"Sex Changes" as written by and Amanda Palmer....
Dear Mr. and or Mrs. sender
We're pleased to inform you that your application's been accepted
Starting from the time you get this letter
Your life will be one never-ending "hope you're feeling better"

You get your choice of an aesthetic
Ah we need to chop your clock off tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock
It might not be what you expected
There is no money back once you've been ripped off, ripped off, ripped off

Today's a very special day
The boys'll murder for it but what will the neighbors say?
It leaves you feeling pretty hollow it might be nice to look at
Don't forget you're stuck with it tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

You're big enough to stop pretending
You'll start to really show it in a week or so
So don't go saying it's just come to your attention
You'll get more than you're asking for without the right protection

Today's a very special day
And how you'd love to have a little thing with which to play
But love won't get you very far, today be still your beating heart
You'll have to keep on feeding it tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

Boys will be boys, will be boys, will be boys, will be boys
Will be boys, will be girls with no warning
Girls will be girls, will be guys, will be boys that don't cry over toys
That they use to beat girls they despise by the morning
They always said that sex would change you
Change you, change you, change you

No second thoughts the knife is nearing
You'll never hear the little pitter patter pitter patter
Of this little feat of engineering
Of course I love you and of course it's what's inside that matters

But I think the whole charade is ending
It seems to me to be the only way to keep from getting
Caught up in a long life of regretting
The doctors say that once you get a taste for it should keep on cutting

But while you happen to be here
Why don't you whisper all those sweet forevers in my ear?
Stiff upper lip in all this sorrow, hurry up and stick it in
You never know when it will end tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow
Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

They always said that sex would change you
Change you, change you, change you



Lyrics submitted by okokayok

"Sex Changes" as written by Amanda Palmer

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Sex Changes song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentDid anyone else catch the Macbeth allusions?

    "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" - one of the most famous speeches in the play. It's about the passage of time, which is perverted and made unnatural in the duration of the play. There are also lots of other references to time in the song ("tick tock tick tock," etc.)

    "Starting from the time you get this letter...it might not be what you expected" - The witches prophecy that Macbeth will be king, but instead of this being a joyous thing he starts murdering everything and things get more and more terrible.

    "You're big enough to stop pretending" - Illusion plays a big part in Macbeth. At first Lady Macbeth is completely fine with all the murder and is convinced that she and her husband can still be pure and innocent. Over time though she realizes the horror of what's going on.

    "Boys will be boys...they always said that sex would change you" - Over the course of the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth somewhat change places in terms of traditional gender roles. When at first he's reluctant to commit the murders, she teases him and says he's not being manly enough. She also rejects traditional motherhood and is very driven to attain a higher status (like a man, traditionally, at least in Shakespeare's time.) Later though Macbeth gets caught up in all the murdering and is a "man," but a crazy one.

    "The knife is nearing" - Macbeth hallucinates a bloody knife hovering toward him before committing his first murder.

    "The whole charade is ending...caught up in a long life of regretting" - Macbeth often expresses sentiments that he is jealous of the people he's killed, because he's so tortured by what he's done. He feels like death is the only true peacefulness.

    "Once you get a taste for it you keep on cutting" - Once he commits one murder he can't stop.

    "You never know when it will end, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" - At the end of the play Macbeth, now king, is killed. At the beginning of the play he killed the original king, so it's like the cycle is starting over.


    ....I don't know how that all meshes with the other interpretations of the song, which all seem pretty sound. But we just studied Macbeth and this song just jumped out at me...thoughts?
    hesterprynneon April 24, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think the song is about gender re-evaluation; the explicit lyrics are about replacing a penis with a vagina. "One never-ending 'hope you're feeling better'" is the result of any major surgery, "no money back once you've been ripped off" is the loss of the penis, "the boy's'll murder for it but what will the neighbors say"- a vagina- "it leaves you feeling pretty hollow"- replacing a protrusion with an orfice, "love to have a little thing with which to play"- a penis; many other lines refer to about the same sort of thing (keep on beating it tomorrow, stick it in you never know when it will end, etc). The primary thrust of the song seems to be a male-to-female change, but there are references to it either failing or a female-to-male change.

    My favorite line is probably "Of course it's what's inside that matters." So many meanings...

    The Macbeth analysis is freaking brilliant. As I understand it, Lady Macbeth is considered a literary symbol of transgenderism by the modern GBLT etc community.
    Arafelison June 04, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt is about how sex changes you. (title, hello.) And I think its more concering teens.

    First verse- Now that you've had sex thing are goign to get really complicated. Its not what most teenages probably imagine, but its not like you can un-pop the cherry.

    Second and third verse- all the guys want it, but you have to worry about reputations. sex may be 'in', but it'll hurt you if you're not mentally ready for it, and people will probably be able to tell that something's up.

    Fourth- You should stuff your feelings and just fuck, since sex isn't about love anymore. otherwise you're just making things more complicated for yourself.

    Fifth- About how boys and girls think of each other concering sex. How they use each other

    Sixth- Too late to take it back, and now things are all complicated and stuff. Reassures you that he love you, even though your know it most likely is just for the sex.

    Last- Oh whatever, just do it. I can take it, since its going to happen anyway.

    Eh, prolly a little off.

    (and I've just about beaten the word 'complicated' to death, but i can't think of any synonyms. :P )
    errky39on January 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSince this song is obviously a reference to abortion, I think the following line is about a biological clock.

    "we'll need to chop your clock off (tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock)"

    When you kill your baby your biological clock keeps ticking away.
    Dresden*Dollon April 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" reminds me of Macbeth's famous speech. I wonder if Amanda thought of that when writing that song. (Maybe it's my nerd speaking.)
    For those who don't know it:
    Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.
    MittensInSummertimeon October 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentahh the damn truth here .. the first person ive ever heard say this .
    NIKKIEon June 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song. she expresses everything so perectly. and so true
    fakingxIton November 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat i don't understand is what exacly she's saying.

    alright, at first glimps i assume this song is about cosmetic surgery and the like, but then referancing the name there are implications that the cosmetic surgery is gender reassignment and than there are just some other things hinted at too that are a bit under my radar i guess. either way, i do love this song, especialy singing the ohwohoh parts.
    thomas doyleon December 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think its more about how sex changes teens.

    First verse- Now that you've had sex things are going to get very complicated. Its probably not how you expected it, but its not like you can un-pop the cherry.

    Second and third verse- All the guys want it, but you have to worry about reputations. Sex is a 'cool thing' to do, but if you're not mentally ready for it, it'll hurt you, and people will be able to tell that something's up.

    Fourth- You should just stuff your feelings and fuck, since sex isn't about love anymore. Otherwise you're just making things overly complicated for youself.

    Fifth- About how boys and girls think of each other about sex. How that use each other.

    Sixth- Its too late to take it back now, everything is very confusing now. Reassures you that its because he loves you, even though you know its just for the sex.

    Last- Oh whatever, just do it. I can take it, and its bound to happen anyway.

    Its probably a bit off. And i used the word 'complicated' a bit too much...
    errky39on January 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdamnit i thought it didn't go through the first time! arrrghhhhhh...
    errky39on January 30, 2005   Link

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