Muhammad my friend, it's time to tell the world.
We both know it was a girl back in Bethlehem.
And on that fateful day when she was crucified,
She wore Shiseido Red and we drank tea by her side.
It's sweet... sweet... sweet... it used to be so sweet to me, well.

Muhammad my friend, I'm getting very scared.
Teach me how to love my brothers, who don't know the law.
And what about the deal on the flying trapeze?
Got a peanut butter hand.
But honey do drop in at the Dew Drop Inn.
I said sweet... sweet... sweet... between the boys and the bees.
It's sweet-sweet-sweet, sweet... sweet... yes,
Between the boys and the bees.

Moses I know, I know you've seen fire.
But you've never seen fire until you've seen the Pele blow.
And I've never seen light but I sure have seen gold.
And Gladys save a place for me on your grapevine,
'Till I get my a-own, honey, TV show.

Ashre, ashre, ashre, ashre.
And if I loose my Cracker Jacks at the tidal wave,
I got a place in the Pope's rubber robe.
I said, Muhammad my friend, It's time to tell the world.
We both know it was a girl back in Bethlehem.
We both know it was a girl back in Bethlehem.
We both know it was a girl back in Bethlehem.

Lyrics submitted by Novartza

Muhammad My Friend song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentTori's lyrics may not make any sense if they were prose, but as lyrics all the words work together to form a whole. Boys for Pele is about religion (well, most of Tori's albums have that theme in there, but this one most of all). And Muhammad My Friend is Tori saying outright what she kind of danced around in the earlier songs about Christianity.

    The whole "we both know it was a girl back in Bethlehem" is part of how Tori says that the female side of God and women in religion have been neglected for a long time. I don't really feel like breaking down every line, especially since most of it is subjective, but you might be confused if you don't know who Pele is: the Hawaiian volcano goddess. So she's saying that the burning bush Moses saw can't compare to a volcano's fire. There's a lot of meaning just in that part.
    Also the part where she says "If I loose my Cracker Jacks at the tidal wave, I got a place in the Pope's rubber robe," she's criticizing people who, when they get scared about what's beyond this world, blindly take refuge in their religion.
    I have a question, though...ryankyles, what did Maynard do with this song? I can't see anything about him in the liner notes, although I could have missed it. Did he make a remix of it?
    ic_assasainon September 14, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI would love to hear a version where Maynard sings more and his voice isn't overwhelmed by the crowd cheering. his voice sounds so different in this song.
    Ascendedon June 26, 2006   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI think the line "And I've never seen light but I sure have seen gold" is a reference to greed and how something like gold (that shines) can easily be confused (perhaps for someone willingly deceived) with light. In this case, the person has never seen genuine light but has instead seen a lot of this substitution that so induces people's greed.

    What is also interesting is that gold is generally seen as rare (rarer than light) seems more abundant than light, thus implying how rare authentic light is that it should be rarer than gold.
    bethharringtonon April 11, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI never really understood this song fully, but have many theories on it.
    zebrachikodoomon April 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's pretty easy to see how Tori, once again, is criticizing the lack of balance, spirituality and actual sacredness of Christian doctrines. The myth of burning bush is not really a special "event" (you've never seen a fire, until you've seen a Pele blow) Christianity as interpreted by the Bible is the easy way to collect answers to whatever questions you might have, metaphysical or personal. To me it sounds like she's saying "whatever happened to looking within"? as opposed to hanging on the the word of the Pope or the man-written Bible. As to the lack of balance, mainly stressed with the lack of feminine qualities in the scriptures, she very boldly tries to rewrite history by making Jesus a woman (I love that part!) All this is basically a way of saying how extremely limited and simplified religion is, and an implicit invitation to look within instead.

    As for the peanut butter hands and the flying trapeze, I have no idea what she's on about! :)
    linescheelon September 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAll I can figure out is that parts of it are talking about Jesus actually being a woman! I don't have a clue what the rest is about!
    Cornerstoneon May 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is the shit and Maynard is in it but tori has some insane bjork ness lyrics
    crackermcnaccaon September 28, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmaynard and tori are frineds and they did the song together live I think for a charity thing, but i'm not sure. He sings her lullabys when she cant sleep.
    Leach_Wifeon March 10, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thibnk it great that she's managed to offend every fundimentalist (be they Jew ,Chritian or Muslim),on the planet with one song. ;-)
    Almost Realon October 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen is Maynard not amazing? :P
    Anyway, I love the song, it's sweet... Tori is wonderful.
    inteon July 02, 2006   Link

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