And you know you're
Gonna lie to you
In your own way

Know know too well
Know the chill
Know she breaks
My Siren

Never was one
For a
Prissy girl
Call in For
An ambulance
Reach high
Mean she's
Just means
She's got a Cellular
Almost in love "vanilla"

And you know you're
Gonna lie to you
In your own way

Lyrics submitted by Novartza, edited by alimayne

Siren Lyrics as written by Tori Amos Patrick Doyle

Lyrics © FOX MUSIC, INC., Downtown Music Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Siren song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentI think Tori is writing about one of her sub-personalities or archetypes: The siren or femme fatale. These are fractions of her personalities that developed out of past trauma; usually to protect the fragile, vulnerable self. It seems like she is talking about some other girl but I think she is talking to her self. She may be trying to bring this to light to the siren in the song so as to illuminate her 'shadow self' for healing.

    The siren, as mentioned above, is the seductress woman who lures men into her territory. It is one that preys on men; it lies to them to control them in a way that is concealed under the glamor of a lusty red dress, sex and even the promise of love. I believe Tori is using the idea of a siren as a seductive,controlling, emotionally destructive and hardened woman. The siren is one who will avenge what has been robbed from her by breaking the hearts of men.

    She begins by saying she is lying to herself. She describes this woman as regretfully familiar (know too well), she brings out her cold side (know the chills), acts like a lusty teenager(the associated word flesh emphasize the sexuality of adolescence) but most importantly she know she breaks... (when something is too hard and stiff, it is inflexible and that means it can be easily shatter and so ultimately it is fragile, weak).

    She emphasizes all this again by saying she never had time - or could not afford - to be weak or a prissy girl, or never acted like a vulnerable woman calling for an ambulance (never called for help about what happened to her in her past). She might convince the man that she is holy, brave/strong/ like she would make a good wife/mother, like she would love you and is pure (vanilla), but these are things she can never give commit to because she is fractured and broken. She is never quite perfect, like vanilla is never quite white.

    Not too sure about the last bit....You don't need to the light on to guide you through the southern lands; this might mean you don't need to be 'present' or 'no-one needs to be at home' to explore the southern lands (to have sex with someone). You can detach you self from this act , which is one of the most potentially controlling and imprisoning acts a woman or a man can do.

    jacquiion July 15, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think something I have missed in all the commentary is the term "Vanilla", and so much of this song is about flirting (siren, coquette, "teenage flesh", etc) I would follow that logic a little further and apply the BDSM term "Vanilla" as someone who is very conventional and "tamed"

    I think both the Siren (the femme fatale) and the Coquette (professional flirt) find that once they GET the attention of the man, It's disappointing because he is VANILLA, and disintegrating. Her tastes are more evolved and diverse and developed than his, he is just too "Vanilla" for her.

    She was ALMOST brave
    And ALMOST pregnant...
    (And "pregnant" here doesn't need to be LITERAL, although it does also work that way symbolically as well, but it could also mean "almost beginning a new life")
    She slept with him and almost got trapped in his bland world... And she has more exciting pursuits to chase.

    The LIE she tells is that she is interested... For a coquette isn't REALLY interested, she just flirts for attention. She doesn't ACTUALLY have interest in him, he's a momentary high for her. But she enjoys the attention so she lies... By flirting. It's her nature, it's also the nature of the SIREN, who calls men to their doom with alluring song...

    Also since this song was written for the GREAT EXPECTATIONS soundtrack, I think that the characters in that film also influence this song. As Gweneth Paltrows character in that film is very much a Coquette/Siren for Ethan Hawkes character. She doesn't love him, she just enjoys the idea that he loves her as much as he does... And she is cruel to him in the process. She isn't "Holy" or even all that tremendously special to anyone BUT him... But since SHE is his obsession, she enjoys that a great deal. But in the end SHE is a little more "Vanilla" than he would hope, because she isn't a fully developed person, she was an IDEA that he was so deeply fixated upon.

    The great irony is that they both had "greater expectations" of each other than either one could actually deliver... She was just an idea to him and he was just an amusement/validation of the ego for her. So the great irony is that they were both destined for disappointment in one another... She could never be his flawless paragon, and he was never what she really wanted either.

    In this way the song and its association with the film is genius. Also if you listen to the soundtrack in order, Tori precedes SIREN with a song about Ethan Hawke's character's unrealistic vision of Gweneth's characters "perfection" so there is a genius to the way they both tell their own stories but her music was designed specifically to compliment the theme of the film.
    LadyDragonLLCon July 18, 2016   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's about this girl (the "siren") who teases and leads on this one guy who is madly in love with her, until one day, he can't take it anymore, so he rapes her and kills her.
    PrincessBettinaon June 20, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThat makes perfect sense (princessbettina). I love this song... it makes me dance as fucked up as it is. I really like it.
    EmoCore23on June 29, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI suppose it wouldn't be the majority's opinion, but yet, ofcourse, i'll say it. :) after all, i know this song for like 6 years, its been built inside me.
    I think it's about two girls, and the hate of one to the other. the observer, the simpler girl, watching the coquette getting in trouble, her lovely & desirable troubles, and hating her. "doesn't mean she's holy, just means She's got
    a Cellular handy". 'dont make her a saint. she just happen to be there, dont fucking adore her', and so forth.

    breaking the siren - just thought of it - the siren might be the voice. like an ambulance siren. yes, a voice, but still fragile, and can still be taken away, broken, by this coquette, who is estimated to be more valuable than the speaker.

    ofcourse, no clue why and who will lie to himself in his own way, nor the "almost brave almost pregnant almost inlove" and more than that - "vanilla"? :)

    And just for the record, this missing sentence, "And you dont need the light on to guide you through the southren lands you go", is one of the most beautiful sentences in Tori's songs, in my opinion.
    Aerialon October 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont think that is what its about at all.. at all.
    miserlouon July 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is on the "Great Expectations" soundtrack, and going with the theme of the movie, princess has the meaning right... The second time she says "Know Know..." She says teenage flesh instead of too well. That's about the only thing missing.
    karmaBLACKcloudon July 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese are only half the lyrics...where did the second verse (And you don;t need the light on) go?
    TiggerLilyon March 10, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell yeah indeed theres a second verse missing..but in the meantime..
    uhmm if u relate it to the movie..then find the guy lost it raped her and killed her..whatever...
    but..when tori wrote the song..she was thinking about something really delicate like a siren..and how sirens happen to be a myth about them driving men to the sea ..making them go all crazed over them..i think its about the power women have over they lie to themselfs.."in your own way" i think as in..pretending to care just to have one by their side..and then to brake us..but in the end they only break themselfs..cuz women..hell we fall in love every year..comaring to men who fall in love just one..and when they do..they can kill for it..and we just die for it..
    isobelon March 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo why do I cry so hard to this song?
    Antares Primeon April 21, 2003   Link

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