Of Seal’s Kiss From A Rose: unExplained

Kiss From A Rose


I remember listening to Kiss From A Rose on repeat on a Sony Walkman cassette player with surround stereo sound. The vocals, the music, the mastering, was on point; I mean the man was his own backing vocals.

There used to be a greying tower alone on the sea...

If I closed my eyes I could almost imagine a choir of Seals singing along in accompaniment. I wondered how much time he spent in the studio to record that song and how many times he must have sang each line, in various tones too, and what the heck was he singing about???

I’ve been kissed by a rose …been kissed by a rose on the

I couldn’t understand the lyrics but I got the goosebumps…

I first heard the song on a 1996 Grammy Nominees album.

96 Grammy nominees

A compilation album which also included the following hits:

  • One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
  • Gangster’s Paradise – Coolio
  • One Of Us – Joan Osborne
  • Waterfalls – TLC
  • I Can Love You Like That – All-For-One
  • You Are Not Alone – Michael Jackson

At the 1996 Grammy awards Kiss From A Rose scooped awards for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Perfomance.
Written in 1987 during a squatting phase of Seal’s life years before he would release his debut album, Seal says he was “embarrassed by it” and “ threw the tape in corner.

Seal explains kiss from a rose on genius

Yet that tape from a corner made millions of sales and turned Seal into a household name….

Released in 1994 then re-released in 1995 as part of the soundtrack for Batman Forever, Kiss From A Rose plays during the end credits, and has a second music video edition in which Seal performs next to the bat signal with scenes from the motion picture.


25 years later from when I first heard it and I still think this is one of the greatest songs ever, even though up to now I really don’t quite understand what exactly Kiss From A Rose is supposed to mean and maybe that is what Seal wanted or maybe even he did not quite know how to interpret the song and decided its upto the listener to interpret the meaning, only saying “some kind of relationship inspired the song”

Back in the day when you bought a music cassette the sleeve jacket would unfold to reveal song lyrics, but Kiss From A Rose did not have any lyrics included, matter of fact Seal declined to release the official lyrics leaving the world to its own devices and coming up with all sorts of conspiracies

Could it be a relationship with cocaine??? One wonders; I mean cocaine is sometimes known as snow and when you take it, your pupils dilate…

But did you know when it snows, my eyes become larger and the light that you shine can be seen

Love remained a drug that’s the high and not the pill

  • Is it a love song?
  • A song about a dead lover?
  • Does he say Grave Or Grey/Gray
  • A song about drug addiction?
  • A love song about a dead lover written under the influence of drugs??
  • A song about the after life?

You became the light on the dark side of me.

Seal whose real name is Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel and born to a Nigerian mother and Afro-Brazilian mother was raised by a foster family in London.

At some point in his life opted to be homeless while putting himself through an architecture class and roughing it out in the world with music nothing more than a passing fancy, some say he may have “borrowed” the idea and some aspects of Kiss From A Rose from the rumblings of some fellow homeless man which may explain the vagueness on the part of Seal in fully explaining his song

“…the song is always larger in the listener’s mind because in it they will attach imagery which is relative to their own personal experience, so it is your perception of what I am saying…”

The musician has prominent scars on his face and I used to wonder what had caused them, if he had been in some horrific crash that killed his entire family and he wore the loss like a remainder on his face. Turns out the scars are a result of a type of lupus called called lupus discoid erythematosus which affects the skin leaving large scars.

Seal has a musical career sprinkled with discographies but Kiss From The Rose is like that one bright light that leaves everything else in the shadows.

Here’s to one of the most mysterious songs ever…..

Seal comments on genius lyrics page on kiss from the rose lyrics
Seal commenting on Genius lyrics page

Now that your rose is in bloom
A light hits the gloom on the gray


~B

13 Comments

  1. What a great post as I learned a lot about this song and Seal. I remember hearing it play on the airwaves and the Grammys back then. I didn’t realise the mystery behind the lyrics. I do love the song too. Funny, how something he was embarrassed about creating ended up making him famous. I forgot it was used in the Batman movie too! 😃👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Diana

      Yeah it’s one of those that once heard kinda keeps running around in your heard….

      I found it crazy that when he created it he never got what the fuss is about haha and eventually decided well if y’all say it’s good then its good I guess but that’s your words not mine ha!

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea that the lyrics were not released right away. Although I remember hearing different versions of the lyrics from different people. I have to agree that it’s a classic. A timeless song.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly why you will find different versions of the lyrics, people just went with what they heard and those more forceful in their convictions ended up having everyone else agree to theirs 😂😂
      If you heard something different from what others said they heard or didn’t hear anything at all 😂😂😂 then you are not alone…

      It’s timeless.
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This song takes me back to my teens & it was such a great tune when it was released back in ’94! Now I’m going to have the lyrics from the chorus: Bayyyyby, I compare you…” whizzing around in my head for the rest of the week – so thanks 🙂 🙂
    What happened to Seal? He seemed like a nice person and clearly didn’t realise just how talented he was. I loved the way he very cleverly never revealed the meaning of the lyrics to Kiss From A Rose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha back in ’94 😂😂 feels like such a lifetime ago and I tweet amongst people who weren’t born then 😂😂

      I remember I went on to buy a Seal album but the only track I listened to was Kiss From A Rose the other things not so much….

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am in love with this song. I listen to it many times, I rewind more than two times, every time, until I feel like it needs a break. I love the live version more, though.

    I imagine him standing somewhere on snow, alone, then suddenly he sees a rose and knows that the world is still alive and warm. Never imagined it was someone he was in love with, until now.

    No one can describe the kind of love we feel when we are young, especially when you kiss someone you know will never be yours. Maybe he kissed a girl he loved and never saw her again. I do not want to turn it into a sad song, so let me continue to imagine, it was a rose.

    It is a lovely song. It’s beauty will never die.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well according to Seal, it’s entirely up to the listener to interpret the song in any way they fancy…

      So for you a rose it is 🌹

      While in conversation with someone over this song, they mentioned that they thought it was a love song about an older woman….

      “There used to be a greying tower alone on the sea…. ”

      ~B

      Timeless beauty never dies

      Like

  5. I love this song! Growing up I just thought it was creepy and his face didn’t make things better but I have since learnt to appreciate the song, the vocals and Seal too though this is the only song of his I know

    Liked by 1 person

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