I know what you want the magpies have come

If you know me so well then tell me which hand I use

Make them go
Make it go

Saw her there in a restaurant
Poppy don't go
I know your mother is a good one
But Poppy don't go
I'll take you home

Show me the things I've been missin'
Show me the ways I forgot to be speaking
Show me the ways to get back to the garden
Show me the ways to get around the get around
Show me the ways to button up
Buttons that have forgotten they're buttons
Well we can't have that
Forgetting that

Girls girls what have we done
What have we done to ourselves, yes

Driving on the vine
Over clothes lines
But officer I saw the sign

Thought I'd been through this in 1919
Counting the tears of ten thousand men
And gathered them all
But my feet are slipping

There's something we left on the window sill
There's something we left yes

We'll see how brave you are
We'll see how fast you'll be running
We'll see how brave you are
Yes, Anastasia

And all your dollies have friends

Thought she deserved no less than she'd give
Well happy birthday
Her blood's on my hands
It's kind of a shame cause I did like that dress
It's funny the things that you find in the rain
The things that you find
In the mall and in the date mines
In the knots still in her hair
On the bus I'm on my way down
On my way down
All the girls seem to be there

We'll see how brave you are
We'll see how fast you'll be running
We'll see how brave you are
We'll see

We'll see how brave you are
Oh yes, we'll see how fast you'll be running
We'll see how brave you are
Yes, Anastasia

Come along now little darlin'
Come along now with me
Come along now little darlin'
We'll see how brave you are

Lyrics submitted by Novartza

Yes, Anastasia Lyrics as written by Tori Ellen Amos

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Yes, Anastasia song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment"It's a journey. Anastasia Romanov... it's not like I've read loads of books on her. I was aware of the family and that's about it. So I'm in Virginia, and I had crabs...I keep saying that! I had crab sickness, I had eaten bad crabs in Maryland! But I couldn't cancel the show. I was at soundcheck, and needless to say, when you are very, very ill, it is easier to communicate with your source... you are fragile and vulnerable. Well, her presence came. Now I have only heard of her in history, I've got no point to make. She comes and goes 'you've got to write my tune.' I 'go ohhh, now's not really a good time.' She says 'no, you've got to understand something from this, there's something here that you've got to come to terms with.' And that night came," as she softly sings the line "'We'll see how brave you are,' and that was really about the whole record. That came just about before everything. And whenever I sing that chorus, 'we'll see how brave you are,' it means so many different things to me. It's part of my self, my spirit self saying to the rest of myself, 'if you really want a challenge, just deal with yourself. The funny thing is that Anna Anderson, who claimed to be Anastasia, died very close to where I was playing, an hour or so from there in the 80s. The feeling I got that Anna Anderson was Anastasia Romanov. She always tried to prove it and a lot of people believed her and some people didn't want to believe her, because of what that would have meant. And again, it's really working through being a victim. 'Counting the tears from ten thousand men, and gathered them all, but my feel are slipping.' You can't blame the men anymore; there's always you. It comes back to us; it comes back to me."
    [Tori Amos, B Side, 04/94]

    "I hope I told your story correctly my friend so many codes it was hard for me to decipher but I believe Anastasia's story is everyone's in a way she tried to tell me that and I blew her off"
    [Tori Amos, Under The Pink Songbook]
    merchantpierceon May 03, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song came out when I was having a difficult time during High School, and I used to sing it to myself every single afternoon as I walked home. Even today, when I reach a certain spot near my old school, I can hear those first few piano notes going through my head. The lyrics in this song just seemed so random to me, so mysterious - I never could explain this song to other people. But to me, both then and now, it's sort of a Janus-like song. It looks back with sadness and it looks forward with fear. I used to think that was just adolescence, but 12 years later I think that's just life. We all carry the scars of bad relationships and failures, and we all step forward into the future, frightened of the tests that are going to be thrown at us.
    When Tori sings "I know what you want / the magpies have come" she gets immediate intimacy - past all the intellectual logical level that we all pretend to operate on - towards something more symbolic, more intimate. And what always surprises me about this song is just how many times the music itself, even when it's bursting with joy, always fades - again and again. It's not like it starts loud and stays loud - it builds up, fades, builds up, fades. At the end of it, I always feel like I've been on a journey.
    Under The Pink as an album gave me so much comfort, but no other song by Tori or anyone else seemed to express the confusion and fear of becoming an adult like "Yes, Anastasia."
    linnaeuslurieon December 12, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWe're studying the story of the Romanov family in history class, and amazingly, there WAS something they left on the windowsill... Anastasia's mother Alexandra carved a swastika and the date into a windowsill of the Ipatiev house, the place where they were executed. (This was before World War II and Nazism... a swastika at that time was a symbol of good luck.)

    I just thought it was really interesting.
    lastoftherockstarson March 05, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment'Show me the ways I forgot to be speaking' - apparently Anna Anderson (the woman who for years claimed to be Anastacia) spoke a language other than Russian (I can't remember what it was, I think German) and those who found her decided she was a fraud as she didn't speak Russian, but others then came forward to say that in the Russian Royal household, they did speak that language, as their mother did not have Russian as her first language (she was German) and that the shock had caused Anna to revert to using the language that made her feel safest.
    Equally, 'if you know me so wel then tell me which hand I use' relates to those who said Anna was not the real Anastacia as she wrote with the wrong hand. Some believed it was the trauma and others said that the experts were mistaken and that Anna used the same hand as Anastacia had.
    Several DNA tests have shown Anna was not a Romanov descendent, and linked her to a Polish family. Her supporters continue to deny this.
    daneypopson April 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is a perfect example of what tori amos can do that ive never heard anyone else do. just her, a piano, and some strings, and its just amazing and epic. she talks about it herself in that first post...but the line "we'll see how brave you are" just seems to speak directly to the listener. regardless of the story that the lyrics tell, that line and the long "we'll seeeeeeeee....." is a part of its own that is like a challenge...you can hear she is out of breath at the end of it, all her energy expended, and what are you going to do to match it? "we'll see how brave you are"
    richpodrazaon September 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI heard this song before I knew about the "official" meaning and (I was only a child) before I knew about the Romanovs either, so I wouldn't make the connection. I interpreted the lyrics to be about a female serial killer, who roams the world with a strange need to adopt young girls. Straight off, the song is tormented ("make it go, make them go") and rambling, like the painful reminiscence or bad dream of a mentally unstable person. I interpreted the tormenting "magpies" to be the police, who she is always trying to stay one step ahead of. Then we have the memory of Poppy, a girl she abducts from a restaurant ("I'll take you home"). The killer makes friends with Poppy and Poppy goes willingly with her at first, but shows some resistance to leaving her mother ("I know your mother is a good one, but Poppy don't go"). The killer is obsessed with the idea of childhood ("show me the things I've been missing..."). She wants to be a mother to these girls and is genuinely friends with them, luring them away pied-piper style, with dolls and games. But the fragile-minded killer finds the girls' demands too frustrating and always ends up snapping and killing them ("thought she'd deserve no less than she'd give. Well happy birthday, her blood's on my hands"). Being mad, she just continues in her lifestyle and adopts another girl. But there is some self-awareness, especially in the chorus ("we'll see how brave you are. We'll see how fast you'll be running"). The song ends with the killer's tormented bus ride in the rain, when she starts visualising all her victims standing at the sign-posts ("on the way down, all the girls seem to be there").

    As I said, this is just my interpretation, based purely off the lyrics and no prior knowledge. It was quite a scary song for a child to listen to! The story I interpret rather reminds me of the identity-stealing, child-snatching witch Zozie of Joanne Harris' novel The Lollipop Shoes, although I hadn't read that book at the time.
    babayagaon October 22, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me this song is about being true to yourself during a time of crisis, and making a daring escape from a bad situation or mindset by challenging yourself and rising to the occasion. It's legend that Anastasia Romanov escaped being executed; I think Tori is singing about saving yourself by calling on your own inner strength.
    Mendalusa77on September 21, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe one song that wouldn't go out of my head during 9/11 and the days thereafter.
    pdmon July 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI LOVE THIS SONG. I'm ALWAYS singing it, and I love it more every time I hear it.
    toriamosfanon June 20, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfor me, personally, I love the line: Show me how to button the buttons that have forgotten they're buttons. Well we can't have that forgetting that. I mean just READ it!
    lauramarson October 01, 2004   Link

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