Music Friday: Grammy-Winner Shawn Colvin Sings ‘Diamond in the Rough’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you terrific tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we feature “Diamond in the Rough” from Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin. The song is the story of a woman yearning to recapture the magic of her youth.

In the catchy reprise, she sings, “You’re shining. I can see you. You’re smiling. That’s enough. I’m holding on to you like a diamond in the rough.”

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One reviewer described Colvin’s lyrics as “rhythmic words that invite the listener to share in a diary of private thoughts and personal visions. Colorful descriptions and metaphors of joy, despair, dreams and the past let the listener become part of the experience.”

The song is the second track from Steady On, the artist’s 1989 debut album — a highly acclaimed work that not only launched Colvin’s career, but also won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1991. Colvin is best known for 1997’s “Sunny Came Home,” which earned Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

In June 2012, the artist released a tell-all memoir, also called “Diamond in the Rough,” that she characterized as “a stick-with-it, keep-pushing-through survival story.” The book coincided with her first new studio album in six years.

See Colvin’s live performance of “Diamond in the Rough” (video at the end of this post). The lyrics are here if you’d like to sing along.

“Diamond In The Rough”

Written by Shawn Colvin and John Leventhal. Performed by Shawn Colvin

As a little girl I came down to the water
With a little stone in my hand
It would shimmer and sing
And we knew everything
As a little girl I came down

But in a little while I got steeped in authority
Heaven only knows what went wrong
There is nothing so cruel than
to bury that jewel
When it was mine all along
I’m gonna find it

You’re shining I can see you
You’re smiling that’s enough
I’m holding on to you
Like a diamond in the rough

Every now and then
I can see that I’m getting somewhere
Where I have to go is so deep
I was angry back then and you
know I still am
I have lost too much sleep
But I’m gonna find it

You’re shining I can see you
You’re smiling that’s enough
I’m holding on to you
Like a diamond in the rough
Like a diamond in the rough

Snake’s in the grass
Better step on the gas
Snake’s in the grass
Better step on the gas
Snake’s in the grass
Better step on the gas

In my dreams I go down by the water
With a little girl in my arms
And we shimmer and sing
And we know everything
In my dreams I go down
I go down, I go down, I go down

You’re shining I can see you
You’re smiling that’s enough
I’m holding on to you
Like a diamond in the rough
Like a diamond in the rough

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