In my platforms I hit the floor
Fell face down
Didn't help my brain out
Then the baby came before I found
The magic how to keep her happy
I never was the fantasy
Of what you want wanted me to be
Don't judge me so harsh little girl
So you got a playboy mommy
But when you tell em my name
And you want to cross that bridge all on your own
Little girl they'll do you no harm
Cause they know your playboy mommy
But when you tell em my name
From here to Birmingham
I got a few friends

I never was there was there when it counts
I get my way
You're so like me
You seemed ashamed
Ashamed that I was
A good friend of American soldiers
I'll say it loud here by your grave
Those angels can't ever take my place

Somewhere where the the orchids grow
I can't find those church bells
That played when you died
Played Gloria
Talkin' 'bout Hosanah

Don't judge me so harsh little girl
You got a playboy mommy, come home
But when you tell them soldiers my name
Cross that bridge all on your own
Little girl they'll do you no harm
They know your playboy mommy
But I'll be home
I'll be home to take you in my arms


Lyrics submitted by Novartza

Playboy Mommy Lyrics as written by Tori Ellen Amos

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

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Playboy Mommy song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment

    A lot of the previous comments really nailed it on the head, but I just feel this song's story/details may need just a bit more clarrification. When she mentions Birmingham, I believe she's referring to Birmingham, Alabama, and since it obviously takes place during war time, I would assume this takes place during the US Civil War. During the Civil War, many prostitutes made a living by following the armies, and sleeping with the traveling soldiers. I believe the narrator is one of those women, proven in lines such as "...ashamed that I was, a good friend of American soldiers." and how she refers to herself as a "Playboy Mommy." And, since birth control was far from advanced back then, this 'playboy mommy' must have gotten pregnant during her 'service.' However, she seemed happy to have a baby, despite not really knowing how to take care of it or keep it happy. And, she was both sad and ashamed to lose it. She asks the child why she wasn't good enough. Was it because she was a prostitute? Because she slept with soldiers? She asks the child not to judge her so hard, and tells her that angels can never take the place of a mother. 'Crossing the bridge' is a metaphor for crossing into the afterlife for the child. "Little girl they'll do you no harm, 'cause they know your playboy mommy." The soldiers she tells the child about are also dead, and must have been men she had know and slept with in life, and they won't hurt the child since they knew her mother. Also, because it's most likely that she was imprgenated by a soldier, it's also possibe to imply that one of these dead soldiers may be the child's father. Throughout the song she asks the child to "come home", as if begging the child to come back to her. But, finally in the end she says "But I'll be home; I'll be home to take you in my arms..." maing one day, she herself will die, and will fly to the child to hold her in Heaven.

    MelDaCaton May 23, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    "Playboy Mommy dealt with my feelings of rejection - 'wasn't I enough to be your mother, didn't you want me? Well, don't come, then. Go choose some little right-wing Christian for your mother.' It's a human response."

    ""I was pregnant," she softly states. "I got pregnant on tour, it was a surprise, but I was deeply thrilled about it. I was almost three months pregnant... Christmas '96... and I miscarried. And it was very difficult. The sorrow was just really deep. I know some people who've gone through it and they move on quickly. Everybody responds differently to a loss. I got quite attached to the spirit of this being....It was a girl. That's why on Playboy Mommy, I sing, 'Don't judge me so harsh, little girl.' I had so many responses to it before I could get to the place where I am now. You see people hit their kids in stores and you just go, What force of judgment gives these people these little lives? I have a lot of questions right now. I know it's a free-will planet. Things happen. But you know that saying, Bad things don't happen to good people? That's a painful lie, and it hits you on such a core-level. I know now that I have an appreciation for the miracle of life that I didn't have, but I don't believe in the saying that it all happens for the best... it's just not appropriate."

    "This woman in Playboy Mommy, she'll swallow. She'll swallow a billion seeds to protect this little girl."

    merchantpierceon May 04, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I am actually quite sure this song is about miscarriage> :-(

    MadGoaton August 16, 2012   Link
  • +1
    Memory

    A long long time ago...

    I sang this song in a talent show at my school. My teachers thought it was crazy because of the title and obviously they never heard of it.

    I had to sing in front of the principles and teachers first to get the song approved. so it made me a little nervous.

    I didnt wanna change the song because i loved it and i also adore the music at the beginning before the Lyrics. So eventually i had convinced them to let me sing this song. I had came in 2nd place and I listen to this song so many times.

    I love the Symbolism and Feelings that tori puts in this song. LOVE IT!

    TalkingToTheNorthernLightson April 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    I wonder if this was partially inspired by Pamela Anderson. A real 'Playboy Mommy' who had a miscarriage in 1995 because of her lifestyle.

    CharMarRuleson February 08, 2023   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Very emotional! very coming into terms with ones' self and one's past

    Maverick_Matthewon February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "I'll say it loud here by your grave, those angels can't ever take my place."

    I suppose this is a line every woman that has dealt with miscarriage can identify with. It speaks volumes: 'Why did you leave me? You will never find a better mother!'

    Truly one of the best songs I have ever heard, makes me cry every single time I listen to it.

    formiculaon December 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    formicula, you've got it... I had a miscarriage in early 2005, I was 19, and I wanted that baby. No matter what anyone else told me... When I told my mum I might be pregnant (OK, she guessed -- we've got a very intuitive, close relationship), she told me it wasn't time yet for me, that I wasn't ready. And when I lost the baby... I named her Rebecca and said goodbye, but I didn't really get over the loss for almost a year. I've changed my life majorly since then, and sometimes I still get teary-eyed. I felt like a "playboy mommy" then, being told I was too young and not good enough. A playboy mommy who quit smoking and partying the second she found out she was pregnant and still felt terrible about her "bad" behaviour...

    Salineon August 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i understand it is about her miscarriage. but when she says, "i never was the fantasy of what you want, wanted me to be" i really really feel that stuff.

    kimilouwhoon August 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I love all Tori's stuff. Even if I can't always figure out exactly what she is trying to say, I can make her music mean to me what I need it to mean at that particular moment in my life. I actually heard something interesting about the first line of the song. She talks about how devasted she was about her miscarriage and how she had written the entire song but couldn't get the first line down. She was in Europe with a couple of friends and was in her hotel room which had a large staircase. Of course she had her signature platform shoes on and was on her way down the stairs to talk to her friends and fell all the way down the stairs. She got up and said "Oh my God, I have the first line". She is such an amazing artist. She is so much better live than she is on any album.

    m_lemmingon November 10, 2006   Link

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