“Come To My Window”

“Come To My Window”

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song

Melissa Etheridge
“Come To My Window”

Written and Recorded by Melissa Etheridge

I wrote most of this song in a hotel room, which is where I did a lot of my writing once I started touring a lot after my first album. The first three albums did fine. I was being played on radio and had a bit of a following. The hip hop beats were starting around 1990, the time of my third album, and I experimented musically with them. So for the fourth album, I was thinking of getting back to my soul — to the roots of rock and roll where I came from.

I was in a relationship at the time that was tumultuous. In my early twenties and thirties I made some poor choices and what you choose is what you get. I was struggling with fidelity, honesty and what it is that makes a relationship.

On the road as a “rock star” there’s superficial attention and adulation thrown at you for a couple of hours — then you’re alone in your room and it’s lonely. I understand why some people turn to drugs.

I started writing in my room (I remember it was nice but can’t remember where it was — Europe or America) after a show. I had a not so good phone call with my partner at the time and, out of loneliness, I sat on the phone silent:

I would dial the numbers

Just to listen to your breath

Because of all of the attention I was getting, I felt I needed to do something for someone else. I would sacrifice so many things, put myself through so much pain for this relationship:

You don’t know how much I’d give

Or how much I can take

Just to reach you.

The chorus is a metaphor meaning you can’t come through the front door. I was telling her that we can’t meet and talk in an adult fashion; we have to meet on the side and talk. And I always like a reference to the moon. It conjures up a cold, sweet image.

Come to my window

Crawl inside, wait by the light

Of the moon.

Come to my window

I’ll be home soon.

The last line means that I couldn’t connect with her and I was longing to be home.

My friends were telling me I wasn’t in a good place. They were saying, “Why are you putting up with that?” but I didn’t care what they thought:

I don’t care what they think

I don’t care what they say.

What do they know about this

Love anyway?

However, at the same time the album became a hit, I came out publicly. The gay community lifted me up and supported me. That bridge in the song was taken to an anthem level. It bypassed any meaning I ever put in the song and became part of a mass consciousness. It is still a huge moment when I perform it live.

I realized that I was willing to compromise my wants, wishes for someone else. The need was deeper than skin, it was in my blood. I needed to make a connection.

I need you in my blood

I am forsaking all the rest

Just to reach you

Much therapy later, I realized that the hole I felt was for me to fill, but much of our lives we try to have others do that for us. Originally, I was referring to the pain love brings when I used the metaphor “the blackness in my chest.” That’s where I feel my pain, where the heart chakra is. However, ten years later, in 2004 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my current partner asked when I last listened to my records. I couldn’t remember so while I was undergoing chemotherapy, friends came over and we all listened to every album in the order in which they were released. We listened all the way through and it took about three days because we talked about the songs and each of our memories.

It hit me:

Nothing fills the blackness

That has seeped into my chest

I was sitting there with a huge scar on my chest where they literally removed the blackness from the cancer. I realized how powerful words are. As I craft songs, I have a responsibility. Words and music go beyond lyrics or thoughts — they go straight to the soul.

The cancer changed my life. It showed me the power of intention. We’re all spiritual beings and there has to be a balance of the soul and the body. That is the journey I’m on now.

“Come To My Window”

Come to my window

Crawl inside, wait by the light

of the moon.

Come to my window

I’ll be home soon.

I would dial the numbers

Just to listen to your breath,

I would stand inside my hell

And hold the hand of death.

You don’t know how far I’d go

To ease this precious ache,

You don’t know how much I’d give

Or how much I can take

Just to reach you

Just to reach you

Just to reach you.

Come to my window

Crawl inside, wait by the light

of the moon.

Come to my window

I’ll be home soon.

Keeping my eyes open

I cannot afford to sleep

Giving away promises

I know that I can’t keep.

Nothing fills the blackness

That has seeped into my chest,

I need you in my blood

I am forsaking all the rest

Just to reach you

Just to reach you

Oh to reach you.

Come to my window

Crawl inside, wait by the light

of the moon.

Come to my window

I’ll be home soon.

I don’t care what they think

I don’t care what they say.

What do they know about this

love anyway?

Words and Music by Melissa Etheridge. © 1993 MLE Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

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