At a February 2008 concert in Las Vegas, Jewel explained that when she was 18, she was living in a van and did some shoplifting. She was going to take a dress when she looked at her hands and realized that she controlled them. Said Jewel, “I realized I was cheating myself. No matter how you work with your hands your own dignity is up to you.”
The lyrics of this song are based upon the poem Poverty by Pablo Neruda.
The poem and lyrics are paired with pictures I have taken of the homeless population in San Diego, CA
Notice: Images may be hard to look at. It’s okay not to open. Just listen to the song, she has an awesome voice.
The poem first…
Ah you don't want to,
you don't want
to go to the market with worn-out shoes
and come back with the same old dress.
My love, we are not fond
as the rich would like us to be,
of misery. We shall extract it like an evil tooth
that up to now has bitten the heart of man.
But I don't want
you to fear it.
If through my fault it comes to your dwelling,
if poverty drives away
your golden shoes,
let it not drive away your laughter which is my life's bread.
If you can't pay the rent
go off to work with a proud step,
and remember, my love, that I am watching you
and together we are the greatest wealth
that was ever gathered upon the earth.