"Glory Box" as written by Isaac Hayes, Beth Gibbons, Geoffrey Paul Barrow and Adrian Francis Utley....
I'm so tired, of playing
Playing with this bow and arrow
Gonna give my heart away
Leave it to the other girls to play
For I've been a temptress too long
Just

Give me a reason to love you
Give me a reason to be, a woman
I just want to be a woman
From this time, unchained
We're all looking at a different picture
Through this new frame of mind
A thousand flowers could bloom
Move over, and give us some room

Give me a reason to love you
Give me a reason to be, a woman
I just want to be a woman

So don't you stop, being a man
Just take a little look from our side when you can
Sow a little tenderness
No matter if you cry
Give me a reason to love you
Give me a reason to be, a woman
It's all I want to be is all woman
For this is the beginning of forever and ever
It's time to move over

I'm so tired, of playing
Playing with this bow and arrow
Gonna give my heart away
Leave it to the other girls to play
For I've been a temptress too long
Just

Give me a reason to love you
Give me a reason to be


Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Glory Box" as written by Beth Gibbons Geoffrey Paul Barrow

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Glory Box song meanings
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  • +15
    General CommentThis is an honest and well-written song about a woman in a relationship who is frankly just tired of love being so complicated - she is ready to give her heart away and "leave it to the other girls to play" (great line). She wants her partner to try and see things from her side - "So don't you stop being a man, Just take a little look from our side if you can." His inability (or perhaps unwillingness) to do so is stopping her from just being able to love him the way she would like to.

    This is a timeless relationship song that far too many people aren't aware of. Certainly any woman who's been at that point in a relationship where things are starting to look very bleak can sympathize with Portishead's heartfelt lyrics. Also, lyricism aside, this is one of the best-sounding songs I've ever heard. The descending melody of the bass, the shimming strings, the distortion, and Portishead's voice - it is ALL just fantastic. I really love this song. And I always thought it would be great to give a striptease to. (Wink, wink). No, but seriously...
    MisSpiFFanyon May 01, 2002   Link
  • +12
    General CommentWow, there's a lot of you guys who actually didn't get the main point here, I think... louisagiffard is the only one who saw that this song is actualy pretty political.

    As I see things, this song is about trying to escape narrow gender roles - and the "us" who needs some room is not a man and a woman in a relationship, but all the girls out there who does not feel comfortable with just accepting to be a woman in a suppressed kinda way.

    This point is underscored by the video - all the actors are women, but with different interests and motives = there's a lot of ways to be a woman. Furthermore: as the singer is gay or at least bisexual, it would seem strange that she should have wrote this song just for celebrating conformity and motherhood. I think there's a lot of irony in this song, including the title.

    Basically, she says, that the men can be men as they like, but that they have to understand that women also must have the room to be women as they like - take a look from our side.
    Silleon June 15, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentYeah, this song is great. I wouldn't be surprised if "Glory Box" refers to to a piece of female anatomy (though the hope chest interpretation makes some sense and is less blatantly sexual for those who are bothered by it). This song ooooooozes sexuality in a film noir bad girl kind of way. It's gritty, sexual, smoky, tough, black and white (all the stuff that makes film noir).

    She's definitely been a player and is tired of it. She's ready for a change and "through this new frame of mind a thousand flowers could bloom." She's playing the siren, but wants someone to see it from her side and to make things change. She's hoping it will happen this time.

    This is a really brilliant and evocative song. "This is the beginning of forever and ever" makes me think maybe it might happen. It also reminds me of the last scene in the movie Wings of Desire. It's a kind of archetypal meeting of man and woman. Cool stuff.
    sbfisheron September 22, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General Commentthese lyrics are amazing...
    she is ready for that special someone to stick around and truly make her feel like a woman and embrace every curve of her femininty. shes hesitant and frustrated, perhaps sexually frustrated. she wants to be able to let down her defenses and surrender to her lover just as she expects him to surrender to her. she wants to make sure she is getting the real deal, no jack in the box shit. she is ready to be given the opportunity to grow into the rose that exists within her...and yes this song makes me want to take off my clothes... in a dark room with blue lights and smoke rising
    getondownon October 30, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentOk, well, I'm assuming I'm the only guy responding on this page so here are my thoughts. She's tired of shooting guys with cupids arrow. She wants to give it way to the girls who are how she used to be. She's met somebody new. Somebody she wants to get serious with. She wants it to work. I'm pretty sure glory box isn't referring to a dress in a box. Glory box is a certain part of the female anatomy. You know, the part that has power over men. Glory box rocks!!
    Roland Ripleyon March 17, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentMe and my girl were "playing" before we get togheter - we knew both wanted, but we were pretending nothing was happening cause we were both afraid, I guess. Then I was at her place once and this song came up on the playilist, and she looked at me like she meant every single word of the song being sang. And so I kissed her :-)

    This is really the sexiest song ever written.
    albotrindadeon December 19, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWow..in my opinion manuel.jose.ribeiro, you totally didn't get it when you said "ok Temptress as an alluring, bewitching woman, she also fools around then � I can only guess that the photographer in the video clip gives HIM pictures of her with the other guy" if you watch the clip..well..beth is in drag and I understand the photographs to be compromising photographs revealing that Male role Beth (who is presumably passing as male) is a woman, possibly intimately involved with another woman in the picture. I sincerely doubt there are pictures of Male Role beth with a man, since Male Role Beth is behaving like a typically heterosexual man in the video...only when he goes back to his room...Male Role Beth (for want of a better word) is sort of..well..tired of passing, but doesn't know what to do about his/her sexuality...

    As stated by the video director (I think) the lyrics could be interpreted about being transgender.
    I do think it's very LGBT and as someone who is gay herself..I understand about the struggle of sexuality..all this "I just want to be a woman" and "don't you stop being a man" stuff...well..when you're a gay woman (and it is possible Beth is, just putting it out there...) even in these times when it's more accepted, it can be very confusing..sometimes you actually think it would be easier to be male...as you'd be more accepted as male, and you don't actually feel like a "proper" woman...and to me this song does seem to be about confusion related to sexuality. "Give me a reason to love you, give me a reason to be a woman..." is sort of like..well..someone who is confused about their sexuality and doesn't know whether they're ready to settle down with a woman, as opposed to being flirtateous but scared of long term commitment because they're scared of vilification.

    "So don't you stop, being a man
    Just take a little look from our side when you can"
    seems to be about..well..men who wouldn't understand whether this someone, with their liking for women..is a threat to their masculinity. She's basically saying "you don't have to dumb down or anything but just please try to understand why I'm not interested in you/men."

    She/the someone wants to be accepted, and wants to settle down and stop being so flighty as she's tired of being scared of her sexuality and of commitment. And you can want very much to be involved with the same gender..but just be scared, of where to start, of what to do and you just sort of want..people to make the decision for you, to pursue you for a change instead of you wanting to go after women and being frightened of it.

    Well that's how I understand it.
    louisagiffardon March 21, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentShe is tired of the drama and games that come with relationships that haven't reached the level of mutual respect, caring, and surrender.
    She has played with her share of men, and she is tired of playing. She wants to be real. She wants a real, authentic relationship of genuine care and surrender. She is asking the man she is currently with to surrender to her also... not have a one-sided, power-imbalanced relationship (like most tradition male-female relationships). She is asking him to be vulnerable for her... i.e., grant her the power to see him vulnerable.
    mriuriaon February 19, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentbut.... she also wants to need him... i. e. be vulnerable for him. So that's why she said "I just wanna be a woman." But .. what i'm saying is, she doesn't want to be bound up in that role.
    mriuriaon February 19, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is an excellent example of how one feels at times with out being able to acually explain it
    Niamon June 14, 2004   Link

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