You are Beautiful


I saw you on the subway ..

In New York we call it “subway”. In Paris we call it “metro”. In London we call it “tube” or “underground”.

James Blunt is British but he uses the American term for the urban rail system. Which variety of English is more popular in your region, British or American?

Link to London Accent

Link to French Accent

Link to New York Accent

Non-standard Language

I won’t lose no sleep on that
I won’t lose any sleep over that

A Reference to Drug Use

I was fucking high – I was stoned.

Many young people smoke marijuana in Britain.

Was he high (stoned) on marijuana or just “high on life”?

What do you think?

The Use of Rhyme

I saw your face in a crowded place
I don’t know what to do
I will never be with you

Rhyme is used in Poems. Listen to this poem. Banjo Player’s Brother

The Transcendent Nature of Beauty

In “You are Beautiful” James Blunt writes (and sings) about somebody who he saw on the subway. He was deeply effected by the experience of having seen beauty. Whether it be a human being, a natural place, an object or an idea, the experience of beauty can have a powerful and transcendent effect on our emotional life.

When we arrive at a new mental state we can be aware of what has changed our mood or emotional perspective, but we can also be aware of the mental or emotional state which we were in before the experience of beauty and the change that it wrought.
If the earlier mental state is significantly different from the later one, then it seems more significant for the extent of the change which has come upon us.

Perhaps the author was feeling low or cynical or unable to believe in the possibility of love. Perhaps he was alone or lonely and felt down and dejected and his vision was locked on to a limited perspective of what life can be.

But then he saw a beautiful human being and his perspective was changed. He became aware of another possibility. If somebody as beautiful as this existed, perhaps he could find her or someone like her to fill an emptiness that he felt in his life. Perhaps.

When a person is surrounded by beauty such as when one lives in a magnificent city with an exquisite urban panorama or a hidden valley where the wonders of nature are abundant and ubiquitous, might one become blase and immune to beauty? If one is able to see beautiful things every day, might one become inured to it and in a certain sense, immune to it?

Certainly lack of exposure to beautiful things and the experience of ugliness, whether visual or emotional, will create a certain mental framework which makes the experience of beauty all the more remarkable. And if the beauty which one beholds is human beauty, then how wonderful that moment when one senses the existence of beauty, particularly as one emerges from an ugly place.

Surely human beauty is the supreme expression of that quality which touches our hearts. Human beauty is allied to the faculties of admiration, desire and love. It hints at the possibility of a different life, which is, after, all just another way of viewing this life that we already have.

When we look into the eye of another with trust and admiration and love, do we gaze on god?

Link to the Heart Page

Link to More Songs

Man in Black

Twenty five Minutes to Go

Vocabulary Tests