Seal – “Kiss from a Rose” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

“Kiss from a Rose” is a poetic exploration of love and mysticism. Seal, through his lyrics, paints a vivid picture of a love that is both enlightening and addictive. The song delves into how love can illuminate the darker parts of ourselves, transforming something ordinary into something extraordinary. The repeated references to light and dark, growth and bloom, suggest a transformation brought about by this love. Seal wrote this song as an introspection, a reflection on the power and complexity of emotions in romantic relationships.

Why does this song feel so magical yet so complex? The layers of meaning in “Kiss from a Rose” make it a timeless classic. There’s more to unravel about this enigmatic love ballad.


“Kiss from a Rose” Lyrics Meaning

“Kiss from a Rose” begins with a haunting chorus that sets the mystical tone. The opening lines, “There used to be a greying tower alone on the sea,” instantly create a sense of isolation and melancholy. This tower, standing alone, symbolizes a part of the self that is solitary and unilluminated – until love arrives.

Seal’s reference to love as both a “high” and “not the pill” is particularly poignant. It suggests that love, in its truest form, is not an escape but a transformative experience. The “light” that love shines, making the ‘eyes become large,’ indicates an awakening, a newfound perception brought about by this deep emotional connection.

The chorus, with its iconic line, “I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey,” is where the song truly blooms. The rose, a classic symbol of love and beauty, is juxtaposed against the grey, representing mundanity or sorrow. This kiss from the rose, then, is not just a sign of love but an act of rejuvenation, turning grey to color, despair to hope.

As Seal continues, “the more I get of you, stranger it feels,” he touches on the paradoxical nature of love. It’s a feeling that brings joy and, at the same time, a sense of overwhelming mystery. The song keeps circling back to this theme of contrasting emotions – power and pain, pleasure and addiction. This reflects the multifaceted nature of love, how it can empower and weaken, bring joy and cause pain, all at once.

Throughout the song, the recurring theme of light and darkness, growth and bloom, reinforces the transformative power of love. It’s a journey from solitude to fulfillment, from the greying towers of isolation to the vibrant bloom of emotional awakening.

The Story Behind “Kiss from a Rose”

When Seal penned “Kiss from a Rose,” he was in a unique phase of his life and career. The song’s mystical and almost ethereal quality reflects his state of mind. He was grappling with the profound impact of love and relationships on his life. The lyrics aren’t just about a romantic relationship; they’re a metaphor for Seal’s journey toward understanding himself and his emotions.

The use of contrasting imagery – light and dark, growth and decay, pain and pleasure – indicates Seal’s introspective exploration. He was trying to articulate the duality of human emotions, especially in the context of love and relationships. The song, in essence, became a vessel for Seal to express these complex emotions, conveying that love can be both a source of immense joy and profound pain.

“Kiss from a Rose” contemplates the human condition and how our emotions shape and define our experiences. The song’s enduring popularity is a testament to its universal appeal and ability to resonate with listeners on a deeply personal level. Seal’s introspective journey, as articulated in this song, invites us all to reflect on our own experiences of love and life.