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Sweet Pain
Lyrics: John Popper
Music: John Popper

If Cyrano de Bergerac
Fell prey to the blades of fifty men
With a heart and a sword he'd drive them back
Perchance to see Roxanne's eyes light up the sky again

And when beauty kind and full of grace
Again denied the beast her hand
The beast he turned and hid his face
And tried with all his might and magic to understand


And once upon a time
You know I used to wonder why
You know no one should need to cry
In pain of a heart forbade to fly
But you learn to say goodbye
As you whisper beneath a sigh

Sweet pain
Can't you plainly see?
Sweet pain
You know it matters to me
Sweet pain
Won't you make me feel at home?
Sweet pain
Don't you dare leave me alone

Sometimes a life that seems hard to take
Is soothed for a while by an old friend
Leaving a bad need in its wake
Sad how, some friendships never ever seem to end
Well all of my heroes up and died
Songs and a dream are left for me
What did them in, not suicide
Just a lengthy friendship and a dream of how it could be

And isn't it a crime?
Was it more than they could bear?
You know they did not even care
At all and they might have something there
But I'm here and I don't see where
All I hear is their silent prayer

Sweet pain
Is it so terribly wrong?
Sweet pain
To want to come along
Sweet pain
Won't you make me smile?
Sweet pain
If only for a while

Can you feel what I feel?
So we can establish that the pain is real
Don't be afraid and I'll do the same for you
And we'll just hang on and we'll make it, make it through
There's got to be a reason it works out this way
And there's something deep inside me
That makes me have to play
For you
For you

In no position to give advice
My heart it spoke and I wrote it down
And you know every wisdom has its price
My head up in the stars
And my feet planted firmly on the ground
When will I embrace this life I see?
I've been wondering for so long
Thinking back, the truth may be
I've been unaware but I've been living it all along

And it didn't cost a dime
And it did not come for free
It just would not let me be
But it never conquered me
Just a doorway and a key
And I think that we both agree

Sweet pain
Is sometimes what you need
Sweet pain
It allows the blood to bleed
Sweet pain
From the moment of your birth
Sweet pain
You know it keeps you here on Earth

1991 Blues Traveler Music

First release: Travelers & Thieves
Released: 09/03/1991
Earliest time played: 09/02/1990
Last time played: 08/01/2011
Playing frequency:
  325 plays (see all shows)
  17.49% of shows in the database
  18.36% of shows since debut
  Detailed statistics
Song information:
  This is one of several songs that John sang at a solo concert before it became a full-fledged band song.
  This song was written for a woman John was involved with for several years. The same relationship spawned several other songs, including Look Around, Carolina Blues and Yours.

Other recordings of "Sweet Pain":
  Travelers & Thieves/On Tour Forever, 1991
  Sweet Pain, 1991
  Sweet Pain, 1991
  Travelers & Thieves pre-production tape, 1991
  Birmingham Alabama, April 1992, 1992
  1992 Electoral Blast, 1992
  Love and Greed, 1993
  Sweet Pain and...Blues, 1995
  Chunky but Funky, 1995
  Travelogue: Blues Traveler Classics, 2002


If Cyrano De Bergerac/Fell prey to the blades of fifty men/With a heart and a sword he'd drive them back/Perchance to see Roxanne's eyes light up the sky again
These lines are based on the Edmond Rostand play "Cyrano de Bergerac" [which was, in turn, based on the life of a real man by the same name]. In the play, Cyrano is a soldier for the French army battling against France. His looks are rather pedestrian, topped off by a large nose, but he is an excellent duellist, supposedly facing a hundred men between the first and second acts. During the course of the play, he falls in love with his cousin, Roxanne, who is in turn smitten with Christian, a soldier in Cyrano's command. Christian has no skill at wooing women, but he has the looks. Cyrano is the opposite, and the two join forces to woo Roxanne. But while Cyrano is able to express his love for her, it is through the appearance of another, and his love goes unrequited.
And when beauty kind and full of grace/Again denied the beast her hand/The beast he turned and hid his face/And tried with all his might and magic to understand
Another reference to "Beauty and the Beast"; see Alone.