The summer is here at last
The sky is overcast
And no one brings a rose for Emily.
She watches her flowers grow
While lovers come and go
To give each other roses from her tree
But not a rose for Emily
Emily, can't you see
There's nothing you can do. (How the sun is shining)
There's loving everyhere
But none for you.
Her roses are fading now
She keeps her pride somehow:
That's all she has protecting her from pain.
And as the years go by,
She will grow old and die.
The roses in her garden fade away...
Not one left for her grave.
Not a rose for Emily.
Rod Argent - The Zombies - Odessey and Oracle - 1968
According to the composer Rod Argent, the song was inspired
by William Faulker's short story of the same name,
but the connections are pretty thin, aside from the title
and the situation of the death of a spinster.
I think this song is not very much about any Emily.
It's an Eleanor-Rigby-esque
song about loneliness, pity, and self-pity more generally.
As in that Beatles song, the musicians forgo their
usual sound in favor of a classical-music instrumentation -
in this case, a piano - to give the song the feeling of a
fable. The best thing about the song is vocal counterpoint
which, in its own small way, hints at complex feelings in
the simple story. Support counterpoint in pop music!