Song Analysis “Painting Girl” Mapmaker

[If you’re wondering, “Who the funk is Mapmaker?” See this previous post,

She lives in the frames
On old canvas with paint
The artist was human
Like me and like you
He painted the truth of our longing for love

[Is art alive? In a sense, it is. Art lives within the confines of a fictional universe in the collective mind. Though artists are mere mortals, they can create words, images, and performances that mimic reality. Here, the speaker praises an artist who captures the reality of love.]

The young woman sighs
Relieves the frustration
Of singular life
And anticipation
Of meeting the one
That will end her caressing of soft teddy bears

[He’s talking about the emotionally draining experience of being alone. This woman probably isn’t living in solitary confinement. She must have friends and family. Still, she feels incomplete because she has not met her soulmate. Notice how teddy bears function here as surrogates for  a significant other. Is anyone looking for a psychology thesis?]

Screaming like hope
The moon lights your face
And its perfect to show
You’ve got my same case
Getting lost in the sea of
The whole human race

[The image of a lover lit by moonlight is a tried-and-true trope. The speaker suddenly realizes that he’s not alone. He finds someone who shares something with him. The idea of a sea of humanity appears in other art, but it is poignant here as he describes finding his beloved as being like picking one fish out of a vast ocean.]

You could be my painting girl
The game of ping pong
Is played with our eyes
As we act like we’re calm
Hearts racing inside
They are very concerned that
We might give them up to each other real soon

[The speaker suggests his beloved could be his “painting girl.” This seems to be an ode to her beauty. He compares the forward and backward glances to the gazes of people watch table-tennis. He personifies their hearts in an elegant metaphor that has them worrying about being given to another person.]

The life of the party
Can stay with the group
I’ll leave them alone
I’m fixated on you
The expression you give
So perfectly matches the girl on the wall

[Here the setting of the song comes in focus. I imagine a soiree in a stylish urban loft where paintings hang on every wall. He notices an uncanny resemblance between this vixen with whom he’s become infatuated and the figure in one of the paintings.]

There’s no escaping inspiration here
That someone else can share the hopefulness and fear
One touch from you can make it worth it all these years,
Waiting for my painting girl

[Just like her, he has been waiting for someone. But he has no regrets. He feels a single caress from her soft arms can justify all those years of expectation.]

Most of the time
I meet expectations
But when I’m with you
I go on vacation
Living for life
For root beer floats, smiles, and my painting girl

[ He looks in the mirror and gives himself a balanced evaluation. He may not be a genius but most of the time, he lives up to his promises. But when his beloved is around, he can’t focus. He embraces a kind of innocuous hedonism. Rather than worrying about money, worrying about tomorrow, he is completely in the present. He wants nothing more than a cool drink, a laugh, and the company of his lady.]


  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: