"The Nurse Who Loved Me" as written by Ken Andrews and Greg Edwards....
Say hello to the rugs topography
It holds quite a lot of interest with your face down on it
Say hello to the shrinking in your head
You can't see it but you'll know it's there so don't neglect it

I'm taking her home with me
All dressed in white
She's got everything I need
Pharmacy keys
She's fallen hard for me
I can see it in her eyes
She acts just like a nurse
With all the other guys

Say hello to all the apples on the ground
They were once in your eyes but you sneezed them out while sleeping
Say hello to everything you've left behind
It's even more a part of your life now that you can't touch it

I'm taking her home with me
All dressed in white
She's got everything I need
Some pills in a little cup
She's fallen hard for me
I can see it in her eyes
She acts just like a nurse
With all the other guys

She's got everything I need
Pharmacy keys
She acts just like a nurse
With all the other guys

Say hello to the rugs topography


Lyrics submitted by prayingmantis84

"The Nurse Who Loved Me" as written by Ken Andrews Greg Edwards

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Nurse Who Loved Me (Failure cover) song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentWell, I can't say this is one of my favorites off of Thirteenth Step, but it has definately grown on me. I basically see it as a playful song sung from the perspective of a patient in a mental institution or rehab. He's convinced one of the nurses is "falling for him." She's perfect for him (pharmacy keys, pills-- what more could a crazy man could ask for!?) He believes she only gives him the special attention, and just acts like a regular nurse towards the other patients. Cuz hey, he's special :)
    ObsessiveTendencieson April 09, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General Commenteveryone's entitled to their opinion, but some rly make it more complicated than it is. reading things like 'the rug is a vagina', i mean, come on.

    also, the nurse as a drug metaphor seems poetically invalid. this lyric doesnt seem to contain an extended metaphor. take the sentence "she's got everything; i need pharmacy keys". 'she' would mean 'drug'. ok, but then he sais she, the drug, has 'pharmacy keys', which cant rly be a metaphor for something i think. so basically, than would be saying 'the drug has pharmacy keys'. makes no sense.

    i think its simple. the verses are the nurse talking, basically waking a patient up ("say hello to...") to start his day, uselessly spent by studying the carpet etc (rug's topography) due to the patient being kinda fucked up still, in rehab prolly. the apples on the ground he sneezed out, are the bad desires (adam and eve reference) he lost now that he's being treated. theyre not in his eyes anymore ie he doesnt chase it anylonger.

    the choruses are the patient himself; his illusion the nurse rly loves him because she takes care of him, because hes fuckd in the head still. thats why the music is dreamy, and somewhat childish, walt disney like. cause he's on the level of a child again due to the drugs fuckin him up, full of imagination.

    great stuff.
    Lupion July 07, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentEver since I heard 13th Step for the first time this song always stood out to me, not sure why I guess because i've never really heard anything like it....anyways I always thought this song was about a delusional patient who falls in love with a nurse who he thinks is flirting with him and being nice when she's just being a nurse.
    TreverUndeadon January 27, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationWritten from the perspective of a male patient in a mental hospital. He is deluded that a nurse loves him. He sometimes speaks in the second person--possibly emotionally easier for him; sometimes he speaks in the first person.

    The music is whimsical, and beautifully orchestrated. String parts, tones, oboes, bird-like sounds, and vocals are lovely. Some of the lyrics, when taken out of the overall context of the song are also rather ethereal: "I'm taking her home with me, all dressed in white. She's got everything I need..."; "Say hello to all the apples on the ground. They were once in your eyes, but you sneezed them out while sleeping."; "Say hello to the rugs topography. It holds quite a lot of interest with your face down on it." The sonic veneer makes some of the lyrics seem playful and enchanting. But, the song's overall meaning has deeper and much darker overtones. The beautiful sound may be a mockery and simultaneously a mimicry of the meaningful disturbance beneath it.

    Possible general themes include: mental illness, drug dependence, delusion, confinement, a great sense of loss and hopelessness.

    There are some good plays on words: "Shrinking in your head" evokes the "head-shrinking" performed by a psychiatrist. It could also represent a sensation the patient experiences while in the psych. ward due to drugs and environment.

    "..taking her home...all dressed in white" - Nurse wears white; a bride wears white.

    "apples..once in your eyes" - evokes 'apple(s) of one's eye' or those that one holds especially dear.

    As some other interpreters have indicated, the patient confuses the professional care of the nurse as romantic love (delusional belief). He also confuses "pharmacy keys" and "pills in a little cup" as "everything he needs." That is to say, all that he needs for love. His love is based on a need for drugs/medication and imagined intimacy.

    It seems unlikely that the nurse has "fallen hard" for the patient or that he "can see it in her eyes" or that she "acts just like a nurse with all the other guys" and behaves differently toward him. In any event, it's unlikely that he's "taking [the nurse] home with [him], as he's unlikely leaving this place any time soon.

    He must "say hello" (read: get used to) an orderly's knee in his back while his face is pressed down on the hospital floor's rug. Or, possibly, the pills from the little cup might make the rug's topography actually seem interesting to him. He's forced to deal with--"say hello" to--the reality that he must keep everything he's left behind in his memory. The things he's left behind can't be touched, either due to physical barricade of the hospital, or possibly he has isolated or been abandoned by his past relationships activities. These might be the apples on the ground that were lost while he was sleeping.

    For now he needs, or, at least must settle for: confinement, pharma-drugs, the nurse who helps him, the shrinking in his head, and something to find interesting: memories of loves, people and things he's left behind; and maybe even the rug's topography.

    Great lyrics by Failure and an intricate and lovely treatment by A Perfect Circle!
    bixbycanyonbridgeon August 25, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is definately my least favourite song off 13th Step. Its actualy a cover of a song by failure - a band Tool once toured with and once contained Troy Van Leeuwen (now in APC) - so i guess thats why.

    I think you guys pretty much got the meaning. continuing addiction theme, nurse = drug/supplier of drugs, refers to it as "nurse" as hes kidding himself to thinking that he needs the drugs or that theyre doing him good. i guess lost apples = lost innocence ("apple of my eye") or the temptation of anything else but the drugs (apple analogy from Genesis). "face down" on the rug, "shrinking in your head" = consequences of addiction?

    As its a cover, i think it was added just cos it fit with the albums concept, rather than having been written to further the albums meaning, if you see what i mean. what you guys reckon?
    ZombieJesuson April 10, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti like the idea about it beeing about drugs .
    nurse = drugs how is a kinda help .
    the person how sings i think sufers from different psychic problems .
    "Say hello to everything you've left behind "
    getting on the streets with drugs abuse and no ones carring about you when you get there . evry one leaves you . thats why he hav find the nurse (drugs) to provide him with happiness .
    leaderlamaon May 28, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentand even better example of why the nurse cant be a drug metaphor is lookin at the 2 last sentences of the chorus, they dont add anything to the drug metahpor.

    'she's falling hard for me' would mean 'the drug's falling hard for me'. makes no sense. it would be the opposit.

    'she acts like a nurse with all the other guys'. so, that would mean 'she acts like a drug to the other guys'. so suddenly she's not a drug to him anymore. this would actually contradict the statement 'she/the nurse' is a drug metaphor to him.

    so no. shes not drugs.
    Lupion July 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSay hello to the rug's topography
    It holds quite a lot of interest with your face down on it

    I guess I'm the only one who reads this as an oral sex reference... rug-munching? Getting your face down on it? YES PLZ!!
    MiltonSnailon April 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthi. this song was written by failure, not APC. and it's about herion. it just is.
    kcme28on July 13, 2014   Link
  • +1
    Song FactWhen interpreting the lyrics and giving writing kudos, please remember that this song is in fact a cover.

    While A Perfect Circle created a wonderful interpretation on their album The Thirteenth Step, please refrain from using phrase regarding Maynard's lyrical genius on this particular song.

    Please give proper respect and credit lyrically to Ken Andrew and Greg Edwards and the band Failure whom wrote and released the song in 1996.
    morenomonroeon January 01, 2015   Link

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