The personal website of Chris Coyier

Explanation of Boots Of Spanish Leather

I’ve always loved the ending of this song. Most of it is this brooding lovers-separated ballad. But then it’s like, just kidding, she was really just trying to get rid of the dude without outright saying it and it took him the whole song to get it. And when he does, he’s like OH RIGHT, yeah, I’ll take a consolation prize.

Oh, I’m sailin’ away my own true love
I’m sailin’ away in the morning
Is there something I can send you from across the sea
From the place that I’ll be landing?

HER: I’m taking off, need anything?

No, there’s nothin’ you can send me, my own true love
There’s nothin’ I wish to be ownin’
Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled
From across that lonesome ocean

HIM: I’m good. I’ll miss you!

Oh, but I just thought you might want something fine
Made of silver or of golden
Either from the mountains of Madrid
Or from the coast of Barcelona

HER: Are you sure? There’s some nice swag over here. I feel like I should get you something.

Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean
I’d forsake them all for your sweet kiss
For that’s all I’m wishin’ to be ownin’

HIM: I don’t want anything, I just want you.

That I might be gone a long time
And it’s only that I’m askin’
Is there something I can send you to remember me by
To make your time more easy passin’

HER: So I’m gonna be gone kind of a while. Know what I’m saying? Can you read between the lines here?

Oh, how can, how can you ask me again
It only brings me sorrow
The same thing I want from you today
I would want again tomorrow

HIM: Oh I get it, I’m just heartbroken and if you wanna break up with me, you do it.

I got a letter on a lonesome day
It was from her ship a-sailin’
Saying I don’t know when I’ll be comin’ back again
It depends on how I’m a-feelin’

HER: Definitely gonna be gone a while over here. Quite a while. No certain return plans.

Well, if you, my love, must think that-a-way
I’m sure your mind is roamin’
I’m sure your heart is not with me
But with the country to where you’re goin’

So take heed, take heed of the western wind
Take heed of the stormy weather
And yes, there’s something you can send back to me
Spanish boots of Spanish leather

HIM: Actually you know what? Send me some boots. Some reallllly nice boots.