Special Sub-Topic: "Under Rug Swept"
|"Ooh, this could get messy, but you don't seem to mind. Ooh, don't go telling everybody and overlook this supposed crime." |
Hands Clean. In this song, Alanis seems to be dating a younger man and they are keeping their relationship secret from everyone. It seems like he idolized her at first, but eventually he outgrew the relationship. The lyric "Under Rug Swept" comes from this song. It is also known to have been sung from an HIV perpective.
|"You can ask for space for yourself and I'll grant it. You can ask for freedom as well or time to travel and you'll have it. You can ask to live by yourself or love someone else and I'll support it. You can ask for anything you want- anything at all and I'll understand it... and there are no strings attached."|
You Owe Me Nothing In Return. This song is about unconditional love, in its purest form. Human beings have an extremely hard, if not impossible time, to give unconditional love in romantic relationships. The three main inhibitors to unconditional love are need, expectations, and jealousy (which all stem from fear). These are the things that usually cause problems in relationships. Everyone I know expects something in return from a lover or spouse.
|"What's it been- over a decade? It still smarts like it was four minutes ago. We only influenced each other totally. We bruised each other even more so. What are you- my blood? You touch me like you are my blood. What are you- my dad? You affect me like you were my dad."|
Flinch. My interpretation of this song is about a relationship that has been over for some time, but Alanis is not "over" her ex-boyfriend. It does not seem to matter how well she is doing or how far she progresses in life because as soon as she hears his name, she is paralyzed. The old slogan "You have to love yourself before loving someone else" is very true. Most people have someone like this in their life and until you feel complete with being alone, other people can still control your emotions. Once again, I do not know many people that have reached this plateau.
|"And I salute you for your courage and I applaud your perseverance. And I embrace you for your faith in the face of adversarial forces that I represent."|
Surrendering. This song, in my eyes, is about Alanis paying homage to a friend that she considers platonic and uses him when she needs him. It seems that he may like her more than that but accepts the situation for what it is and makes the most of it. She is looking at the relationship from an outward perspective and is grateful to have a friend as good as this.
|"Do you derive joy from diving in and seeing that loving someone can actually feel like freedom? Are you funny? A la self-deprecating? Like adventure? And have many formed opinions?"
21 Things I Want In a Lover. I like this song a lot. It seems to be Alanis describing 21 traits that she would like in a lover. She states that they are not needs, but things she would like to see in a partner, as she has a "choice in the matter." She states she is happy being alone and feels no rush, but knows what she is looking for in a relationship.
|"Cause I have been blamed and I have repented. I'm working my way toward our union mended. And we have been blamed and we have repented. I'm working my way toward our union mended."|
A Man. This song is very interesting and it appears that Alanis has taken on the role of the man for this tune. In our society, men are the "breadwinners" and are also supposed to be strong and "ride it out" when women get emotional or needy. She states that this particular man is attempting to compromise to make the relationship work even after being raised with societal beliefs, which have been challenged by "enraged women". He has done his "sentence" and is asking to avoid "endless punishment."
I substituted "cause" for the way Alanis spells it in the song, because the quiz will not accept the way that she spells it.
|"But this won't work as well as the way it once did. Cause I want to decide between survival and bliss. And though I know who I'm not, I still don't know who I am, but I know I won't keep on playing the victim."|
Precious Illusions. My interpretation of this song is that Alanis has been living a lie (or an illusion) for a while, thinking that a man was needed to complete her. To let go of this illusion is very scary because she would have to depend on herself. She has decided to stop looking outside herself for answers and will begin to look inside, instead. However, the illusion she is about to give up was and is "precious".
Again, I substituted "cause" for the way Alanis spells it in the song, because the quiz will not accept the way that she spells it.
|"Oh these little projections, how they fail to serve me. One forgotten phone call and I'm deflated. Oh these little defenses, how they fail to comfort me. Your hand pulling away and I'm devastated."|
So Unsexy. This is one of my favorite songs on the CD. Alanis admits how weak she truly is, as her happiness solely depends on a guy. She knows her true worth and that she is a beautiful and worthy person, but that all goes south in a hurry when she feels rejected by this particular guy. Half of the time, she imagines these rejections or reads into something that is not there.
|"My foundation was rocked. My tried and true way was to vanish. My departures were old. I stood in the room shaking in my boots."|
That Particular Time. This song is divided into three parts. Alanis is attempting to make a relationship work through rough waters. It appears that her partner is looking for space or time on his own, and has just told her this. The first reaction she had was to run, but "love encouraged her to stay." The second time, she decided to give him space as "love encouraged her to wait." The third time, however, she finally walked away, even though it broke her heart as "love encouraged her to leave." The main reason was because she lost herself while trying to make the relationship work. She even apologizes to herself... "In the meantime, I lost myself. I'm sorry I lost myself."
|"Dear egotist boy... You've never had to suffer any consequence. You've never stayed with anyone longer than ten minutes. You'd never understand anyone showing any resistance.
Dear popular boy... I know you're used to getting everything so easily. A stranger to the concept of reciprocity. People honor boys like you in this society."
Narcissus. I saved my favorite song on this CD for last. Alanis is singing about a boy that is totally used to having things go his way. His mother spoiled him rotten as a child and he has had an easy life and has taken the easy way out from that point on. So, to compromise for a relationship is both foreign and horrifying for him. However, Alanis knows all of this and finds it disgusting, but still hangs around and tries to change him. Anyone that has been in this scenario knows that this is impossible. The only person that you can change is yourself. Anyone else has to want to change and cannot be forced to.
All of these songs have a common theme of both the joy and angst of relationships and the common denominator seems to be to first, work on you. After listening to "Jagged Little Pill", where she seemed to be bitter and angry, it certainly appears that she has come a long way.
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