So I ran faster
But it caught me here
Yes my loyalties turned
Like my ankle
In the seventh grade
Running after billy
Running after the rain

These precious things
Let them bleed
Let them wash away
These precious things
Let them break
Their hold on me

He said you're really an ugly girl
But I like the way you play
And I died
But I thanked him
Can you believe
That sick
Holding on to his picture
Dressing up every day
I want to smash the faces
Of those beautiful boys
Those christian boys
So you can make me cum
That doesn't make you jesus

These precious things
Let them bleed
Let them wash away
These precious things
Let them break
Their hold on me

I remember
In my peach party dress
No one dared
No one cared
To tell me
Where the pretty girls are
Those demigods
With their nine-inch nails
And a little fascist panties
Tucked inside the heart
Of every nice girl

These precious things
Let them bleed
Let them wash away
These precious things
Let them break
Let them wash away

These precious things
Let them bleed now
Let them wash away
These precious things
Let them break

Precious, precious

Lyrics submitted by Novartza

Precious Things Lyrics as written by Tori Amos

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Precious Things song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentI adore this song. It makes my spine tingle.
    What I get from it is that it's about being used by guys in high school. She's not one of the "pretty girls", so they don't want her for anything else but sex. The line "He said 'you're really an ugly girl/but I like the way you play'" is significant; "play" ie, fuck.
    The guys are using her, she wants to "smash the faces" of these guys, but yet she is still "dressing up everyday" to impress them, all because they're popular, "beautiful".
    The "pretty girls" are not being used, she's not one of them; she doesn't know where they are. Comparing popular girls to "demi gods" is wonderful; so true of high school, if you're popular, you basically are a demi-god.
    All her memories of these times are her "precious things", and she wants to wash them away, so she forgets them.
    "Let them bleed": they are bloody, painful memories.
    "Let them break their hold on me": they take her over, she can't forget them, but she wants to. The boys also had a hold on her; she didn't want to be doing these things, but she still did because they were "beautiful".
    Some of the best lines EVER in songwriting to me are "So you can make me cum/That doesn't make you Jesus". Quite a lot of men think that if they can please a girl sexually they are some kind of God, but she's saying that actually, they're not at all. Being good at sex and a good person are two completely different things.
    missmeon March 06, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI feel this song is about her early years in the music industry. Trying to break onto the scene in her own way, "girl with a piano" style and being rejected.

    I think she’s referring to her really early start in music, playing at age 4 and being accepted at Peabody. She felt like she was off to a really great start, but the idea of getting signed turned her priorities, and she stumbled.

    Precious Things is about trying to absolve herself of the disappointment she felt in herself for getting caught up in the popular image, and trying to make herself into something fake. She needs to sing; to bleed and wash away how much the rejection hurt, and how much it hurt when she was called a “bimbo” by billboard mag. I think she’s hoping by writing it down and singing about the pain it will help exorcise those demons.

    “He said you're really an ugly girl, But I like the way you play” is the record exec or whoever, saying “You don’t have the look. And that is what’s important in music right now.” She was so heartbroken and embarrassed, she just thanked him for saying she didn’t suck at playing. She knows it’s dysfunctional that she didn’t stand up for herself; she was groveling, basically. She keeps holding on to his card, and wearing the trendy trashy stuff, hoping to make it. (If you get the chance, look up the video for Tori’s song “Big Picture” on and you’ll see what I mean.)

    I think she felt upset at how the pretty boys were getting all the attention. It didn’t matter if they were good musicians or could write; just how they looked with their cockatoo hair and butt-rock painted-on pants. “So you can make me cum, That doesn’t make you Jesus” He can deliver the thing she really wants, being signed to a label, but he’s not really anything in the big scheme of the world.

    I think the “peach party dress” bit is about how she didn’t know where she fit in; she couldn’t figure out the party to be at to get into the “in” crowd, musically. I see her in like a really pretty ruffled thing, and all the other girls are in red miniskirts. She’s trying to be worth something for who she is, not as a sex object.

    So, that’s my long ramble. It may be well off-base, but that’s what I think of with this song, knowing some of her story and what she’s gone through in trying to make it.

    One of the things I find most alluring in Tori’s lyrics is how so many people can relate; we all find different facets we can grasp and identify with, and I think all the different views are valid. I feel that Tori really tries to make her songs something that people can relate to; even the weird phrases, people can find a frame of reference. Something in the song speaks to us, individually; and that’s one of the great things about her work.
    zipperwhippedon August 04, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Commentit's very hard to me to listen to a song and not to view some kind of images, like clip in my head and this one of my favorite even though not the one to make me Tori Amos fan.

    to me it's talking a phase of life, of growth, of mistakes, of everything first or everything too damn unaware, it's explores around all the edges and can be just memory of grown woman, memories that effect her to this day.

    about the ugly and pretty and poplaur which are important factor at the song yet the song can be even of a very beautiful/talented/popluar girl, although mostly because she lost that thing that made her all that things or she got sick of it or she realise that she never was actually one.

    I don't know, I have favorite character from computer game fits within the little clip I see inside my mind each time I hear this song.
    Tifa Lockhart anyone? ^^;
    Shiroarion July 03, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthe piano is ......I always listen to it VERY loud. It has got so much's great
    AgathaKavkaon September 27, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIs this song meant to be a sad song? If not, why do i cry to this?
    Antares Primeon April 21, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTo me, this song is about the self-esteem of women and what we put ourselves through for recognition of any kind- even cheap sexuality like in the song. The boys find her ugly, but she is so willing to receive attention that she will grant sexual favors. So sad that women are created to be treasured, but often are just tossed aside or treated as playthings. I think the precious things are her failed attempts to acheive recognition. What a sad beautiful song- often seen it at dance recitals- VERY powerful. I love it.
    nightowl3on June 21, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is so powerful! It makes me feel her anger. I don't find it sad at all.
    Wantonluxuryon October 13, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentCould this not be about her rape? Like the turning on the ankle as she runs, the anger and sadness - the desperation of the chorus - "let it wash away"?
    _ellieon March 02, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSong about being the ugly duckling at school and over compensating by being easy......the line "So you can make me cum that doesn't make you JESUS" is so sharp it stings.
    thenarratoron August 15, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI actually agree with zipperwhipped on the music industry thing, as well as with MaggieMichelle about how it's also about more personal experiences growing up. I think it's about both, as with so many Tori songs, having more than one layer.

    I definitely see the music industry stuff in there, along with a metaphor comparing all that to high school relationships and rejections - this song reminds me of all the times in my adult life that I've suddenly realized that a lot of people never really leave behind the clique-y attitudes from high school, and that workplaces and adult social settings still revert back to the same backstabbing gossipy superficial drama. I think this is the sort of sentiment Tori is bringing out in this song, using her experiences in early days in the music industry and comparing them to high school social attitudes.
    dragonflydamselon May 07, 2007   Link

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