Well he lit you up
like Amber Waves in his movie show
He fixed you up real good
till I don't know you anymore
from Ballet Class to a Lap Dance
Straight to video
And the pool side news
was that he would be
launching you

Chorus:
Into every young man's
Bedroom - you gave it up
on DVD and magazine-
you gave it up
a private rite of passage
you gave it up
to every boy's sweet dream
with their paper cuts

You said "he's got a
Healing Machine
it glows in the dark
glows in the dark:
You say "there's not a lot
of me
left anymore-
just leave it alone.
But if you're by, and you have
the time, tell the Northern
Lights to keep shining - Lately it seems like they're drowning"

He cold light you up
and summon every swan
or the Lakeside
Off to Cabo San Lucas
for some optical stimulus
Then you started to guess
ther was someone else
though His flint glass
seeing all of you
immersed in His sepia

Chorus

So I went by -
cause I had the time,
and told the Northern Lights
to keep shining
they told me to tell you -
they're waving



Lyrics submitted by Concertina, edited by janeaparis1


Amber Waves song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment:i think its about a young girl who fell in love with a man who made her a porn star, when she really wanted to be a ballet dancer (from ballet class...)
    and she's telling her friend its ok, and to butt out (you say there's not a lot of me left anymore, just leave it alone...)
    i think the northern lights bit is her looking back to the past, and telling her friend to say hi to the northern lights or something...??? i dunno, but i do know i adore tori, i saw her at the hammersmith apollo in january, traveled 70 miles, but was worth it... amazing!! :)
    ladybugon June 22, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:There is a poem called "Not waving, drowning"

    Tori's hopeless friend says the magnificent Northern Lights are drowning, symbolizing that she is drowning and losing hope. At the end, Tori tells her that they arent drowning, they are only waving at her. She's telling her not to give up hope, because the Northern Lights are still shining. Beauty and hope remain.
    ProudestMonkey1on March 13, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:There is a poem called "Not waving, drowning"

    Tori's hopeless friend says the magnificent Northern Lights are drowning, symbolizing that she is drowning and losing hope. At the end, Tori tells her that they arent drowning, they are only waving at her. She's telling her not to give up hope, because the Northern Lights are still shining. Beauty and hope remain.
    ProudestMonkey1on March 13, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:The song like the entire Scarletts Walk Album has dual meanings;1) This song is both about an aspiring young and naive actress who seeks the spotlight but is forced to support herself by doing porn...she hopes that noone finds out but by accident she becomes a huge porn star and instead of feeling ashamed she realizes she is fine with it.
    2) The most important undertone of the song is about AMERICA being the great whore. That is where "Amber waves" comes from(for amber waves of grain, America, America God shed his grace on thee). Tori sees the lives of this country and the girl are parallel. America was once this innocent nation that strived and fought its way to the top and when it got there it had nothing else to do but start selling itself to the highest bidder.
    Benzodiazepine Daveon March 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I meant that her body was used for "nothing more, nothing deeper" than for sexual fantasies, NOT that Tori's song is "nothing deeper" than that. It's a very deep song, as always. Just to clarify!
    plath81on May 04, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Benzodiazepine Dave is right - every one of the Scarlet Walk tunes has duel meanings, they can be songs to individual people (a porn star, prostitute) however, you must remember the overall theme of this album. There is a common thread of America having to come to terms with who she has become, and whether or not she has fallen into the right hands of the right people.

    This song places America as the prostitute, or porn star. Pretend she's alive. Because she is! And the Northern star to her, is like a sign of hope. It could be sort of a nice man that America is in love with. America is looking up at the Northing Lights every night, telling Scarlet, "Those northern lights are like a healing machine that glows in the dark..they have a sign of hope" then America says, "Listen, Scarlet (tori) there's not much more of me left, though, so forget it. I've been tailored to become what everyone wants. No one cares about me anymore. However....if you DO ever have the time, and you DO bump into the Northern Lights...please tell them to keep shining for me. Because lately, I don't see any sign of hope"



    Amber waves is both the name of Julianne Moore's character in Boogie Nights (porn star)and a nickname for America. (Amber Waves of Grain)

    In her early years, America used to be something pure, and full of hope until the "white man" came in and their goverment and people manipulated it so much to tailor it to "Every boy's sweet dream".

    "He fixed you up real good till I don't know you anymore". Laws are changed every day so that everyone in this country can get what THEY want - more cars, more technolgy, more laws on this and that. Instead of taking care of the land itself more. Instead of nurturing America, we're taking from America and changing her. She can't believe what's happening to her, it seems like it's completely out of her control. She's watching it happening and wonders how she got here when she started off so pure. She feels as though she was tricked by men who sort of changed her, much like a porn star or prostitute may feel they were destroyed by all men. "He cold light you up and summon every swan or the Lakesie"

    So this song is a conversation between America (amber waves) who is losing hope, and Scarlet who is trying to protect her friend. This also seems to be a reference to the "Not Waving But Drowning" Poem about losing hope by Stevie Smith.

    At the end of the song the Scarlet character goes to Amber Waves (America) this shell of a being who has been so changed, and tries to give her hope for the future by saying, "Yeah, I made time for you because I care. I went by because I made the time. And the Northern Lights wanted me to tell you that they are there for you more than you will ever know...they're actually waving to you....not drowning at all!"

    So now knowing all this, the term "Amber Waves" in terms of the album as a whole takes on a whole nuther meaning....that Amber is now Waving in the present tense. Maybe waving to us?

    ...Amber waves to us to let us all know she still has hope in her future.

    And that's a GREAT album opener!!




    parasolon September 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I'd really want to know what she means with 'told the Northern Lights to keep shining they told me to tell you - they're waving'.

    What does she mean with Northern lights in this context anyway?!
    Non June 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:There is a poem called "Not waving, drowning"

    Tori's hopeless friend says the magnificent Northern Lights are drowning, symbolizing that she is drowning and losing hope. At the end, Tori tells her that they arent drowning, they are only waving at her. She's telling her not to give up hope, because the Northern Lights are still shining. Beauty and hope remain.
    ProudestMonkey1on March 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Definitely about a porn star who wants to be something better. I think the title and the lines "he lit you up / like Amber Waves in his movie show" is a reference to the movie Boogie Nights. In that movie, Julianne Moore plays a porn star whose name is Amber Waves.
    Jerilon August 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:"to every boy's sweet dream
    with their paper cuts"

    I think the paper cuts part refers to the paper cuts boys would get by turning the cover of the magazine as they masturbate. It's such a sad song, how this woman gives up her body to be used by horny teen boys for sexual release, nothing more, nothing deeper than that.
    plath81on May 04, 2007   Link

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