"Front Row" as written by Alanis Nadine Morissette and Glen Ballard....
(I know he's blood but you can still turn him away you
Don't owe him anything)

Do you go to the dungeon?
To find out how to make peace with your days in the dungeon
Writing a letter to you didn't make me feel any more peaceful than how I felt when we weren't speaking
Because I didn't cop to what I did
I can't love you because we're supposed to have professional boundaries.
I'd like you to be schooled and in awe
As though you were kissed by god full on the lips

[Chorus]
I'm in the front row
The front row with popcorn
I get to see you
See you, close up

(I'm too tired to recount the
Unpleasantries one by one
Minute I want to banish you
The next I want to be on
A deserted island with you along with my three favorite CDs
Ambivalent yet in your
Bed we've yet to acknowledge what really happened)

Slid into the ditch
I have this overwhelming loss of ambition
We said let's name thirty good reasons
Why we shouldn't be together
I started by saying things like "you smoke" "you live in new jersey"
You started saying things like "you belong to the world"
All of which could have been easily refuted
But the conversation was hypothetical
I am totally short of breath for you
Why can't you shut your stuff off

[Chorus]

(and I laughed until my lungs hurt
I love how you bust my chops
You don't always feel seen sometimes you feel erasable
Unfortunately I cannot reciprocate in my current state
I think we should be careful of how much time we spend together)

For a while while I'm speaking
To you know how much you hate to be interrupted, maybe spend some time alone
Fill up your proverbial cup so that it doesn't always have to be about you
I've been wanting your undivided attention
I like the fact that you're nothing like me
Are you not burdened by the lack of perspective people have of your charmed life seemingly

[Chorus]

(you never meant to be ungrateful
Nor held up to be whipped or wept for certainly not analyzed
Prodded at more ways than one
Apparently you've been misrepresented
Dealing with the concept of arrows being
Slung towards your outrageous fortune)

Hey I'm not mad at you guardian
I'm mad at myself for spending so much time with you and your Jekyll and Hydeness
I'm glad I figuratively slapped you on the wrist
You laughed a wicked laugh and said "come here let me clip your wings!"
(I know he's blood but you can still turn him away you
Don't owe him anything)
"raise the roof" he yelled "yeah raise the roof!" I yelled back
(unfortunately you needed a health scare to reprioritize.)
No thanks to the soap box
Having me rile against them
Won't make an ounce of difference

[Chorus]

(oh the things I've done for you
Many a stitch a friend
A man's been left for you
Oh the books I've read for you
The tongues I've bitten for you
Many a new city for you
Many a risk taken for you
Not a single regret)


Lyrics submitted by Lamia

"Front Row" as written by Alanis Nadine Morissette Glen Ballard

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY

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Front Row song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +3
    My InterpretationI always think of this song & it gets stuck in my head when I in a bad relationship. I think it's indeed about her reflecting on bad relationships with both family and her hockey playing ex. I will add that I think it directly deals with how she at one point was so bogged down while in the relationship withe hockey player that she couldn't see how bad things were but hindsights 20-20 so now that she reflects back on it, as she does in this song, she truly gets a front row seat on the chaos of why it was so wrong and was so dysfuntional.
    EternalTearsOfSorrowon March 08, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think she feels kind of inadequate and inferior to her lover... He's kind of like a movie star to her, and she's just in the front row. Hopeless devoted, but not on the same level.
    Or...?
    Buddha of Suburbiaon November 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentobviously, she resents her lover for something lol
    Auroreon December 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know he's blood but you can still turn him away you don't owe him anything!
    What an intro and what a line. This song to me is almost like a breathless rant in song form about a relationship with someone that is enjoyed in the sense that you can talk about it like that but would never last in the long run. Truly awesome
    WunderEnigmaon January 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I'm in the front row with the popcorn. I get to see you close up."

    She finally get's to see him for what he is, she's so close. "I'm mad at myself for being around your jekyl and hydeness"
    icarusisfalling1on March 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy take on the line "I know he's blood but you can still turn him away, you don't owe him anything" makes me think of someone who doesn't have a good relationship with their father. He gave life to this person, but she still doesn't owe him a thing because that's all he did. I'm not sure how it would fit into the rest of the song, but anyways...
    thatdamnfelion September 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about her "relationships" in general being caustic. In the beginning ( know he's blood but you can still turn him away, you don't owe him anything ) is a reference to a temultious relationship with her father. Another ode to the Father relationship theory is in this verse
    (hey i'm not mad at you guardian i'm mad at myself for spending so much time with you and your
    jeckyl and hydeness i'm glad i figuratively slapped you on the wrist you laughed a wicked laugh
    and said "come here let me clip your wings!"
    (i know he's blood but you can still turn him away you
    don't owe him anything) "raise the roof" he yelled "yeah raise the roof!" I yelled back (unfortunately
    you needed a health scare to repriortize.) no thanks to the soap box. having me rile against them
    won't make an ounce of difference) In that verse she is saying she's not mad at her father or guardian...she's mad at spending so much time with him cause he had multiple personalities and was not very good health wise or didn't take care of himself (unfortunately
    you needed a health scare to repriortize.)

    (i started by saying things like "you smoke" "you live in new jersey (too far)"
    Another relationship also that threads or interlaces the song is the one with her boyfriend, maybe the hockey star she wrote jagged little pill over, when she broke up with him. I think him being a hockey star and being in New Jersey placed such a strain on their relationship that getting to know the real him up close was hard and so when she finally did see him up close for who he was, she was not too happy with what she saw him to be. (in my
    current state i think we should be careful of how much time we spend together) She's reconsidering whether she wants to carry on seeing him as much as she has, allowing herself to get too close to someone she isn't sure about.


    (.....for a while while i'm speaking to you know how much you hate to be interrupted maybe spend some
    time alone fill up your proverbial cup so that it doesn't always have to be about ) This is my favorite verse, so here goes my interpretation of it. Well this is her ex, the hockey player, here she is wrestling with him having an oversized ego and her wanting to have conversations with him that don't just include hin talking about himself....:o) I love it. Go Alanis ;o)
    Moonlapse_Vertigoon December 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like this song. Everytime I listen to it new lines seem to stick out and grab my attention.

    I like the part:

    "we said let's name thirty good reasons
    why we shouldn't be together
    i started by saying things like 'you smoke' 'you live in new jersey (too far)'
    you started saying things like 'you belong to the world'
    all of which could have been easily refuted
    but the conversation was hypothetical
    I am totally short of breath for you
    why can't you shut your stuff off...... "

    The relationship is so negative that they're trying to come up with reasons to break up. He speaks abstractly and says she belongs to the world . . . she's famous perhaps, or she travels all the time and isn't there for him in a physical sense. She says he lives in NJ and smokes . . . things that can be changed. Then, she relizes that all of this brainstorming isn't going to change anything because she is so into him . . . an emotional-mental bond rather than physical . . . she asks why he can't shut his stuff off . . . probably referring to the way his mind works and how she loves that despite the fact that the relationship isn't working.

    i also like the line:

    "You laughed a wicked laugh and said 'come here, yet me clip your wings"

    She recognizes that being with him is causing her to lose her spirit and freedom. In a way it seems like she admires him so much that she neglects her own thoughts and opinions . . . she's infatuated and it's taking away part of who she is. Perhaps this goes back to his reason for why they should break up . . . "you belong to the world" He wants to ground her and prevent her from traveling and doing what she wants to do. He wants to clip her wings and keep her to himself . . . like a pet bird. The very thing she likes most about him (his mind and freedom) is what he wants to supress in her.
    Kibouon June 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love the first line to this song
    i know hes blood but your can't still turn him anyway you don't owe him anything
    and then the music starts.
    mlfm256on April 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have two hearts about this song. The theories are as follows:
    1.) It seems almost incestuous ("I know he's blood but you can still turn him away, you don't owe him anything" and "Hey I'm not mad at you guardian" and the "health scare"). It could be about loving a person who isn't direct family, but is somehow related (hence the tidbit about living in New Jersey). That would explain not wanting to get together, but somehow being unable to stop.
    2.) It is about a relationship with a lover who loves the spotlight.

    Apart from that, I love the song. I recall someone said earlier its just like a rant and yes, that's part of why I love it.
    Fishfisheateaton April 19, 2009   Link

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