Country Girl in Paris / Bread and Roses by John Denver (Single): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music

About the song

John Denver’s “A Country Girl in Paris”. A folksy gem nestled amongst the rich tapestry of Denver’s discography, this song takes us on a poignant journey of displacement and longing. Released in 1989 on the album Higher Ground, it showcases Denver’s signature ability to weave relatable narratives with a backdrop of gentle melodies and introspective lyrics.

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Denver, a champion of the American spirit and the wide-open spaces of the countryside, often explored themes of home, nature, and love in his music. “A Country Girl in Paris” deviates slightly, presenting a character yearning for a familiar comfort zone far removed from the bustling Parisian landscape. The song paints a vivid picture of a young woman, likely from a rural American town, perhaps even the South if we consider the mention of “Nashville in the rain,” adrift in the City of Lights.

The opening lines immediately establish the central conflict: “A country girl in Paris, moonlight on the Seine / Memories of Tennessee, Nashville in the rain.” The romantic ambience of Paris, symbolized by the moonlight on the Seine, clashes with the protagonist’s melancholic remembrances of a simpler life back home. The contrast between the grandeur of Paris and the down-home feel of Nashville underscores the emotional turmoil within the character.

As the song progresses, we learn more about this “country girl.” She walks along the famed Champs-Elysees, a stark juxtaposition of her presumed small-town background. Denver’s lyrics cleverly capture the Parisian atmosphere: “Up upon Montmartre when she stops to rest a while, all the artists look at her and they long to paint her smile.” This hints at a certain naivety and charm that the girl possesses, further emphasizing her displacement in the sophisticated Parisian scene.

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The emotional core of the song lies in the repeated refrain: “A country girl in Paris, longing for Nashville in the rain.” This simple yet powerful line encapsulates the protagonist’s yearning for familiarity and a sense of belonging. The rain in Nashville, perhaps a recurring memory, becomes a symbol of comfort and home, a stark contrast to the foreignness she experiences in Paris.

“A Country Girl in Paris” is more than just a song about a woman in a foreign city. It delves into the universal human experience of dislocation and the powerful pull of nostalgia. Denver’s gentle vocals and the melancholic melody enhance the emotional resonance of the lyrics. The song is a reminder that even amidst the beauty and excitement of new experiences, a piece of our heart may always yearn for the comfort and familiarity of home.

Video

Lyrics

“A Country Girl In Paris”

A country girl in Paris, moonlight on the Seine. Memories of Tennessee, Nashville in the rain.
It’s such a contradiction, a heart that’s filled with pain,
A country girl in Paris dreaming Nashville in the rain.

She walks along the boulevard, Champs, Elysee.
Thinks about a country boy three thousand miles away,
Pride is such a hard thing, it’s such a price to pay
to be all alone in Paris with true love so far away.

Up upon Montmartre when she stops to rest awhile,
all the artists look at her and they long to paint her smile.
For even in her sorrow there’s something in her eyes
that makes the young men jealous, makes the old men sigh.

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They say the loss of innocence is always linked to pain
for once the heart is opened nothing ever is the same.
And so the evening lends itself to lovers and romance,
the way to heal a broken heart is to give true love just one more chance.

A country girl in Paris, moonlight on the Seine. Memories of Tennessee, Nashville in the rain.
It’s such a contradiction, a heart that’s filled with pain,
A country girl in Paris dreaming Nashville in the rain.
A country girl in Paris, longing for Nashville in the rain.