I’m Not Lisa by Tanya Tucker: Lyrics Meaning and Interpretation

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I’m Not Lisa is a country song performed by American country singer Tanya Tucker. The song was originally written and sung by Jessi Colter in the year 1975. Due to its massive success, I’m Not Lisa has been covered by many artists, including Tanya Tucker.

Before delving into I’m Not Lisa lyrics meaning, you should know what the song title means.

Title – What does it mean?

The title I’m Not Lisa is self-explanatory. Lisa was a former lover of Tanya’s man. She had such an influence on him that even now Tanya’s man cannot get over her. Tanya is helping her man overcome his sadness and learn to love again. She gently reminds him throughout the song, “I’m not Lisa”.

With the title explained, it is time to understand I’m Not Lisa lyrics meaning.

Chorus – What does it mean?

I’m not Lisa, my name is Tanya

Lisa left you years ago


These lines come as a request from Tanya to her man. She is trying to convince him to move on from his past relationship with Lisa. Apparently, Tanya’s man still longs for Lisa, even though she left him “years ago”. It is time for him to accept reality and find happiness with his new lover Tanya.

Depending on the nature and circumstances that lead to a breakup, some people can find it particularly tough to forgive and forget. Perhaps Tanya’s man and Lisa were soul mates. Maybe Lisa shattered his heart to such a degree that he has lost some pieces forever. Clearly, there is some void in his heart that even Tanya has not been able to fill.

The chorus forms the crux of I’m Not Lisa lyrics meaning.


My eyes are not blue

But mine won’t leave you


When someone’s eyes are blue, they are sad or depressed. Tanya here is referring to her man’s state of mind. He is not over Lisa and it hurts him. So indirectly, it is harming Tanya as well. Blue eyes could also imply that Lisa was very beautiful. In some cultures, blue eyes are regarded as a standard of beauty. Lisa probably had blue eyes herself and Tanya cannot compete with her in the looks department. Her “eyes are not blue”.

But unlike Lisa and her physical attractiveness, Tanya is loyal and committed. She may not be as pretty as Lisa, but she will stay with her man and take care of him. The fact that she is supporting him despite knowing that he is still in love with Lisa is proof of Tanya’s faithfulness. Even if it is tough for her, Tanya “won’t leave” her man.


Til the sunlight has

touched your face


Sunlight can be a symbol for many things. It stands for warmth, enlightenment, love, hope, optimism, innovation and energy. All these interpretations of sunlight fit well with the context of these two lines. Tanya is not selfish. It’s not just her man’s love that she wants. She sincerely intends to help him get over Lisa and put his life back together.

Tanya has resolved to be by her man’s side till the “sunlight has touched” his face. That means, she will support him till he is wise enough to understand that Lisa is in the past now and he must live in the present. She also wants him to overcome his gloominess and embrace the positivity and energy associated with sunlight.

Verse – What does it mean?

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She was your morning light

Her smile told of no night


Tanya sympathizes with her man. She understands how important Lisa was to him. They were happy together as a couple. Lisa brought hope to his life like the “morning light”. She was a reason for him to live, an inspiration to rise above challenges. And even when things looked bleak, she supported him through the darkness. Her “smile told of no night”, meaning, she cheered him up and encouraged him to look beyond life’s hardships.

No wonder Tanya’s man is failing in letting go of Lisa. Even though, Tanya is reassuring him that she can become his new partner, his new source of support and motivation.


Your love for her grew

With each risin’ sun


Lisa and Tanya’s man shared a beautiful relationship. It grew stronger and more romantic with each passing day. They must have dreamed of a future together. This makes it all the more difficult for Tanya’s man to forget Lisa.

Since his future plans were ruined when Lisa left, Tanya’s man now has nothing to look forward to. In fact, he could be afraid to open himself up to others, fearing that he might lose them too.


And then one winter day

His hand lead her’s away


In these lines, listeners are finally given some hint regarding what might have happened to Lisa. Either Lisa left Tanya’s man for someone else, or, she passed away from a prolonged illness. The term “winter day” could imply that Lisa was suffering from a terminal disease. Winter is associated with despair and gloom. In olden days, survivability drastically dropped in the winter months due to the lack of warmth, food and shelter. Eventually, “His hand” (god’s hand) took Lisa away.

The other meaning of “winter day” could be the day when Lisa broke up with Tanya’s man. In this context “His hand” would refer to the man whom Lisa ran away with, leaving Tanya’s man cold and shuddering with sadness.


She left you here

Drownin’ in your tears here

Where you stayed for years, crying Lisa



Even though it has been years since Lisa left him, Tanya’s man is still frozen from the shock and despair. Unable to move on, he has been “Drownin’” in tears for “years, crying Lisa, Lisa”. Tanya is doing her best to make him look at the bigger picture. Hopefully, her persistence will help her man come out of his sorrows.


Chorus 2 – What does it mean?


I’m not Lisa

My name is Tanya

Lisa left you, years ago

My eyes are not blue

But mine won’t leave you

Til the sunlight

Shines through your face


I’m not Lisa, my name is Tanya


Tanya is convinced that she can help her man overcome his depression. She reassures him again that even though Lisa is gone, he is still capable of being loved. Tanya will not give up on her man. “Til the sunlight shines through” his face, she will keep trying.

Hope you have now understood I’m Not Lisa lyrics meaning.


This song is sad, yet hopeful. Anybody who is in a relationship with someone who is unable to let go over the past can relate to I’m Not Lisa lyrics meaning. While some may choose to give up trying and find a new lover, the more determined ones will continue healing their lovers, like Tanya.

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