Alanis Morissette -- VH1 Storytellers Transcript

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The transcript is below, and features these live performances:


[Show begins without any intro, picks up Alanis performing Hand In My Pocket, in the middle of the song]

I’m free but I’m focused
I’m green but I’m wise
I’m hard but I’m friendly, baby
I’m sad but I’m laughing
I’m brave but I’m chicken sh--
I’m sick but I’m pretty baby
And what it all boils down to-o, yeah ee yeah ee yeah
Is that no one’s really got it figured out just yet, yeah ee yeah ah ho
But I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is playing the piano-o yeah
And what it all comes down to my dear friends, yeah-ee-yeah-ee-yeah
Is that everything’s just fine fine fi-i-ee-i-ine
‘Cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is hailing a taxi cab...

[Harmonica Solo]
[Applause]

Alanis: Thank you very much, welcome to Storytellers... mm-hmm... So I was encouraged to speak a lot between songs which is something that I rarely do, because I feel like I'm speaking so much in my songs themselves, so this'll be big business for me [Alanis laughs]... This is a song called You Learn. [Applause and cheers] ooh! Wait.... This was one of the first songs that Glen Ballard and I wrote for Jagged Little Pill during a time that I was very insulated, and had first just moved to LA, and um... was prepared for perhaps the first time in my life to focus on things that were negative because I was always encouraged to focus on things that were positive, and that things like confusion and depression and those kinds of things were to be hidden or repressed and my, um, having done that for so many years resulted in an explosion of sorts, um, so writing Jagged Little Pill was that explosion and a lot of things were very subconscious and that's why everything, um, was relatively urgent. Even emotions that were loving and compassionate, everything was very urgent because I was prepared to sing about my truth in a way that I hadn't before in my music. I had done it in poetry, and in letters to people, but never in my music, so, and I think in Jagged Little Pill... I think of that particular time of my life it was a very big turning point for me. [Applause] [Alanis laughs] Thank you

[Alanis performs You Learn]

Oh oh oh yeah

Hi-I recommend gettin' your heart trampled on, to anyone
Yeah, oh yeah yeah
Hi-i-ee-I recommend walking around naked in your living roo-oo-oo-oom, yeah
Swallow-ow it down, what a jagged little pill
It feels so good, swimming in your stomach
Wait until the dust se-ee-e-ee-e-ee-ettles

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lo-ose you lea-arn
You bleed you learn
You scream you lea-ea-ea-ea-earn, aye

Hi-I recommend biting off more than you can chew to anyone
I certainly certainly certainly do
Hi-i-ee-I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any ti-e-i-e-ime
Oh oh feel free-ee
Throw-ow it down, the caution blocks you from the wi-ind
Ho-old it u-up, to the ra-ays
You wait and see when the smo-oo-o-oke clears

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lo-ose you lea-arn
You bleed you learn
You scream you lea-ea-ea-ea-earn

Yi oy hi yoy ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho yi yi yoy hi ya da aye yi
Ah do-do-do-do-do-do
Ya da da hi ya hi yoy yo hi yi yi

We-ear it out, the way a three-year-old would do-o
Me-elt it dow-own, you’re gonna have to eventually anyway
The fire trucks are coming up around the be-ee-end

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lo-ose you lea-arn
You bleed you learn
You scream you lea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea-earn

You grieve you learn
You choke you learn
You laugh you learn
You choo-oo-oose you lea-earn
You pray you learn
You ask you learn
You live you learn
[The last learn is stretched out, starting low and going to really high and falling off, as on Jagged Little Pill]

[Applause]

Alanis: Thanks. [Referring to audience member asking a question:] Lovely woman right here
"Lovely Woman": Hi, will I just wanted to tell you firstly really quickly how I was so immediately taken with you as I was in a, a, record store and they had You Oughta Know (which I didn't know at the time) blasting and I left the store and for like two days it was, it was, it was haunting me, and I kept seeing it. I went back to the store... uh, It was a long story, but they had to find the guy that was on duty, he... I waited for him to come in the next day. He went through his log book, told me who you were and ever since then I've been your fan
[Laughter and Applause]
Alanis (jokingly): And he said "Atlantis Morrison"
Woman: But, uh, what I wanted to ask you was, do you ever, when you write a song do you write like the words and then the melody comes to you, or do you ever write the melody first and then words, or are they ever simultaneously?
Alanis: More often than not they are written at the same time, the music and the lyrics, written at the same time... um... [Alanis clears her throat] Every once in while I'll write what may be seen as a poem or a letter or something and, and later I will turn that into something where I'll have one line that will start the rest of the song... um, but it... I like it best when it all comes out at the same time because it's... I feel as though I'm not even writing it

[Commercial Break, going into break with preview of Alanis' performance of Thank U]

[Return from commercial]

Alanis: So I stopped for the first time in my whole life, um, a couple of years ago, after the tour for Jagged Little Pill, and I'd always been running and grasping and searching and intellectualizing and all of those fun things, and um... None of them actually resulted in my finding what I thought I was supposed to find. I felt that I lived in a culture that told me that I had to consistently and constantly look outside myself to feel this elusive bliss. And uh, I achieved a lot of what society had told me to achieve and I still didn't feel peaceful... and... motivated throughout all my life, um, to express myself. First and foremost always curios-- [as if to say curiosity]... curious about, um, fame, and the joy that would ensue if you have the approval of the, the public, and [Clears throat] even though I didn't really think there's such thing as unanimous approval from anybody, um... so I realised that that was an illusion and once I realised that that was an illusion then I started questioning everything, and I realised that actually everything was an illusion and it was scary for me because everything I had believed in and lived my life according to was dissolving in front of me and there was a death of sorts, a really beautiful one ultimately, but at first a very scary one, and so I stopped. And I thought well the path that I'm taking isn't quite leading to consistent bliss so I'm going to just see if this might do something, and, uh, after having studied different religions and different cultures and different mindsets and philosophies and um still wasn't quite peaceful... so I don't think by the way that there's such thing as peaceful and joy because I think that's what we innate we are. And all these emotions run overtop of it. We can be angry or irritable or cranky or excited and all of these things, but I really don't believe that that's what we are. I believe that, that, those are indications of something that we can change of continue to enjoy, we get glimpses of, of how beautiful we are. So... I stopped for the first time and... what I was overcome with was a huge sense of compassion for myself first, and then naturally that translated into my feeling and compassion for everyone around me and a huge amount of gratitude that I had never felt before to this extent. And um, and that's why I had to write this song, Thank U, because I had to express how exciting this was and how scary it was and all of it, all of these opportunities for us to, to define who we are, in this realm of relativity that we live in so, that's why I wrote this song

[Applause]

[Alanis performs Thank U]

How 'bout getting off o' these antibiotics
How 'bout stopping eating when I'm full up
How 'bout them transparent dangling carrots
How 'bout that ever elusive kudo

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionme-ent
Thank ya frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you, tha-ank you sile-ence

How about me not blaming you for everything
How 'bout me enjoying the moment for once
How 'bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
How 'bout grieving it all one at a time

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionme-ent
Thank ya frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you, thank you sile-ence

The moment I let go of it
Was the moment I got more than I could handle
The moment that I jumped off of it
Was the moment that I touched down

How 'bout no longer being masochistic
How 'bout remembering your divinity
How 'bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How 'bout not equating death with stopping

Thank you India
Thank you providence
Thank you disillusionme-ent
Thank you nothingness
Thank you clarity
Thank you, thank you sile-ence

Ee yeah ah ee yeah

Oh oh oh, no oh oh 'n oh oh oh oh oo oh oh 'n oh oh oh no oh oh oh oo oh no oh oh oh oh 'n oh oh no oh oh oh oh no no oh oh oh oh oh no-oh no-oh oh oo oh no oo oh oo oh oh

[Applause and cheers]

Alanis: Thanks!

[Commercial Break, going into break with preview of Alanis' performance of You Oughta Know]

[Return from Commercial]

Alanis: This is a song called Unsent [Applause and cheers] Yay! And uh... Wrote this song last summer, um, started off by writing the first verse and.... once I wrote about this one particular person in a letter that I had not had the courage to send to them, I realised that there were about fifty people that I could write about but I wasn't sure that I wanted to write a song that was going to be an hour long so... [Audience laughs, Alanis laughs] I got the top five or six people that I really wanted to have closure with and I think it's um, it was one of the most um... closure-inducing songs to say the least and some of them I actually finished the record and couldn't sleep for a long time because well there were several things on the record that made it so that I couldn't really sleep very well knowing that I was about to share it with a bunch of people. But this song in particular um... I felt like I needed to call a few people before I actually released this song, so I did [Audience laughs, Alanis laughs]. A-and uh, the song itself actually forced me to deal directly with these people because it's so easy to write a song something... in the past something would happen to me and I would run somewhere and write about it, and not necessarily talk directly the the person. It was very convenient and um it resulted in a lot of release but not necessarily in a lot of closure so, this song I thought I was gonna get away with that one again, and because I couldn't sleep I knew that I was, my plans were foiled [Audience laughs] so I had to actually call these peope and they were all very very sweet about it, they appreciated the fact that I called them. And uh, now when I sing it I know that I can song it with permission [Audience laughs] and blessing really, and it goes exactly like this:

[Alanis performs Unsent]

Dear Matthew:
I like you a lot
I realize you're in a relationship
With someone right now
And I-I-I respe-ect that
I would like you to know
That if you're ever single in the future
And you want to
Come visit me in California
I would be
Open to spending time with you
And finding out how old you were
when you wrote your fi-irst song

Dear Jonathan:
I liked you too much
I used to be attracted to boys
Who would lie to me
And think solely about
Themselves and you were
Plenty self-destructive
For my taste at the time
I used to say
The more tragic the better
The truth is
Whenever I think of the early 90's
Your face comes up with a vengeance
Like it was yesterday-ay

De-ear Terrance:
I love you muchly
You've been nothing but open hearted
And emotionally available
And supportive and
Nurturing and consummately there for me-e
I kept drawing you in
And pushing you away
I remember how beautiful it was to
Fall asleep on your couch and cry
In front of you for the first time
You were the best platform from which
To jump beyond myself
What was wro-o-ong with me-e-e-e

De-e-ear Marcus:
You rocked my world
You had a charismatic way
About you with the women
And you got me seriously thinking about
Spirituality and you wouldn't let me get away
With kicking my own ass
But I could never really feel relaxed
And looked out for around you though
And that stopped us from going any further
Than we did
And it's kinda to-oo bad
Because we could've had much more fu-un

De-e-ear Lou:
We learned so much
I realise we won't be able to
Talk for some time
And I understand that as I do you
The long distance thing
Was the hardest
And we did as well as we could
We were together
During a very tumultuous time in our lives
But I will always have your back
And be curious about you
About your career your whereabouts

[Harmonica Solo]

[Applause]

Alanis: Thank you, very much
Question-asking girl in audience: Hi um, sometimes when I listen you your songs, I think your voice and your lyrics are so beautiful that they make me cry. Has there ever been a song that was so emotionally wrenching that you found it hard to perform, or even to record?
Alanis: Yeah. Almost every one of them actually [Everyone laughs] You know uh, the new one that I wrote, called Still, it [sic] was crying very hard ah he he I was writing that one and uh yeah, last tour especially, when I was, when I had to sing You Oughta Know every night. It was very tough to sing that one because I didn't have any closure, so it was my just reminding myself repeatedly about this particular situation, um, over and over again. And uh, I was looking forward to speaking with this person at long last, and I did eventually, after the tour was over and it was... it was a great conversation, yeah, no I mean it actually really was, and so yeah, You Oughta Know is definitely the toughest thing

[Alanis performs You Oughta Know]

[Begins with a very groovy bass, and very little other backing. Lyrics are almost spoken]

I want you to know, that I am happy for you
And I wish nothing but, the best for you both
An older version of me
Is she perverted like me?
Would she go -- on you in a theatre?
Would she speak eloquently?
And would she have your baby?
I’m sure she’d make a really excellent mother

‘Cause the love that you gave that we made
Wasn’t able to make it enough for you to be open wide, no!
And every time you speak her name
Does she know how ya told me you’d hold me
Until you died, ‘til you died
But you’re still alive

And I’m here, to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It’s not fair, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know

You seem very well, things look peaceful
I’m not quite as well, I thought you should know
Did you forget about me, Mr. Du-plicity?
I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner
But it was a slap in the face how quickly I was replaced
‘nd are you thinking of me when you -- her?

‘Cause the love that you gave that we made
Wasn’t able to make it enough for you to be open wide, no-oo-oh-oh!
And every time you speak her name
Does she know how you told me you’d hold me
Until you died, ‘til ya died, but you’re still alive!

And I’m here, to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It’s not fair, to deny me
Of the cross I bear thatchya gave to me
You, you, you oughta know-ow

[instrumental break, with Alanis doing a long moan/wail-like thing]
[Musical backing picks up, the rest of the song is almost identical to the album version]

‘Cause the joke thatchya laid in the bed that was me
And I’m not gonna fade
As soon as you close your eyes, and you know it!
And everytime I scratch my nails down someone else’s back
I hope ya feel it . . . well can ya feel it?!

Well I’m here, to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It’s not fa-air, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know
Why I’m here, to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It’s not fa-air, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know-ow!

[Applause]

Alanis: Thank you

[Commercial Break, going into break with shot of Alanis sitting, with her band playing the intro. to Unsent. They continue playing, Alanis says "Am I supposed to sing?", the audience laughs. Alanis says "OK" and then "We'll be back in a few 'moments'" [Pronouncing "moments" in French]]

[Return from commercial]

Alanis: This next song I wrote in my closet [Audience laughs] I was in my house and there were so many people in my house and when I create something I need to be alone and I need to be silent for the most part and uh, at that particular time, my house was full of people, and I didn't wanna kick them out. So I went into my closet and shut the door and just lit a candle and just sat there and wrote these lyrics, this is actually a case um, in which I wrote the lyrics and then wrote the music later, um, and it's song called That I Would Be Good

[Applause and Cheers]

[Alanis performs That I Would Be Good]

[Introduction with a slow, peaceful, serene and beautiful flute solo]
[Flute solo ends and only a very soft guitar is played]

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 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 que-e-e-een
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 if I was fuming
That I would be good even if I was clingy-y-y

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

Ha aye 'nd aye aye oh hoy
[next word cut off when she bends down to pick up her flute away from the microphone]
Ay ay 'nd ah oh oh hoi!

[Flute solo courtesy Alanis]

[Applause and Cheers]

Alanis: Thanks

[Commercial Break, going into break with preview of Alanis' performance of Still]

[Return from Commercial]

Alanis: So this is a song that I wrote a couple of weeks ago, and it was inspired by um, the movie called Dogma [Cheers from audience] which is going to be coming out, I think later this year? [Sounding doubtful] And it's Kevin Smith's movie and it's brilliant. He wrote it and directed it and I played a small part in it. [Loud Cheers from audience] And uh, yes well, his um, his take on Catholicism and God in general was something I related to in a pretty big way, and for him to come at it from um a place that was intelligent and hilarious at the same time was right up my alley. Um anyways I watched the movie for the first time which was great the other day and wrote this song the next day, and I hadn't written anything in a really long time so it was great to write again, it's always very overwhelming. What I often do is I don't write for a long time so that the, the dam is having a lot of water built up and then I intuitively get a sense of when it is time, to write again, and it all just comes flying out. So this was something, these lyrics are things that I 've thought about um a lot lately, and I think about God a lot lately and all the convaluded versions of God and beautiful versions of God that we all have, and this is my take on what I believe God is

[Applause]

[Alanis performs Still]

I am the harm that you inflict
I am your brilliance and frustration
I'm the nuclear bombs if they're to hit
I am your immaturity and your indignance

I am your misfits and your praisd
I am your doubt and your conviction
I am your charity and your rape
I am your grasping at expectation

I see you
Averting your glances
I see you
Cheering on the war
I see you
Ignoring your children
And I love you still
And I love you still

I am your joy and your regret
I am your fury and your relation
I am your yearning and your sweat
I am your faithless and your religion

I see you
Altering your story
I see you
Abusing the land
I see you
And your selective amnesia
And I love you still
And I love you still

Ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, aye

Ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, aye

Ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, aye

Ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah, yi-ee-aye

I am your tragedy and your fortune
I am your crisis and delight
I am your profits and your prophet
I am your art I am your vice

I am your death and your decisions
I am your passion and your fight
I am your sickness and convalescence
I am your weapons and your life

I see you
Holding your grudges
I see you
Gunning them down
I see you
Silencing your sisters
And I love you still
And I love you

I see you
Lighting your country
I see you
Forcing them out
I see you
Blaming each other
And I love you still
And I love you still

Ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, aye

Ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, aye

Ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, aye

Ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
ah-ah ah-ah, ah-ah ah-ah
Ayee ayee ayee ayee
Ayee ayee ayee ayee yi

[Credits begin to roll]

[Instrumental to fade]


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That I Would Be Good, Alanis Morissette