Maya Hawke, Thérèse: inside the meaning of the lyrics

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Thérèse is the new song released by Maya Hawke, as the first single of her second album, Moss, out on September 23rd, 2022. Maya Hawke is becoming increasingly popular lately because of her role in the series Stranger Things and as the daughter of two important Hollywood actors, Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. Her new song has peculiar lyrics and a meaning that might need a detailed explanation. In this article, we will provide all answers.

You can find the official streaming of the song below. There is also an official video available here, but it’s age-restricted.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Thérèse: the lyrics and their meaning

As Maya Hawke explained recently on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, Thérèse refers to a famous painting displayed at New York’s Met museum, Thérèse dreaming, by Balthius. The painting was recently at the center of public discussion because a part of public opinion considers the painting scandalous, as it depicts a young girl in a sexy pose, leaving the underwear visible. You can see the painting below.

Balthus, Thérèse dreaming, 1938

Maya Hawke explained that she identifies personally in Thérèse, and her new song is a poetic description of the way Maya sees the young girl, or the part of herself that is identified with her.

I go to see Thérèse dreamin’
She’s stretchin’ out her sore shoulder
Leanin’ back, eyes closed, reachin’ up
She is wishin’ she was older

In the song Maya imagines her while going to see the painting, and guessing what’s in Thérèse’s mind. She wishes she was older, and she probably dreams about a boy. In Maya’s mind, Thérèse is lost in her own world, a world completely different from the one we all know. And it’s normal if we don’t understand her.

She dreams of Marlon in Austin
Their bodies tangled in a net
She thinks of him every so often
When she feels like a space cadet

The song describes the elements of the painting, like the white dress, the cat drinking milk. And after that, it’s all about the singer’s imagination of Thérèse’s thoughts. The bond between the singer and the subject of the painting is so strong, that Maya feels that the painting is a provocation for the rest of the world, and only few people can bear with it. Most people will reject it because they cannot understand its beauty. This is what Maya sings in the chorus and in the end of the song.

It’s tactless, it’s a test
It’s just Thérèse, it’s just Thérèse

I guess Thérèse was just for me
A quiet I keep on keeping

Thérèse does not belong to you
The horses cars and cowboys do

With this image Maya splits the world in sensitive people able to catch the beauty of Thérèse and the others, who can only understand cars and horses. After all, Thérèse is a poetic song about the singer’s imagination towards a painting and an image that represents something important for her.

Read other popular song lyrics meaning on Auralcrave

The complete lyrics

I go to see Thérèse dreamin’
She’s stretchin’ out her sore shoulder
Leanin’ back, eyes closed, reachin’ up
She is wishin’ she was older
Dreamin’ of an Appaloosa
Saddled up, ridin’ out of town
Dreamin’ of a Shelby cobra
Diggin’ her tires in the ground

Bleeding, bringing in a new year mess
Unaware of the stain on her dress

It’s tactless, it’s a test
It’s just Thérèse, it’s just Thérèse

White kitten in the corner
Obscene, it really says it all
Milk matches her undеrwear
And get her down, takе her off the wall
She dreams of Marlon in Austin
Their bodies tangled in a net
She thinks of him every so often
When she feels like a space cadet

She empathizes with your feelings
She’s more interested in ceilings

It’s tactless, it’s a test
It’s just Thérèse, it’s just Thérèse
It’s tactless, it’s a test
It’s just Thérèse, it’s just Thérèse

She reminds me of memories
Sleeping off the growing pains
We were sea anemones
Spelling out each other’s names
Whispering inside our red house
While the adults were a-sleeping
I guess Thérèse was just for me
A quiet I keep on keeping

Thérèse does not belong to you
The horses cars and cowboys do

It’s tactless, it’s a test
It’s just Thérèse, it’s just Thérèse
It’s tactless, it’s a test
It’s just Thérèse, it’s just Thérèse
It’s tactless, it’s a test
It’s just Thérèse
It’s tactless, it’s a test
It’s just Thérèse