilted lover interpretation can be correct depending on your philosophical bend. But I WANT to believe the first. Especially since I am madly in love with a woman who seems to be hung upon her ex husband. And I do not know if I am the 'Julie' to her 'Lisa' and it scares me.
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  • u
    Let's go over the possible meanings.
    1. One interpretation is that the two are making love and Julie was called "Lisa" by mistake. The problem with this idea is that there is no suggestion in the lyrics of any kind of intimate activity like kissing, hugging, cuddling, or any type of passion. Compare this with a songs like "Angel of the Morning", "Third Rate Romance", "Stranger", or "I Loved 'Em Everyone" where the sexual activity is clear.
    2. Another interpretation is that Lisa has died. I suppose the comparison would be songs like "Honey" and "Angels Cry Roses and Rain". The problem with this idea is that the phrasing is wrong.
    "Lisa left you years ago"
    This doesn't fit. Since this line isn't part of a rhyming pair, the obvious phrasing would be "You lost Lisa long ago" or perhaps "You lost Lisa years ago.". However, this still wouldn't match with the rest of the song. If he lost Lisa because she died then it would obvious to him that she died and that Julie was not Lisa; it wouldn't serve any purpose for her to point this out. I've seen several try to hold onto this interpretation for whatever reason. However, Julie would only be saying "I'm not your dead wife/fiancé/girlfriend/lover". The other problem with this assumption would be the lines:
    "My eyes are not blue.
    But mine won't leave you".
    If leave is a metaphor for dying then she would be saying that her eyes won't die which makes little sense. But, let's overlook that. If she is indeed contrasting herself with someone who has died then she is saying that she won't die which of course is not a promise she could make. Dying is generally not by choice. That would require stretching the interpretation even further to the assumption that Lisa died by suicide. But, of course, suicide wouldn't fit with the assumption that God's hand leads her away. The phrasing there is also off:
    "His hand led hers away"
    If she died then he led her away, not just her hand. However, a hand can easily be interpreted as a loving touch or a hand in marriage so this would fit with falling in love with someone else. Likewise:
    "She left you here drowning in your tears, here"
    This also wouldn't match. If she died then either God left him there or circumstances did, not her. Also:
    "Her smile told of no night"
    Why only her smile? If she died then the reference would be to her as a whole, everything that made her what she was. However, if she left on her own then her smile could be seen as misleading as in the song "Smiling Faces Sometimes".
    3. The lyrics seem pretty clear that leaving was voluntary on her part and that another man was involved. It's also clear that he is still mourning what he lost. This would certainly match with the idea of contrast. If Lisa left voluntarily then presumably Julie would not leave by choice. The only part that is curious with this interpretation is:
    "But mine won't leave you.
    'Til the sunlight has touched your face".

    With the first assumption that this was during lovemaking, presumably sunlight would be the next morning. However, nothing else supports this idea. But with the interpretation of leaving voluntarily, staying until the morning wouldn't be much of a promise. Most likely, we have to reference an earlier line:
    "She was your morning light"
    This now makes more sense. It would be until he learned to love again. But it still wouldn't be much of a promise if she left as soon as he started to love her. So, I think the interpretation for "my eyes won't leave you" would be akin to "I won't let you out of my sight" meaning extra care, attention, or comfort until he is able to love again.
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  • u
    See. In my blue eyes with the name of lisa. This came from a way different outlook of life! I was placed in a foster home wen like 1yrs give or take few months old and a few others where already there when I arrived most much older! They say you don't remember when that lil. I remember being the happiest in my life of having a family of a mom and dad and siblings. One who resided and placed there was a girl name julie. She was the only one I felt secure with. She became my sister! I was taken out of the home appr. 4-5 yrs old. Till this day she is my sister yes far and in between contact but was/is my sister. We connected again back in 1988 and she helped me as that's when I found out I was pregnant and no family. So we became close again for few yrs. Then again lost contact for yrs. Well she met a great man lives in ft lauderdale and I live near clearwater moving here from buffalo, ny sept 2012. We now live bout 4 hrs away. Last few years we text holidays and stuff, such as this morning on thanksgiving day. I get a text wishing me a happy turkey day. Well I am soooooooooooooo thankful after 41 yrs she is part of my life regardless of how much we keep contact. I love you sis always never a day that goes by your not in my mind and every second in my heart!
    Lisa/julie sis forever!
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  • u
    Read the lyrics people! Lisa didn't die. She is a cheating w***e who ran off with another man. Yes, you can be sad and miss someone who has done you that way. Now when Julie tells him she loves him, he is still hung up on the ex, and also looks at other women as potential lovers who will break his heart. Lisa is a b-i-t-c-h who ruined a good man.
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