What the songs mean
~*~ Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie ~*~
Front Row: A stream of consciousness recounting three separate conversations with people or situations that inspired me in some way, the chorus allows me to express how privileged I feel to be able to be intimate with these people to provide an environment for them in which they can feel safe... where I can see all parts of them without judgment.
Baba: My direct experiences with spiritual materialism within certain communities (particularly in the west), and the Idealism of eastern/exotic spiritual practices.. sensing the dissonance between the competition, elitism and judgment within some of these culturally adopted rituals/gods and compassion itself.
Thank U: First song written with Glen (Ballard) for the record... after having stopped for what felt like the first time in my life and experiencing a deep stillness, I was left with an overwhelming sense of gratitude, inspiration and compassion... it felt natural for this to be the first song release as it encapsulates the heart-space from which all the songs on this record sprung.
Are You Still Mad: On Jagged Little Pill, I viscerally reacted to certain people/situations that resulted in a cathartic release... on this song I allow myself the emotional reaction (which I think is important) while also taking responsibility for my role in the relationships which resulted in a sense of closure that had not been realized by my simply reacting of solely pointing the finger.
Sympathetic Character: I needed to get to the root of why I was so afraid of conflict and being around anger. We live in a society that sees rage as something that is to be repressed or something that is explosive and destructive...we aren't taught how to express our rage, having it be heard and released in a non-destructive way. This song was my recounting my fears of having spent a lot of time around people that couldn't control (their rage). The writing of this song enabled me to be able to see rage as natural and not to fear my own.
That I Would Be Good: I was meditating in my closet and I asked myself "What do you want?"
The Couch: This song was written following a conversation I had with my dad regarding his life story. I was able to see him for who he was (outside the role as my father) for what felt like the first time. It was very healing for the both of us.
Can't Not: This song was written in 1995 after I had started touring for Jagged Little Pill and it reflects some of what my mindset was at the time. It was originally being recorded as a B-side but once it was recalled I wanted it on the record.
U R: A brief and retrospective look at my "career" in chronological order. The first verse being about when I was 10 years old. The second verse being about my mid teens. And the third verse being about the time right after the Jagged Little Pill Tour. Parts of the choruses are other people's perspectives and parts are mine.
I Was Hoping: The choruses in this song are about my having been excited with the newly discovered opportunity that I saw -- the new relationship I was in -- and what it was providing for the both of us. I had never understood the healing quality of safety and intimacy, or the consciousness that was required of me to be in that kind of relationship until that point. The verses are my recording three separate conversations/experiences.
One: I was safe enough with this person to show him parts of myself that I needed to express in order to change them. I hadn't been able to do this in the past because those parts of myself would have been judged. In being judged I would not have been able to move through them. I also explore and understand the concept of our interconnectedness.
Would Not Come: Revelations based on what happened in the past three years in particular. Fame, money, "status" ... constantly feeling I had to look outside of myself to see who I was and to feel bliss. Having to "achieve," run, grasp or "become" something other that what I was in order to be worthy/accepted. Putting it down on paper made me realize the disservice I was doing to my true self and how transparent and unfilling it can be to put all my happiness in the hands of external brass rings.
Unsent: This song started with my writing the first verse and realizing that there were many more people with whom I hadn't had closure.. Romantic, platonic and professional relationships. Some of them are their real names.. I talked to some of the people that inspired the verse and came to realize that this song encouraged me to connect with these people directly and not rely on songwriting as a way of my avoiding direct/difficult contact.
So Pure: Both the expression of anger and the expression of joy have been equally vulnerable for me at the different times in my life. I allowed myself to be inspired and infatuated with this person who is unapologetically and exuberantly themself.
Joining You: My reaching out to a friend who was questioning his own suffering by my saying that who we are within can manifest itself externally rather than allowing society's illusions to define who we are.
Heart Of The House: My tribute to my mother and to femininity in general. I though in order to function to function in what I saw as patriarchal society I had to adopt masculine qualities in order to be treated with respect deserved. In doing so I was unwittingly being chauvinistic myself and further confirming the lack of integrating both the feminine and masculine qualities in all of us. Upon finding the gray area I naturally wanted to honor my relationship with my mother and with femininity itself.
Your Congratulations: Feeling for so long that I had to compromise/downplay my power, intelligence or talent in order not to threaten and lose the affection of those that I loved. There being this underlying belief that somehow both people couldn't share the power, that one person had to win and that the other had to "lose." My wanting for it to have been possible for both people to "win." With being in the public eye since I was young, those that were close to me often felt as though I was being inundated with praise from so many people that they (the people that I was closest to) themselves stopped giving it.
Source: Reprise Records/Alanis