As Clear as Jupiter in the Spring

“Since the return from her stay on the moon,
She listens like spring and talks like June.”

Excerpt from “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” released and sung by Train ©2001
Songwriters: Pat Monahan/Scott Michael Underwood/ Robert S. Hotchkiss

Don’t get me wrong, I like this song. It sounds great, but what do those two lines really mean? In fact, I’d be happy to know what just one line means.

Oh, yeah. “She listens like spring and talks like June.” The last words of each line rhyme. The words evoke pleasant images, but are they good enough?  Ah, where have we writers heard that question before? And how many times? If you’re a constant editor like me, probably a whole galaxy worth.

So how do you deal with word selection? A thesaurus, roulette wheel, or typing “Insert clever word(s) here.” Please tell me by leaving a comment.

Meanwhile I’ll ponder that 1980’s Irish Spring commercial about their soap being as fresh as a country road in Ireland after a spring rain.

That is mud, isn’t it?

P.S. If you’re a Train fan, you might want to go online to view their upcoming events.


  1. Nanette Littlestone says:

    I’ve always loved those lines by Train and have no clue what they mean. Since spring and June are usually thought of in favorable terms, then the lyrics would imply that these are positive traits. Yes? No? Maybe?

    Writing is supposed to reach the hearts of readers with universal truths and feelings. If the reader isn’t sure what the words mean, then the writer loses an opportunity to connect. Or does she? Maybe there’s a level of understanding that goes beyond the practical and understandable, that bypasses the intellect and reaches into the spirit. In the case of Train’s song, the music certainly helps to deliver the message, whatever that message may be. I vote for words that make sense, but I’m willing to be open to go deeper. Roulette wheel, spin your possibilities for me.

    • Nanette, thanks for your repeated efforts to leave a comment! I’m glad you did. Songwriters have two opportunities to hook a listener, the song’s tune and the lyrics. Writers have only one opportunity and must create their music with words. That’s why word choice is so important.

      If I need to move on and can’t think of the perfect word, I tend to “Insert clever words here.” Fortunately the correct word eventually comes to me. Unfortunately, it’s usually when I should be asleep.

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