"Joining You" as written by Alanis Nadine Morissette and Glen Ballard....
Dear darling
Your mom, my friend
Left a message on my machine
She was frantic
Saying you were talking crazy

That you wanted to do away with yourself
Guess she thought I would be the perfect resort
Because we've had this inexplicable connection since our youth

And yes, they're in shock
They are panicked
You and your chronic
Them and their drama
You this embarrassment
Us in the middle of this delusion

If we were our bodies
If we were our futures
If we were our defenses
I'd be joining you

If we were our culture
If we were our leaders
If we were our denials
Id be joining you

I remember vividly a day years ago
We were camping
You knew more than you thought you should know
You said I don't want ever to be brainwashed
And you were mind boggling, you were intense
You were uncomfortable in your own skin
You were thirsty
But mostly you were beautiful

If we were our name tags
If we were our rejections
If we were our outcomes
I'd be joining you

If we were our indignities
If we were our successes
If we were our emotions
I'd be joining you

You and I, were like four year olds
We want to know why, and how come about everything
We want to reveal ourselves at will, and speak our minds
And never talk small talk and be intuitive
And question mightily, and find God my tortured beacon

We need to find like-minded companions

If we were their condemnations
If we were their projections
If we were our paranoias, I'd be joining you

If we were our incomes
If we were our obsessions
If we were our afflictions, Id be joining you

We need a reflection
We need a really good memory
Feel free to call me a little more often

Lyrics submitted by Lamia

"Joining You" as written by Alanis Nadine Morissette Glen Ballard

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Joining You song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +5
    General CommentThis song is about people who don't think the way most people do. If you listen to Alannis at all, you notice that her songs are completely nonconformist, this song being one of the prime examples.

    I think this song is about a friend of hers, who is obviously one of these people that think differently. Because thinking outside of mainstream "groupthink" tends to make you the subject of ridicule, rejection and accusations of insanity, he is obviously experiencing difficulties relating to others (specifically his mother, who has left this panicked message on Alannis' machine). Often the only response left to these different thinkers is (at least the threat of) suicide to fend off these attacks, especially when dealing with people who are "close" to them, but clearly can't relate to them.

    The message causes Alannis to reflect on how unique he has always been, and how he has been an inspiration to her to think outside the mainstream thought patterns. She obviously remembers specific instances where his different mindset made a difference to her, and how this truly endeared him to her.

    In the chorus(es) she takes some examples of the facts or portions of peoples lives the mainstream holds most important (i.e. projections, bodies, successes, incomes, obsessions), and turns them around for him. She is reminding him that he doesn't need to equate his personal worth to these hollow values. In fact, she states that if people (in particular "we" = she and her friend) were actually the sum total of these values, she would probably join him/her in committing suicide. It is affirmation that because he doesn't think this way, that these values are truly not what makes you a worthwhile human being, he is okay, he's not the one who's crazy.

    Finally, she is telling her friend that they are not alone. Telling him that they need better memories, etc, is telling him to go back in his mind to the things she is recalling, so that he can hold on to those times when the two of them connected on that deeper level. At the end, she is telling him that she'd like to get back to that kind of relationship. She probably has the same frustrations as him.

    I use "him" arbitrarily, although in my mind (warped as it may be) I see the friend as a guy. It could very well be a girl as well. But you get the point.

    Absolutely one of my favorite songs of hers, if that means anything... LOL
    tapmusiconlyon June 20, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentMy favorite lines in this song are "we need reflection/ we need a really good memory/ feel free to call me a little more often". To me, this song is about best friends who went through a tremendous deal of stuff together. As the years went by, they drifted apart, as friends all too often do. This song is her remembering all the crazy times she had with this person, and the last lines are so beautifully chilling.
    nietzsche_66on June 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn my opinion the mother of a friend of her calls her but its her friend, not the daughter of her friend who wants to commit suicide.
    --You and I we're like 4 year olds --

    With the rest i agree...
    TheGriffinon March 25, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti always imagined it being a male freind of hers - and most of my good freinds are female. i dunno wot made me think it but thats just the impression i get
    pabloredfoxon April 05, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can't believe this song doesn't have more comments...it is an amazing song. To me it is about two very close friends who the world has split apart because of it all (all the if's) If they were more truthful to themselves and talked to each other more... they would be able to be together (if we were our rejections/emotions/denials/obsessions/afflictions) If they could only get over the things they were scared of. I love this and continually see it in myself. I love that they want to be profound and question the world. My favourite bits are "you were unconfortable in your own skin, you were thirsty , but most you were beautiful " and the whole of the last verse, all rings true to how I feel.
    alenacaton April 29, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this, because it's one of the very few non-preachy anti-suicide songs that i've heard. Instead of the stuff that's all been said before, 'you have so much to live for' etc, you feel like it's really coming from her heart. For some reason, i also completely assumed she's talking to someone male - i wonder why it comes off that way so much? also, i wonder if this song was based on someone alanis actually knows/knew.
    aclassiccaseon June 23, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with a lot of what Nanos said, and it does sound like this childhood friend of hers is a guy; it feels like he´s suicidal, I couldn´t say if he´s dead or not.
    I think that this person is smarter and maybe too "thirsty" for his own good. They have been closer before, and Alanis relates to his frustration.
    But what she´s trying to say mostly is that all these things that most people consider determine what kind of person and even the person we are don´t really mean much. She´s saying that they´ve both searched for a deeper meaning in everything, and now he´s mistaken because he´s been overwhelmed by the surface of things.
    She´s saying life is about something else, not just the things we see and feel, but it´s about trying to understand something that is not right in front of our eyes.
    Nihilisticvioleton September 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song. Someone made the comment that this is the best non-preachy anti-suicide song out there and I very much agree with that. She talks about "us in the middle of this delusion." I don't think that it's because she's contemplating suicide herself, but she wants her friend to know that she's going to go all the way into the depths with him to see what he sees and feel what he feels. This is actually really rare, because people are usually too scared to go there. Their defenses automatically keep them from getting there even if they know that's what would be most helpful.

    I work in psych and sometimes I've seen counselors subtly devalue a depressed person with their projections, (a defense) or simply stand back and observe them from a safe distance, applying a label (or nametag) in a staff meeting, or they emphasize outcomes or successes that can be measured (sure signs the person is getting better) because that helps them (the counselor) feel more in control. And a lack of empathy is probably what got that depressed and hopeless person into that state of mind to begin with. The depressed person needs someone authentically present with them. Alannis gets that and she gives him what he needs without reacting from a place of fear (as the mother did).

    She tells him authentically about her first impressions of him, that she saw his insecurities and his hunger (or thirst) for empathy from others, and it didn't drive her away. In fact, she found him fascinating because of this, but even beyond that, she saw who he was, and she loved who he was (he was beautiful).

    Then she tells him the ways in which they're alike "we're like 4-year-olds" because he needs to know he's not truly alone and incapable of being understood, like he probably thinks. The ways in which they're alike though are different from mainstream America, which has a very narcissistic culture rather than a culture rooted in authentic experience. She still identifies with him, even in his present state of mind. She tells him why she thinks he arrived at the conclusion he came to - he's reduced life to all the things that wind up disappointing us or making us feel misunderstood and alone - our leaders, our culture, the fact that people apply nametags to us, etc. He needs to go back to living in the moment - they need a "really good memory." She tells him she's there for him whenever he needs her to be. If Alannis hadn't been a professional singer/songwriter, I think she would have been a really good psychotherapist.
    LyricalBeckyon May 16, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI believe this song is about waking up from the brainwashing that we the masses are under. Her friend is waking up to their trauma based mind control and their suicide programming has kicked in making them look crazy. Alanis who is most likely also a victim of trauma based mind control can see the bigger truth in that we are not ourselves and if we were she would also be doing away with herself.

    May we all peacefully awaken to the truth in our own lives and speak that truth without fear and overcome this hell on earth.
    Kobayneon April 12, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah... i dunno, "you said "I don't want ever to be brainwashed" is the kind of thing i say all the time, because i'm so scared of brainwash, but i get the impression that this friend of hers is pretty damn smart.. too smart, and they seem to see deeper into the world, the end result making them suicidal (i'm very tired, so sorry if i babble) anyway, i don't know, when i listen to this song i always think of it being the fear of brainwash and indoctrination by society making us conform that makes this friend want to kill him/her self. um... what am i getting at... oh yeha, a lot of what alanis says as a response implies that he/she cannot know that they will end up brainwashed "if we were our futures", "if we were our culture" (what they fear they will become) and "if we were our nametags" (what people think they are) but the fact is that they are not that and therefore shouldn't kill themself, and i'm really sorry for going on, but if you're here you probably haven't got anythign better to do than read this anyway. by the way do you get the impression that this frined is male or female? cause i definately get the impression that he/she is male for some reason - maybe cause most my friends are male.. or my good ones anyway
    evil_killer_phoneon March 29, 2003   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top