"General Joy" as written by and Tori Ellen Amos....
General joy I know I know
You'll take me there
Where your boys were left behind

General joy it seems you need
A soldier girl -
Now "they" have liberty gagged

By boat by tram by motorbus
Could it be the fates are protecting us
From the hawks that have stolen the bird from the sky

And I know
You will always love sorrow
Is that why
You gave her dress to happiness?
Cause it matches her eyes
When she cries

General joy it seems
You don't love your bride
You're friends but she is not the love of your life

To dye to perm to change your hair or your wife
The possibilities are there
And it's time for you to decide

General joy I know I know
You'll take me there
But you'll need strength
From within
General joy it seems you need
A soldier girl
And a willing coalition

By boat by tram by motorbus
Could it be the hawks are protecting us
From the men who have now assumed their name

Lyrics submitted by merchantpierce

"General Joy" as written by Tori Ellen Amos

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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General Joy song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentBasically it's saying that we can't always be happy & perfect with what you have, & that you have to make due. The line "and I know
    you will always love Sorrow
    is that why
    you gave her dress
    to Happiness?
    \'cause it matches her eyes
    when she cries"
    is basically saying that he's (it's obviously talking in terms of a man wanting a woman) always going to want this image, and sometimes that image is unattainable to get. In turn, he manipulates things around him to get his wish. I think the entire piece talks about the restlessness and agressiveness of society, especially from a gender point of view.
    PrincessOdetteon December 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI kind of took something different from it --
    I think she's talking about a man who's had a sad past, lost his innocence, etc (back where your boys were left behind). Now he feels trapped in the life that he has, where he doesn't love his wife but he is so jaded that he doesn't really believe in happiness anymore. He clothes even his happiness in sorrow because he knows it will disappoint ("when she cries"). He just continues on his life, perhaps travelling alot ("by boat, by tram, by autobus") superficially trying to escape his life while not doing anything to change it for fear that he will face more disappointment ("protecting us...from the hawks that have stolen the bird from the sky")
    Sorry so long :)
    SongPrincess127on April 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is definitely a political song, especially in the verse:
    'General Joy it seems you need
    a soldier girl
    and a willing coalition'
    abey85on August 30, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor some odd reason, this song makes me think of the whole Brad Pitt (General Joy)/ Jennifer Aniston (Wife) divorce for Angelina Jolie (Soldier Girl). And I always thought the lyric was "Is that why you gave her address to happiness". This one makes sense too though.
    fatalbeautyfallson February 08, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsounds musically like Faith no More was an ifluance
    necrophageon August 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAll I know is that this is a very political album of hers.
    Poetic_Mystiqueon January 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd love the way she sings "motorbus".
    Poetic_Mystiqueon January 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this might be a reference to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, but I could be wrong. He was a Commander, rather than a General, but his wife was Serena Joy...
    non vintageon January 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOoh I like that idea, non vintage! Could well be...
    missmeon February 10, 2009   Link

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