"Ampersand" as written by and Amanda Palmer....
I walk down my street at night
The city lights are strange and violent
I am comforted by the approaching sounds of trucks and sirens
Even though the world's so bad
These men rush out to help the dying
And though I am no use to them
I do my part by simply smiling

The ghetto boys are catcalling me
As I pull my keys from my pocket
I wonder if this method of courtship
Has ever been effective
Has any girl in history said
Sure, you seem so nice, let's get it on
Still, I always shock them when I answer
Hi my name's Amanda
And I'm not gonna live my life on one side of an ampersand
And even if I went with you I'm not the girl you think I am
And I'm not gonna match you
'Cause I'll lose my voice completely yeah
I'm just gonna watch you
'Cause I'm not the one that's crazy
Yeah

I have wasted years of my life
Agonizing up at the fires
It started when I thought that to be strong you must be flame retardant
And now to dress the wounds cause into question
How authentic they are
There is always someone criticizing me
She just likes paying hospital
Lying in my bed
I remember what you said
There's no such thing as accidents

But you've got the headstone all ready
All craved up and pretty
Your sick satisfaction
Those his and hers matching
The daisies all push up'n
Pairs to the horizons
Your hands full of ketchup
It's nice that you're trying
The headstone's all ready
All carved up and pretty
Your sick satisfaction
Those his and hers matching
The daises all push up'n
Pairs to the horizons
Your eyes full of ketchup
It's nice that you're trying

And I'm not gonna live my life on one side of an ampersand
And even if I went with you I'm not the girl you think I am
And I'm not gonna match you
'Cause I'll lose my voice completely yeah
I'm just gonna watch you
Cause I'm not the one that's crazy
Yeah
I'm not the one that's crazy
Yeah…

As I wake up to a cough
The blaze consumed the block
But poetically stopped at my apartment
And my housemates are all sleeping soundly
And nobody deserves to die
But you were awful adamant
That if I didn't love you
Then you have just one alternative

And I may be romantic
And I may risk my life for it
But I ain't gonna die for you
You know I ain't no Juliet
And I'm not gonna watch you wanna burn yourself out baby
No I'm not gonna stop you
'Cause I'm not the one that's crazy, yeah
I'm not the one that's crazy, yeah
I'm not the one that's crazy…


Lyrics submitted by zweiundzwei, edited by DugaldLowis

"Ampersand" as written by Amanda Palmer

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Ampersand song meanings
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37 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentThis song does talk about one specific relationship, but in general, its saying that you can't let your relationships define you. You are a whole person, with or without your significant other. Literally: "I am Amanda Palmer. I am a whole person. I am not half of Amanda & So-and-so."
    MrsO426on October 07, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentMrsO is right here.
    the bit about the Ghetto boys proves it

    "i always shock them when i answer "hi, my name's Amanda'"
    literally "i am not some chick who's not even going to sleep with you. i am Amanda, i am my own person."
    mixitupon September 26, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song had to grow on me, but now that it has a like it a lot.

    I agree with others- it's about not wanting to be the other half to someone else's whole. When I listen to the song I get the image of a slightly obsessive ex boyfriend who plays the "I can't live without you/you're my everything" card - "but you were awful adament that if I didn't love you then you have just one alternative". To me this song is a response to that sort of behaviour - that she can only be herself, and has no time for the concept of only being seen as one half of "you & me". It's the realisation that it's this very sort of thinking that drives a person crazy, and if you enter into it you "lose your voice completely".
    ephteeon November 08, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI really like the fact that although the song IS about her inability to commit and be half of a pair... It also adds that extra slighty unbalanced nature so typical of her work. If you read the lyrics carefully, you realise that the thread of it is as follows...

    She walks past a group of firefighters.
    She reaches home and talks to the boys (highlighting her expression of personal freedom)
    She contemplates her past fascination with fire, and with her partner.
    She realises that he is all into commitment and she is not.
    She leaves him.
    She wakes up and the fire she saw earlier has "ironically" burnt down the whole bock except her apartment.


    Why is this ironic.... It is because SHE STARTED THE FIRE!

    She is in FACT! the crazy one in the song... or IS she?


    This layering of Palmer's songs are what makes them fascinating as lyrics. And the music totally contemplates this multiplicity.
    salparadiseliveson February 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"I walk down my street at night
    The city lights are cold and violent
    I am comforted by the approaching sound of trucks and sirens
    Even though the world's so bad, these men rush out to help the dying
    And though I am no use to them, I do my part by simply smiling"
    It's an endless cycle of the same old shitty relationships. I agree that the 'flames' are referring to previous break-ups. It seems like verybody ahs better luck then she does. Everyone is always getting help and she's stuck in one place with no way to get out.


    "The ghetto boys are catcalling me
    As I pull my keys from my pocket
    I wonder if this method of courtship has ever been effective
    Has any girl in history said "Sure, you seem so nice, let's get it on"
    Still, I always shock them when I answer, "Hi, my name's Amanda"
    It's one side of the "ampersand". This particular side is referring to the men who onnly want sex out of a relationship. All she wants is to be treated as a person i.e "Hi, my name's Amanda."


    "And I'm not gonna live my life on one side of an ampersand
    And even if I went with you, I'm not the girl you think I am
    And I'm not gonna match you, 'cause I'll lose my voice completely
    No, I'm just gonna watch you, 'cause I'm not the one that's crazy"
    It goes with the second verse. She doesn't want to constantly be in a relationship like that. No matter how much she tries to argue that's how it seems it's always going to be, so she's just not going to waste her breath trying to get something out of nothing. She's wondering if she's crazy for actually wanting a meaningful relationship.


    "I have wasted years of my life agonizing about the fires I started
    When I thought that to be strong, you must be flame retardant
    And now to dress the wounds calls into question how authentic they are
    There's always someong criticizing me: "She just likes playing hospital"
    Lying in my bed, I remember what you said: "There's no such thing as accidents"
    She looks back on previous relationships and thinks about how much they were fucked up and how the seemed to just go up in flames. But, she does nothing about it because she thinks you HAVE to be strong to survive and wouldn't let anyone see her true emotions. It goes back to people always telling her that she had to be strong constantly becasue when she wasn't "she was just playing hospital."


    "But you've got the headstone all ready, all drawn up and pretty
    Your sick satisfaction, those his and hers matching
    The headstone's all push up'n, pairs to the horizon
    Your eyes full of ketchup, it's nice that you're trying

    The headstone's all ready, all carved up and pretty
    Your sick satisfaction, those his and hers matching
    The daisies all push up'n, pairs to the horizon
    Your eyes full of ketchup, it's nice that you're trying"
    The side of the "ampersand" The relationship isn't just based on sex and has no meaning. But, in this case he's past the point of obssesion. If he dies she dies. If she dies he dies. He already has the headstones picked out for some "Romeo and Juliet" type of deal.


    "But I'm not gonna live my life on one side of an ampersand
    And even if I went with you, I'm not the girl you think I am
    And I'm not gonna match you, 'cause I'll lose my voice completely
    No, I'm just gonna watch you, 'cause I'm not the one that's crazy"

    Ties in with the previous verse. She doesn't want to just have a relationship like that. There comes a point where there can be too much love and too much dependency. And yet, it seems like to matter what she always finds herself with the 'crazy' ones. Once again she wonders if she, herself is crazy for wanting an enjoyable realtionship...

    "As I wake up to a cough, the fire burned the block but ironically
    Stopped at my apartment and my housemates are all sleeping soundly
    And nobody deserves to die for you were awful adament
    That if I didn't love you then you had just one alternative"
    He tried killing her for love by setting her apartment on fire, which strangley stopped at her apartment. He was madly in love with her, but she wasn't with him. She wasn't willing to die for love in this, he on the other hand was and that's why he tried to kill her. [like romeo and juliet]

    "And I may be romantic and I may risk my life for it
    But I ain't gonna die for you, you know I ain't no Juliet
    And I'm not gonna match, 'cause I'll lose my voice completely
    No, I'm just gonna watch you, 'cause I'm not the one that's crazy "
    She would be willing to risk her life for the one she loved in a relationship, but not in this case. She thinks she's crazy for actually wanting something from the other side of the amersand and not contantly having to live on this particular side where her relationships fail and she's not happy what-so-ever.
    Poop_Faceon May 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnd "I'm not gonna live my life on one side of an ampersand" is such a strong, feminist statement, love it. Amen.
    missmeon April 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove this song, not sure about how correct the lyrics are though.
    it's actually..

    I have wasted years of my life
    Agonizing about the fires
    It started when I thought that to be strong you must be flame retardant
    And now to dress the wounds calls into question
    How authentic they are
    k1mberrleeon January 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentshe changes her lyrics alot...theres probably lots of different versions. i got mine from her myspace. its an amzin sone. ill coment again later.
    same old blood rushon January 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere's an "l" missing:
    She just likes paying hospital
    ^
    flocuon January 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAmpersand is about unrequited love withing a relationship. (It can happen, I've been there.)
    Eventually, and inevitably, there comes a time when you get fed up with always being the one to call, to care, to love, and not get anything in return.

    Perhaps this one's linked to "Boston?"
    __ampersandon June 03, 2007   Link

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