Posted by: King Bee | December 3, 2005

Ray of light

Last night, Paddy and I had the privilege to attend the very small Alanis Morissette concert in Hollywood. I swear, there was a moment during “Ironic” that I left my body. She is such a ray of light that recharges my soul, I don’t know that I can fully explain my love for her without sounding like a freak. Having Paddy by my side only encouraged my light to shine brighter.

Coincidentally, my friend Freddy had asked me via email earlier in the week for my favorite Alanis song and why. I sent him the response, one that I have never really felt like sharing with anyone (as I generally keep my reasons for loving Alanis as much as I do, private). But upon rereading, and the reaction I had to last night, I can’t think of any better time to share the words of Alanis and all that they mean to me. I encourage anyone reading this to click on comments below and share with me your favorite songs and lyrics and why they move you (they don’t have to be from Alanis)

So Unsexy – Remember on Ally McBeal when her therapist told her we all need a theme song?

“So Unsexy”

Oh these little rejections how they add up quickly
One small sideways look and I feel so ungood
Somewhere along the way I think I gave you the power to make
Me feel the way I thought only my father could

Oh these little rejections how they seem so real to me
One forgotten birthday I’m all but cooked
How these little abandonments seem to sting so easily
I’m 13 again am I 13 for good?

I can feel so unsexy for someone so beautiful
So unloved for someone so fine
I can feel so boring for someone so interesting
So ignorant for someone of sound mind

Oh these little protections 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

When will you stop leaving baby?
When will I stop deserting baby?
When will I start staying with myself?

Oh these little projections how they keep springing from me
I jump my ship as I take it personally
Oh these little rejections how they disappear quickly
The moment I decide not to abandon me

Head Over Feet- I want to find someone I can sing this to. Someone who will make all of the other songs turn peaceful and quiet in my mind.

“Head Over Feet”

I had no choice but to hear you
You stated your case time and again
I thought about it

You treat me like I’m a princess
I’m not used to liking that
You ask how my day was

You’ve already won me over in spite of me
And don’t be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don’t be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn’t help it
It’s all your fault

Your love is thick and it swallowed me whole
You’re so much braver than I gave you credit for
That’s not lip service

You’ve already won me over in spite of me
And don’t be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don’t be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn’t help it
It’s all your fault

You are the bearer of unconditional things
You held your breath and the door for me
Thanks for your patience

You’re the best listener that I’ve ever met
You’re my best friend
Best friend with benefits
What took me so long

I’ve never felt this healthy before
I’ve never wanted something rational
I am aware now
I am aware now

You’ve already won me over in spite of me
And don’t be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don’t be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn’t help it
It’s all your fault

Excuses- I am sure you are noticing a theme with me. I am my own worst saboteur. I promise, I am getting better.

“Excuses”

Why no one will help me
I am too dumb I am too smart
They’ll not understand me
I am lonely
They’ll hate me
And there is not enough time
It’s too hard to help me
And god wants me to work
No resting no lazy

These excuses how they served me so well
They’ve kept me safe
They’ve kept me stuck
They’ve kept me locked in my own cell

I’m too far from home
It takes far too much energy
And I cannot afford to
No one will ever see me

These excuses how they served me so well
They’ve kept me safe
They’ve kept me stuck
They’ve kept me locked in my own cell

These excuses how they’re so familiar
They’ve kept me blocked
They’ve kept me small
They’ve kept me safe in my own shell

Bringing this into the light
Shakes their foundation
And it clears my side
Now my imagination
Is the only thing that limits
The bar that is raised to the heights

No one can have it all see
I have to they want me to
And I can’t let them down
I’ll never be happy

These excuses how they served me so well
They’ve kept me safe
They’ve kept me stuck
They’ve kept me locked in my own cell

These excuses how they’re so familiar
They’ve kept me blocked
They’ve kept me small
They’ve kept me locked in my own cell

Not the Doctor- this song more than YOK, was the song that empowered me when I was dealing with my relationship with XXXX. To this day, it takes me back to that moment in my life… the song remembers when…

“Not The Doctor”

I don’t want to be the filler if the void is solely yours
I don’t want to be your glass of single malt whiskey
Hidden in the bottom drawer
I don’t want to be a bandage if the wound is not mine
Lend me some fresh air
I don’t want to be adored for what I merely represent to you
I don’t want to be your babysitter
You’re a very big boy now
I don’t want to be your mother
I didn’t carry you in my womb for nine months
Show me the back door

Visiting hours are 9 to 5 and if I show up at 10 past 6
Well I already know that you’d find some way to sneak me in and oh
Mind the empty bottle with the holes along the bottom
You see it’s too much to ask for and I am not the doctor

I don’t want to be the sweeper of the egg shells that you walk upon
And I don’t want to be your other half, I believe that 1 and 1 make 2
I don’t want to be your food or the light from the fridge on your face
At midnight, hey
What are you hungry for
I don’t want to be the glue that holds your pieces together
I don’t want to be your idol
See this pedestal is high and I’m afraid of heights
I don’t want to be lived through
A vicarious occasion
Please open the window

Visiting hours are 9 to 5 and if I show up at 10 past 6
Well I already know that you’d find some way to sneak me in and oh
Mind the empty bottle with the holes along the bottom
You see it’s too much to ask for and I am not the doctor

I don’t want to live on someday when my motto is last week
I don’t want to be responsible for your fractured heart
And it’s wounded beat
I don’t want to be a substitute for the smoke you’ve been inhaling
What do you thank me
What do you thank me for

Visiting hours are 9 to 5 and if I show up at 10 past 6
Well I already know that you’d find some way to sneak me in and oh
Mind the empty bottle with the holes along the bottom
You see it’s too much to ask for and I am not the doctor

Offer- This song came out as I was just beginning to recognize the goodness that is in my life, while still struggling with my self-loathing. I would get frustrated with myself, call myself whiney and shut down. Yep, I have a tendency to get a bit heady…

“Offer”

Who
Who am I to be blue
Look at my family and fortune
Look at my friends and my house
Who
Who am i to feel deadened
Who am i to feel spent
Look at my health and my money
And where
Where do i go to feel good
Why do i still look outside me
When clearly i’ve seen it won’t work
Is it my calling to keep on when I’m unable
And is it my job to be selfless extraordinare
And my generosity has me disabled
By this my sense of duty to offer
And why
Why do i feel so ungrateful
Me who is far beyond survival
Me who see life as an oyster
Is it my calling to keep on when I’m unable
And is it my job to be selfless extraordinare
And my generosity has me disabled
By this my sense of duty to offer
And how
How dare i rest on my laurels
How dare i ignore an outstretched hand
How dare i ignore a third world country
Is it my calling to keep on when I’m unable
And is it my job to be selfless extraordinare
And my generosity has me disabled
By this my sense of duty to offer
Who
Who am i to be blue?

You Learn- I love the reminder that I need to live. And by living I love to learn and digest and absorb and swallow all that life has to offer and experience- even when it is sometimes hard to swallow. That which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. This song takes me there every-time. An anthem of sorts…

“You Learn”

I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone
I recommend walking around naked in your living room
Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
Wait until the dust settles

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn

I recommend biting off more then you can chew to anyone
I certainly do
I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
Feel free
Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
Hold it up (to the rays)
You wait and see when the smoke clears

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn

Wear it out (the way a three-year-old would do)
Melt it down (you’re gonna have to eventually anyway)
The fire trucks are coming up around the bend

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn

You grieve you learn
You choke you learn
You laugh you learn
You choose you learn
You pray you learn
You ask you learn
You live you learn

Narcissus Boy- Another boy, this one I allowed myself to fall madly into unrequited love with. This one far more selfish and unavailable than the first. It was a good lesson in feeling. This song helped alot.

“Narcissus”

Dear momma’s boy I know you’ve had your butt licked by your mother
I know you’ve enjoyed all that attention from her
And every woman graced with your presence after
Dear narcissus boy I know you’ve never really apologized for anything
I know you’ve never really taken responsibility
I know you’ve never really listened to a woman

Dear me-show boy I know you’re not really into conflict resolution
Or seeing both sides of every equation
Or having an uninterrupted conversation

And any talk of healthiness
And any talk of connectedness
And any talk of resolving this
Leaves you running for the door

(why why do I try to love you
Try to love you when you really don’t want me
To)

Dear egotist boy you’ve never really had to suffer any consequence
You’ve never stayed with anyone longer than ten minutes
You’d never understand anyone showing 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

And any talk of selflessness
And any talk of working at this
And any talk of being of service
Leaves you running for the door

(why why do I try to help you try to help you
When you really don’t want me to)

You go back to the women who will dance the dance
You go back to your friends who will lick your ass
You go back to ignoring all the rest of us
You go back to the center of your universe

Dear self centered boy I don’t know why I still feel affected by you
I’ve never lasted very long with someone like you
I never did although I have to admit I wanted to
Dear magnetic boy you’ve never been with anyone who doesn’t take your shit
You’ve never been with anyone who’s dared to call you on it
I wonder how you’d be if someone were to call you on it

And any talk of willingness
And any talk of both feet in
And any talk of commitment
Leaves you running for the door

(why why do I try to change you try to
Try to change you when you really don’t
Want me to)

You go back to the women who will dance the dance
You go back to your friends who will lick your ass
You go back to being so oblivious
You go back to the center of the universe

Precious Illusions- As though it were stolen from my own journal. I have spent all of my time on earth surviving instead of living, consumed with the idea that my knight in shining armor would rescue me and make my life better. “complete me” if you will. Only recently have I realized only I can rescue me… it also holds one of my favorite lyrics: 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”

You’ll rescue me right?
In the exact same way they never did.
I’ll be happy right?
When your healing powers kick in

You’ll complete me right?
Then my life can finally begin
I’ll be worthy right?
Only when you realize the gem I am?

But this won’t work now the way it once did
And I won’t keep it up even though I would love to
Once I know who I’m not then I’ll know who I am
But I know I won’t keep on playing the victim

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down
When I was defenseless
And parting with them is like parting with invisible best friends

This ring will help me yet as will you knight in shining armor
This pill will help me yet as will these boys gone through like water

But this won’t work as well as the way it once did
Cuz 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

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down when I was a kid
And parting with them is like parting with a childhood best friend

I’ve spent so long firmly looking outside me
I’ve spent so much time living in survival mode

This won’t work now the way it once did
Cuz I want to decide between survival and bliss
Now I know who I’m not
I don’t I still don’t know who I am
But I know I won’t keep on playing the victim

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down
When I was defenseless
And parting with them is like parting with invisible best friends

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down
When I was a kid
And parting with them is like parting with childhood best friends

21 Things I Want in a Lover- This song has been in my top 10 since the first day I heard it. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I had the chance to ask Alanis how many of the 21 things Ryan possessed that the song took a turn on me and woke me up. She talked about how she wrote the song tongue in cheek, but that the more she sang it, she realized that it was a tall order to ask someone else to be all of those things if she wasn’t prepared to be those things herself. I have been once again working on being my own best 21 things ever since.

“21 Things I Want In A Lover”

Do you derive joy when someone else succeeds?
Do you not play dirty when engaged in competition?
Do you have a big intellectual capacity but know
That it alone does not equate wisdom?
Do you see everything as an illusion?
But enjoy it even though you are not of it?
Are you both masculine and feminine? politically aware?
And don’t believe in capital punishment?

These are 21 things that I want in a lover
Not necessarily needs but qualities that I prefer

Do you derive joy from diving in and seeing that
Loving someone can actually feel like freedom? are you funny?
la self-deprecating? like adventure? and have many formed opinions?

These are 21 things that I want in a lover
Not necessarily needs but qualities that I prefer
I figure I can describe it since I have a choice in the matter
These are 21 things I choose to choose in a lover

I’m in no hurry I could wait forever
I’m in no rush cuz I like being solo
There are no worries and certainly no pressure in the meantime
I’ll live like there’s no tomorrow

Are you uninhibited in bed? more than three times a week?
Up for being experimental? are you athletic?
Are you thriving in a job that helps your brother? are you not addicted?
curious and communicative…

Sorry to myself- You are meeting me at a new moment in my life. I have spent a lot of time being meanest to myself.

“Sorry To Myself”

For hearing all my doubts so selectively and
For continuing my numbing love endlessly.
For helping you and myself: not even considering
For beating myself up and over functioning.

To whom do I owe the biggest apology?
No one’s been crueler than I’ve been to me.

For letting you decide if I indeed was desirable
For myself love being so embarrassingly conditional.
And for denying myself to somehow make us compatible
And for trying to fit a rectangle into a ball.

And
To whom do I owe the biggest apology?
No one’s been crueler than I’ve been to me.

I’m sorry to myself.
My apologies begin here before everybody else.
I’m sorry to myself.
For treating me worse than I would anybody else.

For blaming myself for your unhappiness
And for my impatience when I was perfect where I was.
Ignoring all the signs that I was not ready,
And expecting myself to be where you wanted me to be.

To whom do I owe the first apology?
No one’s been crueler than I’ve been to me.

And
I’m sorry to myself.
My apologies begin here before everybody else.
I’m sorry to myself.
For treating me worse than I would anybody else.

Well, I wonder which crime is the biggest ?
Forgetting you or forgetting myself…
Had I heeded the wisdom of the latter,
I would’ve naturally loved the former.

For ignoring you: my highest voices.
For smiling when my strife was all too obvious.
For being so disassociated from my body,
And for not letting go when it would’ve been the kindest thing.

To whom do I owe the biggest apology?
No one’s been crueler than I’ve been to me.

And
I’m sorry to myself.
My apologies begin here before everybody else
I’m sorry to myself.
For treating me worse than I would anybody else.
I’m sorry to myself.
My apologies begin here before everybody else
I’m sorry to myself.
For treating me worse than I would anybody else

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Responses

  1. You’re fabulous! I linked to your site through Ms. Sizzle who sings your high praise, and I can see why. Like you, I went to a small Alanis show several months ago, and it was, in short, healing. When my fiance and I called it quits several years ago one Alanis song was played over and over until it was just sort of spinning in the back of my mind all the time. It got me through the emotional muck.

    That I Would Be Good

    That i would be good even if i did nothing
    That i would be good even if i got the thumbs down
    That i would be good if i got and stayed sick
    That i would be good even if i gained ten pounds

    That i would be fine even even if i went bankrupt
    That i would be good if i lost my hair and my youth
    That i would be great if i was no longer queen
    That i would be grand if i was not all knowing

    That i would be loved even when i numb myself
    That i would be good even when i am overwhelmed
    That i would be loved even when i was fuming
    That i would be good even if i was clingy

    That i would be good even if i lost sanity
    That i would be good
    Whether with or without you

    All of it is good, but the last line was the knot in the end of my rope.

  2. Love Love Love that song! Thanks so much for sharing! xox

  3. For me, it was “Not the Doctor” played something like 50 times in a row…saved my soul from a soul-sucking relationship.

    – jules


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