Tom Waits – All The World Is Green (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

American singer-songwriter Tom Waits sings his beautiful song “All The World Is Green”. The song was featured in his 2002 album titled “Blood Money”, and also in 2007 biographical drama film “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (French: Le scaphandre et le papillon). The video below is a beautiful scene from the movie, the song was actually played in the whole scene.

Tom Waits wrote this song for Act 3, Scene 1 of a play called Woyzeck, based on the play of the same name by Georg Büchner. The album Blood Money contains all the music that he wrote for the play. The main character, Franz Woyzeck, is a German soldier who lives with his love Marie. She leaves him for another man who forces himself upon her. In a fit of jealousy kills Marie and then kills himself.

In the original play, Woyzeck sings the first two verses (“I fell into the ocean…”, Marie sings the second two (“The face forgives the mirror…”, and Woyzeck sings the last verse (“The moon is yellow silver…”).

Büchner left the work incomplete at his death, but it has been posthumously “finished” by a variety of authors, editors and translators. Woyzeck has become one of the most performed and influential plays in the German theatre repertory.

The worm/plow line is a quote from “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, a book by the English poet and printmaker William Blake.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly poster
Theatrical release poster of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (French: Le scaphandre et le papillon) is a 2007 biographical drama film based on Jean-Dominique Bauby’s memoir of the same name. The film depicts Bauby’s life after suffering a massive stroke, on 8 December 1995, at the age of 43, which left him with a condition known as locked-in syndrome. The condition paralyzed him from the neck down. Although both eyes worked, doctors decided to sew up his right eye as it was not irrigating properly and they were worried that it would become infected. He was left with only his left eye and the only way that he could communicate was by blinking his left eyelid.

The film was directed by Julian Schnabel, written by Ronald Harwood, and stars Mathieu Amalric as Bauby. It won awards at the Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs & the César Awards, and received four Academy Award nominations.

Lyrics

I fell into the ocean
When you became my wife
I risked it all against the sea
To have a better life

Marie you’re the wild blue sky
And men do foolish things
You turn kings into beggars
And beggars into kings

Pretend that you owe me nothing
And all the world is green
We can bring back the old days again
And all the world is green

The face forgives the mirror
The worm forgives the plow
The questions begs the answer
Can you forgive me somehow?

Maybe when our story’s over
We’ll go where it’s always spring
The band is playing our song again
And all the world is green

Pretend that you owe me nothing
And all the world is green
We can bring back the old days again
And all the world is green

The moon is yellow silver
Oh, the things that summer brings
It’s a love you’d kill for
And all the world is green

He is balancing a diamond
On a blade of grass
The dew will settle on our graves
When all the world is green

Sources