You know how us Catholic girls can be
We make up for so much time a little too late
I never forgot it, confusing as it was
No fun with no guilt feelings
The sinners, the saviors, the lover-less priests
I'll see you next Sunday

We all had our reasons to be there
We all had a thing or two to learn
We all needed something to cling to
So we did

I sang Alleluia in the choir
I confessed my darkest deeds to an envious man
My brothers they never went blind for what they did
But I may as well have
In the name of the Father, the skeptic and the Son
I had one more stupid question

We all had our reasons to be there
We all had a thing or two to learn
We all needed something to cling to
So we did

What I learned I rejected, but I believe again
I will suffer the consequence of this inquisition
If I jump in this fountain, will I be forgiven?

We all had our reasons to be there
We all had a thing or two to learn
We all needed something to cling to
So we did

We all had delusions in our head
We all had our minds made up for us
We had to believe in something
So we did

We all had our reasons to be there
We all had a thing to learn
We all needed something to cling to
So we did

So we did, ooh, I, I, I
So we did


Lyrics submitted by Boonechic_21

Forgiven Lyrics as written by Alanis Nadine Morissette Glen Ballard

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

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Forgiven song meanings
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37 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment

    Its about how religion tries to hide young people form learning about sex. I'm somewhat religious so I'm not going to say anythign bad. This song shows how a young person was curious about sex but was made to feel guilty about it and believeing that a religious practice would clean her mind of it all. I don't think people should be restricted as much as they are from learning about sex, yes be taught how to be careful but no-one will stop people from having sex, especialy not parents. Alanis Morissette is fantastic at expressing her views in a hidden way. The meanings of her songs are not obvious. Fantastic though.

    Surrenderyouregoon March 31, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I have to agree that it's about sexuality specifically. It can be applied to Catholicism in general, but I hear the repressed sexuality. The opening lines say, "You know how us Catholic girls can be / We make up for so much time a little too late." The stereotype of a Catholic school girl is that sexual innocence. She makes references to the celibate priests, and mentions "My brothers, they never went blind for what they did / But I may as well have." It's that double standard: guys are supposed to "get lucky" but girls are expected to resist, like we should have more control. So stupid. Anyway, I think the way she alludes to the Trinity is interesting; instead of saying the Holy Ghost, she mentions "the Skeptic". It's like part of religion for her is cynicism, like her disbelief that she should be submitted to so many restraints. All in all, this is one of my favorite songs.

    LittleBriddieon June 27, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I wonder if Alanis Morissette was asked to play as God in Kevin Smith's movie Dogma because of this song? :D

    Flyingtreemonkeyon July 09, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    First of all, I have to say, "The sinners, the saviors, the loverless priests / I'll see you next Sunday" is one of my all-time favorite phrases from a song, as well as "In the name of the Father, the Skeptic and the Son / I had one more stupid question." I think it's sort of short-sighted to claim that this song is based on sex. It certainly plays a role in the song, as explained above by the masturbation/blindness comments.

    I think the meaning is pretty straightforward. She speaks of Catholicism and the way it uses it's teachins to ensure people have "no fun with no guilt feelings." The fact that she "had one more stupid question" says, perhaps, that Christians tend not to question their religion much, and just accept it because it's all they've ever known and they feel like if their faith wavers, they'll somehow lose touch with God.

    I also love the part about the fountain...

    zakkuchanon July 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    A lot you have danced around the issue or just don't know the answer here. The song is about sex, orgnized collective repression, the way the organization interferred with daily family life. Sex: masturbation, desire and the actual act of sex are all denied to beleivers of God, naturally, however the church and parents fear of embarrassment/dishonor caused numerous lies to be told to their children to prevent such acts. There was the problem along, instead of telling children the truth about self-pleasure, fornication and the real life consequences parents lied, you'll go blind, poke an eye out and other crap. Once children realized their parents lied about this, about Santa and other fictitious things, children hesitate to beleive in and obey their parents. Hence the state of America today. The fact that sex is denied to members of the clergy at every level, is one that the organization has wrestled with for a very long time. However, it does bear reminding, the church is the last remnants of the Roman Empire and they greatly enjoyed engaging in specific sexual acts with boys. Though they found it to be disrespectful to perform sodomy on anyone. They would place their penis between a boys' oiled legs and you can imagine the rest. Even Aristotle had his boy-lover, a wife and children. This song is one of her best. The repression the church taught is what shaped the world into its current state. No I am not saying we should all live like its the 60's. But I found the truth about these acts and the real life consequnces are more effective: God said to share that act with your spouse and only that person, homosexuality is dead wrong and goes against nature (no babies can be made then it has no function other than hedonsim) and the fact that unwanted pregnancies and disease spreading occurs. These are things we should openly discuss with our kids at the right age. F--- the lies that Europe has spread all the way over here. It is time to be real with our kids. I make it a point of honor to never lie to my kids, I explain things in an age appropriate manner-- no lies included.

    ShawnPennedEmotionson June 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I agree with Surrenderyourego and LittleBriddie. But I see another moment here:

    "We make up for so much time a little too late" could mean that at certain point she decided to rush into something after years of restrain. She had a very negative experience due to her being inexperienced and now she is desperate and sees no other exit but to return to faith (the "...but I believe again..." part).

    soboton March 30, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i didnt get it..u said 'no one will stop ppl from having sex?anyways alanis morisette write little meaningful phrases here and there which stand out from the rest of the song...well in this song i thougt so..its amazing and so true

    AYUL1234on April 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    wow i didn't realise that was what the song was about but it all makes sense now... cheers!

    squeezeon June 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I like this song... I haven't heard it in a really long time but I totally agree with Surrenderyour ego....

    :)

    OzzyGurlyon July 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    well i think all her songs are written from her own experiences, i have taken this song a bit more literally though there r proably some hidden meanings. i dont always see them though. maybe ur right about it guys, who knows?

    artyon July 09, 2002   Link

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