At the end of every S-Town episode, a song is played that includes the words “A Rose for Emily.” You can listen to the entire song in the YouTube video above. The song is actually called “A Rose for Emily” and it’s by The Zombies. Note: This article only has spoilers through Episode 1.
Although the song has a lighter tone, it’s actually a darker song about loneliness. The full lyrics are here. Part of the song reads: “She watches her flowers grow, While lovers come and go … But not a rose for Emily…”
The song goes on, telling Emily that there is no love available for her and “as the years go by” Emily is going to “grow old and die.” The roses in her garden will fade.
The song is very appropriate for S-Town, which is a podcast that Brian Reed embarked upon because of a message he got from John McLemore, a man who has a rose maze in his garden. The song shares a title with William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily.” John gave a copy of the story to Brian in Chapter 1 of S-Town.
The Faulkner story is about a woman in the Old South who died as a “spinster.” The story recounts parts of Emily’s life and her increasingly strange behavior over the years.
We won’t say any more about S-Town here, so as not to spoil you. To see photos of John’s maze, see our story below.