Hello Mr. Zebra.
Can I have you sweater 'cause it's cold, cold, cold in my hole, hole, hole.
Ratatouille Strychnine- sometimes she's a friend of mine,
With her gigantic whirlpool that will blow your mind.

Hello Mr. Zebra.
Ran into some confusion with a Mrs. Croc-o-dile-dile-dile.
Furry mussels marching on, she thinks she's Kaiser Wilhelm.
Or a civilized syllabub to blow your mind.


Figure it out. She, she's a goodtime fella.
She got a little fund to fight for Moneypenny's rights.
Figure it out. She, she's a goodtime fella.
"Too bad the burial was premature," she said, and smiled.


Lyrics submitted by Novartza

Mr. Zebra song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentAll these Courtney Love ideas keep popping up all over Tori's songs. I'm not saying that that's not what she's singing about, but let's give her some credit eh? She knows and has relationships with people that we will never even know about. Can we consider it a possibility that she doesn’t want us to know about these things? That her lyrics are cryptic for a reason? That maybe, just maybe she wants her lyrics to be universal enough that anyone can relate to them? That she wants to create characters and not necessarily thinly veiled allusions to celebrities?

    Did you actually read what merchantpierce posted up there?:
    "Lyrics to me, when they become references so that Mr Zebra can be who you want it to be, although you know that there are certain clear words - Strychnine, sometimes she's a friend of mine. And you get a sense of the characters, of who they are. And I'm sure the person, women that you know that are Ratitouille Strychnine, and we can kinda love those women, but you have faces that are different from the faces that I see when I sing about um, that cute little babe that's poisoning the muffins in the kitchen. But we love her, too. And that was important in this record. This is really the hidden sides of the feminine, the ones that get a little wicked, and the reasons that they're wicked. That's what is being said also in the story, the reasons, 'cause they haven't been recognized, that they kinda have to mutiny for me to listen to them so that we can get to the heart, and that's really the core of the record."

    The allure of Tori is that crazed illogical brilliance where everything is mixed up and jumbled around and you cant tell up from down, but sounds so wonderful beautiful and amazing. You could never understand it if you spent the rest of your life trying, but you're so enthralled by it you actually do try. Even when she explains what she means, you wish for an explanation for what she just said. And whatever she sings you can bring it into your heart and make it your own.

    Give her some credit and show a little more respect.
    CoolKSJon June 22, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI always thought she was comparing the way crocs lie in wait for unsuspecting zebras to cross the river,to how some women lie in wait for unsuspecting naive men to wonder into their trap. she marries him, takes out insurance policy and kills him. "she's got a little fund to fight for moneypenny's rights"she can take the blood money as a way of coping for not getting the guy/'s she really wants
    tennisluvr71on May 12, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about her relationship with Trent and Courtney. The opening verses refer to her breakup with Eric and how Trent was there for her.


    The second verse is her run-in with Love and whatever he said she said that went down.

    The last is Love's conversation about her late husbands death. Many people think Courtney love was responsible for Kurt Cobain's death. "Too bad the burial was premature." Come on ya'll!


    There are not too many songs referring to Trent and Love. Only three:professional widow,caught a lite sneeze and Mr zebra.
    Jae26on March 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttori's so insane and ecclectic...don't you just love it? =)
    Ms. Hoity Toityon January 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"In Mr. Zebra we pick up Ratatouille Strychnine, who we love because she's our little double agent who can poison people and get us out of trouble when they're hurting us! But she's tired, she's tired of the poisoning."
    [B Side, 05/96]


    "Lyrics to me, when they become references so that Mr Zebra can be who you want it to be, although you know that there are certain clear words - Strychnine, sometimes she's a friend of mine. And you get a sense of the characters, of who they are. And I'm sure the person, women that you know that are Ratitouille Strychnine, and we can kinda love those women, but you have faces that are different from the faces that I see when I sing about um, that cute little babe that's poisoning the muffins in the kitchen. But we love her, too. And that was important in this record. This is really the hidden sides of the feminine, the ones that get a little wicked, and the reasons that they're wicked. That's what is being said also in the story, the reasons, 'cause they haven't been recognized, that they kinda have to mutiny for me to listen to them so that we can get to the heart, and that's really the core of the record."
    merchantpierceon May 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song. my sister used to sing me to sleep with this when i was little, and to me, it's amazing and her voice makes it perfect
    kandi mayon May 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti luv the song, i just have no idea what it's about!

    but that's the beauty of it, i guess.
    muse girlon June 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat are you talking about? This song isn't about Courtney Love...
    Eatcarpeton February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentme and my gal pal Leanne talk about Tori songs a lot. Today she called me up and said "Heather, what do you think the song Mr. Zebra really means?" And I've been listening to this song since I was 13.. and I always thought it was about a woman who was abused by her husband and she poisoned him and buried him alive. Leanne discussed this with her stepdad and they came to the conclusion that the song may be about abortion & women's rights. I can definitely see that side of the story too. But Tori has many layers in many of her songs.. that's what I love about her most.
    dedgrrlsdanceon May 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh and about the Courtney Love reference..

    I don't think this song is about her. I have a feeling Tori has too good of a relationship with Ratatouille Strychnine to compare her to Miss Love. She may have been a bit of an inspiration to get Tori interested in the dark side of the feminine because of the whole Trent ordeal... but I don't think the song is necessarily based on her.
    dedgrrlsdanceon May 23, 2005   Link

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