"Orchid" as written by Alanis Morissette and Guy Sigsworth....
Me, and my helmet, such an unconventional kid
All intense and kinetic, at best tolerated from afar
Not yet arrested, and by that I mean betrothed
Though I start, I am newly courted
I've just not been trusted with alters

I'm a sweet piece of work
Well-intentioned, yet disturbed
Wrongly labeled and underfed
Treated like a rose as an orchid

My friends, as they weigh in
Get understandably protective
They have a hard time being objective
So inside we cancel each other out

I'm a sweet piece of work
Well-intentioned and unloved
Unlabeled and misunderstood
Treated like a rose as an orchid

You've brought water to me, making sure my bloom rebounds
You know best of what my special care allows

So I've lived in my blind spot
Thought myself usual when I'm not
And your garden is a nice spot
As long as it is brave and where you are

For this sweet piece of work
High maintenance and deserted
I've been different and deserving
Treated like a rose as an orchid
Sweet piece of work, overwhelmed, unobserved
I've been bowed down to but so misread
Treated like a rose as an orchid

Lyrics submitted by jordaaan

"Orchid" as written by Guy Sigsworth Alanis Morissette

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Orchid song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI cried the first and second time I heard this song. She is treated like a rose as an orchid. A rose has thorns. An orchid is delicate. Her lovers perceive her as stronger than she is because she shows her thorns. Truly, she is an orchid. She is delicate. She connects deeply and yet her lovers don't understand her. To her lovers, she is high maintenance or at least this is her perception of how her lover perceives her.

    In the beginning of her relationships, she is courted. Her lovers admire her strong will and deep sensitivity. After two or three years they no longer court her the same way. She is not someone they take to the altar. Sadly, they only think they know her. She does have thorns but not really. She is an orchid. When she finds the right one, I don't think the thorns will be as apparent. Perhaps she has to learn to trust first. I love you for sharing this Alanis. Your entire album has come at the right time in my life. You are an angel. Know that you go through your journey to help those of us that struggle the same. I thank you for sharing your soul. Stephanie
    playonwordson June 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with playonwords' theory to an extent, but I think there's a lot of self-discovery in this song. Not just the way her loves perceive her, but the way she perceives herself. The helmet in the first line may refer to her efforts to protect herself, either through distancing from other people or by claiming she is stronger than she really is. Then, as playonwords said, her lovers begin to expect more from her. Once they see exactly how fragile she really is, they bail.

    The verse about her friends makes me think of the typical, "Don't worry girl, you're better off without him" kind of thing. The comfort and support system: dissing the guy and praising her. But deep down, she knows that she was to blame, not him, and since they have a hard time viewing the situation with objectivity, they can't see that and their opinions are biased in her favor. Thus, they cancel each other out.

    The last few verses make me think that she's found someone that finally understands her. Someone that knows how to protect her without babying her, to help herstand when she needs it instead of expecting her to be able to do it on her own. "Thought myself usual when I'm not" and "I've been different and deserving" tells me that she finally sees exactly what she's worth.

    Just my two cents.
    Senkaion November 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThink it's about having people lick your butt and treat you for far more than your worth, simply put - and they're misreading her because they're so obsessed with achieving her praise.
    Human-beefon June 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think playonwords's interpretation is really intelligent... I was trying to work out the rose vs. orchid thing myself. Thank you for your interpretation, it really helped me to understand the song better. :D And it's a great song also.
    Technophobiaon June 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI also think that when she talks about her friends not being objective, and how they cancel each other out, she's talking about how they unduly praise her and she herself is self-deprecating, therefore her own self-criticisms and others undue praise even out in the end.
    Technophobiaon June 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI cannot understand why this track was not included on the actual album but was instead featured on the bonus disc of the special edition. This is by far one of the best Alanis songs I've ever heard and it's better than every track on "Flavours".
    gavtailon January 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentexactly!
    pappy102466on April 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a very touching song and one I relate to well, probably my favorite from her. She considers herself an orchid which is a more delicate, beautiful, unique flower compared to a rose which is more durable and common. People mistaken her for a rose because of her strength or the assumption that she is just like everyone else when indeed she is not. She requires "special care". She maybe considered high maintenance to those who are more common, but someone who can see into her true beauty and treasure would understand why she needs so much cause in return she gives so much. Her level of intimacy is far deeper than those who she has been with. At first they admire her and she's even been bowed down to but over time they come to think she is too much to handle and they leave. It takes a unique, deep person to appreciate another unique, deep person. I know because I have this same struggle in my life and that is why I adore this song so much.
    onlyexceptionon January 31, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI listen to alanis songs for therapy and she expresses emotion that is so unfiltered, I can tell she doesn’t overthink try too hard with her music; her feelings come out so well. I have a hard time putting my own emotions, which are complicated, into words and feel misunderstood most of the time. This song is something that I feel so deep but I think Alanis looks at herself and experiences and (at least these days) sings in gratitude for what she has learned about her true self and can embrace and even share that through her music with the world. I admire the willingness to be so completely vulnerable and I appreciate her music so much that it inspires me to live more that way myself. She is thanking the one true person that sees her, keeps space for her and takes care of her in the ways she needs because of who she is. I look to her music as inspiration also because she is an outspoken HSP, like myself she is a highly sensitive person and that’s not easy to be in this world. It’s rare to find one person to be able to really understand who we really are and it’s just hard, in so many ways. To find a person to be a shelter, to be able to trust with your fragility is the most beautiful thing I could imagine. I can just sense and feel and know that this is where she is in her life and her music is such a gift to so many but especially other hsps. I cry happy to this song
    DanielTiger627on September 25, 2018   Link

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