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World Before Columbus

If your love were taken from me
Every color would be black and white
It would be as flat as the world before Columbus
That's the day that I lose half my sight

If your life were taken from me
All the trees would freeze in this cold ground
It would be as cruel as the world before Columbus
Sail to the edge and I'd be there looking down

Those men who lust for land
And for riches strange and new
Who love those trinkets of desire
Oh they never will have you
And they'll never know the gold
Or the copper in your hair
How could they weigh
the worth of you so rare

If your love were taken from me
Every light that's bright would soon go dim
It would be as dark as the world before Columbus
Down the waterfall and I'd swim over the brim

Those men who lust for land
And for riches strange and new
Who love those trinkets of desire
Oh they will never have you
And they'll never know the gold
Or the copper in your hair
How could they weigh
the worth of you so rare

single cover
Single release : 1997
Lyrics : Suzanne Vega
Copyright : © 1996 WB Music Corp. / Waifersongs Ltd.
Album : Nine Objects Of Desire

"Nine Objects Of Desire" - tracklist :

Notes:

Suzanne on this song:
"It is a love song, and maybe I shouldn't tell you who the object is there - but it was actually written for my daughter. The idea of the world before Columbus came because I have a cat at home, and this cat scratched my eye -just playing, and it became infected and I had to wear an eyepatch for about a week. The thing I noticed was that the world was really flat seeing the world that way. It struck me as funny and I was writing it down and I said the world was as flat as the world before Columbus. I took that idea and said, well if this love was taken away from me, that's how the world would feel to me. That was the metaphor that I was working with."

Here's something she said that ties into the lyrics of Blood Sings:
"I hope to make in my life is that I want to keep my child and my children (if I have anymore children) with me and not have to give them up so I can continue my career. But that's been a repeating pattern in my life of being separated from one parents at an early age. And in fact that's kind what, the secret heart of the song the World Before Columbus, is the fear that I would be separated from Ruby somehow. That's what's really behind that song as well."

"The song World Before Columbus is a song that was written for my daughter. I wanted to write a song that expressed my love for my feelings for her as a baby but I didn't want to write like a lullaby or a baby song. I wanted it to be a proper love song. And that's what I was attempting to do with this one."
Suzanne Discusses Tried and TrueSuzanne Discusses Each Song on Tried and True september, 1998 http://www.suzannevega.com/about/1998/triedandtrue.htm

The object of desire is thus Ruby. [Ed.]