"Truce" as written by and Amanda Palmer....
You can have Washington, I'll take New Jersey
You can have London but I want New York city
I should get Providence, I've got a job now
Los Angeles obvious that's where you belong now

You can have Africa, Asia, Australia
As long as you keep your hands off Cafe Pamplona
We can split Germany right down the middle
You'd hate it there anyway, take Berlin and we'll call it even

You can have all of the carry-on baggage
I'll trade the saskia jokes for the alphabet language
On special occasions, we'll split between parents
Who forced us to hate them on alternating weekends

You call it over and I call you psycho
Significant other just say, we were lovers
And we'll call it even, we'll call it even

I am the ground zero ex-friend you ordered
Disguised as a hero to get past your borders
I know when I'm wanted, I'll leave if you ask me to
Mind my own business and speak when I'm spoken to

I am the tower around which you orbited
I am not proud, I am just taking orders
I fall to the ground within hours of impact
I hit back when hit and attack when attacked

You get Route 2 between Concord and Lexington
I want mass ave from the square to my apartment

And if we should meet through some misunderstanding
I'll be very sweet, very patient and forgiving
Now get off my side of the state

And if we should see one another in passing
Despite these techniques there is sometimes no avoiding
There must be some kind of mistake

We'll raise high our white flags and bow heads and shake hands
Declaring the land, we're on un-American
We'll call it even, we'll call it even

I am the tower around which you orbited
I am not proud, I am just taking orders
I fall to the ground within hours of impact
I hit back when hit and attack when attacked

And I am an accident waiting to happen
I'm laughing like mad as you strangle the captain
My place may be taken but make no mistake
From a little black box, I can say without shame

That you've lost, that you've lost
Do you know what you've lost?

So take whatever you'd like, I'll strike like the states on fire
You won't sleep very tight, no hiding no safe covers
Make your bed and now lie just like you always do
You can fake it for the papers but I'm on to you, I'm on to you

Take whatever you'd like, I'll strike like the states on fire
You won't sleep very tight, no hiding no safe covers
Make your bed and now lie just like you always do
You can fake it for the papers but I'm on to you, I'm on to you
I'm on to you, I'm on to you

Amanda, you're telling me a fairy tale


Lyrics submitted by okokayok, edited by roryattack

"Truce" as written by Amanda Palmer

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Truce song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think that this song could be about America "breaking up" with the rest of the world; how Americans think of every other country as some other place having some specific culture, but America as being "America"-- no specific culture, just businesses and blankness, and all different kinds of people.

    Or, on a personal level, it could be about the end of a romantic relationship. The beauty of all Dresden Dolls lyrics is that they each have a different concept, phrased metaphorically, so that it can apply to any situation, major or minor. All of the concepts--all of the songs--belong to the same philosophy. Discerning the meaning of DDolls lyrics is like discovering the meaning of life.

    Anyway, here's my explanation for why I think that this song is about the 'breaking-up' of things in general:

    Firstly, I'll address the parts in which she says 'you can have *someplace* but I want *someotherplace*. This plainly indicates the dividing of something that she and another had previously shared, which implies that there has been a schism.

    Now, addressing the schism mentioned above, what parts of the song hint at the reason for the schism?
    Well, let's look at the places.

    her:
    new jersey-an 'unimportant' state
    new york city-a major city in a new nation
    providence-one of the first cities of a new nation
    cafe pamplona-one place of comfort and inspiration
    half of germany but not berlin-part of an interesting (but sometimes, controlling) nation
    the trading of the 'saskia jokes for the alphabet language'-the trading of primitive foolishness for modern efficiency
    mass ave from the square to her apartment-the route from her town center to her small home

    her ex:
    washington-an 'important' district
    london-a major city of an old nation
    los angeles-a glossy city of a new nation
    africa, asia & australia-three places of poverty, mistreatment, and devastation
    half of germany including berlin-a part of an interesting (but, sometimes, controlling) nation, including the nucleus of it
    carry-on baggage-the extra stuff, wants but not needs
    route 2 between concord and lexington-a route between one battlefield and another

    Now, what can we conclude from that? Well, she seems to get all of the simplistic, necessary, humble yet beautiful places, whereas her ex seems to get all of the 'sparkly-on-the-outside, dead-on-the-inside' places. Perhaps the schism was over money or career; that she wanted love and he wanted the superficial stuff?

    Next, I'll address the other parts. These lyrics say "and if we find out that we have any children, we'll trade them off summers and alternating weekends." However, I think that the accurate lyrics are "and special occasions, we'll split between parents who forced us to hate them on alternating weekends." Now this brings something new to the table: is she talking to, not a lover, but someone she viewed as family? Or, more likely, is she referring to the fact that she loved her lover so much that she considered them family? Perhaps she and her ex were each other's family because their real families forced them to hate them on alternating holidays; for Christmas, they'd see his family, who disapproved of the relationship; then, for Easter, they'd visit hers, who also disapproved.

    "you call it over and i call you psycho"...This might imply that he is ready to end the relationship, divide their things, and move on with his life, no more troubles; but that she doesn't think that either of them are ready to move on. Or that she doesn't think that either of them are going to move on without a fight. "significant other? just say we were lovers, and we'll call it even".... could mean that she's telling him not to say that they were once serious, but that they were just lovers having some fun...this could imply that she, like he, thought that they were significant others of each other, but that upon the break-up, she realized that that could not be so, but he still believes that they were, things just changed--she knows they didn't change, it was like that from the beginning, but they didn't notice it until he was confronted with a choice: money and career, or her? That's when the schism happened.

    "i am the ground-zero ex-friend you ordered, disguised as a hero to get past your borders"... Well, 'ground zero' is probably a reference to the recognition of the men and women of the World Trade Center in NYC... I don't think it is so much a reference to the attacks of 9/11. So she is the 'acknowledging those hurt in a place that they thought was safe' ex-friend that he ordered. By saying that he ordered an ex-friend, I think she meant that he mistreated a friend (her). So she is his ex-friend because he mistreated her, and she is acknowledging that he hurt her when she thought that they had a good relationship.

    "i know when i'm wanted, i'll leave if you ask me to, mind my own business and speak when i'm spoken to" ...sounds like the words of a wounded child, which is probably hinting that he was cruel and she is the victim.

    "i am the tower around which you orbited, i am not proud i am just taking orders"...could mean that he used to revolve around her, and that she is not stating that fact with pride; rather, she is 'taking orders'...could he have ordered her to tell the truth, at some point in an argument happening during the schism? or had he questioned her actions at some point during the decline of the relationship before the schism?

    "i fall to the ground within hours of impact, i hit back when hit and attack when attacked"... once again, this sounds like a weakened child; crushed easily, and retaliates physically often without thinking about whether or not physical retaliation would actually help solve the problem

    "and if we should meet through some misunderstanding" is probably another way of saying "and if there is a dispute over the division of our property, and we end up on the same territory" .... "i'll be very sweet, very patient, and forgiving (now get off my side of the state)" is probably another way of saying "i'll be nice and forgiving about it, but then ask you to leave because if we're unsure of whose land this is, then we'll make it be mine; i am right, and i deserve it"...that is not necessarily her being greedy, but her being hurt and acting in a way that can only be expected of her

    "and if we should see one another in passing, despite these techniques, there is sometimes no avoiding (there must be some kind of mistake)" probably means that she doubts that there will not be a dispute such as the one described above...it also implies that their method of breaking-up was flawed

    "we'll raise high our white flags and bow heads and shake hands, declaring the land we're on unamerican" (i believe that the accurate lyrics are 'bow heads', not 'say hi') ... could mean that when a dispute occurs, they will simply call a TRUCE and then declare the land they're having a dispute over 'unamerican'... this could mean that they're calling it foreign, and thus neither of their land

    "i am an accident waiting to happen, i'm laughing like mad as you strangle the captain" ... could mean that she's like an accident-prone child, and that she's laughing while he does wrong things

    "my place may be taken, but make no mistake, from a little black box i can say without shame that you've lost"... this implies that he has found another 'significant other', but that he shouldn't be fooled and think that he has, because of that, won... the term 'black box' (in psychology, often a term meant to express the human mind) tells us that she knows that he lost but that she's keeping it within her own mind, her own knowledge..that she won't say it to him directly, because that might bring her shame, for ruining their relationship...this implies that she IS considerate of people in general, and that he is merely arrogant

    Lastly, I will attempt to 'paraphrase' the last part:
    "so take whatever you'd like"
    now i don't care about things being even when we have a dispute...you can just have it all
    "i'll strike like the states on fire"
    but don't expect me to not fight back once you take things
    "you won't sleep very tight, no hiding, no safe cover"
    you won't be comfortable after you take it all, because i will be fighting back, and you can't hide from my wrath
    "make your bed and now lie, just like you always do"
    set yourself up for trouble (in this case, by taking it all) and then suffer (in this case, from my wrath), just like you do in all scenarios
    "you can fake it for the papers but i'm on to you"
    you can lie to everyone else and at like you're the goodguy, like you're the victim, but i know your plan...i know the real you... i know that you're evil!!
    megziebooxoxoon December 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that this song could be about America "breaking up" with the rest of the world; how Americans think of every other country as some other place having some specific culture, but America as being "America"-- no specific culture, just businesses and blankness, and all different kinds of people.

    Or, on a personal level, it could be about the end of a romantic relationship. The beauty of all Dresden Dolls lyrics is that they each have a different concept, phrased metaphorically, so that it can apply to any situation, major or minor. All of the concepts--all of the songs--belong to the same philosophy. Discerning the meaning of DDolls lyrics is like discovering the meaning of life.

    Anyway, here's my explanation for why I think that this song is about the 'breaking-up' of things in general:

    Firstly, I'll address the parts in which she says 'you can have *someplace* but I want *someotherplace*. This plainly indicates the dividing of something that she and another had previously shared, which implies that there has been a schism.

    Now, addressing the schism mentioned above, what parts of the song hint at the reason for the schism?
    Well, let's look at the places.

    her:
    new jersey-an 'unimportant' state
    new york city-a major city in a new nation
    providence-one of the first cities of a new nation
    cafe pamplona-one place of comfort and inspiration
    half of germany but not berlin-part of an interesting (but sometimes, controlling) nation
    the trading of the 'saskia jokes for the alphabet language'-the trading of primitive foolishness for modern efficiency
    mass ave from the square to her apartment-the route from her town center to her small home

    her ex:
    washington-an 'important' district
    london-a major city of an old nation
    los angeles-a glossy city of a new nation
    africa, asia & australia-three places of poverty, mistreatment, and devastation
    half of germany including berlin-a part of an interesting (but, sometimes, controlling) nation, including the nucleus of it
    carry-on baggage-the extra stuff, wants but not needs
    route 2 between concord and lexington-a route between one battlefield and another

    Now, what can we conclude from that? Well, she seems to get all of the simplistic, necessary, humble yet beautiful places, whereas her ex seems to get all of the 'sparkly-on-the-outside, dead-on-the-inside' places. Perhaps the schism was over money or career; that she wanted love and he wanted the superficial stuff?

    Next, I'll address the other parts. These lyrics say "and if we find out that we have any children, we'll trade them off summers and alternating weekends." However, I think that the accurate lyrics are "and special occasions, we'll split between parents who forced us to hate them on alternating weekends." Now this brings something new to the table: is she talking to, not a lover, but someone she viewed as family? Or, more likely, is she referring to the fact that she loved her lover so much that she considered them family? Perhaps she and her ex were each other's family because their real families forced them to hate them on alternating holidays; for Christmas, they'd see his family, who disapproved of the relationship; then, for Easter, they'd visit hers, who also disapproved.

    "you call it over and i call you psycho"...This might imply that he is ready to end the relationship, divide their things, and move on with his life, no more troubles; but that she doesn't think that either of them are ready to move on. Or that she doesn't think that either of them are going to move on without a fight. "significant other? just say we were lovers, and we'll call it even".... could mean that she's telling him not to say that they were once serious, but that they were just lovers having some fun...this could imply that she, like he, thought that they were significant others of each other, but that upon the break-up, she realized that that could not be so, but he still believes that they were, things just changed--she knows they didn't change, it was like that from the beginning, but they didn't notice it until he was confronted with a choice: money and career, or her? That's when the schism happened.

    "i am the ground-zero ex-friend you ordered, disguised as a hero to get past your borders"... Well, 'ground zero' is probably a reference to the recognition of the men and women of the World Trade Center in NYC... I don't think it is so much a reference to the attacks of 9/11. So she is the 'acknowledging those hurt in a place that they thought was safe' ex-friend that he ordered. By saying that he ordered an ex-friend, I think she meant that he mistreated a friend (her). So she is his ex-friend because he mistreated her, and she is acknowledging that he hurt her when she thought that they had a good relationship.

    "i know when i'm wanted, i'll leave if you ask me to, mind my own business and speak when i'm spoken to" ...sounds like the words of a wounded child, which is probably hinting that he was cruel and she is the victim.

    "i am the tower around which you orbited, i am not proud i am just taking orders"...could mean that he used to revolve around her, and that she is not stating that fact with pride; rather, she is 'taking orders'...could he have ordered her to tell the truth, at some point in an argument happening during the schism? or had he questioned her actions at some point during the decline of the relationship before the schism?

    "i fall to the ground within hours of impact, i hit back when hit and attack when attacked"... once again, this sounds like a weakened child; crushed easily, and retaliates physically often without thinking about whether or not physical retaliation would actually help solve the problem

    "and if we should meet through some misunderstanding" is probably another way of saying "and if there is a dispute over the division of our property, and we end up on the same territory" .... "i'll be very sweet, very patient, and forgiving (now get off my side of the state)" is probably another way of saying "i'll be nice and forgiving about it, but then ask you to leave because if we're unsure of whose land this is, then we'll make it be mine; i am right, and i deserve it"...that is not necessarily her being greedy, but her being hurt and acting in a way that can only be expected of her

    "and if we should see one another in passing, despite these techniques, there is sometimes no avoiding (there must be some kind of mistake)" probably means that she doubts that there will not be a dispute such as the one described above...it also implies that their method of breaking-up was flawed

    "we'll raise high our white flags and bow heads and shake hands, declaring the land we're on unamerican" (i believe that the accurate lyrics are 'bow heads', not 'say hi') ... could mean that when a dispute occurs, they will simply call a TRUCE and then declare the land they're having a dispute over 'unamerican'... this could mean that they're calling it foreign, and thus neither of their land

    "i am an accident waiting to happen, i'm laughing like mad as you strangle the captain" ... could mean that she's like an accident-prone child, and that she's laughing while he does wrong things

    "my place may be taken, but make no mistake, from a little black box i can say without shame that you've lost"... this implies that he has found another 'significant other', but that he shouldn't be fooled and think that he has, because of that, won... the term 'black box' (in psychology, often a term meant to express the human mind) tells us that she knows that he lost but that she's keeping it within her own mind, her own knowledge..that she won't say it to him directly, because that might bring her shame, for ruining their relationship...this implies that she IS considerate of people in general, and that he is merely arrogant

    Lastly, I will attempt to 'paraphrase' the last part:
    "so take whatever you'd like"
    now i don't care about things being even when we have a dispute...you can just have it all
    "i'll strike like the states on fire"
    but don't expect me to not fight back once you take things
    "you won't sleep very tight, no hiding, no safe cover"
    you won't be comfortable after you take it all, because i will be fighting back, and you can't hide from my wrath
    "make your bed and now lie, just like you always do"
    set yourself up for trouble (in this case, by taking it all) and then suffer (in this case, from my wrath), just like you do in all scenarios
    "you can fake it for the papers but i'm on to you"
    you can lie to everyone else and at like you're the goodguy, like you're the victim, but i know your plan...i know the real you... i know that you're evil!!
    megziebooxoxoon December 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not too sure what this song is about specifically. In general terms it's about truces,how they're pretty common. I dunno but I love this song.
    lieutenantmammalon May 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about a breakup and they're pretty much agreeing just not to see each other anymore, ever, and it kinda depicts the lengths people who have been very intimate will go to in order to avoid post-relationship awkwardness.
    sweetpea_246on July 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentin the final verse particularly, this song makes a very candid political statement. the united states has made it's bed, and must now lie in it.
    fannyfritteron December 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the perfect song for that state when you've finished a relationship and you can only feel the distance between you.

    The way she sings it, softly - almost inaudible - makes me shiver. It highlights the timid state one finds themself in after a relationship..

    then the gradual building until she's angry and saying "I'll hit back if hit... You can fake it for the papers but I'm onto you" shows how sometimes the other member of the recently ended relationship can twist things around and she's saying "don't mess with the truth, it's what happened between us - don't go shouting it out, don't say mean things unless you can take them back."

    but that's just my interpretation.

    Love <3 the dolls.
    JDSalingeron January 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that their song, Boston, was written about the same relationship. I don't know, I just think it has similar emotion which was probably directed toward the same person.
    xImmune2Gravityxon February 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentxImmune2Gravityx : You're right, from what I can tell. Amanda has said that Boston is the "part one" to Truce. So I'm guessing that Boston is right before the breakup, and Truce would be after.
    errky39on July 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"i am an accident waiting to happen
    i'm laughing like mad while you strangle the captain
    my place may be taken, but make no mistake
    from a little black black box i can say without shame
    that you've lost do you know what you've lost?"

    My absolute favourite part of the song to me it seems as though 'she' is kind of floundering, and on the verge of like a breakdown or failure, while at the same time the ex is panicking and getting rid of evidence and/or silencing people (strangle the captain) but even though she has been hurt and lost control and things are falling, even from that point she can still say to him (black box = plane crash) that no matter what he does to her, no matter the difficulty of the situation the ex lost her and the 'war' even though he may have won a battle or two.
    dirty danceron July 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBy the way, since the old voice at the end of the CD belongs to this track, what do you think is that "thump thump" sound you hear between the words "Amanda, you're telling me fairy tales"? It just reminds me of some coocking instrument an old granny is using while she speaks :P
    RedGlowon August 13, 2005   Link

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